Written by Markus Robinson, Edited by Nicole I. Ashland
Whose bright idea was it to have the in-house orchestra play the “Jaws” theme every time someone’s speech went on for too long?!
For about the first 18 of the 24 categories, the Oscars were predictably predictable (even though I only predicted 13 of the winners myself). “Life of Pi” cleaned up in the visual effects categories, “Les Miserables” picked up awards for sound mixing, makeup and production design, a Pixar movie won (even though it was in no way the best animated feature film of the year) Quentin Tarantino got Christoph Waltz another Best Supporting Actor award, and John Travolta wore a ridiculous looking hairpiece, which will likely invoke the twitter handle @johntravoltastoupee in the days to come. Yet, as predictable as it all was, there was a lack of a few Oscar staples. For example: There was no foreign award recipient incoherently fumbling through their acceptance speech. In fact, there weren’t really any interesting acceptance speeches (excluding Ben Affleck’s). Truthfully the most interesting thing that happened near the podium was when Jennifer Lawrence fell, as she headed up the steps to accept her award for Best Actress.
The three “upsets”, near the end of the show (if you want to call them that) which saw the aforementioned Jennifer Lawrence beating out Jessica Chastain for Best Actress, Ang Lee beating out Steven Spielberg for Best Director and “Argo” beating out all other films for Best Picture (even though Affleck was snubbed in the Best Director category) injected some life into the show; but this was in the final hour.
Side Note: As happy as I was to see “Argo” win, and Ben Affleck’s tearful acceptance speech was a great way to end a lukewarm night; I kind of figured that “Zero Dark Thirty” wasn’t going to win the Oscar for Best Picture, once the presenter was reveled to be Michelle Obama.
So how did Seth MacFarlane do? Well, he wasn’t as Ricky Gervais as expected. With 4 opening songs and dance sequences (a feat only rivaled by Neil Patrick Harris) and a smattering of Gay jokes throughout, it actually seemed as if MacFarlane was in his truest “boyhood dream” element. That said, even though this was Seth MacFarlane hosting, the 85th Academy Awards was still a bit duller than I expected. Am I saying that it was worse than the host duo of Ann Hathaway and James Franco? Well, let’s not get carried away. I’m not saying that he wasn’t funny. In fact, a lot of his jokes hit, while maintaining an air of scathing wit. On the other hand, a slight majority of his jokes fell short seemingly because the majority demographic, which made up the Oscars audience, didn’t seem like the type who would be inclined to go out of their way to TiVo the newest episode of “Family Guy”. In short, MacFarlane’s no Billy Crystal, but he did do a fine enough (and quite tame enough) job that I wouldn’t be surprised if the Academy asked for him to return next year.
Other Stuff that Worked: As drawn out as the opening of the show was, the surprise addition of a William Shatner cameo, in a skit where he was dressed as Captain Kirk, claiming to be sent from the future to stop Seth MacFarlane from ruining the Oscars, was pretty damn funny. Other than the opening sequence, throughout the night there were a few live performances, which were fairly powerful. The most impressive being Shirley Bassey, who was stuffed into an evening gown and propped up on stage to sing a show-stopping rendition of “Goldfinger”, during a salute to the 50th anniversary of the James Bond franchise.
This year’s Oscars proved to be like an episode of “Family Guy”. With some funny bits, a few flamboyantly musical dance numbers, that while impressive, either worked for you or didn’t, and the random appearance of a few weird looking pale guys with long flowing blond locks.
Lastly, as for “Beasts of the Southern Wild”; it was an honor just to be nominated and blah, blah, blah. Now, hopefully everyone can stop talking about this movie and allow it to graciously recede into the night, like the hideously deformed stepchild that nobody wanted.
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