After the Oscars
- Monday, February 25, 2013
2012 was a good year for movies. Not only did the summer deliver a horde of action-ready blockbusters, but when time came to break out the films of a finer quality, audiences found a lot more to enjoy than they expected. With so many great movies in the running for Best Picture, I was naturally excited when I tuned in to the Oscars to find out who the winners were. Overall, I’d have to say I was a bit disappointed with how things turned out, but that’s not to say the show didn’t have its moments. Here is what I considered the best and worst moments of the 2013 Academy Awards.
Host Seth MacFarlane
To be fair, the latest Oscar host had some genuinely clever bits. His Sound of Music prank on Christopher Plummer was a notable highlight, and he exuded all the charm, energy, and tenacity needed in a great host. Unfortunately, when you ask the mind behind Family Guy to host something like the Academy Awards, you know exactly what you’re going to get. From an opening song about boobs, to a veiled joke about domestic abuse, MacFarland pushed the envelope too far, too often. No doubt he was a hit with the average viewer, but personally, I was hoping for a little more class.
Best Animated Picture
The biggest disappointment for me, personally, was the handling of this year’s Best Animated Feature. Everything, from the selection of films, to the presentation of the award, felt like it was treated with complete and utter apathy. Solid movies like The Secret World of Arrietty and the visually ambitious Rise of The Guardians weren’t even considered, while dark horses Frankenweenie, ParaNorman, and Pirates! were chosen only to languish in the shadows of Disney and Pixar. Ultimately, Brave took home the award and that was that. Still, it almost felt like the Academy was just giving this one away.
The Bond Tribute
It’s been a good year for Ian Fleming’s British superspy. The Bond franchise celebrated its 50th anniversary, had a box office blockbuster, and won its first academy award since 1965. So it was a little underwhelming when the Oscar’s tribute to the film icon amounted to a jumble of random clips and a performance of “Goldfinger”. Shirley Bassey belted the song with style, but it wasn’t enough to stop this mission from ending in failure.
It’s always unsettling to watch someone get played out of their acceptance speech, but this year’s Oscars took the practice to a whole new level. Easily one of the most cringe-worthy moments of the show happened when Life of Pi’s Bill Westenhofer came onstage to receive his award for Best Visual Effects. Audiences watched in disbelief, as the VFX supervisor's thank you speech suddenly morphed into a restrained tirade about the collapse of his studio and the resulting red carpet protests. To add awkward-insult to awkward-injury, he was subsequently played offstage to the theme of Jaws. Nothing short of a real shark attack could have been a bigger disaster.
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