85th Oscar Ceremony

For the films of 2012
Sabin
Laureate
Posts: 6772
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 12:52 am
Contact:

Re: 85th Oscar Ceremony

Postby Sabin » Mon Feb 25, 2013 9:56 pm

I think you've hit it, Tee. The musical numbers came with no introduction or context for the most part. They just assumed we got what they were trying to do and to a degree they died. The Bond montage was pretty worthless as well. My parents loved, loved, loved Shirley Bassey and Barbara Streisand. Happiest they've been at the Oscars in years. They had to ask me why anyone would think Flight sock puppets were funny. I'll say this though. They certainly tried to appeal to both camps, and they probably tried harder going in both directions than any show in a while. I really don't understand how much heat Seth MacFarlane is getting. He did a perfectly fine job. Better than Billy Crystal last year. Better than Anne Hathaway and James Franco the year before (ye gods!). Better than Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin before that. I'd say also better than Hugh Jackman. This was probably the best show since Ellen DeGeneres hosted. And I think she got bad notices too. He started poorly with the intro but he picked up quite a bit. I liked the Sound of Music bit as well.
Philomena is one of the year's best Philomenas!

Mister Tee
Laureate
Posts: 5835
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 2:57 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Re: 85th Oscar Ceremony

Postby Mister Tee » Mon Feb 25, 2013 9:30 pm

So, did you hear?: this was the worst Oscar show/host in history – for the 15th consecutive year!! * (*Criticism does not apply if Hugh Jackman hosts, because he’s a sweet guy everyone likes)

The over-the-top reaction to McFarlane boggles my mind. A piece in the New Yorker today seemed to think he fell just shy of Pat Buchanan on the sexist/homophobic/misogynist scale. Which to me suggests an incredibly limited, make-sure-you-don’t-offend-the-most-literal-minded-audience-member sense of humor. Yeah, some jokes skirted the edge. But a lot of them were funny, and they clearly were meant to mock sexism/misogyny, not support it (most flagrant misrepresentation: that the Clooney/Wallis joke was some sort of advocacy of child abuse rather than a tweak of Clooney). I thought McFarlane’s opening went on too long, and got too meta-, but there was plenty of good stuff in there and further along (the von Trapp family intro; “here’s someone who needs no introduction”). I wonder if the ferociousness of the response arises from his falling between two stools: his musical numbers were too retro for hipsters, and his edgy jokes too much for squares, leaving him with no base constituency. I’m sure he’ll never be back, but I (and my whole crowd) enjoyed him quite a bit. Unlike many hosts, he didn’t disappear as the night went on, and some of his best jokes came late.

As for the awards…while it’s true a season that’s had many surprising turns could have used (and didn’t get) a true humdinger of one somewhere on the big night, by my reckoning , of the 7 or 8 categories widely seen as unsettled (actress, supporting actor, director, original screenplay, production design, sound editing, makeup, animated feature), only the first saw the most commonly predicted candidate triumph (and you could argue whether that category was truly open, if the Riva upset possibility was mostly a wishful thing among critics).

I do agree with BJ that there seemed an almost willful obtuseness on the producers’ part in their award placement. When I read they were leading off with supporting actor, I almost did a Homer Simpson “D’oh!” – to throw away the most clearly suspenseful award right at the top was madness. (Though Waltz’s not-fully-expected – and to me thoroughly deserved – victory did start the evening with a jolt) And, though by that time of the evening it didn’t make that much difference, putting the semi-alive actress call ahead of the dead-certain actor result seemed just ridiculous.

My highlight of the evening was Ang Lee winning – not because I thought he was the best of the year, or even among the nominees. But Ang Lee has been so poorly treated by the Oscars over the years that if anyone deserved to win essentially a freebie, it was him. And I do think his work was far more directorially distinguished than Spielberg’s, even though I think Lincoln (thanks to Kushner) was a far stronger film.

Kushner’s loss was one of my two most crushing disappointments on the night -- the other was Brave winning over at least two superior efforts (pending my seeing Wreck-it Ralph). It’s always sad when something seems to win by reflex rather than from enthusiasm.

Is there any way Tarantino and Boal can trade Oscars? – make Inglorious Basterds and Zero Dark Thirty screenplay winners, rather than Hurt Locker and Django? This is the first year in a while that I’ve so deeply disapproved of both screenplay winners.

