Monday, February 25, 2013

The 37,412th Post on the 2013 Oscars…or, “Where Were You When the Lights Went Out?”

There's got to be a morning after
It's 9 AM and the 2013 Academy Awards ceremony ended a long time ago.  Normally I get my post up within an hour of them ending, so why am I doing it so late this year?  Because at around 10:00 PM my entire house went black.  There I was watching the Les Miserables cast finish their big number and boom, no power.  There had been a winter storm here and apparently the heavy, wet snow was finally too much for a tree branch and it came down across a wire.  (See the bottom of this post for the bright side of this storm.)  I didn’t get power back until around 5 this morning.  I ended up finding out who won along with everyone else waking up this morning.  Oh, and also seeing Jennifer Lawrence trip.  The poor woman is literally going to have that clip shown the rest of her life.  I saw it four times in the space of 10 minutes as I flipped around channels to find out the winners.

Argo won Best Picture.  No one movie emerged as the big winner.  Things were even more spread out than last year.  Life of Pi received four Oscars.  Argo and Les Miserables received three apiece.  Django Unchained, Lincoln, and Skyfall won two apiece.  Every Best Picture nominee received at least one Oscar, except for Beasts of the Southern Wild. 

Seth McFarlane took nearly 20 minutes for his opening.  It was hit and miss.  He tried to have his cake and eat it too by doing a recurring skit where Captain Kirk (Shatner himself) comes back from the future to prevent McFarlane from ruining the Oscars with crass humor.  We then see the rude sequences and McFarlane corrects his errors by doing something classy. 

The thing is, he still gets to do the rude pieces.  For instance, he sings a song about how we’ve seen the boobs of pretty much all the Best Actress winners.  It would have been funnier if we just saw him singing the chorus “boobs, boobs, boobs” and then it cut off.  People would have been imagining what he would have been singing and they would have loved it.  He did get his biggest laugh of the opening at the end of the song, though.  He brought out a gay men’s chorus to accompany him.  When it was over he tells Captain Kirk that he just sang with them and that he hadn’t joined them for real.  Kirk says, “In 2015 you will.”  The audience loved the joke at McFarlane’s expense.  I do have to say that he has a good voice.  By the way, he made reference to the fact that we had not seen Jennifer Lawrence’s boobs, it cut to her for a reaction, and she made a silent “yeah!”  Her win this year does break a 27 year streak of the Best Actress winner having done nudity at some point in their careers.  The optimist would point out that she is only 22 and has a long career ahead of her.

The theme for the show was about music and the movies, yet for some bizarre reason they had the orchestra playing “live” in a building in another part of the city and had the music piped in.  Seriously.  The “go away” music this year was the theme from Jaws, which was fun.  The winner of the Visual Effects award just started talking louder when he got the music and definitely was not going anywhere.  He didn’t even start speaking faster, apparently confident that there was no way they could get him to leave.  When he started into a story about how a company was in financial trouble they just plain shut off his mike.  McFarlane seemed amused, but didn’t make a joke about it.

Right off the bat the first award produced an upset.  Christoph Waltz won Best Supporting Actor.  He was actually the one I would have picked, but I was too cynical and chose someone else for my predicted winner (see below).  I don’t know how Brave won Best Animated Picture, other than people saw “Pixar” and just blindly voted for it.

Far and away the worst presenters in the section I saw were Paul Rudd and Melissa McCarthy.  They were doing an intentionally awkward bit.  The thing is, awkward isn’t funny.  It’s, well, awkward.  Five of the Avengers cast came out to present a couple of awards and they seemed to be having fun.

Speaking of having fun, the man who won Best Cinematography seemed to be completely wasted.  He couldn’t even string sentences together and finally mentioned the alcohol being served.  He just sort of petered out and left.  On the other end of the scale, Michael Haneke, who won for Best Foreign Film, seemed to be about as excited as being in a dentist’s office for a root canal.

