OSCAR REACTIONS 2013

Well then.  Turns out even William Shatner couldn’t save Seth Macfarlane from being the worst awards show host I’ve ever seen.

I’m not even kidding.  I couldn’t stand him.  He annoyed me even more than Anne Hathaway and James Franco.  He disgusted me even more than Ricky Gervais.  He was even less humorous than David Letterman.  Seriously, how is it a guy of this caliber walks up on stage and, aside from being tasteless and offensive, fails to even be funny?  He’s the worst Oscar host I’ve ever seen on stage.

Enough of that though.  Besides the show’s prolonged, idiosyncratic pace, this was a decent year at the Oscars, with just as many candidates deserving their wins as there was candidates who were… well, let’s just say “lacking” in their wins.

Here are the categories I got right this year:

BEST PICTURE (CORRECT! 👍) Yes, yes, and yes.  Ben Affleck won best picture alongside Grant Heslov and George Clooney for his brilliant thriller, Argo.  He more than deserves it and his acceptance speech was one of the most emotional and sincere of the night.  I’m glad he won.  Moving along.

BEST DIRECTOR (WRONG! 👎)  No, no, NO.  Ang Lee won best direction for his fantasy-epic Life Of Pi.

Why?  Where did this come from?  Was Life Of Pi a good movie?  Yes.  Was it faithful to the novel?  Yes.  Was it a revolutionary piece that has singular and daring direction that made the movie stand out compared to other nominees?

NO.  NO NO NO.  Steven Spielberg directed the 16th American president and the entire Union through the civil war in his powerful biopic Lincoln.  Behn Zeitlan directed a six-year old girl through the swampy infestations of New Orleans in Beasts Of The Southern Wild.  Ang Lee had to direct one indian boy on a lifeboat with a CGI tiger.  How does Ang Lee win the award for just following the book note-for-note, word-for-word.  Why?

Argh.  Whatever.  He’s not a bad choice, I’ll give them that.  At least the award went to a decent director.

BEST ACTOR (CORRECT! 👍) Good.  Daniel-Day Lewis won best actor for his adamant performance in Lincoln.  The president of AMPAS just saved himself a broken TV.

BEST ACTRESS (CORRECT! 👍) And yet again, Jennifer Lawrence wins best actress for Silver Linings Playbook.  I’m happy for her win, even though she tripped on the stairs on the way up to accept her award.  She’s a woman of character, integrity, charisma, and good humor.  Congradulations for her win.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR (WRONG! 👎) Christoph Waltz beat out Tommy Lee Jones for Lincoln with Django Unchained.  While he certainly isn’t a bad choice, he wouldn’t have been my first pick.  Tommy Lee Jones’ role in Lincoln demanded more for his character, and more emotion and context was shown behind the character of Congressman Thaddeus Stevens.  I would have preferred he recieve the award over Waltz.

On the flip side, where is Leonardo DiCaprio in this?  His performance stood out even more in Django than Waltz’ did.  And yet, here he is, being snubbed for pushing himself as an artist so the Academy can give it to someone who has already won before.  Typical.

But I digress.  Waltz’ role was vital in Django and he served it well.  Congradulations to him for his second win.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS (CORRECT! 👍) Thank you, Anne Hathway, for giving us one of the most powerful moments this year in film for your performance in Les Miserables.  And thank you, Academy, for recognizing her for it.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY (CORRECT! 👍) Quintin Taratino won for Django Unchained While I can say the movie is witty and well-written, I still have to point out that I think Zero Dark Thirty and Flight were superior movies compared to that one.  But that is besides the point.  Congradulations to Quintin for his second Oscar.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY (CORRECT! 👍) Chris Terrio won for Argo.  This is fair considering this is a phenomenal movie with great writing, brilliant pacing, and witty humor.  That all started on the pages of the screenplay, and Terrio is more than deserving in the award.  Again, congrats.

BEST ANIMATED FILM (WRONG! 👎) ….um…. wow.  I gotta admit, I didn’t see this one coming.  Pixar’s Brave won for best animated film over Wreck It Ralph and Frankenweenie.  While I am happy for its win and agree it is among the best animated films of the year, to say it is the best is something of a long shot.  It doesn’t match Frankenweenie as far as maturity goes, and it doesn’t precede Wreck-It Ralph as far as wit and cleverness goes.

