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The 2013 Oscars

It’s finally here. Capping off an awards season that has seen a lot of repetition in awarding various statues, we have made it to the 85th Academy Awards or Oscars. This is the big one, folks. Note: the stuff with substance was written entirely by ChrisB. The fashion stuff at the bottom is by me, sunbunny.

Before we get to the best of the year, let’s pause briefly to celebrate the worst of the year. The Golden Raspberry Awards, or Razzies, were handed out Saturday night. These awards, handed out in a mock ceremony, celebrate the worst of the past year. You may quickly notice a pattern. And the winners were:

Worst Picture: Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 (TSBD2)
Worst Actor: Adam Sandler for That’s My Boy!
Worst Actress: Kirsten Stewart for both Snow White and the Huntsman and TSBD2
Worst Supporting Actor: Taylor Lautner for TSBD2
Worst Supporting Actress: Rihanna for Battleship
Worst Screen Ensemble: The Entire Cast of TSBD2
Worst Director: Bill Condon for TSBD2
Worst Remake, Rip-Off or Sequel: TSBD2
Worst Screen Couple: Mackenzie Foy and Taylor Lautner for TSBD2
Worst Screenplay: David Caspe for That’s My Boy!

With all congratulations to the movie that very nearly swept the Razzies, let’s move on to the Oscars.

Seth MacFarlane was surprisingly good at the open. I was expecting a train wreck, but he made me laugh and I thought some of the dance numbers were inspired. I’m not sure the actresses involved were overly thrilled about “Boobs,” but having the LA Gay Men’s Chorus in the background was inspired and made me laugh out loud. “Be Our Guest” was the perfect way to segue into the actual awards.

The theme for the evening was music in the movies. It would be hard to think of another film series that is more tied into its music than Bond and the film montage to celebrate the 50 years of Bond was fun, but I would have preferred more of the songs themselves. Shirley Bassey, however, can still belt out a tune! She deserved that standing ovation.

Speaking of women who can sing, we were treated to a melody from songs from musicals of the past decade. Catherine Zeta Jones was amazing revising “All That Jazz.” I was singing along and cheering her as she hit note after note. Simply fantastic performance. She was followed by Jennifer Hudson who can also carry a tune to put it mildly. The cast of Les Mis, all back together and singing together gave me chills and brought me to tears. This was among the best musical tributes I have seen in a long time, perhaps ever.

Not be outdone, Adele came onto the stage later and simply nailed the Skyfall song. Bless her heart, she should never accept another award. She’s got a beautiful singing voice. Speaking? Not so much.

A great musical number of the night was a segue out of the annual In Memoriam feature. As we all know, Marvin Hamlish died this past year and, as his picture flashed up on the screen, Barbra launched into “Memories.” She may not be able to sing the way she could in the past, but it was damn close enough. Yes, the tears fell again.

The problem that I have with the Academy Awards is that they go on for far too long. There is too much filler, too much backslapping, too much blah. And, as the night goes on, it is two minutes of show and five of commercials. Even MacFarlane was talking about how long it had dragged on. I admit that I kept looking at the clock, willing midnight to come.

Overall, it was a good night and a good ceremony. It made me laugh and it made me cry, which is pretty much all I ask from an awards show. Without further ado, the Oscars went to:

Best Motion Picture of the Year: Grant Heslov, Ben Affleck, George Clooney for Argo
-- Affleck was robbed of his directorial nomination, but this is the one that counts. Don’t forget, this is his second Oscar. He also won every other statue out there this year.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role: Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln
-- DDL is the first actor ever to win three Oscars in the Lead category, which frankly is impressive as hell. This is one of the few movies I have seen and I loved it.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook
-- She may have tripped up the steps, but she was lovely as she accepted the award.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: Christoph Waltz for Django Unchained
-- This award was a shock! I would never have guessed his win, even though I haven’t seen the movie. My money was on Tommy Lee, who gave the performance of his life.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role: Anne Hathaway for Les Misérables
-- This was not a shock, but what a great acceptance speech.

