He won me over. Family Guy creator Seth McFarlane was the real big winner at the 85th annual Academy Awards. I’ve never been a fan of the first-time host’s work (Family Guy is the poor man’s Simpsons) so my personal expectations were dampened considerably this year when his name was announced as the emcee. But right from the opening monologue (which, as an aside, was a bit long at 18 minutes) I was loudly laughing much more than I ever expected to, especially during the bit about Best Actresses. And who knew the man possessed such a fine singing voice? I sure didn’t.
As for the awards themselves, there were some notable surprises. Christoph Waltz won his second Best Supporting Actor Oscar for playing Jamie Foxx’s compadre in Django Unchained beating out Tommy Lee Jones (who hilarously smiled during McFarlane’s very first joke) and Robert De Niro in the night’s very first award. Speaking of that film Quentin Tarantino won his own second Oscar for writing its original screenplay, also not expected. He last won for co-writing Pulp Fiction 18 years ago.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the evening was Ang Lee being named Best Director a second time for helming Life Of Pi. With Tarantino, Kathryn Bigelow and Ben Affleck not even recognized in this category, it was wide open. Many expected Steven Spielberg to carry the day. Lee won his first Best Director Oscar for Brokeback Mountain in 2006.
Some will also consider Brave’s victory in the Best Animated Feature category to be an upset, as well. (Not me. I picked it to win.) It beat out what many thought was a shoo-in, Wreck-It Ralph. Perhaps the weirdest moment was the announcement of a tie for Best Sound Editing. The sound editors for Skyfall and Zero Dark Thirty shared the award.
Other than that, it was business as usual. Daniel Day-Lewis made history by winning his third Best Actor Oscar for playing Abraham Lincoln (and was very funny in his acceptance speech), Jennifer Lawrence, who had an unfortunate fall while en route to the podium, secured Best Actress, Anne Hathaway took home Best Supporting Actress, Adele’s Skyfall won Best Original Song, Searching For Sugar Man won Best Documentary Feature, Amour was named Best Foreign Language Film and Chris Terrio won Best Adapted Screenplay for his work on Argo.
Although the show dragged in spots (if they took out all the production numbers and tributes, this thing would be done in two hours, not three and a half) and much of the presenter bantering was lame, those surprise winners and McFarlane’s very funny antics kept me interested.
Here’s the complete list of winners:
BEST PICTURE – ARGO
BEST DIRECTOR – Ang Lee (LIFE OF PI)
BEST ACTRESS – Jennifer Lawrence (SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK)
BEST ACTOR – Daniel Day-Lewis (LINCOLN)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – Anne Hathaway (LES MISERABLES)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – Christoph Waltz (DJANGO UNCHAINED)
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY – Quentin Tarantino (DJANGO UNCHAINED)
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY – Chris Terrio (ARGO)
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE – BRAVE
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE – SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM – AMOUR
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS – LIFE OF PI
BEST FILM EDITING – ARGO
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN (ART DIRECTION) – LINCOLN
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE – Mychael Danna (LIFE OF PI)
BEST ORIGINAL SONG – Skyfall (SKYFALL)
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY – LIFE OF PI
BEST MAKE-UP – LES MISERABLES
BEST COSTUME DESIGN – ANNA KARENINA
BEST SOUND MIXING – LES MISERABLES
BEST SOUND EDITING – ZERO DARK THIRTY/SKYFALL (tie)
BEST ANIMATED SHORT – PAPERMAN
BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT – CURFEW
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT – INOCENTE
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Monday, February 25, 2013