Oscar Results 2013

Argo (3): Best Picture, Film Editing, Adapted Screenplay

Life of Pi (4): Best Director Ang Lee, Cinematography, Original Score, Visual Effects

Les Misérables (3): Best Actress in a Supporting Role Anne Hathaway, Makeup & Hairstyling (hair’s new this year), Sound Mixing

Lincoln (2): Best Actor in a Leading Role Daniel Day-Lewis, Best Production Design

Silver Linings Playbook (1): Best Actress in a Leading Role Jennifer Lawrence

Django Unchained (2): Best Supporting Actor Christoph Waltz, Original Screenplay Quentin Tarantino.

Skyfall (2): Best Original Song Adele, Best Sound Editing (draw with ZDT)

Zero Dark Thirty (1): Best Sound Editing

Anna Karenina (1): Costume Design

Amour (1): Best Foreign Language Film

The above is a list of the major winners. For a full list, CLICK HERE.

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The film winning Best Picture is always considered the major winner. So Argo it is. Interesting that the director of a Best Picture is not even nominated. No matter, the 1979 Iran hostage crisis came to a glorious end for Ben Affleck. “… it doesn’t matter how you get knocked down in life because that’s going to happen. All that matters is you gotta get up.” Glad he thanked Canada in his acceptance speech, along with Iran. Equal opportunity thanker he is.

Life of Pi has the most Oscars. I’m excited for them. Canadian composer Mychael Danna wins with his Indian-influenced score. Director Ang Lee gave a gracious acceptance speech thanking Taiwan, where he filmed the majority of the movie, all the 3,000 people involved in the production, and yes, the author of the Booker Prize winning novel, Canadian writer Yann Martel. For those who are book lovers and don’t want to spoil their good memory of their reading experience, I say, go see the film. It’s worthy of its literary source.

Glad to see Les Miz being honored with three awards. The dream came true for Anne Hathaway, winning her first Oscar, as expected. Deservedly, the Make-up and Hairstyling people won as well, with hairstyling being the first time recognized at the Oscars. Just look at Hugh Jackman at the opening scenes you’d appreciate their effort. That he didn’t eat or drink for over 13 hrs to shoot those scenes helped too. The highlight of last night’s Awards Show for me was the whole Les Miz cast singing on stage.

While I’m at that, get the orchestra back in the Theatre where the action is next time. You can hear the discrepancy in timing with the singing at certain points. And please, don’t rush people off stage by playing all those irrelevant (or maybe tackily relevant) old movie themes. So rude to the present winners and disrespectful to those past productions. Here are some I remember… Jaws, The Magnificent Seven, The Godfather, Gone with the Wind (that’s when Quentin Tarantino was speaking).

Why, with all the technical talents around, the tribute to fifty years of James Bond was done with such a lack-lustre montage? To help us forget it, Shirley Bassey came on stage to sing Goldfinger after that. In my opinion, Goldfinger is probably the best James Bond song. And Bassey just showed, at 76, the unfading colours of a great voice. So’s Barbra Streisand, at 70, delivered a moving The Way We Were after the Memoriam clip, paying tribute to Marvin Hamlisch who wrote the Oscar winning song (1974). Memories flooded back as she sang at the Oscars the first time last night after 36 years. With all due respect to Adele and her Skyfall win, these two veteran singers made a sharp contrast to her shaky performance.

Now, Lincoln‘s disappointing results baffled me. Coming into the Awards Season, it was the strongest contender, with 12 nominations. The only major win was Daniel Day-Lewis who was almost locked-in for Best Actor, and deservedly so. He is now the only actor winning three Oscar Best Actor awards. I’ve seen all his winning films. While his Lincoln portrayal is impressive, I remember being captivated by his first Oscar winning role in My Left Foot (1989) as Irish writer Christy Brown who was afflicted with cerebral palsy and could only use his left foot to write.

And then there’s Jennifer Lawrence, what a good sport. It’s embarrassing falling on the steps going up the stage, but getting an Oscar way over compensates for it. Her performance in Silver Linings Playbook confirms her position as a leading female character actor at 22. I’ve seen her much younger performances before all the Hunger Games hype, and knew that she would be a rising star. The two films I’m thinking of are The Burning Plain (2008) and Winter’s Bone (2010).

As for the film and the actress I’ve been silently rooting for, Zero Dark Thirty and Jessica Chastain, well, at least it has one Oscar. I’m not too disappointed though for I trust Kathryn Bigelow‘s talent and skill can only create more strong productions, and hopefully not being marred by unnecessary controversies like she has with ZDT. As for Jessica Chastain, I know she will deliver in whatever film she’s in… given a good role and in the hands of a capable director. I wish her all the best.

As for next year’s Oscars? Captain Kirk is right… you’d want to honour the film industry, not to spite it with a bad host and degrading jokes, no matter how entertaining the singing and dancing are. Yes, I’m referring to the opening number, plus some other ones that left us with a bad aftertaste. So please, bring on a different perspective, one that represents the other half of the human race. Let’s have Tina Fey and Amy Poehler to co-host next year’s Oscars.

