They’ve come and they’ve gone. The 2013 Academy Awards are in the bag and as a whole I enjoyed the show. Despite a few stumbles, Seth MacFarlane was actually better than I thought, there were a few surprises, some good musical numbers, and in the end plenty to talk about. As usual it was a long show and I’m sure many non-cinephiles labored through the categories such as Production Design and Sound Mixing. But I gobbled it all up. I applauded several times and shook my head at other times. So lets look at the big night in movies starting with the big six categories.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained)
Nothing like starting off the show with a big surprise! I had this race as a battle between Tommy Lee Jones and Robert De Niro. I felt Jones would win but my allegiance was with De Niro. The more I thought on his brilliant work in “Silver Linings Playbook” the more I was sure he deserved the Oscar. Sadly the Academy weren’t as impressed. Now don’t get me wrong, I really like Waltz. But this should have gone to De Niro. This one was a head scratcher!
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables)
This was considered a certain win for Hathaway but after the Waltz win I wasn’t so sure. It turns out the Academy stayed on course and Hathaway took home the gold. Honestly I was quite satisfied with her win. Some have said this was a role aimed at an Academy Award nomination. Maybe so but I loved it. I predicted Hathaway and for me Hathaway was the clear choice.
BEST ACTRESS – Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)
In what turned out to be the only win for “Silver Linings Playbook”, Jennifer Lawrence was who I predicted to win and she did. My personal choice was Emmanuelle Riva. No one came close to doing what she did on screen. But everything was pointing to Lawrence although you never know with the Academy and young actresses. Even though she gave my third or fourth favorite performance of the nominees, she was still very, very good and she’s only going to get better. Get ready to move aside Meryl Streep!
BEST ACTOR – Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)
In the biggest non-surprise of the night Daniel Day-Lewis set an Oscar record becoming the only 3-time Best Actor winner in Oscar history. It was a well deserved win. Who else could have pulled off what he was able to accomplish. I love DDL and his wonderfully humble acceptance speech only enhanced that. He is on an acting level above most others and I’m proud he was recognized for his work yet again. He was my personal favorite and I predicted him. But didn’t everybody?
BEST DIRECTOR – Ang Lee (Life of Pi)
I’ve said it multiple times – the Best Director category is the most screwed up of any at this year’s Oscars. Ang Lee’s win proves it. Not don’t misunderstand, “Life of Pi” was a really good film, but I thought Spielberg deserved this one. Of course this one is equally confounding because the two biggest snubs, Kathryn Bigelow and Ben Affleck both should have won over Lee. But this is how the Academy rolls and its often times impossible to understand. I had predicted Spielberg and was rooting for Haneke. Sorry guys, not this year.
BEST PICTURE – “ARGO”
While Ben Affleck was denied his chance at a directing Oscar, he went home a happy man after winning a Best Picture statue for “Argo”. I predicted “Argo” but I have to admit I was growing uneasy with my pick as the night went on. But as with most other Awards this season, the Oscars fell in line. I have to say I was proud for Affleck. “Amour” was my preference but I found myself clapping once “Argo” was announced. It was a wonderful film.
There are my thoughts in the Big 6 categories. Here are some random thoughts on the show:
SOCK PUPPET “FLIGHT” – While I though MacFarlane and Shatner’s bit went a little too long, I loved the “Flight” sock puppet gag. The booze, the coke, the tumble dryer! And then the politically incorrect “This is 2013! You can’t do black hand”. Hilarious!
THE BOND TRIBUTE – First of all it was surprising to see the Academy pay tribute to a franchise they for the most part have ignored. Maybe that explains the mediocrity of the montage. At least Shirley Bassey came in and saved the day.
THE JAWS THEME – I have to admit, the delinquent in me thought the first use of the Jaws theme was kind of funny. It didn’t sound live and it came across as a mistake. Well, it was no mistake and it turned out to be a pretty rude method of speeding things along.
THE AVENGERS – I loved the bit where the cast of “The Avengers” (minus Chris Hemsworth and Scarlett Johansson) came out to present. Hysterical! And many have heard me say this before, but when is Robert Downey Jr. going to host the Oscars? He would bring the house down.
ZERO DARK THIRTY – I knew the Academy was too scared to put their stamp of approval on “Zero Dark Thirty”. It took home only one Oscar and that was a tie for sound editing. I thought Mark Boal should have won for original screenplay but it went to Django instead. Just more evidence that the Academy will steer clear of anything deemed controversial regardless of how stupid the controversy is.
LES MISERABLES NUMBER – I thought one of the highlights of the ceremony was the musical number from the cast of “Les Miserables”. Talk about knocking it out of the park. I know many people had mixed feelings about the film, but this reminded me of everything I liked about it.
“SKYFALL” BY ADELE – Wow! Talk about talent. Adele blew away everyone on her way to her deserved Oscar win for Best Song. It seems absolutely effortless for her and she didn’t miss a note. And then there was the incredible stage design behind her. This was a real treat!
KRISTEN STEWART – I think it was Ruth over at Flixchatter who asked why anyone would invite Kristen Stewart to appear or present at an awards show. Last night she seemed high and completely uninterested. She also looked like a total slob despite the fancy dress she was wearing. Next year let’s invite someone else!
BEN AFFLECK’S ACCEPTANCE SPEECH – I loved the humility and childlike excitement from Ben Affleck after winning the Best Picture Oscar for “Argo”. Yes he was rambling and tripping over his words but I loved it. It wasn’t a heavily scripted speech. It was pure excitement and exuberance – exactly as it should be! Well done!
MICHELLE OBAMA VIA SATELLITE – Ok, I’m not throwing any type of political position in this, but Michelle Obama’s appearance via satellite was a bit jarring. I mean we have the screen legend Jack Nicholson come out in good form and then he has to step aside for a big jumbo screen? C’mon Academy, seriously?
So those are just a few thoughts on this year’s Oscars. There was no big heavyweight winner but a few films go home disappointed such as one time frontrunner “Lincoln” and heavily nominated “Silver Linings Playbook”. I hoped to see more wins for “Amour”, “Beasts of the Southern Wild”, and “Zero Dark Thirty”. But such is the nature of The Academy Awards. Now it’s time for your thoughts!