On Sunday, the 85th Academy Awards aired, bringing millions of viewers surprise winners and borderline FCC violations from Seth MacFarlane. The big winner of the night was Argo, which won Best Picture. On the day of the nominations, entertainment news was up in arms about the fact that Ben Affleck, director of Argo, did not receive a nomination for Best Director. Despite this snub, he went on to win the Golden Globe, BAFTA, Critics’ Choice, and Director’s Guild of America award for his directorial efforts. At the Oscars, the award went to Ang Lee for Life of Pi. He beat out a supposed sure-fire winner in Steven Spielberg for Lincoln.
Lincoln didn’t go home empty handed, though. It deservedly won Best Actor for Daniel Day-Lewis, the first man to win three Best Actor Oscars. The film also won for Best Production Design (formerly Art Direction).
For Best Actress, Jennifer Lawrence took home the prize for her role in Silver Linings Playbook after tripping on her way to the stage. Both of these actors beat out some very deserving competition for their Oscars, but were the predicted winners since before the nominations were even announced.
In the supporting categories, Anne Hathaway had an unsurprising victory for her work in Les Misérables. Beating out four other previous Oscar- winners, Christoph Waltz won his second Oscar for his performance in Django Unchained, a film which got Quentin Tarantino his second Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. In the Adapted Screenplay category, Argo’s screenwriter Chris Terrio won.
Even though it didn’t win Best Picture, Life of Pi won the most awards – four. Aside from Best Director, it won for Best Original Score, Best Cinematography and Best Visual Effects. On top of Best Supporting Actress, Les Misérables brought home two other awards – Best Makeup & Hairstyling and Best Sound Mixing.
Mark Wahlberg and the adorably inappropriate teddy bear Ted presented the Best Sound Editing Oscar. This category was a shock, as it was the third time in Oscar history and the first time in 44 years that there was a tie. The honor was shared with the sound crew behind Zero Dark Thirty and Skyfall. Skyfall also saw Adele win for her Bond song, as everyone predicted she would have. In the Animated Feature category, Brave pulled out a surprising win over predicted winner, Wreck-It Ralph. Anna Karenina won the award for Best Costume Design.
Some of the biggest surprises of the night were in the acting category. Jennifer Lawrence had won the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) award, as well as a Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Award for Best Actress in a Comedy.
However, Jessica Chastain won a Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Award as well, not
to mention the same honor from the National Board of Review. Emmanuel Riva, of the Best Foreign Language Film Winner Amour, won the BAFTA for Best Actress. Quvenzhané Wallis and Naomi Watts also gave critically acclaimed performances. What all that means is that while Lawrence’s win was both expected and deserved, it wasn’t a guarantee. Personally, I would’ve been thrilled to see Naomi Watts on that stage, but if it couldn’t have been her, I’m happy it was J Law.
Christoph Waltz won the BAFTA and the Golden Globe, but wasn’t even nominated for the Critics’ Choice or the SAG. Robert De Niro and Tommy Lee Jones were, in the eyes of some, the frontrunners. I predicted that Waltz was going to win, and it turns out I was right. In a category of five previous Oscar winners, though, there was no guarantee whose name would be in that envelope, but I’m glad it was Christoph’s.
It was well-believed that the Best Director Oscar was going to Steven Spielberg. However, since Ben Affleck, winner of every other Best Director award this year, was omitted from the category, there was nothing to support this belief. Both Ang Lee and Silver Linings Playbook’s David O. Russell were thought to have chances of winning, and as it turns out, one of them did win. Other surprises include Best Adapted Screenplay, which was won by Argo, even though both Silver Linings Playbook and Lincoln were believed to have had decent chances of winning. Lincoln made up for its Best Director loss with a Production Design win, beating out the visually striking masterpieces Les Misérables, Life of Pi, Anna Karenina and The Hobbit.
The entire ceremony was hosted by the hilarious Seth MacFarlane, creator of Family Guy and Ted. A lot of his jokes pushed the boundaries of what the ceremony usually includes in its comedy. His antics included, but were not limited to, a crack at Chris Brown/Rihanna, Mel Gibson’s graphic voicemails, and a jaunty tune about which actresses showed their boobs and when (he took the chance to call Kate Winslet out on her 5+ cases of indecent exposure). While he probably offended a lot of people, I think most know it was all in good fun. Besides, what else would you expect from Seth MacFarlane?
To sum up: Life of Pi – 4, Argo – 3, Les Misérables – 3, Lincoln – 2, Django Unchained – 2, Skyfall – 2, Silver Linings Playbook – 1, Amour – 1, Zero Dark Thirty – 1, Brave – 1, Anna Karenina – 1.
In my book, it was a pretty good night. Les Mis took home a few more awards that I would’ve hoped, and Brave won over the overlooked ParaNorman, but Django won two and Jennifer Lawrence got an Oscar. So, yeah. I’m happy.