Posted by: ckckred | March 1, 2013

The Oscars 2013: The Winners are Good, The Show Isn’t


Editor’s Note: I know this is a late post. I just had the time to write this up now.

This year’s Oscars was a mixed bag.  The winners this year were well deserved, if some predictable, but the show in total wasn’t very strong.

Seth MacFarlane, unfortunately, did not do too well as host and fell flat during his intro, trying combine old Hollywood-like hosts like Bob Hope with crude humor (hence making a song called “We Saw Your Boobs”).  While I think MacFarlane is a talented comedian, I haven’t been to keen on his work and am not a fan of Family Guy for its cutaway gags that are poorly placed in the episodes (South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker brilliantly spoofed in the episode “Cartoon Wars”).  Still, I was hoping he would add an edge to the show like what Ricky Gervais did to the Globes, but MacFarlane lacked Gervais’ biting satire and comic energy and mostly just stuck with jokes that would just annoy the PTC.  MacFarlane first came out with a monologue of biting gags, some of which were funny as the Tommy Lee Jones joke, but then turned to an overlong and unfunny bit with William Shatner as Captain Kirk telling MacFarlane he’ll be the worst Oscar host ever.

MacFarlane improved slightly over the night, becoming less nervous and more confident.  Some jokes fell completely apart, such as the Von Trapp sketch, while some really didn’t go over well with the audiences like the Lincoln joke, but there were a couple of laughs (I liked the Flight spoof).  But overall, I felt MacFarlane did a weak job at hosting, though to be fair it wasn’t completely his fault.  Amy Poehler and Tina Fey had already set pretty high standards for hosting, and the Oscars have become increasingly dull over the year.  Many of the intro speeches were badly written and stiltedly delivered and the funniest joke of the night was an unscripted line when Samuel L. Jackson tried to open the envelope (does anyone else think Jackson should host next year?).  So while MacFarlane didn’t succeed, this year’s Oscars won’t live in the notoriety of James Franco and Anne Hathaway’s stint.  And I still have to credit him for not doing some gags the Oscars did before like auto tuning clips or getting an unnecessary Justin Bieber cameo.

The theme of the show revolved around music and gave unnecessary musical numbers on Chicago and Dream Girls, which is very self-indulgent seeing how the producers of the Oscars (shocker!) also made Chicago, plus it’s a glaring reminder of one of the Academy’s biggest blunders.  I also felt it was unfair to only show a couple of the best song nominees live and using the Jaws soundtrack to shoo off winners was done in very bad taste.  It almost sounds like a parody of what the Oscars would do to get them off the stage.

The Oscars played it very safe this year and did it very well.  Argo won Best Picture and while I would have preferred seeing a couple of other films win over it, I didn’t mind seeing Ben Affleck take the award (personally, I would have only been upset if Les Miserables did).  But there was no decisive sweep for really any of the Best Picture nominees, the closest to that was Life of Pi.  All of the nominees, with the unfortunate exception of Beasts of the Southern Wild, got some appreciation from the Academy.  Argo also took home Best Adapted Screenplay and Editing, Amour won Best Foreign Picture, Django Unchained won Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor (for Christoph Waltz), Lincoln won Best Actor (Daniel Day-Lewis) and Production Design, Les Miserables won Best Supporting Actress (Anne Hathaway) and Sound Mixing, Silver Linings Playbook won Best Actress (Jennifer Lawrence), and Zero Dark Thirty took home only one award for Sound Editing (which it tied with Skyfall).

Overall, there were relatively few surprises except for the tie for Sound Editing shared by Zero Dark Thirty and Skyfall and Micelle Obama’s appearance.  I knew about halfway in the show Ang Lee would win Best Director for Life of Pi, even though I had predicted Spielberg beforehand, du to the number of technical awards it took.  I thought it was a good night for the distribution of the awards.  I would have like to have seen films like The Master, Zero Dark Thirty, and Beasts of the Southern Wild get more and Les Miserables get less, but I don’t have any major disagreements with any of the winners.

Winners below in red.

Beasts of the Southern Wild
Django Unchained
Les Miserables
Life of Pi
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty

Ang Lee, Life of Pi
Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild
David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
Michael Haneke, Amour
Steven Spielberg, Lincoln

Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Denzel Washington, Flight
Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables
Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
Joaquin Phoenix, The Master

Naomi Watts, The Impossible
Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
Quvenzhané Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild

Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained
Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook
Alan Arkin, Argo
Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln

Sally Field, Lincoln
Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Jacki Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook
Helen Hunt, The Sessions
Amy Adams, The Master

Beasts of the Southern Wild
Life of Pi
Silver Linings Playbook

Django Unchained
Moonrise Kingdom
Zero Dark Thirty

The Pirates! Band of Misfits
Wreck-It Ralph

A Royal Affair
War Witch

5 Broken Cameras
The Gatekeepers
The Invisible War
How To Survive A Plague
Searching for Sugar Man

Anna Karenina
Django Unchained
Life of Pi

Anna Karenina
Les Miserables
Mirror Mirror
Snow White and the Huntsman

Life of Pi
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Les Miserables

Anna Karenina
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Les Miserables
Life of Pi