The tie was cool, esp. in that it gave Zero Dark an award to mark its night (which gave everything among the best picture group but Beasts an award to take home).

Very rare for the five classic tech categories – cinematography, design, costumes, sound mixing, editing – to all go to different films. Happened in I believe ’92 and ’94, but I don’t think any other time. Obviously Anna Karenina was not seen as a big enough to deal of a movie to take both costumes and design (it reminded me of 1993, when Age of Innocence took costumes, but, as here, a less sumptuous Spielberg film won design). Congratulations, by the way, to BJ, for being one of the few to note Lincoln’s chances in this slot.

Was it a requirement in the sound category that everyone needed an Edgar Winter haircut? (Does anyone under 40 even know what I'm talking about?)

I don’t think I won our board competition this year, but I would like to point out I swept the three shorts categories – the ones I continue to call the blind luck categories. Given that I had no time to seek out any of them, I can only credit the hand of god.

Totally random observation: one of the coolest moments of the evening for me was when McFarlane segued gracefully from the opening number to escorting Octavia Spencer onto the stage. One of those tiny moments that passes and is forgotten, but has a touch of elegance,

More random: Watching the Les Miz number (which I think worked much better on a live stage than it did on film, because it’s a great first act finale), I was reminded of something that irked me from the film: How can a guy not give a second glance to Samantha Barks, and be smitten by one glimpse of Amanda Seyfried?

A bit too much music, but it was great to see that Shirley Bassey – after a faltering opening – still had about 90% of what she had almost 50 years ago. She was closer to what she was than Jennifer Hudson (though, to be fair, they truncated “And I Am Telling You” so much, it was barely the same number).

Did anyone watch any of Jennifer Lawrence’s backstage interviews? Completely charming. This lady’s going to be around a long time.

User avatar
MovieWes
Professor
Posts: 2019
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 12:33 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas, USA
Contact:

Re: 85th Oscar Ceremony

Postby MovieWes » Mon Feb 25, 2013 3:43 pm

Please tell me I'm not the only one who thinks this....

Image
"Young men make wars and the virtues of war are the virtues of young men: courage and hope for the future. Then old men make the peace, and the vices of peace are the vices of old men: mistrust and caution." -- Alec Guinness (Lawrence of Arabia)

ITALIANO
Emeritus
Posts: 3798
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2003 1:58 pm
Location: MILAN
Contact:

Re: 85th Oscar Ceremony

Postby ITALIANO » Mon Feb 25, 2013 3:07 pm

By now I watch the Oscars just to see who the winners are. I mean, I watch them like an extended version of the nominations morning - I don't care for the show itself, which seems to get lazier and lazier every year. It was different once - the Oscars really were the big show of the year. It may have been in bad taste sometimes, very trashy even, but it was still a "big" show, very American but very big. Today they seem to have lost any enthusiasm - maybe there just are too many awards shows in the US (in Italy we only get the Oscars and the Golden Globes), so it becomes a kind of routine there.

As for the winners... Nowadays even such a potentially surprising outcome (and honestly, Argo winning Best Picture without a Best Director nod COULD have been surprising) becomes very predictable due to all those precursors. There WERE still surprises, Art Direction especially and maybe Director, but not that many, and generally it wasn't as exciting as it could have been.

Daniel Day-Lewis is a great actor. Christoph Waltz is a very good actor, though two Oscars for him seems maybe a bit too much. Anne Hathaway has done good things before Les Miserables - she will never be a Meryl Streep but in theory she could do good things even after this Oscar. What I don't understand is Jennifer Lawrence.

I mean, really - if in America Jennifer Lawrence (or Viola Davis, or Sandra Bullock) are considered to be great actresses, then any obscure European actress should be compared to Eleonora Duse. It wasn't like this till a few years ago, but let me say that now there IS a huge difference between your actresses - and, I should add, the roles they get - and ours. Or maybe there ARE very good actresses in American cinema, but they appear in the kind of movies, mainly independent, that only rarely get shown here. But in any case, the Academy seems to ignore them. And the result is quite depressing - Lawrence has a pretty face, an interesting voice and a well-shaped ass (which her Silver Linings director was obviously obsessed with) - but her performance in Europe wouldn't win any kind of award, honestly. And when I hear Jessica Chastain's role in Zero Dark Thitrty described as a kind of revolutionary example of "interesting female character" I realize how mistaken American cinema is today in its portrayal of women. I hope things will change - Best Actress is truly becoming more and more depressing.

