Review: 85th Academy Awards

olly-moss-oscar-poster

First things first, if you haven’t yet seen that Oscars poster above by Ollie Moss, I insist you click on it and check out the full-sized version. Absolutely amazing. He re-interpreted the Oscar statue to represent every Best Picture winner. Some of them are very clever.

I love watching the Oscars every year, because I love movies more than I love drawing breath. I’m not one of these a-holes who complain about how long the show is every year (because I don’t mind it being long), I don’t overanalyze the host’s performance, and I don’t watch for the fashion (unless someone/something really sticks out, see below). I watch it as a celebration of excellence in movies, and as an aspiring filmmaker, it never fails to inspire me in that regard. That said, I do have thoughts on the show each year, and for the first time on this blog, I thought I’d share those with you. Here is the good, the bad, and the ugly of the 85th Academy Awards.

THE HOST

I thought Seth MacFarlane did a pretty good job, actually. Most of his jokes were good, I laughed a lot, and he got to show off his song & dance routine, which he clearly loves doing. I liked the bit with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Daniel Radcliffe, and the “Boobs” song was fantastic. He was even self-aware enough to allow William Shatner to throw a gay joke at him. One of the things I don’t like about any of the hosts recently (and this isn’t their fault) is that we hardly see them after their opening numbers. The show starts, they do the open, and then for the most part all we see of them are their introductions of the various presenters. I don’t know how you would fix this without slowing down the show, but there have got to be better ways to utilize the abilities of the host throughout the show and not just for the first 10-20 minutes.

macfarlane radcliffe gordon-levitt

I give him a B+. He could definitely get better at it given another opportunity, although it looks like he may not be interested.

To nobody’s surprise, MacFarlane is being derided across the internet for some of his jokes, and is being called a sexist and a misogynist by various feminists with no sense of humor, all of whom are just SOOO OFFENDED. Far too many people in this country make a living out of being offended by everything.

macfarlane offensive

Here are a few of my favorite jokes of his from the show:

“Let me just address those of you up for an award. You’re nominated for an Oscar- something a 9-year old could do.”

The Avengers was the most popular movie of the year, which is why it’s only nominated once.”

“There are so many distinguished nominees here tonight. You guys have made some beautiful, some inspiring movies. I made Ted. Your movies are here to receive awards. My movie is in Redboxes in front of grocery stores being urinated on by bums.”

RESULTS I LIKED

Daniel Day-Lewis winning Best Actor, Adele‘s “Skyfall” winning Original Song, Lincoln winning Art Direction. Those were really the only times I was truly happy for the winners to the point where I pumped my first or clapped. And yes, I clap while sitting and watching the Oscars alone. Sue me. When DDL won, I celebrated like I would if the Patriots had scored a touchdown.

It’s interesting to note that not only is Daniel Day-Lewis the first person to win Best Actor three times, but this was also the first acting performance in a Steven Spielberg-directed movie to win an Oscar. I wouldn’t have thought that until I read it. That’s strange given all the transcendent performances in his movies over the years. It is what it is, I suppose.

DDL 3 OscarsSimply the best.

I approved of some of the other winners, but not passionately. Perhaps the biggest surprise during the show was the fact that there really were none with regards to the results. The only thing that shocked me was the tie in the Sound Editing category. I didn’t think that was even possible, but I guess it’s happened in the past; six times, to be exact.

-I liked that Beasts of the Southern Wild won nothing. I’m sorry, but this is one of the most overrated movies in years. For whatever reason, it has an incredibly passionate fan base inside the Academy (thus the 5 nominations). During the show, no film got louder cheers than when one of Beasts‘ nominees was announced. It wasn’t even close. Thankfully, those lunatics only get one vote each.