Best Achievement in Directing: Ang Lee for Life of Pi
-- With all the other awards this movie has won, this was not a complete shock. I loved this book; guess it’s time to see the movie.

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen: Quentin Tarantino for Django Unchained
-- Another great acceptance speech. He’s nuts, but he was incredibly gracious to both his actors and the other writers.

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published: Chris Terrio for Argo
-- A moving acceptance speech, in which Terrio acknowledged Affleck winning for his first screenplay.

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman for Brave

Best Foreign Language Film: Amour (Austria)

Best Achievement in Cinematography: Claudio Miranda for Life of Pi
-- Great introduction by the Avengers cast and ridiculous acceptance speech.

Best Achievement in Editing: William Goldenberg for Argo

Best Achievement in Production Design: Rick Carter, Jim Erickson for Lincoln

Best Achievement in Costume Design: Jacqueline Durran for Anna Karenina

Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling: Lisa Westcott, Julie Dartnell for Les Misérables

Best Achievement in Music, Original Score: Mychael Danna for Life of Pi

Best Achievement in Music, Original Song: “Skyfall,” Adele, Paul Epworth for Skyfall

Best Achievement in Sound Mixing: Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson, Simon Hayes for Les Misérables

Best Achievement in Sound Editing: Paul N.J. Ottosson for Zero Dark Thirty AND Per Hallberg, Karen M. Baker for Skyfall

Best Achievement in Visual Effects: Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik De Boer, Donald Elliott for Life of Pi

Best Documentary, Feature: Malik Bendjelloul, Simon Chinn for Searching for Sugar Man
-- I must admit to being disappointed in this one. The Invisible War was the best movie I saw last year, but I haven’t seen this one so I won’t judge harshly.

Best Documentary, Short Subject: Sean Fine, Andrea Nix for Inocente

Best Short Film, Animated: John Kahrs for Paperman

Best Short Film, Live Action: Shawn Christensen for Curfew

Worst Dressed: Halle Berry
Oh dear. Presenting tonight, Halle Berry looked a bit of a mess in an 80s-inspired Versace dress complete with stripes and shoulder pads. Yikes.

Biggest Risk: Naomi Watts
I’m mixed. On the one hand, I applaud Watts, nominated tonight for The Impossible, for trying to do something different, but on the other, I feel like this Giorgio Armani dress was just not red carpet ready. Perhaps it should have stayed on the runway.

Most Overrated: Jessica Chastain
Everyone on the red carpet kept raving about her Armani Privé dress and the only thing I can think of was that it did not photograph the same as it looked in person. The way I saw it, the color was bland and boring as was the styling of the dress. Her performance in Zero Dark Thirty may have been exemplary, but her fashion choices of late have certainly not been.

Best Impression of a Fish: Jennifer Hudson
Hudson performed “And I’m Telling You, I’m Not Going” during the ceremony. I wish this mess of a dress would go. The usually stylish Hudson opted for a blue and scaly Cavalli gown, complete with mermaid train. This is the Academy Awards, not halloween.

Biggest Standout: Kerry Washington
With everyone else wearing white, blue, or grey, the Django Unchained star’s coral confection popped. A sparkly, floral inspired bodice paired with a simple skirt made me just happy to look at. Keep doing what you’re doing, Kerry Washington.

Best Accessory: Anne Hathaway
While I have mixed feelings about her Prada dress, I could not take my eyes off Hathaway’s floral necklace from Tiffany. What a fabulously sparkly way to celebrate your first Oscar.

Best Achievement in Embellishment: Sandra Bullock
Sandra Bullock’s style can be very hit or miss. Fortunately for us, tonight was a solid hit. Presenter Bullock stunned in a lacy, sequined Elie Saab gown that walked the line between sexy and sophisticated flawlessly.

Best Cleavage: Samantha Barks
On another starlet, the very deep v-neck Valentino gown might have looked trashy, but Barks (Les Misérables’ Éponine) pulled off the tricky look thanks to her subtle hair and makeup. I also have to give her credit for that absolutely beautiful statement necklace from Forevermark Diamonds. Stunning.

