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Sock puppets performing 'Flight' - All you really need to know about the 2013 Academy Awards
February 25, 2013 - April Diodato
Oh, the Oscars. Each year I am wracking my brain as I try to figure out how they fail to make this entertaining with all of this Hollywood talent in one room. The producers of the Academy Awards have showbiz's best at their fingertips, and somehow they cannot manage to find a way to cut this show down to an entertaining 90 minutes or less? Really, an hour would suffice.
Host Seth MacFarlane did his darndest to spice things up with zingers that were probably only found funny by the male half of the crowd (if anyone), and even tried puttin' on the ritz himself in an attempt to keep it lively. Sadly, though, the Oscars were a bore as usual. Hoping to fast-forward through the especially dull bits, I didn't fire up my DVR until nearly an hour into the show, finally catching up to real time at 11:30 p.m., the show's designated end time. Somehow, we hadn't even reached the screenplay awards, Best Director, Actress, Actor and Film yet, and there were still several commercial breaks before we made it there! I am a film fanatic and it was still excruciating.
There are precious few highlights worth mentioning, but here they are:
- If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Captain Kirk (William Shatner) visited MacFarlane from the future to show him the next day's headlines lambasting his stint as Oscar host. It went on for awhile too long, but kudos for an amusing idea nonetheless. As he tried to guide MacFarlane in the right direction to prevent the show from becoming a disaster, there was some singing, dancing, a “Flying Nun” bit with MacFarlane and Sally Field that could have been funnier, and the best moment of the night, which gets its own bullet point:
- “Flight” reenacted by sock puppets. It was hilarious; I had to watch it twice, and you need to see it. It's not necessary to have seen “Flight” to enjoy it; in fact, if you haven't watched it yet and are planning to travel by airplane soon, I suggest you avoid it for now and watch the sock puppets instead. I enjoyed them more than the movie anyway; tack on two more depressing hours of alcoholism and you've got the film right there.
- Adele! Need I say more?
- I enjoyed the three-act tribute to movie musicals, which included performances by Jennifer Hudson, singing “And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going” from “Dreamgirls”; Catherine Zeta Jones giving her best “All That Jazz” from “Chicago”; and the cast of “Les Miserables” doing a medley of songs. I wonder if Hudson still holds a grudge against Andre Leon Talley, who picked the wrong time to drop the sartorial ball, forever casting a shadow on her shining, Oscar-winning moment? Anyway, this tribute came at the perfect time, just as viewers were beginning to lose hope and our eyelids were getting heavy. So heavy...
- Jennifer Lawrence managed to make falling down the stairs at the Oscars look charming on her way to pick up her Best Actress Award in her extremely voluminous gown. I was very happy she won — she was great in “Silver Linings Playbook” and I was pleased to see that film recognized. It was my favorite of all of the nominated movies I saw and hands-down, my favorite of 2012. Have you seen it? If not, you must! It will be shown at the Fredonia Opera House in March.
For the rest of the awards, I don't think that I need to tell you that Anne Hathaway and Daniel Day Lewis took home golden statuettes. I was happy that “Argo,” a spectacular film, took home Best Picture. I rolled my eyes as a disheveled Quentin Tarantino picked up the Original Screenplay award for “Django Unchained,” which I found to be thoroughly disappointing. Christoph Waltz also won an award for “Django” in the Supporting Actor category, which I felt dubious about. As I fought to stay awake, I raised my eyebrows slightly when Ang Lee won Best Director for “Life of Pi” instead of Steven Spielberg for “Lincoln,” (which many had pegged as winner of Best Director and Picture) but I was dubious about that as well.
As much as I enjoyed so many of this year's films, the actual awards contained no real surprises or excitement. Really, the best part is the red carpet — and the 2013 Oscar fashions did not disappoint. I'll be tackling that in my next post.