 ***

CLICK ON the following links to my review of:

Life of Pi the movie

Life of Pi the book

Zero Dark Thirty and Argo

Lincoln

Les Miserables

Anna Karenina the movie

Anna Karenina the book

***

Published by

Arti

If she’s not birding by the Pond, Arti’s likely watching a movie, reading, or writing a review. Bylines in Asian American Press, Vague Visages, Curator Magazine.

23 thoughts on “Oscar Results 2013”

  1. “Life of Pi” was a great movie. I didn’t even want to see it, because I’d read the book and couldn’t see how it could be made into a movie, but friends chose it. I thought about “Pi” for days after seeing it, it so moved and disturbed me, too. Very thought-provoking. We didn’t even see it in its 3-D version. My friends like to stay for the credits, and we watched every name roll by. So many people required to create this movie, which ironically (if that’s the word I’m looking for) contains so few real creatures during most of the movie.

    “Argo” was entertaining, the classic Hollywood movie. I enjoyed it, even after reading how much of the story was fictionalized (though just for suspense or ease of portrayal.) For example, the hostages were split into two groups and stayed at different houses, and there were three possible scenarios, and the hostages themselves chose the movie cover story. Also, there was no last-minute effort to chase them down. Fictionalizing true stories are nothing new, of course.

    I’m a big fan of Lincoln, but Spielberg’s version left me a little cold. Daniel Day-Lewis was great, though.

    A movie I really liked was “The Impossible.” I’m glad that Naomi Watts got a nomination.

    Like

    1. Cathy,

      Yes, lots of discrepancies between the actual and the fictionalized in Argo. And I’m glad Jimmy Carter on Piers Morgan gave credits to the Canadian ambassador Ken Taylor and Canada. 90% of the idea and execution was done by Canada he said, such that there was no last min. chase at the airport as you mentioned. I’m just surprised that people give so much leeway with Argo, but so unforgiving with Zero Dark Thirty, which is an even more realistic film than Argo with its journalist turned screenwriter Mark Boal… and I think a better film too, albeit it doesn’t drive you to the edge of your seat like Argo.

      I’ve yet to see The Impossibles. Yes, glad Naomi Watts got a nom. Seeing her on the red carpet is sweet… her husband Liev Schreiber stayed very quiet and just let her have her say. I like them both.

      Yes, I’m excited for Ang Lee. He deserves the win. It’s a very difficult film to shoot considering all the elements. And you’re so right, it’s a huge efforts by thousands to put one person on screen. Lee had them all together in a gentle and humble way.

      Like

  2. I really think they can skip a host next year. It’s not needed. Ramp up the production numbers, give the presenters a tad more to say and you’re good.

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    1. Ti,

      What a great idea! That’s right. WIthout the host, each winner can have more time to say their thank-you’s and not be hurried off like that. And more time for other performances too.

      Like

  3. Just saw the documentary that won the Oscar, Searching for Sugar Man, and it was amazing. A must see! I dont want to give anything away since its best if you know nothing at all about it.

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    1. Mrs. B,

      I’m still waiting for it to screen in our city. Thanks for letting me know your thoughts and not releasing spoilers. Now, I’m even more eager to see it. 😉

      Like

  4. I was pleased that the Life of Pi received several awards as I enjoyed this movie very much. I did not see Lincoln or the other movies so I cannot say much. My daughter saw Les Miserables and she said that there were more French accents in the Life of Pi than in Les Miz and because of that she just could not get into this French classic with Cockney accents.
    I would like the opportunity to watch some of the documentaries and short subjects but where I live they are never offered in theatres. I had heard that the Gatekeepers is good. I wonder if they ever show short subjects or documentaries on TV – I don’t watch TV often so I cannot tell. Now that Downton Abbey is finished my TV watching is about over.

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    1. Vagabonde,

      Yes, I’m still waiting for the docs to screen in our city. Usually they don’t show shorts individually, they may put them in front of full features, or group them together to show in one sitting. So, hopefully I can have the chance to see this year’s winners.

      And regarding accents, I’d learn to go past that issue when I was a previewer for an international film festival for several years. I had to view so many submissions from various countries, hearing just about any accent you can imagine, quite a cultural learning experience too. And BTW, you’ll hear heavy Indo/English accents in Midnight’s Children and Life of Pi too. Also, Anna Karenina… they should be speaking Russian, right?

      The official site of Les Misérables the musical states that 65 millions have seen it in 42 countries. Its global success just shows how a story originated in France, in a French historical context has such universal appeal that it transcends cultures and languages. Nobody owns the story, each individual viewer is touched in a personal way. And that’s what’s important. I believe the cast of Les Miz the movie has carried that universalism and reached its audience around the world as well. I’ve heard of men crying at the end of the film as the credits roll in Hong Kong.

