Thoughts on Oscar 2013

Jess' Take: I was not a good guesser this year - I went too far with my own what I want to win, rather than who I think will win.  Plus, we forgot to even guess a Best Supporting Actor.  After seeing Django, I was convinced Christophe was going to win an Oscar, deservedly.  The other acting awards were pretty predictable.  I think there was still some competition for Best Actress, but after the SAG awards, we knew it would likely be Jennifer Lawrence - which I think was as much an award for the brilliant start to her career as much as for Silver Linings Playbook alone.  It's not really a typical Best Actress performance, but it was still terrific.  I'm a huge fan of Ang Lee as a director, so I was really happy to see the love for Best Director.  Overall, I think the Academy saw the huge achievement it was to even make Life of Pi and was willing to acknowledge that risk and then reward the extremely strong and beautiful result of that risk.  As you might remember from our review, I liked Les Miserables quite a lot.  However, I do not think they should have gotten the sound awards they did - that was easily the biggest problem I had with the film.  The live recording did give really terrific acting performances, but it required a greater post-production effort to get it to sound as good as it could when they matched the voices with the orchestra (which I think they didn't).

Okay, the hosting.  Seth McFarlane was pretty funny.  I liked the opening shtick with William Shatner when he was trying to lower expectations, but sadly he was only able to meet those those expectations.  He talked to himself and the crew under his breath too often, referencing the jokes he was hoping would land a little too often.  Also, the level of sexism (aka 13-year-old boy humor) was off-putting fairly quickly.  I have no problem with the idea of talking about the actresses who have striped for movies, but I don't think the Oscar telecast was the time - particularly setting up as a reason for his being a terrible host (lowest bar of humor reached, congrats).  Unfortunately, it set such a bad tone for me that he was hard to watch alone on stage. He was still much better at carrying the show than the pairing of Franco and Hathaway, but still didn't reach the levels of most other hosts.

Rachel's Take: First off, why does the Academy even bother with a theme? Take this year's "theme" of music through the movies (or something) which the ceremony failed to actually celebrate. Apparently musicals didn't exist before Chicago a decade ago and then they only let one Best Song nominee be performed live, which only lucked out by being a.) a Bond song and b.) performed by Adele. I've never been one to care for the Best Song performances during the ceremony and was glad when they stopped it a year or two ago, but this seems incredibly hypocritical. Overall the theme was completely lost, though a random dance number with Jo-Go and Harry Potter made my fantasy day. If ever there were a great moment for an Oscar montage, they blew it.

At least I wasn't completely put off by host Seth MacFarlane. I'm pretty sure I audibly groaned when I heard he would be hosting this year, because I've never understood the appeal of Family Guy, et al. I'm surprised at the backlash, because he wasn't nearly as crude and offensive as I feared he might be, but that could be me expecting the worst. However, the opening was far too long, as was the ceremony as a whole. But I dug his little asides, as he proved he knew the hosting gig and the jokes were mostly BS.

As with this year, I always enjoy when the awards are spread out among many films, and no one "sweeps" them all. Outside just a few awards, I was left guessing who the actual winner might be until announced, and it feels as though that rarely happens too. And after a quick check, it turns out I've seen a majority of the winners, outside the best leading acting categories. Honestly, I'm pretty happy with this year's winners, but the ceremony itself was rather forgettable.

Oh, but I just have one request: Can we please keep actors who typically do comedy from presenting? That Rudd/McCarthy bit was the most painful of the night. And thinking back, most of the worst Oscar moments (in recent memory) come from the likes of Stiller, Ferrell, etc. I don't think the Academy knows how to write jokes for those guys, so we should just skip them altogether or get better writers. Oh, and another request: MOAR MONTAGES! Like this lovely one from just two years ago:


  1. I didn't watch, but a read a recap about the boob skit... sounded pathetically sexist, and even worse--just plain unfunny.

  2. That's pretty much it - they didn't make it up with strength of other jokes. I'm fine with boob jokes, I'm fine with being crass, but you have to back it up.


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