Anna Karenina
Life of Pi

“Before My Time,” Chasing Ice
“Everybody Needs A Best Friend,” Ted
“Pi’s Lullaby,” Life of Pi
“Skyfall,” Skyfall
“Suddenly,” Les Miserables

Django Unchained
Life of Pi
Zero Dark Thirty(Tie)

Les Miserables
Life of Pi

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Life of Pi
The Avengers
Snow White and the Huntsman

Adam and Dog
Fresh Guacamole
Head Over Heels
Maggie Simpson in “The Longest Daycare”

Buzkashi Boys
Death of a Shadow

Kings Point
Open Heart
Mondays at Racine



  1. Nice wrap up. I wasn’t wowed by MacFarlane but he was a little better than I expected. To me the better bits came after his opening which I thought fell flat. Only the “Flight” sock puppet bit really worked well (as you mentioned). I thought the boobs song was immature and tasteless. Thank goodness my kids had just left the room when he started it. So much for families watching the Oscars right?

    • Only Flight and Tommy Lee Jones jokes worked for me. Most of his other ones fell flat. This definitely was a crude year for the Oscars. Thanks for commenting.

      • I have to say I liked the joke about Argo being about such secretive material at the Academy didn’t even know the director. I also laughed out loud when he said “Our next presenter needs no introduction” then turned and walked off. Other than that, zzzzzzz.

        I want Robert Downey Jr to host!!!!

      • Oh, I forgot about those two jokes. Yeah, I was laughing when he did the introduction joke.

        I would like to see Downey host next year’s Oscars as well.

  2. Nice summary there! I wasn’t too impressed with MacFarlane either. I also didn’t think that Les Mis deserved so much praise, but never mind 🙂 some well deserved awards handed out -Michael Haneke, Jennifer Lawrence and Christopher Waltz!

    • I’m glad someone else agrees with me from Les Mis. Most people loved it but I found it soapy. The winners were pretty good and I really didn’t have any major disagreements. Thanks for commenting.

      • I also found Les Mis to be just ok. I thought the one song Anne Hathaway does entirely in one take to be incredible (so I was glad to see her get a statue), but other than that I thought the film was a little lifeless.

      • That one scene with Anne Hathaway really did impress me, but the rest of the movie tried too hard to be emotional. I think I would have preferred seeing Amy Adams take the Oscar but Hathaway certainly wasn’t underserving, despite my mixed feeling about the film. Thanks for commenting.

      • Overall I thought this year’s Oscars were a little more on-the-ball in terms of awards. Nothing too egregious like Jonah Hill or making the Best Original Song category too strict to be able to nominate five songs.

      • Yeah, the Oscars made some good decisions this year. I could probably nitpick some decisions but I liked pretty much all the winners.

  3. Nice piece mate. I thought Macfarlane did OK but was nothing great. Was better than some previous hosts though. I thought the whole thing was rather predictable to be honest, there weren’t many big surprises.

    • I didn’t find MacFarlane to be very funny but he’s Billy Crystal compared to James Franco and Anne Hathaway’s performance. Yeah, it was pretty predictable, not that many winners were bad, but I felt the Oscars should have tried to do something really cool like give Riva Best Actress. Thanks for commenting.

  4. I didn’t watch, but wanted to let you know I saw The Master and want to see it again of course. I may wait until a release with all the alternate deleted scenes. Is there one out yet? I kept waiting for the scene, “Just tell me something that is true!” from the trailer, but it was cut. That didn’t bother me. I liked the fact that the movie’s sense of style reflected the line “He is making it up as he goes along.” Most of all I appreciated the details such as the scene where a woman asks about why The Master’s book changed from using memory to imagination, exposing how sloppy The Master really was in his “knowledge.” I myself am in the anti-guru camp so from that alone I liked the movie. But the way it was done – the fragments – is what got me. I think there are potentially dozens of versions of this movie we may never see.

    • Glad you enjoyed it, it’s a very decisive film. I’m planning to buy the blu-ray soon which just came out and see the film again. It’s amazing how Anderson structures the film.

      Oh yes, I’m also planning to watch Solaris sometime this week as well.

      • Sounds great. I love the use of Bach in Tarkovsky’s Solaris. Although the pacing is slow (as with all his films) that is somewhat alleviated by reading the subtitles. I think you will appreciate the atmosphere created.

        Yes The Master is going to be one of those films I watch several times. I agree: the structure drew me in for both what it showed and didn’t show. With his last two films, I see Anderson making films on par with the best. (“I drink your milk shake!”)

      • Anderson sure has a great filmography. My favorite of his work is Magnolia, but I think I would put a tie between There Will Be Blood and The Master for second.

  5. Yeah. I have much the same feelings as you about MacFarlane. There was too much Family Guy humour. Edginess is okay, but it has so have a certain level of wit behind it, whereas McFarlane’s approach seems to be throw out a bunch of random, crude stuff and hope some of it works.

    Its too bad the Von Trapp bit fell flat though. I actually liked that one a lot.

    • Glad you agree. The major problem I have with Family Guy is that its humor is a bunch of disconnected gags that don’t fit in properly with the narrative. His job was really similar to a Family Guy episode.

      After that Von Trapp bit, I remember seeing Christopher Plummer looking really annoyed… but he openly talks about his dislike for The Sound of Music. Thanks for commenting.

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