Regardless of who was nominated, much less won, at the Oscars, what should not be disputed is that 2012 was possibly one of the most amazing year for movies. From the amazing adaptation of The Hunger Games to the glorious return to Middle Earth with The Hobbit, it's hard to deny any film its due.
Seth MacFarlane killed as host. From the edgy opening monologue and sock puppet tribute to Flight, to the over-the-top musical numbers, MacFarlane provided some of the hardest laughs of any Oscar ceremony than any in recent history, definitely making the ceremony alone a true delight.
James Bond turned 50 this year, and the tribute to the long-running franchise was surprisingly classy, featuring a stellar performance from Shirley Bassey, though, for as hyped as it was, it was over in the blink of an eye.
With MacFarlane hosting, it wasn't a shock to see the tribute to motion picture musicals, with performances from Chicago star Catherine Zeta-Jones, Dreamgirls star Jennifer Hudson, and virtually the entire cast of Les Mis, which was breath-taking to say the least.
Here below are the winners and my reactions to the announcements. They will be in the order of how they were announced in the ceremony.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained
This should have come as no surprise to anyone. Waltz, well, waltzed away with the Golden Globe this year for the same category, and, after winning his first Oscar in Inglourious Basterds, it seems that his collaborations with Quentin Tarantino is paved in gold.
BEST ANIMATED SHORT: Paperman
Though I didn't see any of the other nominated shorts, Paperman was beautiful, and deserves this win.
BEST ANIMATED FILM: Brave
With Disney having three dogs in the race, it's not surprising that Pixar's dog came up first. With a courageous heroine much like The Hunger Games' Katniss Everdeen and a wonderful original story, it deserved this win as much as my favorite for this category, Wreck-It Ralph.
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Claudio Miranda, Life of Pi
As much as I disliked the writing and acting of Ang Lee's latest film, Miranda's cinematography was truly magnificent.
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS: Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik De Boer, and Donald Elliott, Life of Pi
Yes, Life of Pi looked beautiful, but, really? The Avengers only had one nomination, and having Robert Downey Jr, Jeremy Renner, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo and Samuel L. Jackson announce the award should have been the perfect set up for 2012's most successful movie to be honored. This is certainly the night's first big disappointment.
BEST COSTUME DESIGN: Jacqueline Durran, Anna Karenina
Period pieces usually take this category so it's no surprise Durran's work for Anna Karenina, which was oddly short on nominations, would take this award.
BEST MAKEUP AND HAIR DESIGN: Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell, Les Miserables
Les Miserables received much acclaim for the sound and set design, but the makeup for the actors is truly the unsung hero of the film.
BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM: Curfew
Though I was not able to see any of the nominated shorts this year, congratulations to director Sean Christensen for the win.
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT: Inocente
Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine took home the gold as first time winner, and, again, congratulations.
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: Searching For Sugar Man
Though I didn't see this film either, it's my understanding the film was shot completely on an iPhone. Quite an impressive feat if you ask me.
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: Amour
Amour has topped many awards lists with a win in this category, so this is possibly the most predictable win. This is not to say the win isn't deserved, seeing the film is only the second foreign language film in the last 12 years to be nominated for Best Picture as well. But, yes, it is predictable.
BEST SOUND MIXING: Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson, and Simon Hayes, Les Miserables
As great as Life of Pi and Skyfall sounded, Les Mis was incredible, and fully deserved this award.
Skyfall's sound was amazing, while Zero Dark Thirty's win is pretty much the only Oscar it deserves.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Anne Hathaway was in the film for maybe a collective 30 minutes, and put in the grandest performance in that half-hour than almost any actress in any feature this year. Her heart-breaking portrayal of the iconic Fantine is amazing, and well-deserving of this win.
BEST FILM EDITING: William Goldenberg, Argo
Argo's first win of the evening goes to the brilliant editing. Being nominated twice in the same category (he was co-editor of Zero Dark Thirty), Goldenberg earned his first win after being nominated a total of four times, and he couldn't have won for a better film.
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN: Rick Carter and Jim Erickson, Lincoln
Lincoln was a visually stunning film, and Carter and Erickson's work building the world of Steven Spielberg's amazing 19th Century universe. Well played, Academy!
BEST SCORE: Mychael Danna, Life of Pi
Once again, not quite deserved. It was a different score, certainly. But Argo's riveting score and John Williams' hauntingly beautiful score for Lincoln were a hell of a lot more worthy. Perhaps it's just that I don't like the film, but there were better scores this year.
BEST SONG IN A MOTION PICTURE: Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth, "Skyfall", Skyfall
Admittedly, I held a special place in my heart for "Everybody Needs a Best Friend" from Ted, Adele's rousing Bond theme is almost as big as the film itself. And with Adele's stellar performance of the song tonight, the win was more than expected.
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Chris Terrio, Argo
Terrio's taut, thrilling script is amazing, and, while not a true surprise, is possibly one of the most deserved wins of the evening. Unlike the other CIA thriller, Zero Dark Thirty, Terrio caused anxiety from start to finish, and kept audiences on the edge of their seats.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained
One of the biggest surprises of the night is Tarantino's follow up win from the Golden Globes last month. Despite the controversy he received, Tarantino's humorous, adventurous script made Django such a surprise hit, and winning against such talent speaks mountains about the film.
BEST DIRECTOR: Ang Lee, Life of Pi
Okay, seriously? Life of Pi was not that good. It was bad enough that Ben Affleck wasn't even nominated in this category, but taking it from David O. Russell and Steven Spielberg is a travesty as well. Thank you, Academy, for making Life of Pi more overrated.
BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE: Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
From playing Katniss in The Hunger Games to playing the not-so-slightly unbalanced widow in Silver Linings Playbook, Jennifer Lawrence is one of the best actresses in this new generation, and has earned this award more than any of the other nominees. Congrats, Jen!
BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
As much as I would've preferred either Bradley Cooper or Hugh Jackman to take this, Daniel Day-Lewis was amazing as the titular role in Lincoln, even though they could've showed a better clip where he wasn't yelling. This is truly Lewis's best performance because it's his most understated, and the win is certainly not disappointing, even if it was a bit predictable.
BEST PICTURE: Argo
That'll take the sting off of the whole Best Director thing, right Ben? Seriously, though. The top honor of the evening couldn't have gone to a better film. Producers Ben Affleck and George Clooney made one of the best films of this year and any year for that matter with the incomparable Grant Heslov, and is one of the best cinematic experiences ever. Seriously. Hell yes!