So another Academy Awards ceremony has come and gone. I’ll leave most of the commentary about Seth MacFarlane’s hosting job to others, though allow me to point you to this well-written critical piece, this mixed-bag of a review, this positive one, and this analysis of the ratings for the night. I will say this about MacFarlane, which is that if you invite someone responsible for Family Guy and Ted to host the ceremony, you should be surprised by none of what happened. To protest otherwise is the height of hypocrisy (protest the jokes, by all means, but don’t act surprised that he did them).
As a side note, I was in a room full of women during the “boobs” song, and most were laughing, which proves nothing other than that there is never one monolithic reaction to, well, anything. My favorite bit of the night? Sock-puppet Flight. My least favorite moment? MacFarlane making fun of how Oscar recipients (for Make-Up in Les Misérables) Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell looked (well, OK, the Don Cheadle/Lincoln joke and the Jews-in-Hollywood joke also bothered me, and yes, the boobs song was very problematic, if also outrageously funny).
But let’s talk about the awards, which is what the night was supposed to be about. First, here is the Midday with Dan Rodricks show podcast, from Friday, February 22 – Midday with Dan Rodricks: 2013.02.22_Academy Awards* – so you can hear my thoughts, and those of Linda DeLibero, before we knew the results of the big night. Below is a list of my Oscar predictions, with the ones I got right highlighted in green, and the ones I got wrong highlighted in red. Please note that there were two winners (a tie) for Sound Editing. For a list of the winners online, visit imdb, among other sites.
Which awards surprised you? I loved Christoph Waltz in Django Unchained, but was surprised that he won, as the odds seemed to be in De Niro’s favor (or Jones’s). I was also surprised by the Ang Lee win (though not unhappy). I really wish that Emmanuelle Riva had won (and it was even her birthday that night), but thought Jennifer Lawrence was pretty good in Silver Linings Playbook.
However, all of that said, although my ballot reflects the films I thought would win, the films and people that I wished had won, in certain categories, if different than the actual winners, are here:
BEST PICTURE: Django Unchained
BEST DIRECTOR: Michael Haneke
BEST ACTRESS: Emmanuelle Riva
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Helen Hunt (who showed a lot more than just boobs, but for good narrative reason!)
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE: Frankenweenie
BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT: Death of a Shadow
BEST ANIMATED SHORT: Adam and Dog
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Beasts of the Southern Wild
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN: Life of Pi
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Skyfall
An interesting night, for sure, and a good year for movies, in which many of the Oscar-nominated films actually had good box office receipts.
* I have to issue 2 corrections to things I said on air:
- All members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are eligible to vote in all categories of the Academy Awards:http://www.oscars.org/awards/academyawards/about/voting.html. It is only the NOMINEES for the individual categories that are determined by the members of the respective branches (editors, cinematographers, actors, etc.). While discussing the nominees for Best Cinematography, I expressed disbelief that Claudio Miranda (“Life of Pi”) could be the front-runner over Roger Deakins (“Skyfall”), since most of the work we see on screen in “Life of Pi” is the work of the Visual Effects Supervisor and his team. How, then, could other cinematographers not recognize that fact? Well, now I know why Miranda won: there are a lot more non-cinematographers voting for the award who don’t understand the distinction and are just reacting to the pretty images.
- Dan asked Linda and me if Harvey Weinstein had something to do with the success of “Silver Linings Playbook,” and we replied that we didn’t think so. We were wrong. The film – which continues to do well at the box office – was produced by the Weinstein Company (though Bob and Harvey only show up as “Executive Producers,” which is why I didn’t see them listed as the Producers).