User avatar
OscarGuy
Site Admin
Posts: 12243
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 12:22 am
Location: Springfield, MO
Contact:

Re: 85th Oscar Ceremony

Postby OscarGuy » Mon Feb 25, 2013 1:35 pm

I'm pretty sure that Zeta-Jones lip-synced. There are a couple of times where her lip movements didn't match up to her words. I also am 95% sure that MacFarlane used a laugh track the entire night.
Wesley Lovell
"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." - Benjamin Franklin

HarryGoldfarb
Assistant
Posts: 812
Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2003 4:50 pm
Location: Venezuela

Re: 85th Oscar Ceremony

Postby HarryGoldfarb » Mon Feb 25, 2013 12:39 pm

mlrg wrote:
HarryGoldfarb wrote:
Well Catherine Zeta Jones, unlike Norah, was born to be this kind of artist. Is that a star quality? She sang almost perfectly even though with a deeper voice, maybe an age thing.



Catherine lip-synced through the performance


The big note at the end surely looked lip-sync, but if that is true then she is pretty good at it.
Life is painless for the brainless.
- Fiyero

mlrg
Adjunct
Posts: 1006
Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2004 11:19 am
Location: Lisbon, Portugal

Re: 85th Oscar Ceremony

Postby mlrg » Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:44 am

HarryGoldfarb wrote:
Well Catherine Zeta Jones, unlike Norah, was born to be this kind of artist. Is that a star quality? She sang almost perfectly even though with a deeper voice, maybe an age thing.



Catherine lip-synced through the performance

mlrg
Adjunct
Posts: 1006
Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2004 11:19 am
Location: Lisbon, Portugal

Re: 85th Oscar Ceremony

Postby mlrg » Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:40 am

best moment of the evening was backstage....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJmhsJ5T5L0

HarryGoldfarb
Assistant
Posts: 812
Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2003 4:50 pm
Location: Venezuela

Re: 85th Oscar Ceremony

Postby HarryGoldfarb » Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:16 am

Sabin wrote:Shirley Bassey looked like a Maya Rudolph impersonation of Shirley Bassey.


LOL... Indeed... But she started a little bit... hesitating? but ended her song pretty nice.

But this was not a good "Oscar with a Theme". Were they really honoring musicals, even the recent ones? For the show itself we would not know. We had a butchered and unglued homage to two very recent musicals and a current one... And then we had a Bond homage... And iconic scores to get people off the stage... And just 3 (at least excerpts of them) of the nominated songs were performed on stage... And we had a not so succesful Star Treck-based beggining... And a singer/comedian host... And a videojoke with socks... And so on... Too many ideas and the show was all over the place, a mess, an elegant one but a mess in the end.

Remember the 1992 awards? the year "celebrating women in films" (that surely would be offensive by today standards). Everything circled the idea... We had maybe the best video-montage for an intro ever and another great one honoring Edith Head (it actually introduced me to her wonderful work). Marisa Tomei and Emma Thompson were aware of the "theme" thing and mentioned it in their speeches. Barbra gave a political statemente about it before presenting Best Director and even the translators here in Venezuela highlighted every woman in their respective category (I still remember a local TV personality saying "Geraldine Peroni, la mujer de grupo" or "Ruth Prawer-Jhabvala, ha ganado la mujer del grupo"). It was elegant even though it may not have been necessary. 2 years later, they were supposedly honoring Comedies, but beside a less intesting video intro and a weird performance of "Make'em Laugh" the idea got lost during the show...

For this year it would have been a better idea to honour Musicals en general... With clips from previous (iconic and not so iconic) musicals, maybe in chronological order. it would have been great to see scenes from The Harvey Girls, mixed with Evita and My Fair Lady and Top Hat. Is that much to ask for? Some coherence? What we got was a lot of ideas (maybe every idea the producers had) poorly executed.

