Oscars 2013: A review
This year's Oscars finally achieved what producers have been hoping to achieve for years: high ratings and a show enjoyed by viewers of all ages. Seth MacFarlane pushed through a rocky start to keep viewers entertained with witty one-liners and just enough controversy to keep things fresh and interesting.
MacFarlane, following the impossible-to-top Tina Fey-Amy Poehler joint hosting gig at the Golden Globes, did his best to live up to the hype and to draw younger viewers in. His monologue was slightly too long and forced. He made sly inferences to his provocative ways without ever actually stepping over the line, relying too much on the hype in social media that he would be as inappropriate as his "Family Guy" and "Ted" endeavors. These jokes would have made more sense coming from three-time Golden Globe host Ricky Gervais, who spent his time on stage roasting the celebrity audience. MacFarlane found his groove after his monologue by playfully targeting nominees and presenters and a hysterical "The Sound of Music" inspired introduction for Christopher Plummer, a.k.a. Captain von Trapp.
Keeping the notoriously long awards show chugging was the "Music and Film" theme of the evening. With performances by the "Les Mis" cast, Catherine Zeta-Jones of "Chicago," Jennifer Hudson of "Dreamgirls" and 007 crooner/newly-minted Oscar winner Adele, the monotony of presenting the lesser-known awards was greatly reduced while maintaining audience interest. The one drawback was the use of famous movie scores as music to queue winners to wrap up their speeches. A few unfortunate winners were unceremoniously rushed off the stage by the much-too-harsh "Jaws" theme, much to the dismay of audience members like the visibly sympathetic Nicole Kidman.
As always, the most anticipated awards are the ones that presented to actors and, of course, the best picture. Anne Hathaway surprised no one by winning Best Supporting Actress for "Les Mis." She delivered a well-rehearsed, but no doubt, earnest speech, announcing that her dream of winning an Oscar had come true. Christoph Waltz won his second Academy Award for his supporting role in "Django Unchained," thanking the always-quirky Quentin Tarantino for directing him in his second winning role.
Daniel Day-Lewis made history by being the first actor to win Best Actor three times. He broke his often-stoic persona to joke with presenter Meryl Streep, claiming to the audience's delight that she had in fact been lined up to play Abraham Lincoln by Steven Spielberg. And perhaps most charmingly of all, America's newest sweetheart Jennifer Lawrence tripped on her way up to the stage to become the second youngest Best Actress winner ever. She recovered and said her usual girl next-door candor to her standing ovation, "You guys are just standing up because you feel bad that I fell, and that's really embarrassing, but thank you."
Although she handled the situation well and delivered a heartfelt speech, she revealed in the pressroom all she could think after her fall was, "A bad word that I can't say. It starts with 'F.'"
Ben Affleck defied the Academy that snubbed him a Best Director nomination by winning Best Picture for "Argo." He delivered a flabbergasted, genuine speech that honored the real-life heroes behind the story of "Argo," in addition to his wife Jennifer Garner and his children.
In all, the Oscars was an enjoyable and entertaining show. After struggling in the past to create a more memorable and youthful show, the show's producers finally found the right balance of classic, Old Hollywood glamour and modern, exciting fun.
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