Awards Season Feature Post

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Feb 26, 2013

The Oscars 2013 - A Mixed-bag, Hilarious but Underwhelming winner-fest.


                 So I watched the Oscars last night, which I was unable to watch live. At first, sure i was a bit taken away by everything but now i realize that this ceremony was one of the most mediocre ones they have done recently. First and foremost, Seth MacFarlane did a good job hosting the Oscars. Performance of the host is the first thing that people really talk about so yes he was actually good. I personally am very cool with the crass and inappropriate jokes when they are not targeted towards someone or something but are a representatives of inside jokes, perceptions and are self-deprecating. Seth does this for a living with his TV shows so he knows how to deliver them so easily and casually and once again, he was a good host alright. I don't think the ceremony itself was rightly directed or executed though. During the many jokes, we weren't able to see the audience reactions i mean that is important isn't it? If a joke is directed towards George Clooney or Amy Adams etc, isn't that as equally important to show their reactions because it helps you laugh at even the dullest of jokes during these things. But the worst thing about this year's Oscar was the abundance of musical performances (which were great) but they ended up increasing the running time and were just oddly timed in general. I appreciate that this year they mostly relied on the live acts but still, there should have been a particular limit. Plus in most of the categories, they didn't presented the nominees in the creative fashion that they do most of the times. Just showing a picture won't do, presenting a particular category through scenes from the movie is always good.

So below, I am going to take a look at the many good, fine and bad things that happened overall.


The WINNERS and LOSERS:-

- Life of Pi leading with 4 awards. Ang Lee first and foremost deserved for his amazing directorial achievement, even though this is the second time he won best director but his movie didn't go on to win best picture (last time it was Brokeback Mountain). His speeches and interviews presents the kind of a humbled and down to earth person that he is. Life of Pi got deserving awards for Original Score, Visual Effects and Cinematography even though Roger Deakins still haven't won any awards yet but its fine. (Great)

- Daniel Day-Lewis winning his record, third best leading actor Oscar for Lincoln. My personal choice for the category was Joaquin Phoenix but i am happy for DDL. Now that was something to watch. And what about the humor? I really wasn't expecting him to be this funny but he was and i loved his speech as well. Can we start calling him "Sir" already? (Great)

- Skyfall winning Original Song and (half of) Sound Editing. Now that is indeed good to award the best song of the year (from movies that is) the Oscar and its written and performed by non-other than Adele. The sheer energy of it is so breathtaking, it works so well in the opening credits of the movie. One of my favorite Bond themes right up there with "Goldfinger". Plus it won half of the other deserving award. (Good)

- Les Miserables winning three awards for Supporting Actress, Sound Mixing and Makeup & Hair. Well i am glad that Anne Hathaway finally won for something that she deserves all the praise. Even though her speech was so rehearsed and everything but her performance is definitely my favorite one in the category. Also its win in Sound Mixing was a sure thing plus its third win was something that i wasn't expecting but i think the "Hair" part had a lot to do with it right? (Fine)

- Amour winning best Foreign Language Film and that is the only thing that it won. I am glad that one of my favorite movies of the year won something at least. (Fine)

- Django Unchained winning Original Screenplay and Supporting Actor. Now I love Quentin Tarantino, they guy is a film nerd like me and i always love whenever he opens his mouth. The movie itself was very good but I think that Zero Dark Thirty, Amour and even Moonrise Kingdom were better written. Inglorious Basterds should have won this award back then. But what makes Django Unchained's wins bad for me is the later award. No i don't hate Christoph Waltz, i love him and i liked him in the movie as well. All the supporting actor nominees were Oscars winner, Jones and DeNiro won many years ago while the others have won recently. No, Waltz (as much as people hate me saying this) delivered the same kind of performance with a similar character which he did in his previous collaboration with Tarantino and having won it just a few years ago, did he actually deserved it? I mean there were far exceptional performances in that category.... talking about Hoffman, DeNiro and even Jones. (Bad)

- Jennifer Lawrence winning best Leading Actress over Riva and Chastain. I loved her performance which is my 4th favorite leading female performance from last year but in the presence of seasoned, veteran actress who delivered such a powerful performance even at that age, Riva deserved to win it. But if they weren't too keen on it, then Chastain should have got the Oscar for a movie where she delivers what will always be her most compelling and bravo performance, she holds the damn movie together. Lawrence is young and sexy and lets face it, YOUNG ACTRESSES always wins. See the last 10 years (except for Helen Mirren and Meryl Streep) all the youngest nominees have won the award which is just ridiculous. Lawrence deserved her nomination but not the win. I do feel bad for her fall though (SLP haters must have been happy at that). (Bad)

