Monday, February 25, 2013

2013 Oscars

On a circular stage with staggered lights that mimicked the Los Angeles Dolby Theatre's tiered balconies, Seth MacFarlane blended Star Trek, sock puppets, and boob jokes in his opening monologue at the 85th annual Academy Awards. For the "Family Guy" creator, the performance was part platform fusion, part hyper-awareness of public reception, and complete comedy dud.

While MacFarlane's monologue introduced the evening's musical theme, it did little to entertain the audience, conservative viewers, or even loyal "Family Guy" fans. MacFarlane confused and offended those unfamiliar with his risque animated humor, and disappointed diehards by not pushing the envelope far enough or developing a flow.

Ben Affleck's "Argo" won the evening's most prestigious Best Motion Picture award. Affleck's film on a CIA operative's successful rescue of six U.S. embassy workers in Tehran during the 1979 Iranian Hostage Crisis offered suspense, insightful commentary on Hollywood, and an emotionally-complex protagonist. It beat out an unusually deep field in this year's awards to ease the pain of Affleck's nomination snub for Achievement in Directing.

The Achievement in Directing Oscar went to Ang Lee for "Life of Pi." The adaptation of the bestselling novel used innovative CGI techniques and classical adventure elements. "Life of Pi" had a successful evening, earning accolades for Achievement in Cinematography, Achievement in Visual Effects, and Original Score.

Pop star Adele was awarded Best Original Song for her work in the most recent James Bond installment "Skyfall." The Bond 50th anniversary tribute stressed the staying power of character and technical advances in shooting, editing, and cinematography techniques.

To the surprise of very few, the Best Actor and Actress in Supporting Role awards were given to Christoph Waltz and Anne Hathaway. Waltz received the statue for his work in "Django Unchained" and Hathaway won for her role in "Les Miserable."

Daniel Day-Lewis in "Lincoln" and Jennifer Lawrence in "Silver Linings Playbook" won the two most important individual awards: Performance by an Actor/Actress in a Leading Role. Nine-year-old actress Quevenzhane Wallis received a nomination, giving her a twenty-year head start on Meryl Streep when she received her first Academy Award nomination in 1979 for "The Deer Hunter."

The Academy Awards are challenged for honoring the film medium on television, which enforces stricter technical limitations. Although MacFarlane did a poor job as host, the films of 2012 were thought-provoking and memorable. The 2013 Academy Awards featured pertinent and moving pictures, but poor flow and tired jokes.

1 comment:

  1. Guy,

    This is a very informative and fun piece for what little space you were given! I really enjoyed the way you set up each bit of information you provided. Really nice work my friend!