There was an advertisement airing a few days ago, as a promo for the upcoming Academy Awards, which said the real movie buffs won’t miss it for anything, but then it turns out you have a class and you will, indeed, end up missing it. Other people might have trouble believing it, but it comes as heartbreak for those who look forward to Oscars as the highlight of the year. What’s not to love? Gorgeous women in stunning dresses by the best designers in the world, the best looking men in the world, good movies, great music and most importantly, the opportunity to fantasize about things to say once we are up there.
The Academy Awards might be as political as any current Facebook conversation in your newsfeed, but they do give out awards, and they do make a spectacular show of it, so the entertainment value is a high. On February 24th, the curtain raised at the former Kodak Theatre, revealing the set for the Oscar’s 85th instalment with Seth Macfarlane as the host.
For the past few years, they have not been able to hit the mark in terms of selecting hosts. In 2011, James Franco made Anne Heathway sadder than she was in Les Misérables. Then in 2012, they made the safe choice of keeping Billy Crystal and as good as he is, he lacked the hilarity of Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin together. On the topic of how good Seth Macfarlane was, the world is divided, more so than our political scenario. If you are above 55, you’d hate him for the rude jokes about Chris Brown- Rihanna, Abraham Lincoln and Mel Gibson, but if you don’t happen to be offended by every single remark that he made, you’d find him pretty hilarious. As Wasifa did: “He was amazing. He sang and danced and some of his comebacks were hilarious. I wanted Tina Fey and Amy Pohler to host it, but he did the job brilliantly.”
Now we move onto the actual program, the winners and the nominees with contenders like Lincoln, Life of Pi, Argo and Django Unchained. We are excluding Silver Linings Playbook and others like Amour and Beast of the Southern Kind from here because we all know that they would have never won.
The night started with Christoph Waltz winning the Best Supporting Actor and even amongst the class of actors nominated for that role, it was rather obvious. Then Anne Heathway went on to win the Best Supporting Actress, which is not a shocker. The night progressed and awards for Best Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Costume Design were given, and Argo took a lead for the most awards won. Brave got the Best Animated Picture awards, snubbing Wreck-It-Ralph, but since its Pixar and the Academy, you shouldn’t be surprised. As the only final few awards were left, Meryl Streep came to announce the name of the Best Actor, and Daniel Day-Lewis deservingly got it for his remarkable role in Lincoln. Jennifer Lawrence took home the Best Actress award as the second-youngest person in history and became an overnight internet sweetheart after falling down at the stairs with her fairy-tale dress. Ang Lee got his Oscar as the Best Director, for Life of Pi, proving some things are still right with the world, and in the end it was only left for them to say the name of the Best Picture winner. From Gigli to Argo, must have been a long road, and Ben Affleck got what he deserved, even though Life of Pi fans would disagree. But in the end Argo was the sort that wins prizes; and predictably, it came out as the winner.
While the world may be divided on how good the host was, there was no denying that this year’s Oscar was a champion in terms of technological advances. The giant opening with William Shatner, First Lady Michelle Obama announcing the Best Picture from the White House, and Ted the teddy giving out prizes, just shows how far the world has come since the days of painted sets.
There weren’t any surprise wins or losses, because all the actors that won were the forerunners in their category. The musical tribute to movies of the past may have been good, but the homage to James Bond was a hit or miss, the only good thing about which was Adele ‘shouting’ Skyfall at the audience. In terms of presentation or keeping us engaged, it might have succeeded, but it could not have been a more predictable four hours.