One of the few things I liked, and somebody already mentioned it, was the mixture of old school and new school in the presenters. Adele was my favorite musical performance of the night, effortless, great vocals, classy, with nice visuals behind her... There was some solemnity about it I really like and I think the performance had all the right elements to become iconic. Norah Jones (hey, and I love her) is no show-stopper, she always looks better with a piano in front of her. The musical medley... Well Catherine Zeta Jones, unlike Norah, was born to be this kind of artist. Is that a star quality? She sang almost perfectly even though with a deeper voice, maybe an age thing. Hudson still has it, indeed but at times she seemed screaming rather than singing and at some point she couldn't hold the note, that was weird to see. And Les Mis... Well Samantha Barks is in a different level, she was the example of perfection, but the overall number had issues with the mics volume (Crowe didn't sound bad at all despite the critis he has received, but his microphone was a little louder than the rest). Was it necessary to have Hathaway on stage? She's not even on that number and she was stealing lines from other characters... (I remember the inclusion of Jonathan Groff in the Spring Awakening Tony performance, but in that case I think it was justified...) I didn't see Barbra however...

Seth was ok... Somehow smooth and he didn't seem out of place. It was a good first attempt. My real issue is with the show script. It needed to be more solid, tighter.

All in all, an irregular show, with too many up and downs... For the first time ever, I was sleepy at times, almost uninterested. Some solemnity has been lost and I don't like it...
Life is painless for the brainless.
- Fiyero

Big Magilla
Site Admin
Posts: 14822
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 3:22 pm
Location: Jersey Shore

Re: 85th Oscar Ceremony

Postby Big Magilla » Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:55 am

The build-up to the show was such that the actual presentation couldn't help but be a bit of a letdown.

I presumed Shirley Bassey would sing Goldfinger, but I thought they'd also have her sing Diamonds Are forever. I expected Barbra Streisand to sing The Way We Were, albeit with the lyric changed to "the way they were, as a tribute to all the year's decedants, not just Marvin Hamlisch. The Les Miz sing-out was the only one that didn't disappoint. Adele and Norah Jones seemed to me to have mic problems, and the latter's spot came off as an after-thought on teh part of teh producers. Jennifer Hudson sang at such a high pitch that someof her lyrics were lost in the process.

The most hideous part of the show for me was one BJ singled out, the unfunny Paul Rudd - Melissa McCarthy nonsense. I didn't get The Avengers bit either, but I thought maybe it was because I didn't the adulation for the film in the first place. And like BJ, I thought the presentation order was lame-brained for exactly the reasons he pointed out. But I did like Seth MacFarlane and the usually obnoxious William Shatner.

As for the acceptance speeches, I guess we're past the point of hope that we will ever return to heh days of a simple "thank you". This business of thanking practically everyone the winners have ever met in their lives long ago passed into tthe realm of "who cares?"

Sabin
Laureate
Posts: 6772
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 12:52 am
Contact:

Re: 85th Oscar Ceremony

Postby Sabin » Mon Feb 25, 2013 3:21 am

I liked this show. It was pretty much my favorite in a few years. A slightly rocky start with a genuinely unfunny opening section...but then again, when was the start of the show not genuinely unfunny? Seth MacFarlane eased into his role and did a pretty good job. He's a talented song and dance man with a good delivery. I wish the musical numbers had come imbued with some context that would actually make me care about them. Instead it seemed like a tribute to "Musicals That Were Made At Some Point". Shirley Bassey looked like a Maya Rudolph impersonation of Shirley Bassey. The less said about the Bond tribute the better. But for the first time in ages the promise of the return to Hollywood glamor felt somewhat delivered with a strong combination of new guard blending into old guard. It was all in all a very well-paced overlong show. A few tweaks might have helped but it worked pretty well.

Arguably the worst moment of the show was when the Vis FX dude was cut off for Life of Pi. There's a giant protest going on in Los Angeles on behalf of the Vis FX team members who have not been paid for that film. It's fucked up. I've got friend who are being exploited.
Philomena is one of the year's best Philomenas!

Uri
Assistant
Posts: 981
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 11:37 pm
Location: Israel

Re: 85th Oscar Ceremony

Postby Uri » Mon Feb 25, 2013 12:58 am

Precious Doll summed it nicely. I watched it and read the weekend paper through quite a few parts of the show and not only on commercials breaks. At least we were not subjected to pompous, embarrassing displays of self congratulation, such as those we were submitted to in recent years (You thought me everything I know about acting, Michele, Roony, you’re the new Garbo, Glen, you are the old one).

