Tuesday, February 26, 2013

THE 85TH ANNUAL ACADEMY AWARDS



I was looking forward to enjoying one of my favorite shows of the year, The Oscars where I can gleefully soak up all of the glitz and glamour as it celebrates all of the outstanding films of the previous year. Instead, what I got felt like an overly long, more-bizarre-than-usual episode of "Family Guy". First the host, Seth MacFarlane (the creator of that show) comes out and does a few lame, tasteless and somewhat hostile jokes before William Shatner pops on screen playing Captain Kirk with a warning from the future that he will be labeled "The Worst Oscar Host Ever". Determined to change his fate, Mr MacFarlane proceeds to sing and dance with some not-so-bad, soft-shoe assistance from the unlikely team of Charlize Theron, Channing Tatum, Daniel Radcliffe and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. For a moment, I thought Snow White was going to make a return singing appearance to the show (which actually might have saved this skit) but soon this lengthy opening was over and did nothing more than eat up good portion of time (although I have to admit the part involving nominee, Sally Field and the "Flight" sock reenactment was pretty funny).

I don't think Mr.MacFarlane managed to avoid that future headline as he seemed a little nervous and uncomfortable, which really isn't surprising, but as he tried to stay true to his edgy, comic vision while attempting to entertain a global audience, it seemed like a battle he couldn't nor wouldn't win, which usually tends to be the case with many who attempt the thankless job of hosting The Oscars.

Hey, I'm all for change and moving with the times but a certain amount of class needs to be maintained and Mr MacFarlane's style of juvenile, potty humor is better suited for the MTV Awards than the Academy Awards. The show's producers, Neil Meron and Craig Zadan wanted to be seen as hip with his selection but clearly admired the Johnny Carson-era of The Oscars with the theme of this show was dedicated to the film musicals or more accurately, the late 90's musicals. This misguided sequence featured recreations of numbers from "Chicago", "Dreamgirls" and "Les Misérables" but would have been much better served to feature more of an overall look at the musical, touching on the long, rich history of singing and dancing in the movies. The inclusion of Shirely Bassey singing "Goldfinger" during the James Bond segment or Barbra Streisand performing "The Way We Were" as a tribute to the late composer of the song, Marvin Hamlisch certainly added to that dated feeling. While I really loved their appearance (as did the audience) but it's not going to exactly lure the youth that is so desperately coveted.

Overall, it was a pretty weird show with the unsuccessful attempt to merge classic Hollywood with the new version of it along with Seth MacFarlane's spastic energy not helping matters.

As for the awards themselves, the prizes were spread around without one particular film dominating with "Life of Pi" winning the most at four. The winners went pretty much as expected with possible exception being Christoph Waltz's win for "Django Unchained", the Best Director prize going to a very deserving Ang Lee and the rare tie in the Best Sound Editing category with the major one still being the Best Actress tie in 1968 between Barbra Streisand and Katharine Hepburn.

Here are the complete list of winners from the 85th Annual Academy Awards:

BEST PICTURE
"Argo"

BEST DIRECTOR
Ang Lee, "Life of Pi"

BEST ACTOR
Daniel Day-Lewis, "Lincoln"

BEST ACTRESS
Jennifer Lawrence, "Silver Linings Playbook"

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Anne Hathaway, "Les Miserables"

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Christoph Waltz, "Django Unchained"

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Chris Terrio, "Argo"

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Quentin Tarantino, "Django Unchained"

BEST ANIMATED FILM
"Brave"

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
"Amour"

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
"Skyfall", Music and Lyric by Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Mychael Danna, "Life of Pi"

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Rick Carter & Jim Erickson, "Lincoln"

BEST FILM EDITING
William Goldenberg, "Argo"

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Claudio Miranda, "Life of Pi"

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
"Searching for Sugar Man"

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT
"Inocente"

BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM
"Paperman"

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM
"Curfew"

BEST MAKEUP
Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell, "Les Miserables"

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Jacqueline Durran, "Anna Karenina"

BEST SOUND EDITING
"Skyfall"
"Zero Dark Thirty" (Tie)

BEST SOUND MIXING
"Les Miserables"

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
"Life of Pi"