As always they kept showing the audience.  Where someone sits tells you where they currently rank in the Hollywood hierarchy.  I had a serious WTF moment when they focused on Daniel Day-Lewis in the front row on the aisle.  Right behind him was Tommy Lee Jones.  Right behind him was Steven Spielberg.  Right behind him was…Kristen Stewart?  I had to wait for them to show the shot again.  It was really her.

They had a 50th anniversary James Bond tribute.  They played the Bond theme over clips from, I believe, every film.  Shirley Bassey then came out and showed she still has it by singing the hell out of Goldfinger.  As great as that was there needed to be one more part of the celebration.  Imagine the reaction to this: “Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome to the stage Daniel Craig, Pierce Brosnan, Timothy Dalton, Roger Moore, George Lazenby, and Sean Connery.”  All six are still with us.  Maybe it didn’t occur to anyone to try to do this, or maybe one or more didn’t want to.  It would have been an incredible moment if it had happened, though.

McFarlane got “oooo”s of shock for a few of his jokes.  Probably the biggest was a joke about John Wilkes Booth being the actor that got into Lincoln’s head the best.  After McFarlane got the reaction he said, “Really?  150 years and it’s still too soon?  I’ve got some Napoleon jokes a little later that you’re going to hate.”

As for Best Dressed, I don’t notice fashion.  As I said in my “About this Blog” post, the only clothing tip you will find on my site is “If you go out in public, wear some.” 

Here is what I wrote in my predictions post: “I’m posting this list so you can either be amazed at my overall movie knowledge, or so that you can ridicule me for being wrong.  Hopefully it’s more the former than the latter.  My goal is more than 50% correct, with a hope of 75% (18 of 24 categories), although that is probably not realistic.  Good or bad I will do a follow-up post on how I did.”

I got 13 out of 24 correct, which is 54 percent of them.  I’ll take that, although it was one less than I got last year and three less than I got two years ago.  It seems the more of the nominees I watch, the worse my predictions get.  Among my choices I got all three “Lock”s, but only two out of four “Likely”s correct.  I got seven of thirteen “Educated Guess”es correct.  I got one of four of my “Wild-Ass Guess”es.  If it weren’t for the fact that I now am writing reviews for all the Oscar nominated films I would recommend, I would consider not watching them before the ceremonies next year just to see if my percentage of correct predictions went back up.

Here is the complete list of nominations and winners in all twenty-four categories.  What I would have picked is highlighted in yellow.  No highlight means I did not see any of the choices.  What I thought would win is in bold.  I said if I thought my choice was a lock, likely, educated guess, or wild-ass guess.  What actually won has an *asterisk* in front of it.

Best Picture

Amour
*Argo
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Django Unchained
Les Miserables
Life of Pi
Lincoln
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty

Confidence – Likely
Correct Pick? – Yes
Comment – While I enjoyed Django Unchained a little more, Argo is the better choice.

Best Animated Picture

*Brave
Frankenweenie
ParaNorman
The Pirates! Band of Misfits
Wreck-It Ralph

Confidence – Likely
Correct Pick? – No
Comment – How did Brave win?

Best Foreign Language Picture

*Amour
(from Austria)
War Witch
(from Canada)
No
(from Chile)
A Royal Affair
(from Denmark)
Kon-Tiki
(from Norway)


Confidence – Lock
Correct Pick? – Yes
Comment – If Amour hadn’t won it would have been a massive shock.

Best Documentary

5 Broken Cameras
The Gatekeepers
How to Survive a Plague
The Invisible War
*Searching for Sugar Man

Confidence – Educated Guess
Correct Pick? – Yes
Comment – Appealing story overcomes questionable documentary work.

