85 and Running

Third wheel.
Grant Heslov as third wheel.

by Patrick Y. Lee

Watching the Oscars might be like sitting in Laidlaw Hall on Prize Day when one has won absolutely nothing. It’s an opportunity for simultaneous hero worship and self-deprecation. Within the impressive halls of the Dolby Theatre, the 85th Academy Awards produced an evening of tears and bliss. Argo was commemorated for best picture, Ang Lee for director, and Daniel Day-Lewis and Jennifer Lawrence for lead actor and actress.

With over forty million people tuned in to watch the highly controversial host Seth MacFarlane, we were guaranteed an entertaining night from the get-go. Although Steven Spielberg’s acclaimed Lincoln was nominated 12 times, it took home only two statues. On the other hand, Life of Pi by Taiwanese director Ang Lee was nominated 11 times, winning 4 Oscars by the end of the ceremony.

To no surprise, Daniel Day-Lewis won for his outstanding role as President Lincoln, as did Anne Hathaway for best supporting actress in Les Miserables. A gamble in the best supporting actor category, Christoph Waltz was applauded for his exciting sidekick cameo in Django Unchained. 22-year-old Jennifer Lawrence stumbled her way to the stage to accept her award for her gloomy persona in Silver Linings Playbook. The young star admitted, “You guys are just standing up because you feel that I fell … This is nuts.”

Others arrived at stage exuberant and, well, self-thanking. Who else than Tarantino would end his speech with a “Peace out!”? He received the best original screenplay award for Django Unchained.

The filmmakers behind Argo, including director, producer and actor Ben Affleck, as well as producers Grant Heslov and George Clooney, received their Oscars for best picture. While Heslov joked that he and his fellow producers were the “three sexiest” in the industry, Affleck inspired us with heartfelt words of his personal hardship – “It doesn’t matter how you get knocked down in life. All that matters is that you got to get up.”

A risky-choice by the Academy to select Seth MacFarlane as host made this year’s Oscars the most viewed since 2004. MacFarlane’s Family Guy and Ted-style humor kicked in with his early performance of “We Saw Your Boobs”, which was both hilarious and embarrassing for mentioned actresses. Capt. James T. Kirk warned the host he would ruin the ceremony from the future, before MacFarlane eventually redeemed himself to a mere “mediocre” review.

Balanced with some outstanding music performances from Adele and Shirley Bassey for the 50th anniversary of James Bond, as well as songs from ChicagoDreamgirls, and Les Miserables, the 85th Academy Awards proved to be both a genuine and entertaining night for viewers.