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The 85th Academy Awards | Simple Academy Awards ceremony lets movies, MacFarlane shine

Published: Monday, February 25, 2013

Updated: Monday, February 25, 2013 08:02


Viewers went into last night’s Academy Awards ceremony with some uncertainty about what to expect. Ben Affleck (Argo, 2012), Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained, 2012) and Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty, 2012) all fell by the wayside when it came to nominations for Best Director, so any opportunity to claim one film as the likely “big winner” fell flat. Also, the Oscars crew brought in a new host for this year’s show: Seth MacFarlane. While most ceremonywatchers were probably familiar with MacFarlane’s numerous shows, including “Family Guy” and “The Cleveland Show,” there was no way to know how MacFarlane’s humor would translate to the simmered-down comedy of the awards ceremony.

MacFarlane, however, appeased every type of viewer by providing a great balance of classy and cheesy. His opener centered on the idea that William Shatner — as Captain Kirk — was telecasting from the future to warn MacFarlane that the show would turn out disastrously. It allowed MacFarlane to offer more tasteful alternatives each time Shatner described another one of his screw-ups as host.

When MacFarlane “learned” that he would almost sing an offensive tune entitled “We Saw Your Boobs,” he instead brought out Channing Tatum and Charlize Theron to dance to “The Way You Look Tonight.” When he learned of his re-inventing the film “Flight” into a sock puppet movie, he did a song and dance with Daniel Radcliffe and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. By balancing overboard humor with more tasteful sequences and by making his own “almost” failure as host the central joke, MacFarlane succeeded as a first-time host.

Christoph Waltz won his second Oscar, for Actor in a Supporting Role for his part in “Django Unchained.” His first win came in 2010 for his first Tarantino film, “Inglourious Basterds” (2009). Anne Hathaway grabbed her first Oscar in the category of Actress in a Supporting Role for her heartbreaking portrayal of Fantine in “Les Miserables (2012).”

Melissa McCarthy and Paul Rudd shone as a hilarious duo presenting the award for Best Animated Short; you almost forgot you were watching the Academy Awards. The heartwarming short “Paperman” (2012) took home that Oscar. “Brave” (2012) won Best Animated Feature, which is not surprising, given that it is a Pixar film. Tatum returned to the stage with Jennifer Aniston to announce the winners for Costume Design and Makeup & Hairstyling, which went to “Anna Karenina” and “Les Miserables,” respectively.

A tribute to James Bond celebrated 50 years of one of the most beloved film franchises of all time. Shirley Eaton brought viewers back to the old Bond days by singing “Goldfinger,” preparing viewers for Adele’s fabulous performance of “Skyfall” later in the show. She took home the Oscar for Best Original Song for this Bond tune.

The ceremony’s theme of celebrating music within film, besides playing the theme from “Jaws” (1975) every time a winner was scooted off stage, was squeezed into a 15 minute segment of live performances. Catherine Zeta Jones opened with “All That Jazz” from the renowned musical film “Chicago” (2002). Jennifer Hudson got a standing ovation for her unbelievable vocals, singing “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” from her Oscar-winning film “Dreamgirls” (2006). The entire cast of Les Miserables came on stage to perform “Suddenly,” “One Day More” and “I Dreamed a Dream.”

Mark Wahlberg and a puppet version of Ted announced the winners for Sound Mixing and Sound Editing. Les Miserables took home the Oscar for Sound Mixing, likely for the film creative crew’s ambitious choice to record all the songs live on camera. Wahlberg then announced that there was a tie for Sound Editing winner, an event which that only occurred twice before in Oscars history and happens only when films are within three votes of one other; both “Skyfall” and “Zero Dark Thirty” prevailed in this category.

Tarantino may have been snubbed in the Director category, but he still grabbed an award in the Original Screenplay category for “Django Unchained” (2012). Ang Lee (“Life of Pi”, 2012), who won in 2006 for “Brokeback Mountain” (2005), beat out favorite Steven Spielberg for Best Director. Jennifer Lawrence brought home the Best Actress Oscar for her role in “Silver Linings Playbook” (2012), while Best Actor went to Daniel Day Lewis, the first actor to win this category three times. Ben Affleck redeemed himself with “Argo” (2012), winning Best Picture.

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