Best Achievement in Socks: Joseph Gordon-Levitt
This one goes out to ChrisB! On the red carpet, JGL flashed his socks to a reporter and they were adorable. One had bicycles. Just because you’re wearing a tux, doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun, right?

Best Achievement in Ruffles: Amy Adams
Nominated tonight for The Master, Amy Adams lost ‘Best Dressed’ by a hair. Her dove grey Oscar de la Renta ball gown was simply jaw-dropping. She accessorized the look flawlessly with diamond drop earrings and a simple updo. Bravo, Amy.

Best Dressed: Jennifer Lawrence
Damn, girl. Silver Linings Playbook winner looked exactly like a flower and I do not mean that in a bad way. Her almost-white light pink Dior gown was just beautiful. The giant, origami-esque skirt combined with subtle hair and makeup made her undeniably the best dressed of the night. Although it appears to not have been that wearable. The poor girl tripped on the stairs on her way to pick up her award!


  1. Best Cleavage: Samantha Barks

    On another starlet, the very deep v-neck Valentino gown might have looked trashy, but Barks (Les Misérables’ Éponine) pulled off the look tricky thanks to her subtle hair and makeup. I also have to give her credit for that absolutely beautiful statement necklace from Forevermark Diamonds. Stunning.

    A beautiful dress, but all I can think of with a dress like that is: double-sided tape. Double-sided tape. Double-sided...ouch!

    What a fun recap, ChrisB and Sunbunny.

  2. Josie - have you ever worn it? It's not so bad. :)

  3. I hereby present to ChrisB and Sunbunny an award for the best performance by two writers covering the Academy Awards. I'm trying not to think of double-sided tape.

  4. Thank you for my part of the favor, Billie. :) The awards were fairly painless to watch this year! Hurrah!

  5. I haven't seen any of the nominated movies, but I was surprised that Lincoln didn't do better.

  6. Me too, a bit. I think Argo only won best picture because everyone was so angry about Affleck's snub. I was really pulling for Tommy Lee Jones. :(

  7. I thought Tommy Lee Jones was marvelous in Lincoln, but I also thought Christoph Waltz was amazing as well. So that one isn't much of an issue. I think you're totally right about Argo winning BP because of the Affleck snub, although I'm genuinely surprised that Spielberg didn't win for Lincoln, and I'm totally not surprised that Daniel Day-Lewis did.

    It felt like scatter-shot to me, and I have no idea why Life of Pi won four awards. I guess there's a reason I didn't watch the awards this year.

  8. I missed Life of Pi. I also plan on NEVER seeing Djano Unchained. I'm not a Tarantino fan, so I can't say Christoph Waltz didn't deserve it.

  9. It makes me SO darn FURIOUS that Emmanuelle Riva didn't win the Best Actress Oscar. The woman gave such a heartwrenching, powerful performance, the likes of which I've NEVER seen in a film or TV show before. In addition, she's the oldest nominee ever, and the awards were on her BIRTHDAY. How perfect would that have been? It's not like she still has years of performances to give!
    Seriously Jennifer Lawrence? I'm sorry but I watched Silver Linings Playbook last night and while I loved the film and though it was wonderful, she definitely did NOT deserve to win over Riva. Please all of you watch Amour and see how mindblowing her performance is.
    Ugh. I haven't been this mad over awards since Jennifer Garner got snubbed for Alias after all those nominations. Grrrrrrrrrrrr. Not cool Academy. Not cool.

  10. And by the way Jennifer Garner was best dressed in my mind. Just gorgeous. She hasn't looked this good in so long. I'm really happy for her and Ben. I haven't seen Argo yet but they might be my favorite couple in Hollywood. So genuine and down to earth.

  11. Nadim - LOVE Jen and Ben. I'm addicted to gossip sites and picture of them pop up all the time taking their daughter to ballet class or with all their kids at the farmer's market or getting frozen yogurt. So normal. I'd love to meet them. I'm sure they'd be just lovely people.

