"Dreams feel real while we're in them. It's only when we wake up that we realize something was actually strange." -Inception

Monday, February 25, 2013

And the Oscar goes to...

Wow, that was some Oscar ceremony, not the greatest ever but then again how do you follow up the return of Billy Crystal? Next year, guys, listen to Captain Kirk and get Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, you know they're going to kill it.  

Seth MacFarlane tried his darnedest but it just didn't cut it for me.  Movie musicals were the theme of the night and unfortunately the show ended up being too much like the Tonys and not enough like a celebration of the greatest movie awards in the world.  And what was up with only celebrating the musicals released in the last decade? It makes sense knowing the producers.  But what about Sound of Music, My Fair Lady, West Side Story, Funny Girl or for that matter musicals like Newsies, Hairspray or even the current Pitch Perfect? Time to expand your horizons folks.

(Photo: The Hollywood Reporter)
 That said, the stage was spectacular and never looked better.  The opening monologue featured great dancing from Channing Tatum, Charlize Theron, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Daniel Radcliffe all of whom were extremely sporting.  The first award of the night was a shocker with Christoph Waltz of Django Unchained winning Best Supporting Actor.  All the other men in the category had won previously so it wasn't like anyone was robbed but it would have been nice to see Tommy Lee Jones (who was smiling so frequently! Who called him Grumpy?) win one for Lincoln.  Waltz's role is actually that of a co-lead not supporting.  

(Courtesy ABC)

From thereon in, it was on the technical awards which I did pretty well predicting with wins for Life of Pi, Les Miserables and Anna KareninaBrave won Best Animated Feature Film over Wreck-It Ralph which I felt was a big surprise. In the end, it was lovely to see Brenda Chapman become the first female director to win for animated feature. She had a long journey with the film which ended up with her being replaced with Mark Andrews but she got to have her moment and dedicate the Oscar to her inspiration, her daughter. Hard not to get emotional there. Ralph, you have my permission to go wreck out your frustrations. 

(Photo: Zap2it)
Life of Pi also won three great technical awards with Cinematography (Claudio Miranda), Original Score (Mychael Danna) and of course, Visual Effects.  When the guys from Rhythm & Hues were accepting their award and trying to talk about their difficult situation and honor the artists, the orchestra (which wasn't even  in the same room!) played them off with the Jaws theme and cut off their mic.  Not cool, guys, not cool.  You've got a whole legion of vfx artists online, who take their jobs very seriously, very pissed off at that. Not helping the cause they're fighting for.

Also what was up with John Williams score being used throughout the ceremony? I also heard the scores from E.T. and Jurassic Park.  A nice way to honor Spielberg and his longtime collaborator even though neither of them won yesterday. The Academy did a great new initiative this year by having film students onstage to assist with the awards instead of models.  For the first time, I did quite well in the documentary short, documentary feature and most importantly, the sound categories. I would have been two for two if it wasn't for that unexpected tie, the last time that happened was 1994.

(Photo: The Telegraph)
The two musical performance of the night were for me, the amazing Adele and the even more amazing Barbara Streisand.  I can't believe Adele is only 24 years old.  She's already halfway on her way to EGOT now.  

(Photo: Associated Press)

The rest of the acting awards predictably went to Anne Hathaway for Les Miserables, Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook and Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln. I surprised that the light emanating from Meryl Streep and Day-Lewis onstage didn't blind us completely.  His speech was both funny and moving.  

(Photo: The Hollywood Reporter)
When the editing award went to William Goldenberg for Argo, the writing was already on the wall for Argo. All that needed to be decided was best director which eventually went to Ang Lee.  I was extremely pleased to see the hard efforts behind the film recognized and how adorable was Lee in his happiness over the win. The crowd in the Dolby Theater was extremely vocal in their support for Life of Pi.  Though I did feel terrible for Spielberg after all what he has put in on Lincoln but it was either him or Lee and I'm happy if either of had won. 

(Photo: IBN Live)
And so there is it, another year gone by with Argo winning Best Picture and adding another Oscar to producers George Clooney and Ben Affleck.  What a career trajectory he's had and what a year it's been!  Here's to another great year of movies and we'll see you all again next year. 

Things I loved
  • Ted pronouncing 'Argo' and 'Zero Dark Thirty' in his very Boston accent. Nailed it! Ted was also surprisingly well behaved. And Mark Wahlberg not getting freaked out by the surprising tie in the sound editing category. "No B.S."
  • The Von Trapp family bit, that worked, we should have seen more of that.  But it didn't look like Christopher Plummer was amused.
  • Hugh Jackman, the only one to assist Jennifer Lawrence when she fell on the stairs.  Can he win just for being the coolest guy ever?
  • Stephen Spielberg getting choked up whenever anyone won for Lincoln (which sadly only occurred twice). It's okay, you'll get them with Robopocalypse next.  That'll show 'em.
  • Suraj Sharma getting all teary eyed when Ang Lee won. All that was missing was Richard Parker to round out the trio.
  • Edited to add: I can't believe I forgot to add Quvenzhane Wallis' mean muscle look. Even Denzel Washington is amused. 
(Photo: Vulture)
Here is the full list of winners:

Best motion picture of the year
"Argo" Grant Heslov, Ben Affleck and George Clooney, Producers

Performance by an actor in a leading role
Daniel Day-Lewis in "Lincoln"

Performance by an actor in a supporting role
Christoph Waltz in "Django Unchained"

Performance by an actress in a leading role
Jennifer Lawrence in "Silver Linings Playbook"

Performance by an actress in a supporting role
Anne Hathaway in "Les Misérables"

Best animated feature film of the year

"Brave" Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman

Achievement in cinematography
"Life of Pi" Claudio Miranda

Achievement in costume design
"Anna Karenina" Jacqueline Durran

Achievement in directing
"Life of Pi" Ang Lee

Best documentary feature
"Searching for Sugar Man"
Malik Bendjelloul and Simon Chinn

Best documentary short subject
Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine

Achievement in film editing
"Argo" William Goldenberg

Best foreign language film of the year

"Amour" Austria

Achievement in makeup and hairstyling
"Les Misérables"
Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)
"Life of Pi" Mychael Danna

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)
"Skyfall" from "Skyfall"
Music and Lyric by Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth

Achievement in production design
Production Design: Rick Carter; Set Decoration: Jim Erickson

Best animated short film
"Paperman" John Kahrs

Best live action short film
"Curfew" Shawn Christensen

Achievement in sound editing

TIE"Skyfall" Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers
"Zero Dark Thirty" Paul N.J. Ottosson

Achievement in sound mixing
"Les Misérables"
Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson and Simon Hayes

Achievement in visual effects
"Life of Pi"
Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R. Elliott

Adapted screenplay
"Argo" Screenplay by Chris Terrio

Original screenplay

"Django Unchained" Written by Quentin Tarantino

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