RESULTS I DIDN’T LIKE

I disagreed with most of the results, but there were a few that really irked me:

Christoph Waltz winning Best Supporting Actor for Django Unchained. Don’t get me wrong, because I love his performance in the movie. However, he shouldn’t have won for one simple reason: IT WASN’T A SUPPORTING ROLE!!! Waltz was a co-lead in the film with Jamie Foxx. This is inarguable. I liken this to cheating. See, the studios are allowed to submit actors in whatever category they want for consideration. If Waltz had been submitted for Best Actor like common sense dictates he should have been, he wouldn’t have even been nominated. But no, he gets submitted for Supporting Actor, and he wins because he has twice as much screen time as the other guys, and a bunch of awesome Tarantino dialogue to spew out. Totally unfair. This is all Harvey Weinstein‘s doing. I’d call him an evil, Oscar-whoring motherfucker, but if I had an Oscar-contending movie in the race, I probably wouldn’t complain if his team had my back.

-I don’t have a huge problem with Jennifer Lawrence winning Best Actress for Silver Linings Playbook, but it’s WHY that kind of role wins that pisses me off. Just like the Oscars go ga-ga for oppressed minorities, oppressed gay people, and retarded mentally challenged mentally disabled mentally deficient handicapped “differently abled” people, they also prefer their winners to be emoting. A LOT. The more tear geysers and shouting fits, the better, and Jennifer Lawrence did plenty of both in this movie. I’d rather have seen Jessica Chastain win, but the problem is her role in Zero Dark Thirty was much more understated, much subtler. She only has one real screaming scene (which is of course the clip they played as they were showing the nominees). I think Lawrence was great, but the ballsier move would’ve been to give it to Chastain, who was better overall.

Claudio Miranda winning Best Cinematography for Life of Pi. I have no doubt that the photography in the film that got it nominated (and thus the win) were the scenes with Pi alone on the boat on the middle of the ocean, THE VAST MAJORITY OF WHICH were enhanced or created entirely in computers. I have a biiiig problem with cinematography that’s so reliant on computer enhancement winning over equally beautiful and brilliant practical photography. Skyfall was Roger Deakins‘ 10th nomination, and once again he goes home empty handed. By my count, this is at least the second time where he should have won (the first being 2 years ago for True Grit, but he lost that time to Wally Pfister‘s work on Inception). So Deakins, who actually shot everything you see in Skyfall in the real world, loses, while the guy who shot a boat in a water tank on a studio lot and then had the beautiful scenery added later via computers wins. Makes tons of sense.

life of pi setThe Life of Pi set. WOW, WHAT SCENERY!

If computer-enhanced cinematography was what they were looking for, why wasn’t Andrew Lesnie nominated for The Hobbit? I digress.

I’ve already told you why Argo shouldn’t have won Best Picture.

THINGS I LIKED

-The acceptance speeches by Christoph Waltz (Best Supporting Actor), Anne Hathaway (Best Supporting Actress), Daniel Day-Lewis (Best Actor), Chris Terrio (Best Adapted Screenplay) and Ben Affleck (Best Picture). Affleck’s in particular was really touching and heartfelt, the culmination of one of the better real-life comeback stories we’ve seen out of Hollywood. I didn’t think Argo deserved to win, but I’ll be damned if I’m not happy for the guy.

Adele performing “Skyfall”. I adore the song, and for whatever reason, that was the first time I’d seen her perform it live.

The appearance by the cast of The Avengers. Robert Downey Jr. in particular is perfect every time he presents. I know I’m not the only one who’d like to see him get a shot at hosting.

The Les Misérables cast performance. Fantastic.

LES MIS performance

Joaquin Phoenix’s dismayed reaction after his Best Actor clip was played. The man hates awards shows and despises competition among actors, but dutifully shows up anyway (this was his third Oscar nom). Gotta respect that. And in a non-Daniel Day-Lewis year, he’d have deserved to win for his genius work in The Master.

Joaquin

-Gentlemen Hugh Jackman and Bradley Cooper rushing to try and help Jennifer Lawrence after she tripped trying to climb up the stairs to get her Oscar.

cooper jackman help lawrence

-I love these shots of people getting their Oscars engraved at the Governor’s Ball immediately after the show. How cool is this? I guess you used to have to wait a couple weeks to get your Oscar back with your nameplate on it; now they do it on the spot. I thought it was adorable how genuinely overwhelmed and happy Anne Hathaway seemed to be. (click any photo to enlarge)

Hathaway engraving 2

Hathaway engraving 1

Affleck engraving

Adele engraving

Clooney engraving

THINGS I DIDN’T LIKE

-I thought the appearance by William Shatner as Captain Kirk was actually pretty funny, but it just went on and on and on. The show started at 8:30 sharp, and it was almost 9:00 before they presented the first award. It was a terrible start to the show from a pacing standpoint. Why acknowledge the internet trolls and snarky, douchebag reviewers that trash the Oscars every year? Haters gonna hate. Simply ignore the fuckers. I’d rather have just had MacFarlane do his song & dance stuff and a monologue.

Quentin Tarantino being Quentin Tarantino. It’s bad enough he didn’t deserve to win this year, but the man’s ego is insufferable. Ohmygawd, dude. It really is irritating when someone that talented is keenly aware of how talented they are. It’s right up there with hot chicks who know they’re hot, flaunt it everywhere wearing skintight clothes, and strut about with a better-than-you attitude. His speech wasn’t that bad, and I like that he made a point to appreciate all the other nominated writers, but he just can’t help patting himself on the back about how great his characters are, which he did several times. Also, the guy looked like a slob. I’m no fashion expert, but a black leather tie? Ugly. And you gotta hit the gym, QT. Don’t let success leave you fat & happy.

Tarantino wins“I love me some me!”

picard do you even lift

The “50 Years of Bond” tribute. I loved Shirley Bassey coming out and singing “Goldfinger”, but it was the lazy, hastily put together montage of Bond movie clips I could’ve done without. I’ve seen better movie montages on YouTube. Lots of em. I guess they wanted to have all the living Bond actors come out together, but apparently Sean Connery and Pierce Brosnan are still pissed at the Bond producers for various reasons and wouldn’t do it. That’s a shame.

-How awkward was it for Liam Neeson to come out and introduce the clip package for Lincoln? For the uninformed, he was attached to play Lincoln for several years before dropping out to become an action star. I miss the Liam Neeson that starred in great dramas. Can we have him back, please? The Grey was a good return to form, but he also shat out Taken 2 last year, which was bad enough to nearly wipe Schindler’s List from my memory.

-Totally random, but why the fuck was the orchestra off-site? Instead of having an orchestra pit in front of the stage like usual, they had the musicians playing live a half mile away inside a studio at the Capitol Records Building. That was baffling. Really, you couldn’t find ANYWHERE to put them inside the theater? Let’s hope that never happens again.

-The MacFarlane/Kristin Chenoweth “Losers” song that closed the show was a bad idea. It showed poor judgment to even attempt it, even though I understand what they were trying to do. It was mildly funny at parts, but it was in poor taste, especially coming immediately after the Argo guys gave such a gracious acceptance speech.

Michelle Obama presenting Best Picture via satellite. Why? I don’t get it. Okay, fine, wow it’s a big surprise, and all the left-wing Hollywood people in attendance were probably masturbating in their seats, but I thought it was strangely out of place. And I hate to make this political, but does anyone on Earth think they would’ve invited Ann Romney to do this had the election gone the other way? Of fucking course not. It wouldn’t have even been considered. In a night that was basically completely politics-free (thank god!), they couldn’t resist shoving their Democrat favoritism right in our faces to cap the night. Michelle looked beautiful and all, but the whole idea was stupid. And what was with the random military people just chillin behind her? What the hell was that all about? Yeesh.

Michelle ARGO

FASHION

Just two things:

85th Annual Academy Awards - ArrivalsThis woman can do no wrong.

And here’s Les Misérable‘s Samantha Barks, slaughtering the innocent and staring into my soul in this number:

Barks dressO, HAI. I see you thar!

samantha barks dress

-Finally, I’m curious…did all the men coordinate before the show and decide to wear beards and bow ties as some form of display of solidarity? Cuz it seemed like 90% of the males in attendance were doing the same thing from the neck up. Not saying this is good or bad, I’m just wondering aloud whether or not it was coincidence.

I’m not the only one who noticed.

OVERALL SHOW GRADE: B

So that’s that. Stayed tuned, as I should have my own annual awards, The Biggies, posted soon. Hopefully within a week, but it takes me forever to put that post together. Back to work…

QT peace out

(Yes, I’m obsessed with GIFs now. I’ve decided they are the primary reason the internet was created.)

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