The Oscars Are Not Meant To Be The Tonys

It’s possible no Oscars’ telecast can ever be as bad as when James Franco and Anne Hathaway hosted in 2011. Since then, the Academy has tried to make up for it. Bringing Billy Crystal back last year was the best call. This year, they took a risk with comedian and creator of “Family Guy,” Seth MacFarlane. It was definitely a move and attempt to draw the younger generation in. Unfortunately, his hosting abilities were nothing special and the majority of the show felt more like the Tony Awards. Broadway producing team, Neil Meron and Craig Zadan placed too much emphasis on the musical numbers, rather than what the night is really about: handing out Oscars.

At the beginning of the evening MacFarlane said, “And the quest to make Tommy Lee Jones laugh begins now;” a reference to the actors’ far too serious expressions at the Golden Globe Awards. His hosting kick-off seemed promising but throughout the night it was as though the best MacFarlane could do was laugh at himself. When a veteran comedian like Crystal makes fun of the Hollywood elite, it’s funny; but when someone like MacFarlane joked with the audience, he had to take a moment to look around – see if anyone was laughing and ask for forgiveness. What future producers need to take into consideration is: time. Cut out the unecessary showy song and dance. And we’re not talking about Babs; just bits such as MacFarlane’s “Boob” song and his forgetful shuffle with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Daniel Radcliffe.

Aside from the few light chuckles MacFarlane could conjure from viewers, there were some true highlights from the evening thanks to some wonderfully talented performances: 76 year-old Shirley Bassey sang “Goldfinger” with fierce conviction during the 50 Year Anniversary Tribute to James Bond. Jennifer Hudson shined while reprising her award winning performance of “You’re Gonna Love Me” from Dreamgirls and the legendary diva, Barbra Streisand sang an emotional version of “The Way We Were” in memory of the great Marvin Hamlisch.

When it comes to the awards handed out, for the most part, it was all very predictable based upon the Golden Globes, SAG Awards, etc. For one thing, it’s definitely a requirement now for every acceptance speech to include an over zealous ‘Thank You’ to a significant other. The bigger awards were squeezed into the last 15-20 minutes of the show, as usual. We must pay credit to LATF’s very own David Morris for giving the Oscar (ahead of time) to Ang Lee for Best Director. Daniel Day-Lewis’ speech for Best Actor turned out to be funnier than all of MacFarlane’s jokes combined. As for the rest, here are the winners (In no particular order)…

Best Picture

Best Actor
Daniel Day-Lewis

Best Actress
Jennifer Lawrence

Best Supporting Actor
Christoph Waltz – Django Unchained

Best Supporting Actress
Anne Hathaway – Les Miserables

Best Directing
Ang Lee – Life of Pi

Best Adapted Screenplay
Argo – Chris Terrio

Best Costume Design
Jacqueline Durran – Anna Karenina

Best Makeup & Hairstyling
Lisa Westcott & Julie Dartnell – Les Miserables

Best Animated Feature
Brave – Mark Andrews & Brenda Chapman

Best Animated Short Film
Paperman – John Kahrs

Best Cinematography
Claudio Miranda – Life of Pi

Best Foreign Language Film

Best Visual Effects
Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer & Donald R. Elliott – Life of Pi

Best Live Action Short Film
Curfew – Shawn Christensen

Best Documentary Feature
Searching for Sugar Man – Malik Bendjelloul & Simon Chinn

Best Documentary Short
Inocente – Sean Fine & Andrea Nix Fine

Best Sound Mixing
Les Miserables – Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson & Simon Hayes

Best Sound Editing (Two Winners)
Zero Dark Thirty – Paul N.J. Ottosson
Skyfall – Per Hallberg & Karen Baker Landers

Best Film Editing
Argo – William Goldenberg

Best Production Design
Lincoln – Rick Carter (Production Design); Jim Erickson (Set Decoration)

Best Score
Life of Pi – Mychael Danna

Best Original Song
Skyfall – Adele

By Pamela Price

Photo Credits: LATF USA/ Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP – Kevin Winter/Getty Images

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