      Like

  5. I had no vested interest in any of the movies except Les Mis because that was the only one I’d seen. But I was pleased to see Pi do so well. That’s on my list as is Argo.

    My take: Show in general — loved all the musical numbers (except maybe the Boobs, which was sort of a boo boo), especially the Les Mis/Dreamgirls/Chicago one. And Barbra was very appropriate at that spot in the show. James Bond DID fall a little flat, didn’t it? I expected more (Cirque du Soliel maybe, in the OLD tradition of the Oscars) but something more active. Liked how the nominated songs were integrated when possible (Adele, Suddenly).

    Seth — when he was good (and that wasn’t much) I really liked him — charming and affable, and very talented with the song and dance, which was when I liked him best. But the humor didn’t work for me. At all. Felt a bit degrading and insulting instead of gentle fun. Not sure if that’s generational, but it didn’t seem to be working for the audience, either. That first bit was WAY too long (although I liked two of the three song and dances) and it just felt wrong. Next year’s host? I’d like to see Hugh — unless he’s up for another award!

    And for once, all the women looked amazing — I didn’t see a lemon of a dress in the bunch.

    Like

    1. Jeanie,

      Yes, that’s another good idea. Have Hugh and Anne host again. They’ll be great together this time since they’ve already struck up rapport and both have much more practice singing together. Now… just wonder who are the people that make the decision.

      Like

  6. Seth was a huge disappointment and he is probably punishing himself more than anyone. Or maybe not since he got so much publicity for Ted 2! But as disturbing as facets of his performance were, it goes too far to suggest the show would be better without a host. The best hosts – ala Billy Crystal – not only keep the show rolling along for us, they engage both the live and the televised audience in a celebratory spirit – while occasionally tossing out some good-natured digs.The energy stays high, everyone feels connected. The audience gets to see the stars laughing at themselves, it’s all very funny, very comradely. But Seth shoved in way too much Seth in his effort to showcase himself, he went for low when he should have aimed for high, and while his peformance has been called serviceable, he won’t be back.
    The Hugh Jackman/Anne Hathaway co-hosting idea sounds wonderful to me – remember Hugh hosted back in 2009. Here’s a link to his spectacular opening number which included Anne. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Terhj8mjPwY

    Important to remember, despite the great opening, the show still fell flat.

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    1. Sim,

      Yes thanks for the clip. I remember that performance, and Seth can’t beat that. THat’s why I think Hugh and Anne will be a great pair of Oscar hosts. Just to give Anne a second chance after the Franco flop. Billy Crystal is classic, but I’m afraid it’s past his time. But as some other commenters agree, a hostless Oscars just might do.

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  7. This was the first academy awards I watched from beginning to end in many years! I cringed during the Goldfinger performance but was very impressed with Adele. Streisand’s performance was good, too. I have to admit I haven’t seen any of movies up for awards so I can only critique the performances we saw on Sunday night. 🙂

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  8. We were really happy that our daughter was here watching with us to fill us in on the who’s and what’s during the show. We really enjoyed Hugh Jackman and Jennifer Lawrence’s responses to her tripping on the stairs!

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    1. Ellen,

      Not too late to catch up on the films from 2012. Several worth watching. As for next year’s Oscars, I do hope they can bring on Hugh and Anne… or Tina and Amy. But as some suggest, a ‘hostless’ Oscar just might work. Allow the performance to flow and thank-you’s without hindrances.

      Like

  9. I was trawling the internet for the Oscar results and should have thought to come here for your thoughtful round-up! All the accounts of Jennifer Lawrence falling over made it sound like she smacked onto her face, but actually, it was a very graceful sort of half-swoon onto the steps. What a classy lady!

    Like

    1. litlove,

      You know, I think as the ‘IT’ girl in Hollywood now, JL will not worry about jobs for a while. My thoughts go to my fave Jessica Chastain, though. I’ve been thinking these few days, Jessica Chastain will be great in a Woody Allen film. Yes, she can definitely reprise the appeal of Diane Keaton.

      Like

  10. While I don’t agree with all the choices for winners, this is by far the best year for Oscar movies that I can recall. I saw five of the nine movies and they are all much better than previous winners. Can anyone come up with a year when there are so many quality movies nominated?

    Like

    1. Bob,

      Yes, I agree with you 2012 is a good bumper crop year for movies. I’ve seen all of the Best Pic nominees except Django Unchained. As I’ve mentioned in my post, I’d wished Jessica Chastain to win and more awards for ZDT. But I can’t deny the fact that The Oscars is a popularity campaign, and not necessarily the best men/women win. With the controversy ZDT was tarnished by, I’m not surprised voters may want to avoid that one. Irony is, with all the errors and alterations Argo had made to be turned into a suspense thriller on screen, nobody seem to mind, cause it rings out patriotism. While the realistic journalism approach of ZDT is being shunned.

      Like

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