Ok, I figure it’s better late than never, but let’s have a look at the Oscars for this year. Frankly, I find myself more interested in the choice of hosts than the actual awards. There seems to be so few surprises in the winners anymore that I kind of enjoy the dubious host selections. And this year, Seth MacFarlane was this years lab rat.
Ok, I figure it’s better late than never, but let’s have a look at the Oscars for this year. Frankly, I find myself more interested in the choice of hosts than the actual awards. There seems to be so few surprises in the winners anymore that I kind of enjoy the dubious host selections. And this year, Seth MacFarlane was this years lab rat. He certainly has enough edge and contemporary appeal to rope in the younger audience, but with his old school singing talent, that makes him safe enough for the Academy to like. But then, he is kind of a love him or hate him type of talent, for most people, I think. Me, I like him ok, but sometimes he’s hit or miss. Just like Family Guy.
This year, other than the maraton of excruciatingly long opening number(s), there were, again, few surprises. Seth made lots of jokes about how long the show was, but if they had cut, say, four of the opening numbers, it may have actually only been a three hour show instead of four. For a while, I forgot we were watching the Oscars. I kept looking for a crying Jerry Lewis until I realized there wasn’t anyone calling in donations. Oooh, right, it’s the Oscars. Can we get on with this?
Fortunately, they finally started to announce nominees. Though I really enjoyed Django Unchained, I felt like it got so much more attention than it deserved. And I love Christoph Waltz, and he was great in it, but I’m not sure Philip Hoffman or Alan Arkin didn’t deserve it, too. But hey, good for Waltz.
As is often the case with me, I somehow miss most of the Supporting Actress performances. I saw two of them this past year. Jackie Weaver was quite good in Silver Linings Playbook, but I knew Sally Field wouldn’t win. So when you realize that there was a period musical in the nominees, you know Anne Hathaway is going to win if she did even a moderately good job. And if they cut their hair off for the role? Well there you have it.
I can honestly say that there has only been like, one year that I saw all the shorts. Sometimes I see a few of the animated ones, and I missed Paper Man until last week. I watched it online, and it really was wonderful. I’d say a deserved win. And for the first time, maybe EVER, I did not see even one of the animated features. Pixar has a movie in that category, so, you know, they just HAVE to win, even though I heard Brave was among their weaker films.
Cinematography and Visual Effects are usually fairly self-explanatory and go to an obvious choice. Life of Pi swept these two awards. Other nominees were films like Skyfall, Anna Karenina, The Hobbit, the Avenger’s and Prometheus. I’m happy Life of Pi won, though I am a ittle surprised that The Hobbit got ignored here. Although, I think, like the Lord of the Rings, they’ll forgo most awards until the third installment, and they might even not give the series the same props because, well, it just might not be quite as good a trilogy. Peter Jackson is getting George Lucas syndrome; no one is telling him “no”.
Costume Design? Gee, I wonder if that was going to go to the historical epic based on a classic novel? Yes. Of course, Anna Karenina won. Suck it, Lincoln, Les Mis, Mirror, Mirror, and Snow White and the Thor!
Makeup and Hairstyling. Out of the three nominees, Les Miserables won. Why anyone would think Hitchcock or The Hobbit would win is a mysetry. Unless you think of all those dwarven beards in The Hobbit? Looks like Thorin Oakenshield is no match for a popular musical!
Again, live action and documentary shorts? I am always at a loss. And this article is getting long, so let’s just go to Documentary Feature. I didn’t see these either, but despite how good I hear Searcing For Sugar Man is, it seems like a film about a lesser known, albeit talented musician is somehow less impactful than say, sexual assault of female soldiers in the military. I mean, not to deminish Sugar Man, but how did The Invisible War not win?
Foreign Language film. Once again, I don’t always see these, but it seems like a film titled Amour is a shoe-in. And it was.
Sound Mixing? What are the odds of a musical winning this? Apparently really good, as Les Mis took the Oscar. And then, something that’s only happened a handful of times in the 85 years of the Oscars; a tie, for Sound Editing: Zero Dark Thirty and Skyfall.
I never really know about the Film Editing stuff, so just as well the award went to Argo. It was a great film and it had been pretty well snubbed so far.
I always like to see who wins for Production Design. I love it when some great world is created or a set really gives me a specific sense of place. The fact that Lincoln won was almost a surprise next to Les Mis, The Hobbit, Life of Pi and Anna Karenina, but when you think about it, the Oscar is really only between Lincoln and Anna Karenina because Les Mis is like a stage play, and Life of Pi and The Hobbit are full of green screen. All the design is in a computer. Lincoln makes sense.
And who was surprised by Skyfall winning Best Original song? No, neither was I.
And if you’re wondering, like many of us, why Moonrise Kingdom hasn’t been mentioned yet, it’s because it got screwed out of ANY kind of nomination. Including even the Original Screenplay award. Django Unchained won? WTF? That’s bullshit. It was a good movie and all, but come on. I call shenanigans. Of course Argo won Adapted Screenplay, and that’s cool.
So, we ALL knew Daniel Day Lewis would win Best Actor. The guy’s some kind of savant. He really did become Lincoln. It was kinda freaky. Jennifer Lawrence winning for Best Actress? Ok, I can live with that. I really like her, and she did a great job. A little surprising that she won against the likes of Naomi Watts, Jessica Chastain, an 8 year old and Emmanuelle Riva? Only Emmanuelle Riva. Chastain will have more chances, surely an 8 year old Miss Wallis will, and Naomi Watts, though good, was not Earth-shatteringly so. I’d say the stand out role was definitely Lawrence.
I think a lot of people thought Argo would take the two big awards, but I’m glad they split them up. Ang Lee took Best Director for Life of Pi, perhaps my favorite film of the year, and Argo took Best Picture.
And Seth MacFarlane did a snappy song about seeing celebrity boobs. Yeah, that was fun. But clearly a couple highlights were Barbra Streisand singing The Way We Were, and Shriley Bassey kicking vocal ass on Goldfinger. Daniel Day Lewis and Jennifer Lawrence both gave fine speeches. Mmmm, Jennifer Lawrence… Hey, did you know that if you don’t get enough of all the speeches, you can go online and hear the EXTENDED versions? Yeah, because the four hours I saw wasn’t quite enough to induce coma.
Speaking of which, before the ol’ vaudvillian hook enters and yanks me off, I’ll bid you adieu. Until next year, kittenhand lovers.
~ Neil T. Weakley, your average movie-goer, thinking we should all get an Oscar for sitting through that whole show, and this article.