Anyway, my ultimate favorite bit of the show occurred at the end of Tarantino’s speech, when the orchestra was trying to get him off stage after winning for Django Unchained by playing the theme of Tara from Gone with the Wind. Such a multilayered moment. Such a true Hollywood one.

The Original BJ
Emeritus
Posts: 3795
Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2003 8:49 pm

Re: 85th Oscar Ceremony

Postby The Original BJ » Mon Feb 25, 2013 12:56 am

Well...what can you say about a night where the biggest headline (at least for us Oscar-obsessives) is that there was a tie in Best Sound Editing?

First thing's first -- the order that so many awards were presented bordered on insane. The very first award presented was the anything-could-happen Supporting Actor prize, while the locked-up Supporting Actress award was saved until WAAAY late in the night, when the reverse would have kept more tension alive throughout the evening. Then, the who-the-hell-knows Director category was presented BEFORE Actor and Actress, and then even once we got to the lead acting prizes, the Day-Lewis coronation was saved for after the more unsettled Best Actress prize.

But the bad producing decisions were everywhere. I thought some of Seth MacFarlane's opening bit was funny -- laughed at the William Shatner bit -- but too much of the opening seemed to have nothing to do with much of anything. Tatum and Theron dancing to The Way You Look Tonight? Even more bizarrely...the guys dancing to High Hopes?

The tributes to Chicago and Dreamgirls struck me as a mostly masturbatory act -- celebrating movies that pretty recently had their day in the Oscar sun, at the expense of this year's nominees. (It also allowed for a parade of Supporting Actress winners the UAADB loves to hate.) At least the Les Mis tribute was a celebration of one of THIS year's movies -- and on a personal note, I did enjoy rewinding and rewatching that number to spot all of my friends who performed in that ensemble.

The patter written for the presenters was some of the weakest I've ever seen. What were Paul Rudd and Melissa McCarthy rattling on about? And what were The Avengers trying to say? The "jokes" in these presentations were among the most half-assed attempts at humor I've witnessed on this show.

But I'll tell you what my least favorite part was -- the way most of the categories were visualized, with simply one still image. Maybe when presenting awards like Best Cinematography and Best Visual Effects, it might be nice to...you know...SEE the Cinematography and Visual Effects being honored? We didn't even get scenes for the writing awards.

It probably says a lot that I've gotten so far without discussing any of the actual winners, but my first reaction honestly is, there's not much to say. For all the talk about how up-in-the-air a lot of categories were, we sure didn't get many jolts. Argo snagged the expected three, Day-Lewis and Hathaway prevailed as everyone knew they would, and the Riva upset many of us had hoped for wasn't to be. Even the categories that were most unsettled -- Director and Supporting Actor -- didn't exactly yield victories that had anyone gasping. (It's worth noting that the Golden Globes showed some foresight with both Django wins -- I'd thought each victory at the Globes came from left field, but the predictive power for Oscar turned out to be spot-on).

The one category I wish I'd stuck to my guns on was Production Design. I thought Lincoln was the clear standout of the field, and thought it had a good shot to win. But I allowed myself to be convinced the most glamorous candidate -- Anna Karenina -- would have a tandem with the Costume prize. I was happy to be wrong, though.

Overall, I find the list of winners to be a very average set. I'm not offended by any of the major victors, but nor did I have any moment where I felt delightedly pleased to watch a strong rooting interest prevail.

User avatar
OscarGuy
Site Admin
Posts: 12243
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 12:22 am
Location: Springfield, MO
Contact:

Re: 85th Oscar Ceremony

Postby OscarGuy » Mon Feb 25, 2013 12:20 am

It went 30 minutes over its scheduled 3 hour running time...so, it didn't move that quickly.

Next year, I think they should have the various Production Designs on stage and costumes from each nominated film...that would be interesting.
Wesley Lovell

"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." - Benjamin Franklin

Snick's Guy
Temp
Posts: 311
Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2004 6:43 pm
Location: Colorado Springs, CO

Re: 85th Oscar Ceremony

Postby Snick's Guy » Mon Feb 25, 2013 12:20 am

Overall, I'd give McFarland a B- as host -- not sure I'd want to see him back as host or not.


Return to “85th Nominations and Winners”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest