Monday, February 25, 2013

85th Academy Awards

Red Carpet

Picture Legend
1. Dolby Theater
2. Christoph Waltz
3. Anne Hathaway 
4. Quentin Tarantino
5. Ang Lee
6. Jennifer Lawrence
7. Daniel Day-Lewis
8. First Lady
9. Argo. The Winners

   Joyce's Take has a long history of reporting on the Academy Awards. As a matter of fact our second post, way back on 2/23/2009, concerned the 2009 Academy Awards and was mis-titled "2008 Academy Awards," and can be found right here:
   That post featured the lovely Ms Anne Hathaway, which is a little bit coincidental as she won for Best Supporting Actress last night for her performance in the musical "Les Miserables." Congratulations to her!
   Personally I can not bring myself to see the film as I can't stand musicals (except for Bob Fosse movies). For instance you rarely see folks walking down the street who break out into song and choreographed dance numbers (except down here on Skid Row). It just bugs the hell out of me. I don't know why.
   All and all I thought the show was a good one, although I don't really watch it to be entertained. I'm more interested in seeing who won. The show lasted 3 hours and 35 minutes, which is about average for these things, although the host, "Family Guy," creator Seth Woodbury MacFarlane made several comments on its length. This was Hollywood's night though, so let them party.
   The show was held at the new Dolby Theater, which was the old Kodak Theater located near the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue in West Hollywood. When Eastman Kodak filed for bankruptcy in early 2012 it ended its naming rights deal. On May 1, 2012, it was announced that the theater will be renamed the Dolby Theater after Dolby Laboratories signed a 20-year naming rights contract.
   I personally don't care to watch what is termed the Red Carpet march of celebrities arriving. I don't really care what they are wearing either. Accordingly I have a short clip of this above.
   I mean really, Anne Hathaway would look good dressed in a burlap sack as far as I'm concerned... as a matter of fact again, I wouldn't mind seeing her... never mind, I'm sick and need help.
   Women on the other hand judge each other so harshly on this issue it's amazing. If they don't like what someone is wearing they fall on that poor lady like vultures on a fresh carcass. No one seems to care at all what the men wear. Tatum Channing could show up wearing a burlap sack and the ladies would still swoon.
   I don't see why. He has big floppy ears.
   Anyway, let's take a look at what happened inside.
   Seth started the show welcoming everyone to the 85th Academy Awards, or "an attempt to get Tommy Lee Jones to laugh."
   It worked. He did laugh.
   He soon launched into the "We Saw Your Boobs," song, a tribute, if you will, for those actresses who have disrobed in the performance of their profession.
   I thought it kind of weird at first, and it must have been mortifying for those actresses named in it, especially Kate Winslet, whose multiple naked appearances on the screen was emphasized (she wasn't present), yet this morning Stephanie Miller of the Stephanie Miller Show couldn't get enough of it, and now I'm thinking about downloading it myself.
   By the way, Baby Face MacFarlane proved himself to be a very good singer... and dancer.
   After, a screen dropped down with Capt. Kirk telling Seth how his performance would be remembered. I didn't really work, but did allow a couple of nice dance numbers, the first with Tatum and Charlize Theron, the second with MacFarlane, Daniel Radcliffe and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
   After the opening ceremony finished the first major award was presented for Best Supporting Actor.
   The nominees were:
   Alan Arkin for "Argo," Robert De Niro for "Silver Linings Playbook," Philip Seymour Hoffman for "The Master," the Austrian-German actor Christoph Waltz for "Django Unchained," and the aforementioned Tommy Lee Jones for "Lincoln."
   I didn't see "The Master," so I don't have an opinion on Hoffman's performance.
   The rest I did see. De Niro was considered the favorite, and the film he was nominated for is now one of my favorite's ("Silver Linings Playbook," was unique this year as it received nominations for all four acting categories), yet I thought Christoph Waltz's performance in  "Django Unchained," was the freshest, funniest, and most interesting of them all.
   And the winner:
   Octavia Spencer of "The Help," fame presented Christoph Waltz with the award. He's been nominated for this award twice (the first time for "Inglourious Basterds," another Quentin Tarantino vehicle) and has won twice.
   This being the 50th anniversary of the James Bond franchise, a tribute was presented. Originally it had been planned to have all six actors who portrayed the character (Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, and Daniel Craig) appear on stage together, but that fell through, and musical tribute was presented instead, with Dame Shirley  Bassey singing "Goldfinger," from the film of the same name.
   There was a lot of music presented, with a Celebration of Musicals of the Last Decade. Catherine Zeta-Jones sang "All That Jazz," from the movie "Chicago," the same song she sang in the film, Jennifer Hudson sang "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going," from "Dreamgirls," Samantha Barks, Sacha Baron Cohen, Helena Bonham Carter, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman, Eddie Redmayne, Aaron Tveit, and the lovely Amanda Seyfried all sang "Suddenly" and "One Day More" from Les Misérables. Very good.
