I went into this year’s ceremony more excited than usual because many of the categories were not predictable. Yes, Daniel Day-Lewis and Anne Hathaway were sure things, but there was possibility for surprises in the best actress, supporting actor, director, and screenplay categories. And the surprises did come to pass—who predicted Quentin Tarantino winning original screenplay for Django Unchained? Mark Boal had won the WGA award for Zero Dark Thirty.
Most pundits thought Steven Spielberg would take director since Ben Affleck wasn’t nominated, but Ang Lee won, though Life of Pi had claimed several Oscars by the time best director was declared so it wasn’t a huge shock. I started wondering if Naomi Watts could pull off an upset in the best actress category but Jennifer Lawrence prevailed and I was perfectly fine with that. I loved both performances; Watts’s work was just more harrowing.
Oh, did I mention a tie in the sound editing category? That’s only happened five times before in Oscar history! Both Zero Dark Thirty (Paul N.J. Ottosson) and Skyfall (Per Hallberg & Karen Baker Landers) won.
Unpredictability aside, this was one of the most awful ceremonies in recent memory. Seth MacFarlane made James Franco look like Bob Hope when it came to hosting. I was begging for him to cut short the interminable and painfully unfunny Star Trek opening bit with William Shatner. It had nothing to do with the nominated movies. If MacFarlane wanted to be ahead of the curve and tie in a number to Star Trek Into Darkness coming out this summer, at least have Chris Pine at the helm.
He went on to perform a musical number about seeing different actresses’ boobs in movies. Yes, really.
When MacFarlane tried to class things up by bringing out Charlize Theron and Channing Tatum to dance along while MacFarlane sang “The Way You Look Tonight,” it still had nothing to do with this year’s movies. The classic tune from Swing Time won an Oscar for best song back in 1936, and MacFarlane could have included it later on in the show, but the opening should be about the current crop of movies.
Overall, MacFarlane just wasn’t funny. I think the only joke of his that made me laugh was the one in which he teased that the cast of Prometheus would appear to explain “what the hell was going on with that.” Daniel Day-Lewis was wittier when he said Meryl Streep was Spielberg’s first choice to play Lincoln, while the actor was supposed to portray Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady.
And what was that final number, an “ode to the losers,” that MacFarlane performed with Kristin Chenoweth, who deserved better? So embarrassing! Mr. PCN quipped, “The only things this number needs are Rob Lowe and Snow White.”
Let’s go over some of the winners in the major categories before I move on to the fashion.
Best Picture: Argo (announced by the biggest surprise presenter of the evening, Michelle Obama!)
Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Best Actress: Jennifer Lewis, Silver Linings Playbook
Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained
Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Best Director: Ang Lee, Life of Pi
Best Original Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained
Best Adapted Screenplay: Chris Terrio, Argo
Best Song: Adele Adkins & Paul Epworth, “Skyfall” from Skyfall
Best Score: Mychael Danna, Life of Pi
Best Cinematography: Claudio Miranda, Life of Pi
For a full list of winners, go here.
OK, let’s critique the fashion!
There were many nicely dressed stars, but nothing made me say Wow. Mr. PCN popped in and out as I watched the red carpet so I’ve included his comments here as well.
This is probably the best I’ve seen Chastain look—she glows. Her red carpet style has always been a bit off somehow. Here, she looks classy and polished, if a little safe.
Mr. PCN: I have a problem when people are the same color all over.
White is boring, and it’s too big at the bottom, but above the waist she looks gorgeous.
Mr. PCN: Looks like she’s wearing layers of fake snow you see in amusement parks.
Wearing gold to the Oscars (and then posing in front of a poster of it) is trying too hard.
Ooh, interesting neckline. Pewter or gunmetal is not my favorite color, but this dress is so sleek and just the right amount of sparkly.
Mr. PCN: It screams, “This is my favored breast.”
There is nothing exciting about this—not the color, the style, nothing. It fits well, and that’s the best thing I can say about it.
Mr. PCN: Um, everything about her works for me.
Tie for best color: Jennifer Garner and Jane Fonda. These two stood out from all the white and black and pale-colored gowns.
She showed that she could cover up a little and still be sexy, in a strong instead of slutty way.
Mr. PCN: Looks like a girl in bondage, not a Bond girl. It also resembles the Chrysler building.
Another gunmetal gown I found striking. It looked liquid, as if it was slowly dripping off her.
Mr. PCN: This is what Halle Berry should’ve worn.
Wish it were a more vibrant pink. And, uh, what’s going on there in front?
Mr. PCN: Those darts are really perky.
This reminded me of Kyra Sedgwick’s 2006 Emmys dress, and therefore didn’t seem new or exciting.
Mr. PCN: The skirt [on Adams’s dress] looks like the goatskin pants that Tom Hanks and Dan Aykroyd wore in Dragnet.
How is it possible for a dress to make Salma Hayek look not sexy?
Mr. PCN: She broke into a museum of old movie costumes and stole that dress.
Was Kidman trying to land a contract for a Vegas show?
Most Green Award goes to Hunt, who wore an H&M dress she already owned. Yes, you read that right. She said she wanted to plug the brand because the it partners with Global Green. The gown needs some ironing but she looks pretty good. Kudos to her for not getting caught up in all the couture frenzy.
Most badass heels: Kate Capshaw.
What did you think of the show and fashion? Sound off in the comments!