Best Actor

Bradley Cooper
(in Silver Linings Playbook)
*Daniel Day-Lewis
(in Lincoln)
Hugh Jackman 
(in Les Miserables)
Joaquin Phoenix
(in The Master)
Denzel Washington
(in Flight)


Confidence – Lock
Correct Pick? – Yes
Comment – Day-Lewis becomes the first to win three Best Actor Oscars

Best Actress

Jessica Chastain    
(in Zero Dark Thirty)
*Jennifer Lawrence    
(in Silver Linings Playbook)
Emmanuelle Riva  
(in Amour)
Quvenzhane Wallis   
(in Beasts of the Southern Wild)
Naomi Watts
(in The Impossible)


Confidence – Educated Guess
Correct Pick? – Yes
Comment – Lawrence was the front runner.  She wished Riva a happy 86th birthday.  McFarlane had a funny joke about how 9 year old Quvenzhane Wallis said she hoped she “didn’t lose to that old lady, Jennifer Lawrence.”

Best Supporting Actor

Alan Arkin
(in Argo)
Robert De Niro
(in Silver Linings Playbook)
Philip Seymour Hoffman      
(in The Master)
Tommy Lee Jones
(in Lincoln)
*Christoph Waltz
(in Django Unchained)


Confidence – Educated Guess
Correct Pick? – No
Comment – I should have gone with my preferred choice.

Best Supporting Actress

Amy Adams
(in The Master)
Sally Field
(in Lincoln)
*Anne Hathaway
(in Les Miserables)
Helen Hunt
(in The Sessions)
Jackie Weaver
(in Silver Linings Playbook)


Confidence – Lock
Correct Pick? – Yes
Comment – In a weak field Hathaway runs away with it. 

Best Director

Michael Haneke  
(for Amour)
*Ang Lee
(for Life of Pi)
David O. Russell
(for Silver Linings Playbook)
Steven Spielberg
(for Lincoln)
Benh Zeitlin
(for Beasts of the Southern Wild)


Confidence – Likely
Correct Pick? – No
Comment – I was way off on this one. 

Best Original Screenplay

Amour
*Django Unchained
Flight
Moonrise Kingdom
Zero Dark Thirty

Confidence – Educated Guess
Correct Pick? – No
Comment – Tarantino wins his second writing Oscar.

Best Adapted Screenplay

*Argo
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Life of Pi
Lincoln
Silver Linings Playbook

Confidence – Educated Guess
Correct Pick? – Yes
Comment – For once I figured right. 

Best Original Song

Before My Time
(from Chasing Ice)
Suddenly
(from Les Miserables)
Pi’s Lullaby
(from Life of Pi)
*Skyfall
(from Skyfall)
Everybody Needs a Best Friend
(from Ted)


Confidence – Likely
Correct Pick? – Yes
Comment – I would have liked to have seen it get performed.  Oh well. 

Best Original Score

Anna Karenina
Argo
*Life of Pi
Lincoln
Skyfall

Confidence – Educated Guess
Correct Pick? – No
Comment – Once again, I should have gone with my own pick. 

Best Cinematography

Anna Karenina
Django Unchained
*Life of Pi
Lincoln
Skyfall

Confidence – Educated Guess
Correct Pick? – Yes
Comment – Even though there was quite a bit of use of cgi in the film, I think that where much of the movie takes place on the ocean and where they were able to keep showing new and interesting views of it, that that was why Life of Pi won. 

Best Editing

*Argo
Life of Pi
Lincoln
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty

Confidence – Educated Guess
Correct Pick? – Yes
Comment – Argo’s competition was Zero Dark Thirty, but I think the sympathy for Argo caused it to win here. 

Best Production Design

Anna Karenina
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Les Miserables
Life of Pi
*Lincoln

Confidence – Educated Guess
Correct Pick? – Yes
Comment – Lincoln just oozes quality in every frame. 

Best Costumes

*Anna Karenina
Les Miserables
Lincoln
Mirror Mirror
Snow White and the Huntsmen

Confidence – Educated Guess
Correct Pick? – Yes
Comment – I have not seen Anna Karenina.  As I mentioned up top, I seem to actually make better predictions when I haven’t seen the films. 