   The "In Memoriam" segment was presented by George Clooney, concluding with Barbara Streisand singing "The Way We Were" in tribute to the song's musical composer, the deceased Marvin Hamlisch. The segment included Joyce's Take friend Ernest Borgnine, who passed away July 8th of last year of kidney failure, which saddens me very much. As you may recall dear readers, I met Mr. Borgnine when I was a kid, when he was working on "Mchale's Navy," and he took the time to give this young man his autograph. Others were Jack Klugman of "The Odd Couple," fame, science fiction author Ray Bradbury (who I've also met), Michael Clarke Duncan, and producer Richard D. Zanuck.
   Anne Hathaway won Best Supporting Actress against Amy Adams for "The Master," Sally Field for "Lincoln," Helen Hunt for "The Sessions," and Jacki Weaver for "Silver Linings Playbook." The award was presented by Christopher Plummer.
   The lovely Jennifer Lawrence introduced the lovely Adele, who sang "Skyfall," from the Bond film of the same name.
   Best Actress nominees included the still lovely Jennifer Lawrence for "Silver "Hey!" Linings Playbook," Jessica Chastain for "Zero Dark Thirty," Emmanuelle Riva for "Amour," 9 year old Quvenzhané Wallis for "Beasts of the Southern Wild," and Naomi Watts for "The Impossible."   
   I saw all of these films except for "Amour," which I can't seem to muster enough interest to watch (old people) and although I was very impressed with all of the performances, Lawrence was my favorite for without her "Silver Linings Playbook," probably wouldn't have worked as well as it did.
   And the winner was:
   Jean Dujardin who won Best Actor for "The Artist," last year presented the award to 22 year old Jennifer Lawrence.
   Jennifer stumbled face down on her way to the podium (those damn long dresses) and I feel sorry for her as she'll remember that for the rest of her life although no on else will.
   Best Actor nominees were Bradley Cooper for "Silver Linings Playbook," Daniel Day-Lewis for "Lincoln," Hugh Jackman for "Les Misérables," Joaquin Phoenix for "The Master," and good old Denzel Hayes Washington for "Flight."
   Again, I didn't see "The Master," but I did the others and my favorite was Bradley Cooper for his animated performance in "Silver Linings Playbook," because it was well... animated, and the chemistry between him and Lawrence really clicked, making the film. But everyone favored Daniel Day-Lewis, who indeed won. The award was presented by last years winner for Best Actress Meryl Streep. Mr. Lewis is the only actor to have won 3 Best Actor Awards (the other two being "My Left Foot," (1989) and "There Will Be Blood." (2007)).
   He made a couple of jokes upon accepting his award, one being that he had originally been cast to play the part of Margaret Thatcher, which of course Ms Streep, who was standing nearby, had played, and which got her the Best Actress Award.
   Quentin Tarantino won for Best Original Screenplay for his "Django Unchained." The award was presented to him by Dustin Hoffman and Quentin's neighbor, Charlize Theron.
   There was a bit of a surprise, the biggest of the evening as far as I'm concerned, when it came to Best Director. The nominees were Michael Haneke for "Amour," Ang Lee for "Life of Pi," David O. Russell for "Silver Linings Playbook," some guy named Steven Spielberg for "Lincoln," and Benh Zeitlin for "Beasts of the Southern Wild."
   Everyone thought the award would go to Spielberg. Every time Spielberg's nominated everyone thinks it will go to him. If it were up to me I would have given it to David O. Russell, because of the movies nominated his is my favorite (he spent 5 years working on the script). Yet Michael Douglas and Jane Fonda (who worked together in "The China Syndrome") gave the award to Ang Lee for "Life of Pi."   
   9 Best Picture nominees, each had been introduced to the audience throughout the night.
   "Life of Pi," "Amour," "Beasts of the Southern Wild," "Argo," "Django Unchained," "Les Misérables," "Lincoln," "Silver Linings Playbook," and "Zero Dark Thirty."
   The favorite was "Lincoln." At one time "Zero Dark Thirty," had been the front runner. I liked "Silver Linings Playbook."
   Pudgy Jack Nicholson came out to present the award. As a bit of a surprise he deferred to a dark screen that suddenly appeared and introduced the nation's First Lady, Michelle Obama, who was in the White House with a bunch of strange people standing behind her. She made a little speech about how great movies were and all, then gave it back to Jack who presented the nominated films, then back to Michelle who gave the award to... "Argo," which had also been mentioned as a possible winner. Well, it won! Even though the film's director, Ben Afflick, had been snubbed and not nominated for Best Director.
   The film's producers took to the stage. One guy who no one knew stood between George Clooney (apparently one of the producers) and Afflick, started talking and would not shut up! Time is limited when accepting these awards and this guy wouldn't shut his big yap! Finally Afflick got to say a few words, and that was that.
   MacFarlane and the lovely Kristin Chenoweth did a little song for all of "the losers," which may or may not have been in good taste, and the show was over.
   All in all I thought it was a good show, and

   Annie, you can still victory sign me any day.     

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