After everything is said and done, what will be remembered from this Oscar ceremony? Will it be Seth MacFarlane’s polarizing hosting duties (I did enjoy “We Saw Your Boobs”)? Will it be remembered for Daniel Day-Lewis winning his third Best Actor Oscar and giving a hilarious and heart-felt acceptance speech? Or maybe Jennifer Lawrence tripping up the stairs to the podium to accept her Best Actress Oscar (third youngest in history)? Or how about the Bond tribute or the tribute to movie musicals (damn, that Jennifer Hudson can sing, huh?)?
While most of these moments will be remembered by some, the big thing to be remembered from the 85th annual Academy Awards is that Argo won Best Picture. That’s what people will remember about last night’s Oscars and that’s why it’s such a big deal to win Best Picture. 2012 was a great year of films from the summer blockbusters (The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises), to the independent gems (Beasts of the Southern Wild, Amour, Moonrise Kingdom, The Perks of Being a Wallflower), to the patriotic dramas (Argo, Zero Dark Thirty, Lincoln), and to the crowd-pleasers (Silver Linings Playbook, The Hunger Games, Django Unchained). It was a year for anyone and everyone to enjoy, but in ten years which films will people remember? 20 years? 50 years?
As for the actual telecast, the ceremony was only 3 and a half hours long (same run-time as the Grammy’s), so they actually did a good job with that. Plus, after the first few victims towards the beginning I think the rest of the winners were intimidated by the Jaws theme song drowning them out. But I still wish that they would just cut out all the shenanigans that the presenters attempt and give the winners some more time for their speeches. Whatever Paul Rudd and Melissa McCarthy were trying to do, that didn’t work. When Seth did that Von Trapp gag before introducing Christopher Plummer, that didn’t work. When the actors of The Avengers were being weird, especially Samuel L. Jackson skipping an entire bulk on the teleprompter, that didn’t work. And did we really need to see a lip-syncing Catherine Zeta-Jones during the musical tribute?
But I did enjoy the Oscars, like I do every year, because it reminds me of how much I love movies and how all the people involved in making a movie are people just like you and me. Despite most people, I really love when teh technical categories are announced because those winners are the most down-to-earth, surprised winners of the night. Sure, they’re the ones that get the Jaws theme blasted in their face (because God forbid if you cut off one of the actors), but it’s usually the most sincere and happiest moments of the night.
So what didn’t work during the telecast? Well, Seth MacFarlane was an interesting choice for the Oscars and he delivered exactly what people expected, by dividing the room. He’s a comedian that appeals to a younger crowd, and has a lot of guy-humor. So it’s not surprising that he had a bunch of gags like the “We Saw Your Boobs” song, making out with Sally Field and an animated Ted asking about the post-Oscar orgy. I’m not a fan of Seth MacFarlane at all, but I did enjoy his humor throughout the telecast. His monologue was a bit long, but I felt he really kept the show flowing pretty well, even though a few of his jokes were borderline tasteless.
A few highlights:
– The Oscars started off with that packed Supporting Actor category, which Christoph Waltz walked away as the winner. Quite surprising, since he won so recently but hey, the Academy loves him.
– Brave beating out Wreck-It Ralph for Best Animated Feature had me scratching my head. Did the voters just see “Pixar” and checked off the box next to it? Seriously, Brave was arguably Pixar’s weakest film to date.
– While I predicted Life of Pi to win Best Cinematography, I was really pulling for Roger Deakins’ work in Skyfall. Poor guy, he now has 10 nominations and 0 Oscars. He’s paid his due! Just give him the award already!
– Do all Best Costume Oscars go to period films?
– Poor Russell Crowe had to deal with more criticism of his singing at the Oscars during “One Day More.” The guy’s not great, but he can sing better than a lot of us. Let it go!
– There was a tie at the Oscars for Best Sound Editing. Zero Dark Thirty and Skyfall won. When was the last time there was a tie at the Oscars? In 1994 there was a tie for Best Live Action Short. Then in 1986 there was a tie for Best Documentary, but the most memorable tie was in 1969 when Katharine Hepburn and Barbara Streisand tied for Best Actress.
– Ang Lee winning Best Director was a bit surprising. I knew Speilberg wasn’t going to win, but I felt David O. Russell was the front-runner and that Michael Haneke would win. So this makes Ang Lee with 2 Best Director awards, both to where his film didn’t win Best Picture (Brokeback Mountain loses to Crash, Life of Pi loses to Argo).
– As for me, I went 17/24 with my predictions, not too shabby but not great either. I’m always in the 16-18 range and I’ll just have to try harder next year. If there’s something about predictions that I have to remember, it’s to 1. Ignore your personal feelings and go with the front-runners and 2. there won’t be any major upsets, but expect about 3 minor ones.