I’m not mad, and I’m happy for its win.  I’m just pointing out that I wasn’t expecting it, and out of all of the Pixar epics, this has been one of them that has been recieved with lesser critical reception.  I expect many people to be upset about this win.

BEST DOCUMENTARY (CORRECT! 👍) Of course Searching For Sugar Man won for best documentary.  It’s one of the most critically-acclaimed films of the year and achieved widespread popularity despite its limited release.  Congrats for the win.

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM (CORRECT! 👍) Amour won best foreign-language film.  No surprise there.

BEST COSTUME DESIGN (CORRECT! 👍) Anna Karenina won.  I have no comment for its win except that The Dark Knight Rises should have been nominated in its place.

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN (WRONG! 👎) Now here’s a pleasant surprise.  I was expecting Anna Karenina to win, but it turns out the Academy wisened up for a change and gave the award to Lincoln instead.  Congradulations, and thank you.  That film was a phenomenal period piece that had great attention to historical detail and architecture.  I am not mad at all that I got this category wrong.  Not at all.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY (CORRECT! 👍) One step forward, two steps back.  Claudio Miranda beat Roger Deakins in cinemetography with his Life Of Pi against Skyfall.

I knew this was going to happen, even though I wished it hadn’t.  Skyfall was a superior action piece utilizing inventive camera angles at the hands of cinema master Roger Deakins.  Life Of Pi relied on visual effects and wide shots to convey its story across.  Deakins was the more original artist, and he deserved to win.  Just like every other year he’s been nominated.

BEST FILM EDITING (CORRECT! 👍) Argo won for best film editing.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE (CORRECT! 👍) Life Of Pi won best original score.  And this is one of the categories it wins in which I don’t mind.

BEST ORIGINAL SONG (CORRECT! 👍) Adele took home the award for the night for Skyfall.  Could anyone else have taken it away and be just as deserving?  I think not.

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS (CORRECT! 👍) Life Of Pi won best visual effects.  How humuliating is it that the cast of The Avengers, a movie which SHOULD have walked away with the award, handed it off to the people in charge of the visuals for Life Of Pi?  What a sham.

BEST MAKEUP (WRONG! 👎) Les Miserables won for best makeup.  While I got this category wrong (predicting it’d be The Hobbit), its at least not as polarizing as when The Iron Lady won.  At least its more deserving than Hitchcock.

BEST SOUND EDITING (WRONG! 👎)  Shockingly, for the sixth (seventh?) time in Oscar history, the winner of this category is a tie.  Between Zero Dark Thirty and Skyfall to be precise.  This is great because both nominees were worthwhile movies that deserved at least some recognition.  Bad because I didn’t predict either one on my sheet.

Oh well.  Can’t get everything you want.

BEST SOUND MIXING (CORRECT! 👍) And Les Miserables won best sound mixing. Congradulations.  It deserved it due to the difficulty of the request of what Tom Hooper was asking his sound editors.  Congradulations to that musical epic regardless.

And of course, I got all three of the following categories incorrect.  But that’s only because…

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT (WRONG! 👎) Innocente.  Didn’t see it.

BEST LIVE-ACTION SHORT FILM (WRONG! 👎) Curfew.  Didn’t see it.

BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM (CORRECT?) ...waitaminute, I GOT ONE RIGHT??!?!  Whoa…

Didn’t see that one coming.

In all sincerity, Paperman is the only animation short I’ve seen, paired with my screening of Wreck-It Ralph.  And I’m glad it won.  It was a tender, sincere piece that was just as visually dynamic as it was gripping and creative.  It was a phenomenal animation piece and it deserved no less than best animated short.  Huge congratulations for John Kahr’s win.

Again, and again, and again, congratulations to all of the nominees and their wins.  This was a great year at the Oscars, and many deserved the wins that they received.

Poor on you, though, Seth Macfarlane.  As Ben Affleck said as he was presenting a category in the ceremony, “Y’know, I thought we were doing pretty well here today, Seth.  But I’m sure you’ll turn that around for us”.

-David Dunn

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