Well, the verdict is in and Captain Kirk was right, old blowhards are already calling last night’s Oscars one of the worst ever. That seems a bit harsh to me, though I suppose I’m young enough to appreciate Seth MacFarlane’s brand of humor, but then again so was the audience. Unless I’m mistaken, I heard quite a chorus of laughter from the first line onward about Tommy Lee Jones.
The “badness” I do agree existed was the ham-handed tribute to “the music of film.” That apparently involved two very separated performances of James Bond songs, two out of place nods to Chicago (though less odd when you learn the producers were intimately involved in the making of the film) and disorienting moments like the Titanic theme playing just before a commercial break or the Jaws theme being used to play winners off. That last bit was probably the tackiest item of the evening, and note none of these were Seth MacFarlane’s fault.
But I suppose what people will really want to debate will be the awards themselves. The full list is here, if you’re curious, and there were few surprises. I would say the frontrunner won in 5 of the 6 major categories leaving for few shocking moments. The only one that caught me off guard was Christoph Waltz’s second supporting actor win for playing the “light side” version of the same character he did in Inglorious Basterds. That’s not an insult, and he did a damn fine job, but I just didn’t think they’d give him an award for such similar performance.
I don’t have a problem with Argo winning Best Picture. I may have preferred Life of Pi, but the director nod to Ang Lee was enough there, and it’s nice to see Ben Affleck honored who is now 3/3 in making great films, the last of which now gave him an Oscar to boot. His speech was rambling, strange and very emotional, and it’s always fun for us little people to see stars be…human. Jennifer Lawrence, seen above, was also a good example of that, tripping as she walked up to accept her trophy and genuinely seeming humbled by winning. Alas, the only true crime I thought took place during the evening was the worst Pixar movie since Cars 2, Brave, winning best animated feature over Disney rival, Wreck-It Ralph, one of the best animated films in years. The game would appear to be rigged.
Well, what did you think? Worst Oscars ever or just more hysteria from those who want Bill Crystal to host every year and Barbara Streisand to sing every ten minutes?