Kentucky scored some love last night during the 85th Academy Awards, with Louisville native Jennifer Lawrence taking home the Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal in “Silver Linings Playbook.”
Sure Jennifer took a stumble ascending the steps to receive her award, but she handled the incident with grace and humor.
Not to mention, did you see that dress; it poofed out to the size of Haiti. No wonder the poor woman stepped on it trying to get up the steps.
“You guys are just standing up because you feel bad that I fell, and that’s really embarrassing, but thank you,” said Lawrence after taking the podium.
It was great to see her initial reaction. Lawrence appeared genuinely stunned to have won, which is understandable. The girl is but 22 years old, and it seemed all but a done deal that this award was going to Jessica Chastain for “Zero Dark Thirty,” but not this night.
Sadly, this was about the only example of any youthful energy in the awards ceremony.
As I joked with a friend on Facebook during the telecast, this year’s annual rendition was like an awards show for dead people.
It was seriously slow, heavy-handed and too weighted down by the old guard.
And the singing…
Please God, someone stop them from singing one more show tune! My ears are bleeding.
I know this was a year to celebrate movie tunes, but for those of us that strongly dislike musicals, it was unbelievably painful.
I declare a pox upon musicals!
Not only did they sing basically all the Best Original Song nominees, there were tributes to past musicals, “Les Misérables” was up for Best Picture, so it was a song vehicle waiting to happen.
Even celebrating five decades of James Bond required a song (actually two if you count Adele’s singing of the winning tune, “Skyfall”).
Though I must admit, Shirley Bassey’s rendition of “Goldfinger” was about the best song of the night, next to Jennifer Hudson’s remarkable vocals on “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going.”
Still Bassey couldn’t save the lame tribute that was given to the Bond series.
In fact, lameness tended to be a theme throughout the evening.
First year host, Seth MacFarlane, wasn’t awful, but he was painful.
Known as the creator of “Family Guy,” MacFarlane proved he could wear a tux, sang and danced better than expected, but had that insipid grin plastered across his face all night.
He looked like a grown Peter Brady, from “The Brady Bunch,” who had gone to college and joined a fraternity, and not a good one.
The opening was dreadful, where MacFarlane was joined by William Shatner via video, reprising his role as Captain James T. Kirk, and supposedly had traveled back in time to help MacFarlane not ruin the Oscars.
This was bad, for both of them, and it lasted for like 15 minutes.
Watching MacFarlane sing “The Boob Song,” where he rattled off all the actresses, and their movies, where he got to see them naked, was rude at best.
My personal low point came when MacFarlane made his Lincoln joke.
He was trying to have some fun with the difficulty Daniel Day-Lewis had in characterizing his Best Actor role, and quipped that, “I would argue however that the actor who really got inside Lincoln’s head was John Wilkes Booth.”
This drew immediate boos from the crowd, to which MacFarlane added, “Really, 150 years and it’s still too soon. I’ve got some Napoleon jokes coming up. You guys are going to be so mad. Oh My God!”
It’s not like I wasn’t expecting this from MacFarlane. It’s what he does and he is very successful at it, but it is a brand of humor that makes people uncomfortable, and is beneath the Oscars.
That being said, hosting this event is a monster. It’s almost an unwinnable affair. Three-plus hours of overly orchestrated, canned banter, before the biggest names in show business.
It’s hard not to come off as lame on that stage, and MacFarlane was not lame.
He has talent, but maybe this wasn’t the best place to showcase it.
One last bit about the singing, because that shit is still annoying me today.
Whoever thought it was a good idea to put Russell Crow in the unfortunate position of having to sing anywhere near the same stage as Jennifer Hudson should have his or her judgment examined.
Also, during the In Memoriam segment, that rendition by Barbara Streisand of “The Way We Were,” not so great.
OK I’m done ranting about musicals, but this is a fine spot to mention cosmetic surgery. I get this was the movie awards, so appearances and vanity count, but damn there was some desperate plastic surgery on display last night. Most noticeably John Travolta.
As for the awards themselves, balance was the theme for the evening. No movie dominated, as a different film won in each of the six major categories.
“Life of Pi” won the most awards, four, including Best Director, for Ang Lee.
“Argo” won for Best Picture, and took home two other awards. “Les Misérables” also won three.
Under the heading of least suspenseful winner, Daniel Day-Lewis took home the Best Actor statue for his portrayal of our 16th president in “Lincoln.”
I felt kind of bad for the other blokes in this category. They all were deserving, but never stood a chance.
“Django Unchained” took home two big statues, for Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor, as Christoph Waltz won for a second time in a Quentin Tarantino film.
I was surprised the newest James Bond film, “Skyfall,” not only was nominated for five awards, but won two. What a relief to see Adele complete her world domination over the past two years and win the one thing she hadn’t taken home yet.
When it did finally come time for the Best Picture award, out came smiling Jack Nicholson. Is it just me or does Jack appear to be morphing into Don Rickles?
Nicholson really only was there to introduce First Lady Michelle Obama, who read the nominations via video from the White House, and crowned “Argo.”
I do want to give a shout out to Ben Affleck, who produced, directed and starred in “Argo.” He was snubbed for a nomination in the Best Director category, but took home the one that counts.
He is a humble guy and it was great to see him receive some well-deserved recognition.