Best Makeup

Hitchcock
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
*Les Miserables

Confidence – Wild-Ass Guess
Correct Pick? – No
Comment – As I said in my predictions, I could have seen any of the three winning. 

Best Visual Effects

The Avengers
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
*Life of Pi
Prometheus
Snow White and the Hunstmen

Confidence – Educated Guess
Correct Pick? – No
Comment – It looks like the cgi tiger impressed a lot of people. 

Best Sound Editing

Argo
Django Unchained
Life of Pi
*Skyfall
*Zero Dark Thirty

Confidence – Educated Guess
Correct Pick? – No
Comment – There’s a tie, two films win, and I still didn’t pick the right answer. 

Best Sound Mixing

Argo
*Les Miserables
Life of Pi
Lincoln
Skyfall

Confidence – Educated Guess
Correct Pick? – No
Comment – Considering that you couldn’t even tell what some of the characters were singing in some scenes because other sounds were drowning them out, I really question this win. 

Best Animated Short

Adam and Dog
Fresh Guacamole
Head Over Heels
*Paperman
The Simpsons: The Longest Daycare

Confidence – Wild-Ass Guess
Correct Pick? – No
Comment – None 

Best Documentary Short

*Inocente
Kings Point
Mondays at Racine
Open Heart
Redemption

Confidence – Wild-Ass Guess
Correct Pick? – Yes
Comment – It seemed like the subject matter was one that the Academy liked to reward and I was right.

Best Live Action Short

Asad
Buzkashi Boys
*Curfew
Death of a Shadow
Henry

Confidence – Wild-Ass Guess
Correct Pick? – No
Comment – None

Summary of Picks by Confidence Level

(The ones I got correct are highlighted in blue.)

Lock:
  1. Best Foreign Language Film
  2. Best Actor
  3. Best Supporting Actress

Likely
  1. Best Picture
  2. Best Animated Picture
  3. Best Director
  4. Best Original Song

Educated Guess
  1. Best Documentary
  2. Best Actress
  3. Best Supporting Actor
  4. Best Original Screenplay
  5. Best Adapted Screenplay
  6. Best Original Score
  7. Best Cinematography
  8. Best Editing
  9. Best Production Design
  10. Best Costumes
  11. Best Visual Effects
  12. Best Sound Editing
  13. Best Sound Mixing

Wild-Ass Guess
  1. Best Makeup
  2. Best Animated Short
  3. Best Documentary Short
  4. Best Live Action Short

Imagine the 1973 Oscar winning song The Morning After (“There’s got to be a morning after/If we can hold on through the night/We have a chance to find the sunshine/Let’s keep on looking for the light”) playing while looking at these photos…

5 comments:

  1. Thanks for the re-cap. I never watch, I always just read about it the next day. You pics look beautiful, but I'm sure it's a bit of a pain to have that much snow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. It's only the massive storms like the blizzard I posted on a couple weeks ago that are a hassle. Getting out in the sun and moving a little snow for a storm like this isn't that bad (relatively.)

      Delete
  2. For a cinephile to have a power cut during the oscars, wow, that's not good!

    I agree Paul Rudd and M McCarthy failed. I liked Captain Kirk, and cell phone joke about Lincoln/DDL. Flight as puppet show amused me too. Could have done without all that dancing, Dream Girls and Chicago stuff.

    I got 17/21 right (I didn't do short film predictions)
    Was surprised Les Mis won for make-up, The Hobbit deserved that for me. I also had Production Design,David O. Russel,and Riva wrong.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I liked the bit with the socks spinning in the dryer as the plane inverted.

      "For a cinephile to have a power cut during the oscars, wow, that's not good!"

      I can't even remember when I started watching the Oscars, but it was some time in the 80s. I think I've seen just about every Oscars show since then...except for last night's. Hell, 4-5 years ago my TV cable went out in the middle of the broadcast, but strangely not the internet cable. I got on my PC and within minutes I managed to find the Oscars streaming live (and probably illegally) from a Latin American website, and I watched them that way.

      Delete
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