2013 Academy Awards Recap

Well, last night was definitely full of surprises.  From Quentin Tarantino’s Best Original Screenplay win for ‘Django Unchained’ to Ang Lee’s Best Director win for ‘Life of Pi,’ the 85th Annual Academy Awards proved to be a pretty darn good show!

I’m not one for regaling about the fashion, so I’m not going to dwell too much on that.  In my mind, everyone looked great.  Yes, some looked better than others, but still, everyone looked terrific in couture gowns and classic tuxedos, with flawless hair, makeup, and spray tan (but would it kill Jennifer Aniston to put her hair up once in a while??).

Let’s start with the red carpet interviews (I watched ABC’s coverage).  Kristin Chenoweth, talented and adorable as she is, was working my nerves.  We get it….you’re short!  And her interaction with the interviewees was bland. It was all, “I’ve met you before and I love you,” “We’ve worked together and I love you,” “You look beautiful and I love you.”  Boooorrrriiinnnngggg.  Nice try, Kristin, but I still pine for the days of Joan Rivers.  Kelly Rowland was marginally better, but what was she doing there?  What was her connection to the movies?  Was she auditioning for a correspondent spot on ABC?  Maybe, but her inexperience showed and brought nothing to the table.  Robin Roberts, on the other hand, was great.  It was wonderful to see her back in action and looking fantastic!!  Her enthusiasm came through and she looked as though she was having a great time.  Maybe she was just excited to be there after the year she’s had, but whatever the case, she was a joy to watch.

Now to the show.  Seth MacFarlane, in his first Oscar telecast, received mixed-to-negative reviews, but I thought he did great!  He didn’t skimp on the controversial jokes, attacking Chris Brown and Rihanna right off the bat, and I admired his fearlessness.  Clearly, he was brought on board to appeal to a younger demographic, which the Oscars have long sought, and I think he gave his fans a fair share of what they wanted.  Plus, aside from looking snazzy in his tux, the guy proved how much of a showman he can be.  His dancing was great, but I was astounded by his smooth baritone.  We always knew he could sing, but he blew me away (‘We Saw Your Boobs’ [see below] as well as his closing number with Chenoweth were particular highlights)!  He kept the momentum up throughout the show, seeming to gather energy with each uncomfortable reaction to one of his many risky jokes.

The awards had some predictable winners: Anne Hathaway (Best Supporting Actress for ‘Les Miserables’), Skyfall (Best Song from ‘Skyfall’), Jacqueline Durran (Best Costume Design for ‘Anna Karenina’).  However, the show had a plethora of surprises as well: in addition to the winners mentioned in the first paragraph, we had Christoph Waltz take him his second statuette (Best Supporting Actor for ‘Django Unchained’) and a rare TIE for Best Sound Editing (‘Zero Dark Thirty’ and ‘Skyfall’).  I was happy that Anne Hathaway won…she truly gave it her all in ‘Les Miz’ and deserved her win.  It was her time.  I’m thrilled for Jennifer Lawrence who gave a beautiful performance in ‘Silver Linings Playbook,’ but I gotta say, I was thinking that Emmanuelle Riva (‘Amour’) was going to win.  And Jennifer was adorable when she tripped on her way up to collect her award, poor thing.  She definitely has a “girl next door” quality that is really endearing.

And the musical performances!!  SHIRLEY BASSEY!!  ADELE!!  JENNIFER HUDSON!!  Wow!!!!  All were insane!!!!  Shirley Bassey, in a gorgeous gold gown, brought the house down with her ‘Goldfingah.’  I’ve never seen an audience get to its feet in a standing ovation so fast in my life!  And when Jennifer Hudson started in with ‘And I Am Telling You’ from ‘Dreamgirls,’ which she belted her way to an Oscar win in 2006, I knew I was going to get goose bumps.  Adele, one of the most powerful voices in contemporary music, sang her Oscar-nominated (and winning) title song from the Bond flick ‘Skyfall’ against a super-cool backdrop of floating Bond Girl silhouettes (I think that’s what they were – clip below).  It was good to see Catherine Zeta-Jones back in Fosse-land with ‘All That Jazz,’ even though she was lip synching, and it was moving, albeit a little overkill, to have the entire cast of ‘Les Miz’ show up to sing the finale from that movie.

The ‘In Memoriam’ section always brings a tear to my eye when they scroll through the pictures of all the amazing artists that we have lost in the past year.  Ernest Borgnine, Charles Durning, Nora Ephron to name a few.  When Barbra Streisand appeared to honor Marvin Hamlisch with ‘The Way We Were,’ it really was a lovely moment.  One legend honoring another.

One last thing…the Oscars is a notoriously long show and it’s always fun to monitor how much time over or under the show is running.  This one ended at about 11:15pm EST, which would bring it in at about a 2 hour 45 minute show.  That sounds about on schedule.

What else?  Am I missing anything?  What were your thoughts from last night’s telecast?  Share with me!

Complete List of Winners – 85th Annual Academy Awards

Best Picture….. ‘Argo’
Best Actor…..Daniel Day-Lewis – ‘Lincoln’
Best Actress…..Jennifer Lawrence (‘Silver Linings Playbook’)
Best Supporting Actor…..Christoph Waltz (‘Django Unchained’)
Best Supporting Actress…..Anne Hathaway (‘Les Miserables’)
Best Director – Ang Lee…..’Life of Pi’
Best Original Screenplay…..Quentin Tarantino (‘Django Unchained’)
Best Adapted Screenplay…..Chris Terrio (‘Argo’)
Best Animated Feature…..’Brave’
Best Foreign Language Film…..’Amour’
Best Cinematography…..Claudio Miranda (‘Life of Pi’)
Best Editing…..William Goldenberg (‘Argo’)
Best Production Design…..Rick Carter, Jim Erickson (‘Lincoln’)
Best Costume Design…..Jacqueline Durran (‘Anna Karenina’)
Best Make-Up / Hair…..Lisa Westcott, Julie Dartnell (‘Les Miserables’)
Best Original Score…..Mychael Danna (‘Life of Pi’)
Best Original Song…..Adele, Paul Epworth (Skyfall from ‘Skyfall’)
Best Sound Mixing…..Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson, Simon Hayes (‘Les Miserables’)
Best Sound Editing…..Per Hallberg, Karen M. Baker (‘Skyfall’);
                                   Paul N.J. Ottosson (‘Zero Dark Thirty’)
Best Visual Effects…..Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik De Boer, Donald Elliott
                                  (‘Life of Pi’)
Best Documentary Feature…..’Searching for Sugar Man’
Best Documentary, Short Subject…..’Inocente’
Best Animated Short…..’Paperman’
Best Live Action Short…..’Curfew’

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