- Argo winning Best Picture, Adapted Screenplay and Editing. Argo is one of the worst winners (not a bad movie mind it) since Crash. Why because it won against much better movies and for the same reasons that Crash did and that was because of the blind loved-fest against the controversies about "daring" movies. Plus the strange Ben Affleck love train that started running since his snub was just ridiculous. Argo makes Hollywood and America feel good about itself so yeah it was suppose to win. I am not completely dismissing its win in the editing but Zero Dark Thirty was better in that department as well as adapted screenplay should have either gone to Lincoln or Silver Linings Playbook. Hollywood should just cool it and quit this thing where they think that they owe it to the movie and its poor "knocked down in life" directors. (Bad)

- Lincoln was awarded Production Design just to make them feel better? Anna Karenina deserved it. (Bad)

- Brave winning best Animated Feature. Really? Over Frankenweenie, ParaNorman and even Wreck-It Ralph? Brave is one of the weakest if not bad Pixar movie since Cars and it won! (Bad)

- Zero Dark Thirty went home with just a "half" Oscar? (Bad)


MUSICAL PERFORMANCES:-

1. Shirley Bassey singing "Goldfinger" as part of the Bond tribute. Breathtaking, exceptional, showstopping... (Great)

2. Jennifer Hudson singing "And I Am Telling You" from Dreamgirls as part of the musicals tribute. Exceptional, goosebumps, what a freaking voice.... (Great)

3. Cast of Les Miserables singing various songs from their movie. This is what i call a perfectly choreographed musical performance. Every one of them (except Carter and Cohen) sang amazingly. (Good)

4. Barbara Streisand singing "The Way We Were" for In Memorium segment. She still can... love her voice and grace. (Good)

5. Adele singing the amazing "Skyfall". Now the slight problem was with their sound mixing thing which made it difficult to hear clearly most of the parts just like the Barbara's performance but still she was amazing. (Good)

6. Catherine Zeta Jones performing on "All that Jazz" from Chicago. Wow she danced good, no wonder she won best supporting actress for the movie which is strange because all three of these musicals have best supporting actress winners (Catherine Zeta Jones, Jennifer Hudson and now Anne Hathaway) This performance could have been better though. (Fine)

7. Norah Jones singing "Everybody Needs a Best Friend" from Ted. I love her voice. This Grammy winning Jazz singer performed rather good but then again, oddly timed and bad sound made it worse. She was struggling with it too. (Fine)


THE SHOW:-

- Opening act was rather TOO long and boring. Captain Kirk and the whole concept was quite original but it went on forever.

- The Flight inspired drunk sock-puppets, the funny Sally Field bit, the boobs song, Charlize Theron and Channing Tatum performing, Daniel Radcliff and Joseph Gordon-Levitt bit then the final picture trashing thing i mean it was so long but there were some good and funny bits that were enjoyable.

- The Paul Rudd and Melissa McCarthy bit was unfunny.

- The Avengers Cast were charming as usual (smiley face). I don't love the movie but the actors are, well awesome.

- Bond montage was fascinating but that is the best they could do as a tribute? Bassey's inclusion saved it.

- Why promote your own musical "Chicago" (producers?) was it really a great decade for musicals? Then why don't include Once, Hairspray, Sweeney Todd, Ray, Walk the Line, La Vie En Rose, Enchanted?

- Ted and Mark Wahlberg bit was again, unfunny. Ted was cool though, how did they do that?

- Lots of waxing, sex, age, Jews, Celebrity jokes.... which is always the fun part.

- The first joke of the night "making Tommy Lee Jones laugh" was the best one to be honest.

- The most painfully funny self-criticizing joke of the night was calling the telecast "gay with lots of musicals" which it was.

- ah! that Sound of Music bit was freaking cool.

- And you guys had to top Golden Globes by inviting "Michelle Obama" right? But i liked it.


GRADES:-

Host - B+
Musical Performances - A-
Direction, Execution, Editing, Timing - C-
Nominees Presentation - C
Jokes - A-
Winners - C-