WOW - what a great night at the Oscars! We laughed, we cried, we ate ourselves stupid, we laughed some more. But now, let's review.
Seth MacFarlane hosted. I know Seth has done comedy, and that he sings. But that's only through hearsay. I've never seen him in action until last night. I wasn't too sure what we were in for, but I have to say I absolutely adore him.
He's very self-possessed, not a smidge of insecurity to be seen. He was so comfortable on the stage that he made everyone else comfortable, and he has such a cute face that even his most politically incorrect jokes (and there were many) were instantly forgiven. The fact that the jokes were actually funny helped, too.
For example, he started off the evening with a song called "We Saw Your Boobs", listing off the female stars that had gone topless in movies, and which movies they were. Many of the ladies mentioned were present, and it was a hysterically funny tune. As I like to keep my readers abreast of these things, here's a piece of it:
The theme of the evening was music in the movies - one of my great loves - and throughout the night, at every commercial break, and between segments, the orchestra played snatches of tunes that were made famous in movies. There were staged musical song and dance numbers throughout, as well, which really added to the entertainment value of the show.
Particularly funny was their use of the "shark music" from "Jaws", which they played when anyone was running a bit long on their acceptance speech. It took a little of the sting out of being hurried off the stage because it made everyone laugh.
The stage setting and decoration was a bit more muted than I'd expected, but I did think it upheld the "old Hollywood" regal feel fairly well. One thing that concerned me slightly was the design of that front and center circular area... with all the singing and dancing numbers going on, I was nervous someone was going to take a header off into the stairs. Happily, my worries were unfounded.
And now, here are my own awards, based on what I saw last night!
BEST DRESS AWARD:
I know, I know... it wasn't the dress with the brightest colors, it didn't have the fluffiest skirt or the most revealing decolletage. But the detailing is gorgeous, it fit her beautifully, and it looked comfortable and easy to move in. The beading gives the material a rich heaviness that makes the skirt move nicely in the back when walking, without getting caught on the heels of the shoes (a problem Meryl Streep had with her gown). I just love this dress.
MOST UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENT
OF THE NIGHT AWARD:
Daniel Radcliffe and Kristen Stewart
Inexplicably, they paired up the consummately classy Dan Radcliffe with the mess that is Kristen Stewart, to present an award. The jutting ridge that is Dan's clenched jaw muscle is clearly visible in this picture. Why? Well, because it's her cue to speak, and she's staring, glassy-eyed at the middle distance and... not speaking.
It was noted by one of the red carpet hosts that Kristen Stewart arrived at the Oscars on crutches. Instead of using them, she hobbled out onto the stage like a troll - a pathetic and obvious attention-getting ploy. Whether from too much cocaine or not enough, she managed to get every hand, arm, and body tic going simultaneously while managing not to get her lines from the teleprompter. As usual, she looked like the spokesperson for "Women Against Shampoo and Hairbrushes". I felt bad for Dan Radcliffe - talk about drawing the short straw!
Happily, in a later segment, Dan got to come back onstage with people who actually bothered to bathe for the occasion. He did a fab song and dance number with Seth MacFarlane and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Loved that!
BEST ACCEPTANCE SPEECH AWARD:
Meryl Streep announced Daniel Day-Lewis' Oscar win for Best Actor in "Lincoln", and they had a touching moment together before he came to the microphone. I just adore Daniel Day-Lewis. There's something so fragile about him, I just want to make him a cup of tea and keep him in my kitchen. He's so endearing, and so very well-spoken, and he gave the most humble, moving and heartfelt acceptance speech I think I've ever heard. He even manged to get in a good joke with Meryl Streep - after he'd wiped the tears out of his eyes. What a darling.
MOST GORGEOUS CREATURE AWARD:
Honestly, if a bottle of cream came to life and walked around, it was Charlize Theron last night. She was tall, she was statuesque, regal, completely charming and personable, and if a woman can look beautiful in a haircut like that... HOLY CATS. She was stunning - with a simple, streamlined gown that looks like it was crafted from the fondant icing on an upscale wedding cake, and barely-there makeup, she shone more brightly than all the over-jeweled, fake eyelash-wearing women on the red carpet. She was like Galadriel in Lord of the Rings. She was... just, WOW.
... and to top it off, SHE CAN DANCE!
MOST UNFORTUNATE ENSEMBLE AWARD:
Julie Dartnell... there's no need to point out which one she is, right? I just don't know where to begin with this mess. She won the Oscar for doing hair and makeup on "Les Mis". Apparently she doesn't take any of her talents home with her. And the pink sausage tights... oh ye gods and little fishes.
