Yesterday, February 24, marked the 85th annual Academy Awards Ceremony, one of the biggest nights in the film industry. It was on this night that those in Hollywood who truly captured the general public and the members of the Academy won venerable accolades, such as Best Picture and Best Actor.
Best Picture went to “Argo,” directed by Ben Affleck and produced by Affleck and George Clooney. Best Actor went to Daniel Day-Lewis for his performance as the 16th president in “Lincoln,” and Best Actress went to Jennifer Lawrence for her performance as Tiffany in “Silver Linings Playbook.”
Lawrence’s win was expected by many (including The Talon in the previous print issue) because of her past successes in the Golden Globes and the SAG Awards. But did she deserve it? Some argue the case of Quvenzhané Wallis, who captured the attention of the Academy at age seven (when she filmed “Beasts of the Southern Wild”). Some argue the case for Jessica Chastain, who gave a breathtaking performance in “Zero Dark Thirty.”
The award for Best Actress, much like the award for Best Picture, was considered too close to call by many online betting sites. Regardless of whether she deserved an Oscar, Lawrence, who is only 22, truly possesses prowess for her craft. Of course, there’s always next year for people who felt like their favorite actress was cheated out of an award.
Best Director went to Ang Lee for “Life of Pi,” which begs the question of why “Life of Pi” didn’t follow up this award to take Best Picture. Historically, Best Director indicates which of the candidates for Best Picture will win, especially since the directors of the Best Picture nominations are so often nominated for Best Director. Likewise, this also calls into question the decision for Best Picture, seeing as Ben Affleck, the director of “Argo,” was not even nominated for Best Director.
Anne Hathaway took Best Supporting Actress for Fantine in “Les Misérables” and made a lovely, heartwarming speech as she accepted her first Academy Award. Christoph Waltz won Best Supporting Actor for his role as Dr. King Schultz in “Django Unchained.”
All of the presenters looked stunning. Salma Hayek and Halle Berry looked incredible and extremely elegant, and appearances from Barbra Streisand and Meryl Streep brought together audiences from many generations and many interests together for a night of prime entertainment. Aside from Sandra Bullock’s inability to open an envelope, the only strange hosting moment occurred when Kristen Stewart limped on stage looking like she had just sustained a stab wound.
Seth MacFarlane hosted last night’s festivities, and contrary to popular premonition, he didn’t end up bad-mouthing everyone in the room. His jokes were tasteful at times, and he kept it together pretty well. However, maybe Captain Kirk was thinking what we were all thinking when he was wondering why Tina Fey and Amy Poehler couldn’t just host everything.
A lot of buzz has been circulating about MacFarlane”s blatant targeting of bulimia and his sexualization of nine-year-old Wallis, but perhaps people are becoming too fixated on something that isn”t very important. While these jokes were tasteless and had no place at a ceremony of honor, few were paying attention close enough to catch everything he said, and even fewer cared enough to single him out. Considering the award show finished with everyone receiving their respective awards, I would say MacFarlane did his job well enough, albeit in a slightly sloppy manner.
Adele gave a beautiful performance of “Skyfall,” and then went on to win the Academy Award for Best Original Song in a movie for that same song. Barbra Streisand sang majestically for the “In Memoriam” service, and Jennifer Hudson belted out a masterpiece as a tribute to Dreamgirls.
The following is a list of all the awards and their recipients:
Actor in a supporting role: Christoph Waltz
Best Animated Short: “Paperman”
Best Animated Feature Film: “Brave”
Best Cinematography: “Life of Pi”
Best Visual Effects: “Life of Pi”
Costume Design: Jacqueline Durran for “Anna Karenina”
Makeup and Hairstyling: “Les Misérables”
Live Action Short Film: “Curfew”
Documentary – Short Subject: “Inocente”
Best Documentary Feature: “Searching for Sugar Man”
Best Foreign Language Film: “Amour”
Sound Mixing: “Les Misérables”
Sound Editing: “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Skyfall”
Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway for “Les Misérables”
Film Editing: William Goldenberg for “Argo”
Set Decoration: “Lincoln”
Best Musical Score: “Life of Pi”
Best Original Song: “Skyfall” – Adele
Best Adapted Screenplay: “Argo”
Best Original Screenplay: “Django Unchained” – Quentin Tarantino
Best Director: Ang Lee for “Life of Pi”
Best Actress: Jennifer Lawrence for “Silver Linings Playbook”
Best Actor: Daniel Day Lewis for “Lincoln”
Best Picture: “Argo”