  12. All the winners aren´t really surprising this year. Although I am with Nadim: Don´t feel the love for JLaw.

    Jennifer Garner looked stunning and really stood out from the boring black and nude/white dresses. I love this couple and Ben´s speech made me teary-eyed.

    Loved the dresses of Amanda Seyfried, JHud and Olivia Munn. The dress Anne Hathawy wore during the musical performance would have been a better choice. I liked it a lot.

    Question of the night: Why are some of these people even at the Oscars?

  13. Thank you, Billie! i humbly accept this award and would like to thank everyone I've ever met.

    But mostly, a huge shout out to my partner in crime, sunbunny, who kept me awake and laughing through the ceremony and who remembered to add in JGL's socks -- my favorite part of the red carpet.

  14. Nice piece, Sunbunny and ChrisB.

    I love Ben and Jen Affleck, too.
    They seem so down to earth.

    Of course, I can also not forget, ever, those awards that Jen Garner should have had for Alias.
    Sydney Bristow is too one of a kind. :)

  15. Great work ChrisB and Sunbunny! :o)

    I caught the show after lunch today with my dad, and we both really enjoyed it! The last one I liked this much was with Hugh Jackman (who 'till the end I desperately hoped -without hope- would win the Oscar)! My main issue was too much Shatner! That opening bit could have been 5-10 minutes shorter and I'd have been much happier!

    Loved the musical numbers, but part of me was sad the cast of Les Mis didn't top it off with "Do you hear the people sing"! I wanted those goosebumps!!! :p (but bravo to whoever arranged the music to put all those numbers together in one!)

    How long did the show last with commercials? Without it was 2h50', and even that felt long at times...

    I LOVED how Affleck's co-producer Heslov thanked Affleck for -among other things- his great directing work!!! Trying to repair a snub are we? ;o)

    If you had seen Django then Waltz's award wouldn't have been as much of a shock. He was much more essential to the film than Tommy Lee was to Lincoln and did an amazing job!!!

    I was wondering why they mentioned Quvenzhané as the youngest Oscar nominee but not Emmanuelle as the oldest? But I did love the line "So you were nominated for an Oscar? It's something a 9 year-old could do!" :p

  16. Anon - Not feeling the love for Jennifer Hudson, sorry. Olivia Munn's dress was okay, but it felt a little too showy. She wasn't nominated. Actually, why was she there in the first place? I liked Amanda Seyfried's dress too, but it wasn't a standout for me. Maybe if it had been a different color.

  17. I liked Halle Berry's dress in context, as she was presenting the Bond tribute and the gold and black sort of worked for that - but it doesn't look so good on the red carpet. Love both Lawrence's and Adams' dresses, they're amazing.

  18. I submit Quvenzhané Wallis for best-dressed! (But ew to the boobs song. I'm lookin askance at that, Seth.)

  19. I can never be bothered watching all the hoopla so this was the perfect solution, thanks to you both. ChrisB - I really enjoyed Life of Pi - loved the book and didn't understand how they would make it work on screen but I thought it did. You should def try to see it in big screen though, cgi is phenomenal!

  20. Cris -- I loved the nine year old comment as well. It made me laugh out loud.

    Victoria -- thanks for commenting and for sharing! You're a pal. :-)

  21. The VFX company responsible for Life of Pi went out of business the next week. It's the only part of the movie industry not yet unionized. It's a race to the bottom with competitors continually underbidding each other and moving production to the latest, "cheap" place, e.g. India, Indonesia, etc. wreaking havoc on families all in order to satisfy Hollywood's demands.

    When accepting the award, the winner tried to bring attention to this, but was played out.

    Shame on Ang Lee for all his comments during the award season saying how he just "wished VFX could just be cheaper." They were a direct response to efforts to unionize against the deplorable efforts of the Hollywood machine to churn out extremely skilled labor at the cheapest price possible. I don't believe he ever suggested "if only actors or directors could just be cheaper."

    Many said Life of Pi could never be made. thanks to this incredible team, it was.

    End rant. :)

    - Deborah


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