Monday, February 25, 2013

Oscars 2013 Recap!

Now, I wouldn’t say Seth MacFarlane outright bombed in his gig as Oscar host last night, but he sure came close with so many of his jokes being cringe-inducing duds and his song and dance routines being show-stoppers in the worst way.

That he didn’t lapse into his Family Guy character voices like he did in his Saturday Night Live monologue last year is one of the few things I can commend about his performance, but it says a lot that one of the only funny bits he was involved in was a sock puppet production of FLIGHT. 

Other attempts at comedy, like MacFarlane singing a song called “We Saw Your Boobs” (a mock tribute to actresses who’ve done nudity) with the Los Angeles Gay Men's Choir, and an ending number with Kristin Chenoweth dedicated to the losers of the evening, fell horribly flat.

I tweeted that Daniel Day-Lewis joking that he was up for the part of Maggie Thatcher in THE IRON LADY while his Oscar presenter Meryl Streep was up for LINCOLN in his acceptance speech for winning Best Actor was funnier than anything MacFarlane said all night, and I wasn’t kidding.

There were a few genuine highlights - Shirley Bassey singing “Goldfinger” for the 50th anniversary tribute to James Bond being one - but it was a largely forgettable show. The rare tie in one category (ZERO DARK THIRTY and SKYFALL shared the Oscar for Best Sound Editing) will probably be as forgotten as the other five times it happened in the Academy’s history. 

A surprise appearance by Barbara Streisand singing “The Way We Were” in tribute to Marvin Hamlisch as part of the IN MEMORIUM segment brought some much needed gravitas to the proceedings. Points to MacFarlane for not making some rude comment later about it.

But now on to how I did with my predictions that I posted last Friday.

Although up until the broadcast I’ve been referring to the 2013 Oscars as the most unpredictable race in recent memory, I got more of the categories right than I have in over half a decade -18 out of 24. That’s better than the 15 I got right last year, and much better than the 13 I got the previous two years before that.

Christoph Waltz for Best Supporting Actor for DJANGO UNCHAINED, and Ang Lee for Best Director of LIFE OF PI were the big surprises last night. I figured Waltz had won, also for a Tarantino picture, not that long ago so I counted him out.

Spielberg seemed like the safe bet for his direction of LINCOLN, but, despite having picked LIFE OF PI for Score, Cinematography, and Visual Effects I really didn’t think it would win Lee the big Best Director award, and from the other predictions I’ve seen, not many others did either.

Here’s what else I got wrong:

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN: I predicted LES MISÉRABLES (Eve Stewart, Anna Lynch-Robinson), but LINCOLN (Rick Carter, Jim Erickson) got the gold.

DOCUMENTARY SHORT: OPEN HEART (Kief Davidson, Cori Shepherd Stern) I’ll just chalk this up to the fact that I didn’t see any of the Documentary Shorts, was just guessing, and I’ll leave it at that. I’ll have to seek out the winner - Sean Fine and Andrea Nix’s INOCENTE – sometime soon.

MAKEUP: THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY (Peter King, Rick Findlater, Tami Lane). I should’ve known THE HOBBIT wouldn’t win anything. It seems obvious in retrospect that Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell would get it for LES MISÉRABLES, but then a lot of things do.

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: LINCOLN (Tony Kushner) I thought playwright Kushner was a shoo-in, but since I’m more of a fan of Chris Terrio’s screenplay for ARGO I wasn’t disappointed to get this one wrong.

I was happy to be right about ARGO winning Best Picture - Affleck got snubbed for a Best Director nomination, but now that's just a future trivia question.

AMOUR's Best Foreign Picture win and LIFE OF PI's mini sweep with four wins were also nice to see. With hope, those moments will linger longer in memory than MacFarlane's lame material.

More later…

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