I sort of live for the Academy Awards. That's putting it mildly. I am obsessed with them. The Oscars fake their own death every year like in Sleeping with the Enemy, but I always end up tracking it down again and straightening the towels in the bathroom.
I am late posting this because I literally felt awards season fatigue, and all I did this year was host a party. It's not like I am stationed in New York City or Los Angeles and I have ACTUAL responsibilites. The day after the Oscars was rough for me. I slept all day, went to The Cheesecake Factory, and then slept some more. Oscar withdrawal is an embarrassing thing to go through.
This year has been maddening. With all the schedule changes and surprises, even the cleverest pundits were left scratching their heads. I feel like I paid very close attention this year, and I got swallowed in the confusion as well. That didn't stop me from having the biggest Oscar bash EVER, though. More on that later!
Best Picture should only be five movies. When they expanded the category four years ago, I hated the idea of that many movies competing for BP, but then I settled into it. It was nice to see something like District 9 or Toy Story 3 get nominated for the highest honor. Then they changed it to the preferential ballot system, and they lost me. Maybe I just like things to be symmetrical or even, but the past two years they have had nine nominees for Best Picture and, for two years, I wanted to claw my eyes out. See? Straighten those damn towels!
Let's talk about the big show, shall we?
"Uhhhh...what am I doing here..."
Everyone was buzzing about Seth MacFarlane's performance as host of this year's Oscars, and, I will admit, that I didn't necessarily have a problem with him. I thought he was an add choice from the get-go. Yes, he directed his first feature film (Ted, for the 12 people that didn't know that), but he's still a TV guy. MacFarlane isn't a big enough name to host the Oscars, and I can guarantee that the people who met him during his hosting gig were not impressed.
Then there was this:
Really? A Kate-Winslet-is-naked-in-every-movies-joke? Puh-lease. How 2002 of you, Oscar writers. Does it freak anyone else out that Seth MacFarlane doesn't change his voice at all when he sings as Brian on Family Guy? It really bothers me. It shouldn't, but it does. He has a lovely voice, though. I didn't HATE MacFarlane as host, butI didn't love him. He was servicable. I wouldn't mind if he hosted again, but he seems like a ploy to get an ignored demographic to watch the Oscars.
Clearly, these are the Academy Awards producers trying to make decisions.
When it came to the actual awards, I was pretty satisfied. I went to AMC's annual Best Picture Showcase, and I got to see all of the nominees back to back over the course of two Saturdays (I assume this contributed to the shameful Academy Awards withdrawal). I went out on a limb and predicted Emmanuelle Riva to win Best Actress over Jennifer Lawrence. I should have known better.
I love me some Jennifer Lawrence. I remember that I was reading "The Hunger Games" when I went to see Winter's Bone, and I knew that she would play Katniss Everdeen in the film adaptation. She was great in The Burning Plain. Hell, she was good in The Beaver (shudder) and Like Crazy (vomit). I am NOT hating on Jennifer Lawrence. Not only is she a towering new talent, but she is genuine and relatable when she is interviewed or when she wins awards. She did not deserve that Oscar. Yes, she was charming and funny and vulnerable in Silver Linings Playbook, but Emmanuelle Riva did more in her nomination clip than Lawrence did in the entire movie. Yes, the Oscars rarely award the "best performance." Yes, the Oscars are all about momentum and working the circuit and hitting everything just right at the right time. Just watch Amour, and you will see. It's one of the hardest things you will ever sit through, but it is honest, real, and heartbreaking. Not to pull the age card, but Riva is 86 while Lawrence is 22. If I am lucky to make it to 86, I doubt I will be turning in Oscar-calibur performances. I will be lucky enough to make it to the toilet and ensure that I have enough Ovaltine. You put these performances next to each other and it's no contest. Lawrence was good in Silver Linings. Riva was great in Amour.
"I know...I know...I don't deserve thiiiiisssss!!!"
Daniel Day-Lewis and Anne Hathaway winning. Yawn. Knew that was coming. Moving on.
How bout that tie?! Best Sound Editing went to Zero Dark Thirty and Skyfall (aka the loudest movies in the category). I thought it was going to go to Life of Pi for the tiger and animal sounds used throughout the film. Oh, well. Marky Mark's expression was priceless.
"I am as serious as Melissa Leo's Oscar campaign for The Fighter."
Dug the set.
Near the beginning of the show, MacFarlane said this year's Oscars was a celebration of music. I never got that idea. The Oscars almost always features a musical opening (guaranteed if Billy Crystal or Hugh Jackman hosts), and the nominees for Best Original Song usually perform. Instead of having all five nominees, however, they had Adele sing "Skyfall" and Norah Jones lumber through "Everybody Needs a Best Friend" from Ted. You know who needed a best friend on Oscar night? Norah Jones. It was AWK-ward. First of all, Jones hasn't been in the spotlight for a while, and she sings the song looking sad and alone. If anyone could have benefitted from a CGI, foul-mouthed bear it was Norah Jones. Wouldn't it have be adorable if Ted was frolicking around Norah Jones trying to pick up hookers or score blow?!
"Oh to be in a coffee shop right now..."
Were the other two nominated songs not worthy of being performed? Could no one be convinced to sing them? If they are going to sing that dreadful Les Miserables song ("Suddenly"), they could take the time to find someone to sing the other entries. Scarlett Johansson sings "Before My Time" from Chasing Ice, and it is a quiet, haunting song. "Pi's Lullaby" is also very pretty. Check them out.
When Barbra Streisand didn't start singing "The Way We Were" during the In Memorium right away, I started freaking out. Luckily, she finally started performing, and I didn't have a seizure. Can we please have Streisand and Jennifer Aniston do a DNA test, though? Babs looks great, but it's uncanny how much they look alike. Someone give them a mother-daughter script stat.
Speaking of musical numbers, how about Cathering Zeta-Jones
singing "All That Jazz" during the tribute to musicals? No one? Anyone? Or how about Russell Crowe singing LIIIIIIVE during the Les Miserables medley?! I secretly thought maybe Crowe was nervous while singing live while filming Les Mis. No dice. He sucks in the movie, he sucks at the Oscars, and I'm sure his telephone-hurling anger stems from a lack of audience to hear him sing in the shower. For every failed Velma Kelly and Javert, we have a Jennifer Hudson and Hugh Jackman. Don't lose all hope.
I was pretty content with the rest of the awards. I love Argo, so I was happy to see it nab Best Picture. Since Ben Affleck couldn't win I dug Ang Lee winning for Life of Pi.
What I didn't understand was why Michelle Obama announced Best Picture. Jack Nicholson was ready to open that last envelope and Michelle Obama appeared. Jack must have been confused. He sleeps at the Dolby Theater and is only awakened to announce the Best Picture winner once a year. Rude. I LOVE Michelle Obama, but why was she there? I am surprised that we didn't hear anything about it before it happened. For a brief moment, I thought Zero Dark Thirty was going to pull an upset. Now, THAT would have been cool. Also, there was a missed opportunity for Michelle to show her guns like Hushpuppy from Beasts of the Southern Wild.
All in all, a satisfying year. Now the moment you've all been waiting for! Pictures from my Oscar party (or evidence that can be used against me in the case of Joey vs. Having a Life).
Life of Pi-neapple Boat, complete with Richard Parker.
Ar-goat Cheese and Strawberry Bruschetta.
Silver Lined Lost Your Marbles Marble Cupcakes with Philadelphia (Eagle) Cheam Cheese Frosting and garnished with medication Tic Tacs. Yeah. I was super proud about that one.
Hushpuppies served out of The Bathtub(s).
There are 3 more walls that look exactly like this. I save the Arts & Leisure section from the New York Times twice a week to have decorations. D-e-d-i-c-a-t-i-o-n. Or S-A-D. Your call.
Seth MacFarlane has already said he won't host again next year, so, naturally people are turning to
God Tina Fey to take his place. She has already said won't succeed MacFarlane, and I think that if she got Amy Poehler to do it with her, she would do it. Someone start the petition or send an Edible Arrangement. Them hosting the next Oscars has become my new goal.
Exhibit A (which I don't need) that they would be amazing:
If the clouds part and baby Jesus up in the heavems grants us all this wish, I have one request. In response to MacFarlane's "We Saw Your Boobs" musical number, these ladies should amp up the class factor and perform "We Saw Your Dick." It would a short diddy, because not a lot of men are brave to show their penis on screen, but I think we would have a gem of a song on our hands. We could reference the good (Jason Mewes, Richard Gere), the bad (Shia LaBeouf), the constant (Harvey Keitel, Ewan McGregor), and the larger than life (thank God for Michael Fassbender).
There we have it ladies and gents. Another year, another slice of my dignity. Every year I go to The Cheesecake Factory with my friend Megan and we dish about the Oscars and order mamosas. I will leave you with that.