Monday, February 25, 2013

Response and Recap of Feb. 2013 Oscars for movies in 2012

Mike and I made a nice homemade dinner and a “cruelty-free” peach oatmeal dessert, and then sat through the three and a half hour long Oscars show.  We spent a long time sitting on our couch last night, but in the end it was well worth it.  People on Facebook complained that the show was running much too long, but I sided with the people that said that the song and dance numbers were fabulous, making the length of the show bearable. 

I remember that one year they left out all song and dance numbers, and it was such a boring show.  Last night, we were treated to Shirley Bassey singing a spectacular rendition of “Goldfinger,”  Adele singing her Oscar winning song from “Skyfall,” and a very touching moment by Barbra Streisand, singing “The Way We Were” for the In Memoriam sequence.  Mike and I saw and heard  a bubbly and funny Marvin Hamlisch conduct music to the movies at Ravinia Festival last year just before he passed away, so hearing Barbra sing his song at a rare Oscar appearance brought tears to our eyes.  We love Marvin’s work on “A Chorus Line” making it an even more poignant moment.

Catherine Zeta-Jones singing “All That Jazz” from “Chicago” was sexy, and sultry but was it necessary?

The “Les Miserables” cast performance was great, makes we want to buy the DVD someday! I’m so glad that Anne Hathaway won for playing the saintly, and wretched Fantine in “Les Miserables.”  We need movies that make us feel sympathy for the very poor of society, and the world, which is why I liked “Beasts of the Southern Wild.”  Quvenzhane Wallis is such a sweet, smart, and thoughtful little girl, and the youngest nominee in Oscar history so far. 

In the end, Life of Pi was the big winner, winning only four Oscars, making it a night where Oscars were handed out to very many of the films nominated.  It could be that the films this year are just too excellent to not give an Oscar too, so no one movie walked away with multiple Oscars.  Lincoln disappointedly only won two Oscars of the 12 nominations!  Mike and I wanted Lincoln to at least win for Best Score, because the Chicago Symphony Orchestra recorded the music to “Lincoln,” as composed by John Williams.  We love the CSO!

“Argo” won Best Picture, probably because of the notorious Ben Affleck snub for Best Director.  It’s a well written, highly dramatized account of true story, where potty mouthed government agents come off as great American heroes.  I could do without some of the Islamaphobia in that film, but, in the end, the film does make an unpredictable movie industry seem capable of great diplomacy. 

Jennifer Lawrence winning Best Actress for “Silver Linings Playbook” is heartwarming, but we loved how her character never gave up on her bi-polar friend, believing he’s capable of great love.  With a support from family and friends, therapy, and a little medication, people dealing with mental health issues can cope, heal, and lead fairly stable lives.  That movie left me with a great message!

Daniel Day-Lewis gave both funniest and well-spoken speech of the night, saying he could’ve played Magaret Thatcher, and Meryl Streep could’ve played Lincoln.  His graceful nod to the mind, body and spirit of Abraham Lincoln was as dignified as the movie “Lincoln” is.  It helps to know he is the son of poet named Cecil Day-Lewis.  We need more dignity in American films!

Michelle Obama’s surprise and dignified Oscar appearance via satellite was a pleasant surprise.  I loved her Art Deco inspired lovely dress.  She is a woman of great class, and taste.  Her ideas of what movies do to change us for the better was very well spoken and smart.

Someone who missed being “well spoken” or “dignified” was the host Seth McFarlane, whose partly sexist jokes like the “We saw your boobs” song, made many Actresses cringe with discomfort.  Some of his jokes went stale fast, but Mike and I agreed that he was at least funnier than James Franco.  Yet, he was not as pretty and as charming as Anne Hathaway.  His best moments were when he stayed serious like during the Charlize Theron-Channing Tatum dance.  Graceful and elegant dancing too!  Some people online were a bit outraged by the celebrity roast jokes at seemed to spill out of Seth’s mouth haphazardly.  His saying Daniel Day-Lewis got into Lincoln’s mind like John Wilkes Booth, made the audience boo him!  Not the worst host ever, as William Shatner predicted, but not the nicest ever either.

Mike and I were surprised that Quentin Tarantino won for Best Original Screenplay for “Django Unchained.”  Quentin was actually polite, and charming in his speech, saying that this is the year for good writers!  Quentin giving the peace fingers was nice

Another surprise was Ang Lee winning Best Director for Life of Pi.  He thanked  people in Taiwan in his speech that helped make the movie.  Ang Lee is a great man, who believes that any story is not impossible to film.

In the end, we were only slightly disappointed that some of our picks did not win.  We wanted “How To Survive a Plague” to win best documentary, because it is about an issue important to us, the AIDS crisis.  Mike and I wanted Tommy Lee Jones to win for Lincoln too.  I still think Tony Kushner’s script for “Lincoln” is pure genius, putting such poetic words in the mouths of his characters.  We obviously wanted Lincoln to win more!

Amusingly, we both said “Les Miserables” would win for Make Up and Hairstyling, even though Mike said Hugh Jackman’s hair looked like a dog with mange in that movie, at least at the beginning of the film.  We laughed, and said, “mange hair” wins Oscar!

I wasn’t surprised that the Oscars strayed away from the “torture” controversy of “Zero Dark Thirty,” only giving it an Oscar in Sound Editing. 

We got through the Oscars this year by drinking sugar free Rita Hayworth margaritas.  Why Rita Hayworth?  Because she was really Spanish, British-Irish, American, and her real name is Margarita.  Someone told me that the drink was named after her.  So that makes sense.

Everyone looked very tasteful and elegant this year.  Queen Latifah looked like a Greek Goddess!

It was a good year for the Oscars, too bad we didn’t Outguess Ebert again, and win some prizes.  But there is always next year.  As Ebert signed in one of my books, “See you at the movies!”  Thanks.