It took me a few days to think over what I saw Sunday night on the Oscar show—all three and a half hours of it. Now I guess I’m ready to discuss it.
First: ALL the women looked beautiful and were dressed tastefully and classy, except possibly Kristen Stewart, who can’t seem to do ANYTHING but look like a sullen teenager. She can’t even comb her hair!
Charlize Theron is a goddess. PERIOD!
Host Seth MacFarlane was very funny MOST of the time. His early song, “I’ve Seen Your Boobs,” was about as abysmally distasteful as one could get on a TV show that probably had lots of kids watching it. And all the films he mentioned in that song (except one) in which the female stars were partially nude were GREAT films, and a few of the women won Oscars for them. I don’t think Theron, Kate Winslet or Halle Berry won Academy Awards for showing their breasts. His FINAL song with Kristen Chenowith, all about “losers,” was mean-spirited. And his joke about Abraham Lincoln being shot in the head was probably not the best idea to spring on a country filled with real rage on both sides over guns and gun control. Otherwise, he was indeed very amusing and talented.
Besides those two songs, the musical numbers were great! Especially Catherine Zeta Jones and Jennifer Hudson recreating their Oscar-winning musical roles (“Chicago” and “Dreamgirls”). And Barbra Streisand? Well, what can I say? I met her more years ago than I care to remember before she was ANYBODY; I thought her a magical talent back then in the 1950s, and I still think so NOW. And I’ve always loved that song (“The Way We Were”).
I picked ALL the winners of the major awards except for Ang Lee; I thought Speilberg would have won it for “Lincoln.” Interesting that it was Ang Lee’s second best director Oscar for a film that did NOT win “Best Picture.” (His first Oscar was for “Brokeback Mountain,” which lost to a far inferior film that year, “Crash.”)
However, who I thought SHOULD win wasn’t always who DID win. “Argo” was good, not great; “Silver Linings Playbook” was superb and would have gotten my vote. So was “Django Unchained.” I was thrilled that Quentin Tarantino and Christoph Waltz both won their second Oscars. I know MANY people were offended by “Django,” but I thought it was HEROIC—and the violence was so much like Wile E. Coyote getting bopped on the head every 90 seconds or so that I took the movie for what it was—a very FUNNY satire that also made one THINK.
Daniel Day-Lewis was, from the beginning, a slam-dunk for playing Abraham Lincoln so brilliantly. I was rooting also for Jennifer Lawrence, although she was even better in her first nominated role in “Winter’s Bone.” And I have no doubt that there is a future Oscar, if not more than one, for Jessica Chastain, who has the same kind of intensity and sensitivity as Meryl Streep.
Though Anne Hathaway was very good in her role, I thought “Les Miserables” was one of the deadliest films of the year. It went on forever, its direction was leaden and lifeless, there were, for an EPIC film, too damn many close-ups, and almost all the actors were forced to sing songs that were beyond their musical reach. Russell Crowe came off to me like a Frank Sinatra-wannabe in a night club—CROONING his suicide song.
Similarly, “Amour” was so astonishingly depressing that I couldn’t wait for it to be OVER.
Of all the other films, the only one I did NOT see was “Life of Pi.” I’m certain that Ang Lee’s creation was exquisite to look at—but I had no desire to watch a film in which dozens of animals are drowned in the early scenes. Yeah, yeah, I KNOW they were all CGI-created animals and not real ones, but I’m at that point in my life where ANY mistreatment of animals gets me furious, even if it’s just “pretend.” God knows I’ve seen (and enjoyed) dozens, if not hundreds of Westerns where the horses took a fall during the Indian attacks and chases, and they were NOT CGI-created horses, either, but REAL ones that were tripped deliberately to make it look good! Also, from what I understand, “Life of Pi” is a bit too religious for my taste. Maybe I’ll rent the DVD (and maybe I won’t).
I also found it MORE than peculiar that directors Ben Affleck (“Argo”) and Kathryn Bigelow (“Zero Dark Thirty”) and David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook”) were not even NOMINATED. The last 45 minutes of “Zero Dark Thirty” was so astonishingly brilliant that I couldn’t even blink!
So—what did YOU think of the Oscars? Inquiring minds want to know…