Each year we think the Oscars can’t possibly be worse than the year before. And then each year, it’s so much worse than the year before (except last year; nothing will ever out-worse Billy Crystal and his non-eyebrows).
Straight up: I will pay for the next Academy Awards ceremony if they bring back Franco and Hathaway. The stoned-looking guy and the woman having way too much fun to compensate for the stone-looking guy? SOLD. GET ‘EM BACK.
I’m no Seth McFarlane fan, but—no kidding—I’m not a hater, either. To me, he’s OK. Ted wasn’t great, but it had its moments (the white-trash name scene). “Family Guy” has its moments (Brian and Stewie).
During the Oscars telecast, McFarlane had his moments. Then, sometime around his 40th gay joke or the 40th musical number, he lost me, and the show became the same old tired, hackneyed bologna it always is. McFarlane even started telling jokes about the show’s length.
Yuk yuk! The show is long! Get it? It’s always long! Hey, here’s an idea on how to breathe some life into the tired format: Make the show shorter. That way it will be a) shorter, and b) devoid of lame jokes about how long the show is. Producers, you’ll have to hire more writers to write more jokes, but you have a year and you definitely have the cash. Get to it.
Here are the (slim) highlights: Jennifer Lawrence tripped up the stairs en route to accepting the Academy Award for Best Actress for Silver Linings Playbook. I wasn’t so surprised that she tripped, just that it hasn’t happened more often. She handled it with aplomb, and her speech was possibly the only moment of genuine modesty the entire night (lookin’ at you, Hathaway).
Regarding aplomb (sort of), who knew Daniel Day-Lewis had a sense of humor? His Best Actor acceptance speech for Lincoln was full of jokes that were much better than any of McFarlane’s. Perhaps Day-Lewis picked up some humor tips from his father-in-law, comedic playwright Arthur Miller, who wrote The Crucible, Death of a Salesman and the totally hysterical A View from the Bridge.
As with all Academy Awards, there were some head scratchers. Brave wins Best Animated Feature? But it’s two features! The movie director Brenda Chapman wanted and the entirely different movie Pixar wanted. Producers, how about double the statues?
And is it just me or is Bill Westenhofer, who won Best Visual Effects for Life of Pi, the biggest blowhard ever at an awards show? Jaws couldn’t kill that guy. The orchestra played shark’s theme, they cut his microphone and he just kept yapping. Maybe he can create some visual effects in which he doesn’t look like a self-important stooge.
Finally, the best moment of the night was the one truly honest moment: Quentin Tarantino wins Best Original Screenplay for Django Unchained, and then tells everyone that not only is his screenplay ridic-good, but he’s also the best casting director in Hollywood. My ambivalence over Tarantino is dissolved and I’m officially on his side. Hubris like that deserves—nay, demands—our respect.
Oh, and Argo won Best Picture. Spoiler alert: They make it out alive, and it’s not as good as Amour. Until next year, kids.