Monday, February 25, 2013

The 85th Annual Academy Awards: The Oscars

Every year around this time a wonderful season known in Hollywood as "award season" happens, the highlight being The Oscars. This year, just like every year, had its ups and downs, and I, Alexis, aim to bring you all the details on what happened, along with some snarky/witty commentary because I am in no way unbiased.

Where shall we start? Hmm...let's start with the host. This years host was Seth MacFarlane, famous for creating Family Guy, providing the voice of Ted, and after tonight, being the worst host of an Academy Awards show since James Franco and Anne Hathaway in 2011 which is saying something since it takes a lot for me to even dream of criticizing Anne Hathaway. But Seth MacFarlane definitely took the cake because if I didn't know he was a complete misogynist before tonight I sure know it now! I don't have time to make a list of his super sexist jokes, but lucky for me, The Vulture already did it! His hosting had me wondering the same thing that William Shatner asked in his completely cheesy Star Trek appearance: "Why can't Tina and Amy host everything?"

Moving on, I guess you guys want to know about the people who won and stuff. Obviously I haven't seen all the winning (or nominated films) but I'll do my best with this. Okay here goes!

You thought I was kidding, didn't you. 
In the category of Best Picture, "Argo", directed by Ben Affleck, took home an Oscar which was accepted by The Beard Band as I like to call them. You may call them Grant Heslov, Ben Affleck, and George Clooney.

In case you didn't know, "Argo" is a film about a fake film. More specifically it's about the Iranian Hostage Crisis back in the 70's(?) and from what I hear and have seen in previews it is absolutely fantastic. "Argo" also picked up awards in Best Film Editing and Best Adapted Screenplay.

Daniel Day-Lewis made history as the only actor in his generation (and his generation includes Marlin Brando) to pick up three Oscars in his lifetime when he won the Best Lead Actor Oscar for his role as Abraham Lincoln in "Lincoln" (Directed by Steven Spielberg). I was completely happy with this decision because the person I would have wanted to win, Suraj Sharma, who played the title character in Life of Pi, wasn't even nominated. But I digress. Anyways, I'm completely okay with Day-Lewis's win, but not with his speech. I personally think he missed a golden opportunity to use the phrase "four score and seven years ago..." as the opener to his acceptance speech. I mean come on, Daniel. You played the guy, how did you hold that back? "Lincoln" also received the Oscar for Best Production Design.

In other slightly more important news (at least in my book) Meryl Streep presented the award for Best Actor in a Lead Role and with that won Best Presenter as she was the only presenter all night who didn't fumble with the envelope. Further proof that whatever Meryl does, she is the best at.

And then comes one of two awards no one knew who was going to win. Best Actress in a Lead Role. There were two actresses who were head and shoulders above the rest of the nominees, nine year old Quvenzhane Wallis (kwah-venn-ja-nay) for her work as Hush Puppy in "Beasts of the Southern Wild" (directed by Benh Zeitlin) and twenty two year old Jennifer Lawrence for her work as Tiffany in Silver Linings Playbook (directed by David O. Russell). From what I hear Quvenzhane has maturity beyond her years when it comes to acting and Jennifer Lawrence is what I just call a "damn good actress". JLaw won the award and possibly the most memorable moment of the night when she fell on the stairs as she went to accept the award. That's not emotion in the photo, Lawrence, ever so quirky is embarrassed because, well, wouldn't you be? She later followed with the statement "you guys aren't all standing up because I won, you're standing up because I fell and that's embarrassing." You doll.

However, if you're sad that Quvenzhane didn't win, don't despair. She picked up the award for Best Young Actress of the Year and looked adorable tonight. So there's that. Here's hoping we see much more of young Wallis in the future and that the general public learns to pronounce her name because as she told a reporter tonight "my name's not Annie".

Anyone see "Django Unchained"? Okay well a bunch of you did. I'm not stupid. Tarantino's newest film started out the night winning an Oscar for the Best Actor in a Supporting Role. Well actually, Christopher Waltz did. Later on in the night Quentin Tarantino picked up an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. Too bad Leonardo DiCaprio didn't get anything, but then again, that's a normal thing for him.

And the second most anticipated award of the night came in the category of Best Actress in a Supporting Role, a category that was jam packed with female powerhouses like Sally Field, who played Mary Todd Lincoln in "Lincoln" but many remember affectionately as the Flying Nun, Amy Adams ("The Master"), Anne Hathaway ("Les Miserables"), Helen Hunt ("The Sessions"), and Jacki Weaver ("Silver Linings Playbook"). Normally it is easy to discern who will take home the Oscar by the number of Pre-Oscar awards they win. However, in that category the actresses were tied. So...everyone held their breath until Anne Hathaway won for her brilliant and heartbreaking rendition of Fantine in "Les Miserables". It is no secret that Anne Hathaway is my God when it comes to acting so I was more than overjoyed. Perhaps over-overjoyed would be the correct term?  "Les Miserables" also picked up Oscars in Make Up and Hairstyling (honestly I don't know they beat out "The Hobbit"), and Sound Mixing.

Big news for "Brave" fans everywhere, "Brave" won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film and what a deserved victory! Honestly I don't know where to start when talking about how amazing that movie is, but I'd just like to point out that the animators created an entire new program in order to animate Meridia's hair so that it moved realistically. And then the Disney people show up to The Oscars in kilts.

"Brave" beat out "Frankenweenie", "ParaNorman", "The Pirates! Band of Misfits", and "Wreck-It Ralph".

The cinematography award went to "Life of Pi" which is really no surprise to anyone who has the visual pleasure of seeing this masterpiece of a movie. Claudio Miranda, who was the person who was in charge of that, took everything that I ever imagined when I read "Life of Pi" (By Yann Martel if you want to check it out) and painted it beautifully on the silver screen. Never in my life have I seen something so beautiful and hopefully I go to the movies and come out saying how gorgeous everything was after I leave the theater again. Seriously kids. Go see "Life of Pi". "Life of Pi" also won Oscars for best Director, Ang Lee, who was quoted as saying "thank the movie Gods", best Original Score, which I mean, thank you so much Mycheal Danna, and Best Visual Effects (Spoiler: there's a glowing whale!)

Other Awards:
Costume Design: "Anna Karenina"
Documentary Feature: "Searching For Sugar Man"
Documentary Short: "Inocente"
Foreign Language Film: "Amour"
Best Original Song: "Skyfall" by Adele from "Skyfall". "Skyfall" also won the Oscar for "Best Sound Editing".
Best Sound Editing: Also Awarded to "Zero Dark Thirty"
Animated Short Film: "Paperman"
Live Action Short Film: "Curfew"

And then what made my whole night more than anything came. Aaron Tveit walked out on the stage.
I mean - the cast of "Les Miserables" performed "One Day More" and it was amazing. I mean seriously, astounding, you think "One Day More" is good in the movie, then watch it live. Not like it sounds any different because they live sang "Les Mis", but seriously, this is beautiful. And again, Aaron Tveit.


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