BEST MUSICAL PERFORMANCE AWARD:
It's a tie! Shirley Bassey and Jennifer Hudson both knocked me right off the couch.
Shirley Bassey showed she's still got it in spades, slinking out on stage in a gold dress and belting out "Goldfinger" in a voice like Thor's hammer - she's got some power, I can tell you! The orchestra was in fine fiddle (oddly, they were playing from a building down the street from where the awards were being given, so we only saw them via a few camera shots during the ceremonies), and the music was grand. Dame Bassey wowed the crowd, got a standing ovation, and it was very, very well deserved. Class and sass wins the day!
Jennifer Hudson absolutely knocked it out of the park with "And I Am Telling You", which anyone who's ever heard amateurs attempt it on "American Idol" can attest is NOT an easy song to sing. Combine the sheer vocal difficulty of that song, in both range and emotion, with the nerves and jitters that go along with performing at a huge show like the Academy Awards, and if you end up with a performance like hers, you know you've got real talent. She's got what they call "the package". Looks, voice, and heart. Shazam!
MOST DISAPPOINTING MUSICAL PERFORMANCE AWARD:
You see, I'm actually a fan of Adele's. I know what she's capable of. I'm not totally blaming her for the sad result of her performance of James Bond theme song "Skyfall" (which later won an Oscar). I think it was a fatal combination of these things:
* Orchestra was too loud / microphone was turned down - bad soundstage management, in other words. She was practically drowned out for 90 percent of the song.
* The song did not showcase her singing style. She has a great, soaring, huge voice, and this song cut off the ends of the phrases instead of letting her wail.
* Can't be sure, of course, but I think she may have been medicated before the show. Her pupils were enormous, and I know she suffers from stage fright. This particular event causes huge anxiety to people who don't normally get nervous, so if she was tranquilized that would explain why she didn't really hit the thing full throttle.
QUIRKIEST PRESENTATION AWARD:
Jack Nicholson and... Michele Obama?
In another bizarre pairing of presenters, they had Jack Nicholson come onstage to make a few boozy womanizer-type jokes and present the Best Picture award. Then, in a "surprise appearance", a large screen dropped down and Michele Obama, surrounded by highly decorated (and also highly decorative) military personnel, gave a little speech and read out the winner - "Argo".
I suppose they were wise to keep Mrs. Obama and Jack Nicholson in separate locations, because he'd probably have tried to grab her ass and get a little action on the side. Of course, the next thing we'd have seen is Jack getting carted off by the medics. Michele Obama is not a woman you want to mess with, cute bangs and dangly earrings aside. She will kick. Yo. Ass.
FALLING STAR AWARD:
With the endless yards of tulle and satin and lace being waded through at the Oscars, it's inevitable that someone will go down. Jennifer Lawrence was a real trip as she attempted to get up the stairs to claim her Best Actress Award. Somehow, she managed to gracefully convert her stumble into something resembling a moment of silent prayer.
It was most likely a prayer of thanks that she hadn't had to compete with any heavy hitters for this award. Because frankly, I don't think she's all that great. She's got that same dead-eyed shark look on her face that Kristen Stewart has, and it just leaves me cold. Her smile never reaches her eyes.
ODDEST OSCAR FASHION TREND AWARD:
Ben Affleck, George Clooney, Hugh Jackman
(just to name a few)
(just to name a few)
A good looking man can pull off a beard and still be handsome, but honestly, I think these three really look better with their mugs clean shaven:
What do you think?
BEST OSCARS SNACK OF ALL TIME AWARD:
My husband's homemade guacamole
Holy sheepshit, peeps. That guacamole was so delicious that I ate more than any human being should ever eat in one sitting. I may have onion breath for the next several weeks. But it was SO worth it. Gah! The DELICIOUSNESS!!! There's no photo because
* * * * * * *
At the end of the night, my eyes full of stars and my stomach full of steak and chicken and guacamole, I found myself well satisfied with the night's entertainment, and also surprised by something I hadn't realized to start with.
I'd said initially that I hadn't seen any of the movies up for an award, but I was wrong about that. I have just not seen any of the movies up for Best Picture. Totally different thing. In fact, I did see several of the movies that were up for other awards.
"Paperman", which won for Best Animated Short Film
"Brave", which won for Best Animated Feature Film
I really loved both of these films, and was very happy to see them win. They very much deserved it.
The movie I most want to see, now that I've seen the Oscars, is "Life of Pi"...
... although I have a sneaking suspicion that the tiger is going to break my heart somehow.