Well, this year’s Oscars have officially come and gone, and at this point, I am already excited for next year’s show. But before I start preparing for another amazing year in film, I wanted to share my reactions of last night’s broadcast with all of you. Even though Seth MacFarlane provided some hilarious laughs, in the end I felt he was just another average host. I hope next year the Academy employs someone that can keep me feeling pleasantly entertained for the entire show.
Speaking of the entire show, once again, this year’s broadcast was WAY too long. This is one thing the Academy needs to continue working on fixing because by the end, most viewers were bored and tired. One of my favorite things about this year’s show, though, was dedicating the ceremony’s theme to music in film. As you probably saw in an earlier post of mine, I truly feel music is the most important part of a movie in regards to creating feeling and emotion within the viewer. The various musical performances added an authentic flare to the Oscars.
This year’s Academy Awards had some awesome moments, some not-so-awesome moments, and some downright unforgettable moments, and I am using this post to share my reactions to some of these moments with you:
Best Moment: (Les Misérables performance)
In a night centered on the theme of music in movies, the cast of Les Misérables stole the show. Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe, Helena Bonham Carter, Sacha Baron Cohen, Samantha Barks, Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne, and Aaron Tveit all reunited on stage to perform a combination of three songs from the film: “Suddenly,” “I Dreamed a Dream,” and “One More Day.” I enjoyed each of these songs in the actual movie, but I was quite glad to see these amazing songs performed once more by this astounding ensemble—definitely the highlight of the show for me.
Worst Moment: (Catherine Zeta-Jones’ performance)
Catherine Zeta-Jones returned to the Oscars stage a decade after her musical film Chicago took home six Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Adding to the theme of music in movies, Zeta-Jones performed “All That Jazz” from Chicago. Even though she did an amazing job in the original film and has put together a pretty successful Broadway career, her performance at the Oscars was beyond dreadful. She was clearly lip-synching and her faux singing was even more horrendous than Ashlee Simpson on Saturday Night Live a few years ago. It was most definitely a forgettable portion of the show last night.
Most Endearing Moment: (Acceptance Speech for Inocente)
When the filmmakers for the winner of Best Documentary Short gave their acceptance speech, they included a heartfelt sentiment: they brought the subject of their short film on stage. The short film is about a teenage artist, Inocente Izucar, who is living homeless in San Diego, California. Through the attention she has received from the short movie, she is no longer homeless and is making progress as a professional artist. The filmmakers brought her on stage to recognize the way she has turned her life around in such a short time, and the moment was genuinely endearing.
Most Boring Moment (Barbara Streisand’s performance)
After an already long presentation of this year’s “In Memoriam,” songstress Barbara Streisand performed “The Way We Were” in a special tribute to Marvin Hamlisch. Even though her rendition of this song originally won the Academy Award for Best Original Song nearly 40 years ago, I was bored out of my mind by her 2013 performance. I understand it is a sentimental song and added to the “In Memoriam” moment, but this portion of the show dragged on way too long and the song virtually put me to sleep.
WTF Moment: (Tie for Best Sound Editing)
Even though I am a dedicated fan of the Oscars, I was just as shocked as everyone when the Best Sound Editing category ended in a tie. Yes, a tie with two winners—the sound editors for both Zero Dark Thirty and Skyfall received the award. After doing some research, it turns out that this was actually the sixth occurrence of a tie at the Academy Awards. The first tie was in 1932 when Frederic March from Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde and Wallace Beery from The Champ each shared the Oscar for Best Actor. The most recent tie was in 1995 when Frank Kafka’s It’s a Wonderful Life and Trevor tied for Best Live Action Short Film.
Best Monologue Joke: (Ben Affleck and Argo)
Seth MacFarlane began the show discussing some of the films up for major awards. He commented on the snubbing of Ben Affleck for Best Director: “Argo tells the previously classified story about an American hostage rescue in post-revolutionary Iran. The film was so top-secret that the film’s director is unknown to the Academy.”
Worst Monologue Joke (Tarantino and his usage of the “N” word)
While discussing the controversy Django Unchained has received for its usage of the “N” word, MacFarlane said, “I’m told it’s actually okay for Quentin Tarantino to use that word because he thinks he’s black.” Hardly anyone laughed and Seth quickly jumped to the next joke after realizing this one was a dud.
Monologue joke I hated to laugh at, but did anyway: (Chris Brown and Rihanna)
While explaining the storyline of Django Unchained, MacFarlane said, “This is the story of a man fighting to get back his woman, who’s been subjected to unthinkable violence. Or as Chris Brown and Rihanna call it, a date movie.”
Best Acceptance Speech: (Daniel Day-Lewis for Best Actor)
Becoming the first actor in the history of the Oscars to win the Academy Award for Best Actor three times, Daniel Day-Lewis had plenty to be happy about. His acceptance speeches have always been more than eloquent, and this one was no different; however, he showed a lighter side of himself by joking with presenter Meryl Streep, stating that he was actually supposed to play Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady and she was supposed to play Honest Abe in Lincoln. He has always been a stand-up professional, and even though I felt a couple other nominees should have won this award, he gave a humble speech celebrating his win.
Worst Acceptance Speech: (Claudio Miranda for Best Cinematography)
The cinematographer for Life of Pi received his first Academy Award last night. And if he wins in the future, hopefully he learns to make a better speech. He was breathing as if he had just run a marathon, and he was staring into space and making odd noises in between sentences. He started getting way too much into detail about specific camera shots from the film and could hardly get his words out. I know he was happy and overwhelmed, but it was odd to watch.
Biggest Surprise (Ang Lee for Best Director)
While most people were angry that Ben Affleck was snubbed in this category, it was a common consensus that this award was Steven Spielberg’s to lose. Lincoln has been one of the most recognized films of the year, and with Affleck out of the category, it seemed like a guarantee that Spielberg would go home with the gold. However, Ang Lee, the director of Life of Pi, shocked everyone by winning over the heavyweight favorite. Also, for the first time since the Oscars ceremony held in 2006, the winner of the Best Director award was not the winner of the Best Picture award—interestingly enough, the last time this happened, it was in fact Ang Lee who won Best Director for Brokeback Mountain but lost to Crash in the Best Picture category.
Best Quotes from my family’s Oscar Watch Party: (Leslie Froman and Marcia Towle)
While watching the Academy Awards with my family, some unforgettable quotes were uttered, and I feel the need to share these with you as an added bonus. During William Shatner’s cameo appearance in the monologue, he mentioned the Academy Awards, to which my girlfriend Leslie remarked, “Hang on, rewind that. He messed up. He said ‘Academy Awards’ instead of ‘Oscars.’” Yes, she learned last night for the first time that the Academy Awards and the Oscars were actually one and the same. The next best quote was from my own mother. As they announced the nominees for Best Supporting Actor, they showed a clip from Tommy Lee Jones’ role as Congressional leader Thaddeus Stevens in Lincoln. During the clip, my mom said, “He is an ugly Lincoln!” No, Mom, that’s not Lincoln.