HOLLYWOOD—It was the biggest night inHollywoodand the one movie reigned supreme after all the hoopla this awards season was “Argo.” Jack Nicholson had the pleasure of presenting the award for Best Picture alongside special guest Michelle Obama live from The White House. It was indeed a treat that I do not think anyone at home or in the audience was expecting. The winner was none other than “Argo.” Director Ben Affleck was a bit speechless while on stage. He gave one of the most heartfelt and inspirational speeches of the night. He was absolutely fluttered, but the audience could tell Ben was speaking from the heart.
“Life of Pi” tied “Argo” with three awards including Best Director for Ang Lee. It was the most decisive race of the night. Without Affleck, Tarantino, Bigelow in contention any of the nominees could take the prize, but Lee edged out the win over front-runner Steven Spielberg. He received a standing ovation from the crowd. “Thank you movie God,” joked Lee while accepting his award.
Jean DuJardin presented the award for Best Actress to Jennifer Lawrence “Silver Linings Playbook.” She was absolutely speechless taking a bit of a stumble while walking towards the stage. She received a standing ovation from the crowd. “This is crazy, thank you Academy,” said Lawrence while accepting her trophy.
Acting legend Meryl Streep presented the Oscar for Best Actor to a deserving Daniel Day-Lewis “Lincoln.” This is the actor’s third Oscar and the only actor to achieve such a feat. Lewis was extremely emotional while on stage. “I really don’t know how any of this happened,” said Lewis while accepting his award. He joked about being committed to portraying Margaret Thatcher, while Meryl was expected to be Spielberg’s choice for “Lincoln;” such a gracious actor indeed.
Last year’s winner for Best Supporting Actor Christopher Plummer presented the award for Best Supporting Actress to a deserving Anne Hathaway for her triumphant performance in “Les Misérables.” “It came true,” said an emotional Hathaway while on stage. “I must thank Hugh Jackman. You are the best,” said Hathaway during her speech.
Octavia Spencer presented the award for Best Supporting Actor. This was indeed one of the toughest categories to predict, but the award went to Christoph Waltz for “Django Unchained.” “Thank you, thank you so much,” said a humble Waltz while accepting his award. He congratulated his fellow nominees in the race. I was really pulling for Robert De Niro to take the prize for “Silver Linings Playbook,” but I’m sure the actor will get another nomination in due time. He praised his director Quentin Tarantino heavily in his speech.
The master of ceremonies was “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane. Seth didn’t take any prisoners in his opening going for laughs taking jabs at Tommy Lee Jones. Goal was to get the actor to laugh, and he did just that in a matter of seconds. He had a great joke on the Academy snubbing Ben Affleck for Best Director for “Argo.” I will admit that Seth got off to a nervous start, but things started to mellow as he got involved in his opening.
His take on Daniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln and his method acting in the biopic “Lincoln” was a bit off setting, not generating the laughs, but quickly recovered with a low blow at Chris Brown and Rihanna comparing their relationship to “Django Unchained.” He also took a jab at Mel Gibson which got some audible gasps from the crowd. Mid-way through his stint William Shattner appeared via television screen to take jabs at MacFarlane’s hosting duties. It was a song and dance number about actresses showing off their boobs in cinema. Shattner got quite a few laughs when he acknowledged that MacFarlane may be joining the chorus that was singing behind him. He was then joined by Charlize Theron and Channing Tatum on stage as they joined in a sing and dance number with both Theron and Tatum giving their best.
The “Flight” parody using sock puppets was absolutely hilarious, followed by another song and dance involving Daniel Radcliffe and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. I will admit the song and dance numbers were getting a bit repetitive in my opinion. Sally Field participated in a skit with Seth about her work in “Lincoln” and he then hit on the actress; it was funny to see the famed actress let her guard down. Best Animated Short Film went to John Kahrs for “Paperman.” Best Animated Feature Film went to “Brave.” Reese Witherspoon had the pleasure of introducing clips of Best Picture nominees “Les Miserables,” “Life of Pi” and “Beasts of the Southern Wild.”
