Monday, February 25, 2013
The Oscars: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Seth MacFarlane has a nice smile and a good singing voice. And he is the talented creator of Family Guy, an amusing animated sitcom.
But he wasn't very funny last night as the host of the 85th Annual Academy Awards. James Franco is still the worst Oscar host in my opinion, but Mr. MacFarlane now definitely ranks a close second. He didn't make me laugh once during the entire evening - unlike this year's Golden Globes with the delightful duo of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler or last year's Tony Awards with the always fabulous Neil Patrick Harris. Fortunately, this year's Oscars did have a few entertaining highlights, which you can relive below in my review of the ceremony:
Most Disappointing Theme of the Night: "Goldfinger", "The Way We Were" and a few songs from Chicago, Dreamgirls and Les Misérables DO NOT sum up 85 years of "Music in Film". Why didn't they show a brief retrospective of musical films at the very least?
Canned Laughter?: Was it just me or did some of the audience laughter during the opening number sound fake? When they showed the audience at one point, very few were even smiling - but we heard lots of laughter. Must have been all those folks up in the balcony who found Mr. MacFarlane hysterically funny.
7 Things I Realized During The 17-Minute Opening Number:
1) Mel Gibson jokes were not that funny back in 2010 - and even less so now.
2) Silly songs about boobs don't belong on the Oscars - especially when gay men are singing about them.
3) Channing Tatum and Charlize Theron are good dancers.
4) Kermit and Miss Piggy were smart to refuse to appear in the lame spoof of Flight.
5) I guess Mr. MacFarlane's crooning of the Academy Award-winning/nominated songs, "The Way You Look Tonight", "High Hopes" (with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Daniel Radcliffe) and "Be Our Guest", should also be counted as part of the "Music in Film" theme - but they deserve better than being stuck in a bizarre opening number with William Shatner's Captain Kirk and sock puppets (the same can be said for Channing, Charlize, Joseph, Daniel and the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles).
6) Sally Field still looks great at age 66 - but again, she deserves better.
7) If MacFarlane and a few other folks had simply sung some "Music in Film" - without Mr. Shatner and the puppets - I probably would have enjoyed it a lot more and not gone "WTF?" during the entire number.
Thank God for Octavia Spencer: I've never been so glad to see a presenter in my life.
Most Unexpected Win Honorable Mention: Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained) for Best Supporting Actor.
Worst Presenters: I usually enjoy the humor of Paul Rudd and Melissa McCarthy, but their attempt this year fell flat.
Most Unique Outfit: Brave co-director Mark Andrews' kilt.
Lamest Joke: John Wilkes Booth isn't funny, Mr. MacFarlane.
Why I Love Nicole Kidman: She was visibly upset - saying "poor thing" - when the Jaws music tried to cut off the Life of Pi Visual Effects winner's speech (too bad the guy couldn't have had 30 seconds or so from the opening number).
Most Gorgeous Gal at the Oscars: Les Misérables' Samantha Barks looked fabulous!
Gorgeous Gal Runners-Up: Halle Berry, Jane Fonda and First Lady Michelle Obama.
Best Musical Performance: Dame Shirley Bassey - looking marvelous at 76 - finally gave the Oscars some much-needed pizazz with her amazing performance of "Goldfinger" from the 1964 James Bond film (I was shocked to learn today that it wasn't even nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song).
Most Disappointing Loss: I was hoping that How to Survive a Plague would win Best Documentary.
Worst Musical Performance: As much as I disliked MacFarlane's boobs and losers songs, at least he sang them well - unlike Russell Crowe during the Les Misérables number.
Weirdest Comedy Bit: What the hell was that strange Sound of Music introduction for Christopher Plummer all about? Was that supposed to be funny?
Best Presenter: 83-year-old Christopher Plummer added a touch of class to the evening.
Most Boring Speech: Anne Hathaway is a talented Oscar-winning actress, but she almost put me to sleep with her endless list of people to thank.
Best Musical Performance Runner-Up: Adele's "Skyfall" (which won Best Song).
Most Dazed Presenter: A limping Kristen Stewart (who apparently cut her foot on glass last week) looked totally out of it.
"In Memoriam" Tribute: I can't believe they dissed Phyllis Diller, Andy Griffith, Larry Hagman, Alex Karras and Susan Tyrrell - but it was nice to see Babs sing "The Way We Were".
Best Speech Honorable Mention: Quentin Tarantino, who won Best Original Screenplay for Django Unchained - he seems like such a fun and interesting guy.
Like Father, Like Son: Michael Douglas looks more and more like his father, Kirk, as he gets older.
Most Unexpected Win Runner-Up: Ang Lee as Best Director for Life of Pi (I thought Spielberg would get it).
Most Memorable Trip: Best Actress Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook) will now always be remembered for taking a fall on her way up to collect her Oscar (and I'm happy that she won).
Ugliest Dress: Oh, Meryl, I adore you - but that dress.
Best Speech: Daniel Day-Lewis, who deserved to win Best Actor for his outstanding performance in Lincoln, was a hoot - especially when he said that he and Ms. Streep almost starred in each other's films as Margaret Thatcher (The Iron Lady) and Abraham Lincoln. And I now forgive him for his underwhelming performance in NINE.
Best Surprise: Our lovely First Lady presenting the award for Best Picture.
Most Unexpected Win: Argo as Best Picture (it makes me wonder if the film would have still won if Ben Affleck had been nominated for Best Director).
Funniest Line: Grant Heslov saying that he and his fellow Argo producers - George Clooney and Ben Affleck - were the three sexiest producers alive.
Best Speech Runner-Up: Ben Affleck was funny and emotional, and I was thrilled for him.
"Here's to the Losers": MacFarlane should have sung this dismal closing tune about himself - and by himself (although I do love Ms. Chenoweth).
And that, folks, is my review (click here for a complete list of the winners). I had a rotten year with my predictions, selecting only 6 out of the 24 categories - and 3 out of 10 categories in this year's Razzie Awards, which were presented on February 23. Below are the "lucky" Razzie winners:
Worst Picture: Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2
Worst Actress: Kristen Stewart in Snow White and The Huntsman & Twilight S.B.D. #2
Worst Actor: Adam Sandler in That's My Boy
Worst Supporting Actress: Rihanna in Battleship
Worst Supporting Actor: Taylor Lautner in Twilight S.B.D. #2
Worst Screen Couple: Mackenzie Foy & Taylor Lautner in Twilight: S.B.D. #2
Worst Director: Bill Condon for Twilight S.B.D. #2
Worst Screen Ensemble: The Entire Cast of Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn Part 2
Worst Screenplay: That's My Boy
Worst Remake, Rip-Off or Sequel: Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2