As I told my roommate the other day, Oscar night is my Super Bowl night. It is a night of glamour (well that word kind of ruins my Super Bowl analogy) and glory that I look forward to every year. I do understand that a fair amount of the Oscars is a popularity contest and that the list of nominees are not always the best representation of a year in film. Snubs happen all the time and this year was one of the worst years as far as snubs go. Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow were both passed over for Best Director, Moonrise Kingdom was not giving a Best Picture nominations and Leonardo DiCaprio did not earn a nomination for his outstanding performance in Django Unchained (the D is silent you racist mother…..). Despite all the snubs and drama I counted down the minutes until the Oscars started and watched every single moment live, even when it dragged a half an hour past its advertised end time. Ultimately it was a great year for the Oscars with some fairly large surprises. I was nervous about Seth MacFarlane as a host but he ended up giving a hilarious and fairly charming performance. I’m not going to talk about every category, just the big ones.
Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz as Doctor King Schultz in Django Unchained. This year the Best Supporting Actor category was absolutely stacked with each actor in the category a previous Oscar Winner. I could not be happier with the result in this category. While Philip Seymour Hoffman was outstanding in the Master and I am always a fan of Alan Arkin, who was nominated for his performance in Argo, Waltz was my pick for Best Supporting Actor.
Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway as Fantine in Les Miserables. I will go on the record in saying that I did not like Les Miserables. I do not understand how it was nominated for Best Picture. I agree that there were some stunning scenes and some good performances but ultimately I thought it was over-hyped and overrated. One aspect of the film that did not disappoint was Anne Hathaway’s performance. Absolutely heartbreaking as the street prostitute who would give anything and everything to support her daughter, there is no doubt in my mind that Hathaway deserved this win more than any of the other Nominees.
Best Actress: Jennifer Lawrence as Tiffany in Silver Linings Playbook. Again, I thought this award went to the right person. Another very strong category, including Helen Hunt for her performance in the Sessions and Sally Field for her role as Mary Todd in Lincoln, Jennifer Lawrence gave the performance of a lifetime. Playing a broken, young widower, Lawrence proves her true acting skill time and time again throughout the film. There was one scene in particular that could have been enough to win her the award in which she goes head to head with Robert De Niro in my favorite movie scene of the year.
Best Actor: Daniel Day Lewis as Abraham Lincoln in Lincoln. I actually did not see this film but I am not surprised that Lewis won. I would have really liked Bradley Cooper to have won for his performance in Silver Linings Playbook but I do not doubt that Lewis deserved it. He is an outstanding actor and does not take a role unless he can make it Oscar worthy.
Best Director: Ang Lee for Life of Pi. In my opinion this was the biggest shock of the entire night. If I had to cast my vote I would have voted for David O. Russel for Silver Linings Playbook. I am not upset that Lee won, I am just very surprised. The reviews for Life of Pi were mixed and as Oscar night approached, there wasn’t necessarily a strong vote of confidence for Lee to win. After his win I will have to see the film and see if he truly deserved it.
Best Picture: Argo. I am very happy that Argo won. I like Ben Affleck, I have always liked him and am glad that a film he worked so hard on won such a high honor. I think it was quite the shock that Argo won not because it was a bad film or didn’t deserve it but because the film didn’t win any other Oscars throughout the evening. It is very rare for a film to win Best Picture but not take home any other Oscars. I thought Affleck’s speech was heartfelt and true, one of those speeches that makes you realize the Oscar recipient is truly and genuinely honored by the award. In a year of amazing films I have to say I am not at all upset that Argo came through victorious.
I thought this year was a great year for the Oscars, despite them going a half an hour past their end time but hey, its the Oscars, what do you expect? Seth MacFarlane turned out to be a pretty great host and the smattering of performances were very well done. A strong year of Oscar nominated films has come to an end leaving me only to wonder what does 2013 have in store for us?