Well, Oscars 2013 are over and done. And what will they be remembered for in years to come? Jennifer Lawrence falling? Seth Macfarlane failing (to make people laugh)? Ben Affleck crying? More likely, they won’t really be remembered much at all, as, for me anyway, it wasn’t a particularly memorable show. That said though, there were some highlights, and some low lights. But more importantly, how on the money were my predictions?
The winners & losers: Well I didn’t do too badly with my predictions here really! There were a couple of surprises for me – the main one being Ang Lee as Best Director for Life of Pi. Not a bad surprise at all though – as I enjoyed that film exponentially more than I enjoyed Lincoln and Silver Linings Playbook (whose directors were his main competition). Adapting a seemingly unadaptable book – a boy at sea with a tiger for the majority of the film – took not only guts but also great visual and storytelling skills, and Lee has both of those things (plus great visual effects wizards – my sister proclaimed during the Golden Globes ‘what, it wasn’t a real tiger’???). So I don’t begrudge him the statue at all. That said, Kathryn Bigelow (for Zero Dark Thirty) is still for me a more deserving winner, but c’est la vie in political Hollywoodland. Christoph Waltz was apparently incredible in Django Unchained (which I should probably see now…) so I won’t be angry about him beating out Tommy Lee Jones for Best Supporting Actor. And I was on the money when I called Jennifer Lawrence‘s triumph over Jessica Chastain for the Best Actress win. But, although the performance on its own didn’t really deserve it, there is no way I can hold it against such a fantastic and grounded young actress (check out her performance at the press conference here – brilliant).
Which really just leaves me one category to get my rant on about – Best Film. And…I really did thoroughly enjoy Argo so I don’t want to detract from what was a great film. And Ben Affleck deserved a Best Director nom at the very least. But he missed out, but got the big prize instead. And well done to him – he has gone from Oscar winning screenwriter to tabloid fodder/butt of comedian’s jokes and back up to respected actor/Oscar winning film director and made it look easy. So he deserves his trophy. But (yep, you know where I am going here…) Zero Dark Thirty deserved it more. It took an uncompromising and documentary-style approach to recent events (the hunt for Osama Bin Laden) and got punished for, you know, telling the truth. And here I was thinking Hollywood rewarded bravery and historical accuracy. Apparently only if it doesn’t make people do some hard navel gazing about complex issues. Nope, we can’t be having any of that. Anyway, you have heard this rant before if you are a regular reader, so I will stop there. But I hope Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal, Jessica Chastain and the rest of the cast recognise that they did in fact make the film of the year – even if the Academy didn’t recognise it.
The Show: There is always a lot of post-show analysis about how the host did, how the presenters did, whether the various ‘bits’ worked. Though in these days of Twitter and Facebook it isn’t post-show – it is during show. Every joke host Seth Macfarlane did got analysed and graded on Twitter before he had time to get out the next one. And, being the internet, people don’t hold back on letting their true feelings be known. Suffice to say then that being an Oscar’s host these days requires one to have a fairly thick skin. And I would hope that Seth has one. I, for one, thought his performance was fine – not great, not terrible, but ok. There were some laughs, there were some terribly inappropriate jokes, and there were some things that just didn’t work. But I didn’t find him nearly as offensive as many others did. I think some of the jokes, when taken out of context, could of course be offensive – but generally, when taken as part of the narrative he was giving at the time, were acceptable. And I am not a terribly un-PC person. I generally have a lower threshold for being offended than other people I know. But Seth didn’t offend me too much. In fact, I found more offensive content in last Friday’s 7 Days (a show that I find sometimes crosses the line into offensive but generally stays on the right side of it), then I found in his performance yesterday. But that’s just this punters view.
As of the ‘Movies and Music’ theme of the evening, some things worked and some didn’t. I could watch Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Daniel Radcliffe dance all night, but then my penchant for Mr Gordon-Levitt is well known. Adele knocked it out of the park with Skyfall – as did the Les Mis cast with their ensemble performance. But the rest of it was very fast-forward worthy for me. And none of the presenters were overly memorable – even the Avengers cast (missing Loki and Thor, mores the pity) were very average. Many have blamed the script, and they may be right. One would think that in Hollywood – where hilarious people and writers ply their trade on a daily basis – it wouldn’t be a hard thing to pull together a funny, current and inoffensive Oscar script? Surely all you need to do is put Joss Whedon, Tina Fey and Will Ferrell in a room and off you go? Well, maybe next year. Or they could just get Fey and Amy Poehler to host – as they did to hilarious effect at the Golden Globes. So, all in all, a very average Oscar ceremony.
But what about the dresses?: For many, this is what Oscar night is all about – the frocks. There was a big mix this year – with some good and some bad and some downright awful. I will leave it to the proper Fashion Police to do the official pronouncements, but my Top 5 dresses were:
Charlize Theron: rocking it in a very structured white number and combining it with her short Mad Max hair. Parfait.
Naomi Watts: at first look I didn’t like this metallic and non-symetrical dress at all, but when I watched the red carpet coverage it won me over. Just stunning, and just a little bit different.
Jennifer Lawrence: some have said that her white, long trained Dior number was too bridal, but I loved it, and she rocked it. Sure, it may have caused her to trip up the stairs while going to collect, you know, an Oscar, but she looked AMAZING doing it.
Amy Adams: To quote Despicable Me – ‘It’s so fluffy I’m gonna die!!!’. Not only did her powder blue number look brilliant on her, but it also looked like she could wrap herself in it should she get cold later on and be toasty warm…
Jessica Chastain: her classy, would we call it brownish?, slinky number bought some old school Hollywood to the show, and she looked fabulous. But when you look like she does you could pretty much wear a mustard coloured poncho and look awesome.
As for those who didn’t rock a great look, much has been said of Anne Hathaway’s nipplage issue, so I shan’t say more here other than ‘why did no one tell her???’. Melissa McCarthy, who I think is a hilarious individual, looked like an Addams Family member wearing a tent. And the less said about that Real Housewife who wasn’t really wearing her dress, the better.
So, that is it for the Oscars 2013! Key question I know you are all asking yourselves though – how did I go in the family sweepstake?? Well, I tied with my sister, and that is what matters…even if I didn’t quite win!