The 2013 Oscars: the Good, the Bad, and the Awkward
As the the 2013 Academy Awards wrapped up, numerous new Oscar winners were crowned, an acting legend was cemented even further, and an entire industry got to pat itself on the back for being awesome. For those of you who did or didn’t watch, here are the things I thought were fantastic, awful, and downright weird.
Good: Seth MacFarlane as Host
Finding the right line between subverting the awards show while still honoring Hollywood, MacFarlane joked and sang his way through his first major hosting duties quite well. What made him a great host was how ready he was for audience reactions. The best example came when MacFarlane joked that Daniel Day-Lewis got into Lincoln’s head as well as John Wilkes Booth. There were laughs paired with plenty of groans. MacFarlene quickly quipped, “150 years, and it’s too soon? I’ve got some Napoleon jokes later that will really piss you off!” He used this technique at least two or three more times. It was a great way to break the anxiously tense audience.
Also for reference: the clip of Seth singing the “We Saw Your Boobs” had pre recorded reactions so everyone you saw was in on the joke you dumb dumb supposed reporters.
Bad: The Acting Clips (Flight, in particular)
Just like they seem to do every year, the Academy really likes putting together the most intense moments of an actor’s role before they announce the winner. I dislike this for two reasons.
- It makes the audience and nominee feel exceedingly awkward.
- It can ruin moments the audience hasn’t seen yet.
When Denzel Washington’s clip for Flight was put up, they cut to the end of the movie, thus spoiling the entire thing. Maybe you all shouldn’t be voting on editing awards at this rate.
Good: Acting Acceptance Speeches
What made the acting acceptance speeches great this year was how three out of the four winners seemed completely overwhelmed by the fact that they had won. Christoph Waltz was legitimately shocked and gracious. Anne Hathaway attempted to thank the world. Jennifer Lawrence quipped about her fall and then went on to give thanks to all of her nominees for their support.
But, like he does on-screen, Daniel Day-Lewis stole the show with jokes about him and Meryl Streep switching roles, individual thanks to everyone else in the category, and thanking his wife for putting up with the insanity that must come with method acting.
Awkward: Ben Affleck
Though his acceptance speech was heartfelt and clearly not overly prepared, Ben Affleck looked exceedingly awkward for most of the night, especially as he announced nominees for Best Documentary. To his credit, Ben had been a good sport about not getting the directing nomination, but it was clear that this weighed on him heavily throughout the night. If he hadn’t been a producer, it might’ve ended much more uncomfortably.
Bad: Bond tribute
Sure, we had Adele and Shirley Basset perform, but for what was supposed to be an extravaganza of Bond, I felt like he was being honored in the “In Memoriam” segment. Of course, Skyfall winning for Best Song and Best Sound Editing helps a bit.
Good: Participants’ Sense of Humor
Hollywood is notorious for taking itself far too seriously, especially some of its more noted actors. This moment was epitomized by Sean Penn, when he actually took the time to defend Jude Law from a Chris Rock joke. This year, thankfully, did not embody that attitude. The Avengers cast made jokes about past substance abuse problems while Samuel L. Jackson and Robert Downey Jr. both looked around awkwardly wondering if they were being referenced. Mark Wahlberg reaffirmed there was a tie by saying, “For real. No B.S.” Channing Tatum joked about being waxed from head to toe. George Clooney opened the mini-bar bottle Seth MacFarlane threw his direction and, Daniel Day-Lewis died laughing when Seth MacFarlane asked how Lewis, in character as Lincoln, reacted to cell phones. For once, everyone seemed in on the joke.
Bad: Paul Rudd & Melissa McCarthy presenting
I don’t know whether to blame bad writing or what, but this bit between the two of them really did not work. I love both actors dearly, especially in comedic settings, but this presenting bit was miniature James Franco/Anne Hathaway reminder.
Good: No single movie domination
Since no movie won more than four awards–the sole “champion” being Life of Pi–it really felt as if everyone had their moment in the sun. That, and nearly every Best Picture nominee could take solace in at least one Oscar win, including Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, Life of Pi, Argo (of course), Amour, Django Unchained, and Les Miserables.
Good/Awesome: Channing Tatum & Charlize Theron
The recreation of one cinema’s most famous dance routine’s was everything classic Hollywood can be. Classy, romantic, engaging, musical, and–considering the two parties involved–it couldn’t help but be a bit sexy. If you want to honor Hollywood’s history, that’s how you do it.
Awkward: Jack Nicholson
Bringing in Michelle Obama to announce the Best Picture winner: kinda cool. Having Jack Nicholson speak incoherently about it beforehand: kinda weird. I’m now starting to wonder if him playing crazy people was just acting.
Good: Hugh Jackman
Aside from delivering a strong singing performance, Jackman was a picture of class. Of course he was the supportive castmate to Anne Hathaway and graciously accepted her thanks during her acceptance speech.
But, one little moment made him stand out. When Jennifer Lawrence tripped and fell on the stairs, he rushed to help her up. Genuine concern for fellow human in Hollywood? I’m very confused.