The cast of “The Avengers” assembled on stage to present the award for Best Cinematography taking jabs at each other, including a funny stab at Samuel L. Jackson’s age. The award was given to Claudio Miranda “Life of Pi.” Best Visual Effects went to “Life of Pi.” Best Costume Design was awarded to Jacqueline Durran for “Anna Karenina” The winner for Makeup and Hairstyling went to Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell for “Les Misérables.”
Oscar-winner Halle Berry helped with the celebration of 50 years of the James Bond franchise, which was introduced with a collage of memorable moments from Bond pictures. Dame Shirley Bassey then appeared on stage to sing the memorable hit “Goldfinger.” Best Live-Action Short Film was awarded to Shawn Christensen for “Curfew.” The Best Documentary Short winner was “Inocente.”
Ben Affleck presented the award for Best Documentary Feature to “Searching For Sugar Man.” The award for Best Foreign Language Film went to Michael Haneke for “Amour.” John Travolta had the pleasure of introducing the audience and viewers at home to a musical extravaganza celebration involving the cast of “Les Misérables,” the cast of “Chicago” and Jennifer Hudson from “Dreamgirls.”
Catherine Zeta-Jones kicked off the singing sensation with “All That Jazz,” that dazzled the crowd. Next up in the spotlight was J-Hud singing the sensation “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going,” which literally blew off the socks at the Dolby Theatre; it was absolutely phenomenal. She received a standing ovation from the crowd, who was pleasantly pleased. That woman has powerhouse pipes that will light up any room. Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Eddie Redmayne, Amanda Seyfried, Samantha Barks, Russell Crowe, Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen reunited on stage for a medley of songs from the beloved musical.
The stint on stage involving Mark Wahlberg and the pouty-mouth teddy bear from the comedy “Ted” was absolutely hilarious. The jokes were quite naughty; as the duo presented the award for Best Sound Mixing to “Les Misérables.” The Oscar for Best Sound Editing was a surprise as it was a tie! Yes, a tie, something that rarely happens at the Academy Awards. The first winner was “Zero Dark Thirty” and the second winner was “Skyfall.”
The Academy Award for Best Film Editing went to William Goldenberg “Argo.” Important side note: Goldenberg was also nominated for his work in “Zero Dark Thirty.” Adele took the stage to sing her massive hit “Skyfall.” That song is so mesmerizing it just stays in your head. The Oscar for Best Production Design went to “Lincoln.”
George Clooney had the please of taking part in the In Memoriam segment of the ceremony paying tribute to those we’ve lost in the industry in the past year. Two-time Academy Award winner Barbra Streisand took the stage to serenade the audience. It was the first time the actress had performed at the Oscars in more than 37 years.
Richard Gere, Renee Zellweger, Queen Latifah and Catherine Zeta-Jones presented the award for Best Original Score to Mychael Danna “Life of Pi.” Best Original Song went to Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth for “Skyfall.” Adele was at a loss for words while accepting her award on stage. She was literally in tears while on stage. “Thank you so much, this is amazing,” said Adele while on stage.
In the competitive race for Best Adapted Screenplay, the Oscar went to Chris Terrio “Argo.” Terrio thanked his fellow nominees in his category as well as “Argo” director and star Ben Affleck. For Best Original Screenplay, the Academy Award went to Quentin Tarantino for “Django Unchained.” He really thanked the stars of “Django Unchained” for brining his characters to life. He also congratulated all of the writers nominated this year in the Adapted and Original Screenplay categories.
Kristin Chenoweth closed the ceremony alongside Seth MacFarlane with another song and dance dedicated to all of the losers of the night. I would say Seth did a stellar job hosting the ceremony; some of his jokes came off a bit stiff as the audience was not as welcoming to the jokes in the beginning. I would say a little less with the song and dance in the beginning would have been a big help. Now that awards season is officially over, what movies will reign supreme in 2014? Only time will tell.
By LaDale Anderson