Earlier this evening, the 85th Annual Academy Awards were handed out with most of them going to the expected winners. "Argo" won the three awards it was expected to win, which included Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Film Editing.
That being said, a few surprises occurred over the course of the evening, including one that gave "Life of Pi" the most wins of the evening. The film won four Oscars including Best Director (beating out frontrunner Steven Spielberg), Best Cinematography, Best Original Score, and Best Visual Effects. It's a rare occurrence when the Best Picture winner is not the film with the most wins.
Other than Best Director, there were only a couple of little surprises, which occurred in the Best Supporting Actor and Best Animated Film categories. Tommy Lee Jones was expected to take home his second Oscar for his performance in "Lincoln," however, Christoph Waltz unexpectedly won his second Oscar for his performance in "Django Unchained" after having only won three years ago for a very similar performance in "Inglourious Basterds." Best Animated Film went to "Brave" over expected winner "Wreck-It Ralph," which just goes to show that even if Pixar makes a sub-par film, it will still win the Oscar. At the very least, most of these surprises were not undeserved. Ang Lee directed a beautiful film with "Life of Pi," while Waltz was fantastic in "Django Unchained."
As for the ceremony itself, Seth MacFarlane was a decent host, but this year seemed particularly stretched out, with the opening going on for far too long (it ran 20+ minutes). Throughout, there seemed to be a number of unnecessary performances that resulted in a ceremony that ran overtime by a whole 30 minutes. Hopefully next year they'll trim the opening back to something simpler, as well as nixing performances that just aren't needed in order to tighten the show.
Overall, it was a bittersweet night. A decent, but forgettable film won Best Picture, repeating a similar situation that occurred three years ago when "The Hurt Locker" took the big prize. Hollywood has patted itself on the back one last time with "Argo," and now the film will be forgotten within the next six months.
In what could be considered a bigger tragedy, the Adapted Screenplay win for "Argo" will most likely be looked back on as one of the biggest mistakes of the year, as it was nowhere near the skilled level of writing contained in Tony Kushner's screenplay for "Lincoln," but when a film becomes the favorite of the year, the screenplay tends to win regardless of quality.
For proof of this, you need look no further than "The Hurt Locker" winning Original Screenplay over Quentin Tarantino's brilliant screenplay for "Inglourious Basterds." Luckily, the Academy made up for there mistake this evening by awarding Tarantino the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for "Django Unchained." It's not his best work, but it was still the best of the category.
This awards season was indeed a roller coaster, and history was made quite a bit. It's just a shame it ended rather blandly. Luckily, a lot of very desrving people won as well, which helped to offset the disappointment. Anyways, hopefully next year we can get back to awarding the top prize to great and memorable films.
The big winners of the evening:
4 Wins - "Life of Pi"
3 Wins - "Argo," "Les Miserables"
2 Wins - "Lincoln," "Django Unchained," "Skyfall"
Check out a complete list of winners below:
Best Picture: Argo
Best Director: Ang Lee, Life of Pi
Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Best Actress: Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained
Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Best Original Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained
Best Adapted Screenplay: Chris Terrio, Argo
Best Film Editing: Argo
Best Cinematography: Life of Pi
Best Production Design: Lincoln
Best Costume Design: Anna Karenina
Best Makeup: Les Miserables
Best Animated Feature: Brave
Best Documentary Feature: Searching for Sugarman
Best Foreign Language Film: Amour
Best Original Score: Life of Pi
Best Original Song: Skyfall
Best Visual Effects: Life of Pi
Best Sound Editing: Zero Dark Thirty and Skyfall (tie)
Best Sound Mixing: Les Miserables
Best Animated Short: Paperman
Best Live-Action Short: Curfew
Best Documentary Short: Inocente