Oh, the Oscars. They are my Super Bowl. I make predictions with my sister, I am glued to the television from the red carpet through the announcement of Best Picture. Every year I hope they’ll be awesome, but most of the time they are just Meh. Last night had some definite highs and lows… and most of the highs were music-related.
There was a lot of hype about the 50-years of James Bond tribute. The video montage was pretty lame… a lot of clips cut together with colorful graphics photoshopped over them. However, when Shirley Bassey walked out and belted the theme to “Goldfinger,” I got chills. “Goldfinger” is one of the greatest Bond themes of all time and Shirley Bassey is no spring chicken. She NAILED that song and it was a privilege to listen to her sing it 🙂
Another Bond-related musical highlight was Adele singing “Skyfall” from Skyfall. That song is haunting in the best way possible. I heard the song before I saw the film and loved it, but I love it so much more now having seen the movie and knowing what Skyfall is. The lyrics are clever and are just so simple yet beautiful. Plus, Adele is friggin’ flawless. Girl can SING. Yes, the sound levels were wonky, but she pushed through and owned that song. I was so glad it won Best Song because it was my favorite song out of all the songs that were nominated. Adele can do no wrong. Plus, she’s gorgeous as all get out and her accent is so friggin’ charming. She says “Fank You.” ADORABLE.
Barbra Streisand singing “The Way We Were” at the end of the In Memoriam section to honor the late, great Marvin Hamlisch. I have seen so many articles incorrectly reporting that the title of this song is “Memories.” IT IS NOT “MEMORIES,” IT’S “THE WAY WE WERE”, AS IN THE THEME SONG FROM THE MOVIE OF THE SAME F–KING NAME. I cannot properly put into words how angry it makes me that there are entertainment reporters and whatnot who have gotten the title of the song wrong. It’s a super famous song, it’s an Academy Award winning song, and it’s the same name as the super famous movie it’s from… really, what is so hard about that? Regardless.. Barbra was wonderful and her performance brought a tear to my eye because I love that song, I love her, and I love Marvin Hamlisch.
As amazing as these three women were, Jennifer Hudson stole the night with her performance of “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going.” JHud took us to church and back – girl can SING and sing she did. That song is the #1 reason why she won the Oscar (much like “I Dreamed a Dream” was the only reason Anne Hathaway won her Oscar last night) and it’s amazing to see her and listen to her perform it. JHud pours everything into that song and there is no way you’re not going to love her for it.
There were several other notable musical moments of the night. Host Seth MacFarlane sang a song about seeing women’s boobs during his opening monologue. Catherine Zeta Jones looked amazing as she lip synched her way through a sexy rendition of “All That Jazz.” Also, the cast of Les Mis came out and sang “Suddenly” and “One Day More.”
Oh, Russell Crowe – I bet you are waiting until you never have to associate yourself with that movie (or musicals) ever again. Major props to him for singing with everyone… turns out his uncomfortable live singing on film translates to the same uncomfortable live singing on television. I felt awkward while watching at home, but luckily Aaron Tveit quickly appeared on my tv with a smolder that announced his presence with authority and I quickly forgot about Crowe. To be honest, I was mostly trying to listen/watch the younger crowd from Les Mis as they sang. I love Jackman, but SBC and HBC both looked super annoyed that they were there (Were they in character? Or were they just like “I’m so over this too…”?) Amanda Seyfried and Eddie Redmayne were good, as was Samantha Barks (Though what was up with her tiny waist?! Was that a corset, or is she naturally disproportionate?). I avoided watching Hathaway at all costs. She has a lovely voice and was good in the movie, but I’m just so over her in general that I tend to tune her out nowadays.
It was not a surprise that Hathaway won Best Supporting Actress even though she tried to make it seem as such. You already got the Oscar, kid, no need to try to win an Oscar for winning an Oscar. Her speech – especially that forced quote/soundbite at the end – was grating. She won almost everything under the sun this season… frankly, I was tired of her.
I was not tired of Jennifer Lawrence, though. Man, I could listen to her speeches all the time… not only did she bite it on her way up to the stage, but she called everyone out for giving her a pity-induced Standing O. (Four for you, JLaw!)
My other two favorite speeches of the night were from the Argo crowd. Screenwriter Chris Terrio gave a really heartfelt speech and managed to cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time. He was eloquent and sincere and I really respected his shout out to Affleck and recognizing that he was in a similar spot years ago and how he has allowed Terrio the same opportunity. Great speech, bro.
And then there was the Argo/Best Picture speech. Producer George Clooney stood there silently while Grant Heslov took the mic. (Every time I see Heslov, I immediately think of him in True Lies saying, “They call him the Sand Spider… Probably because it sounds scary.”) Heslov’s joke about the three sexy producers was funny and then he had some nice things to say about the people he worked with. He eventually passed the speech to Affleck and he mumbled his way through thanking people and making a bit of an ass out of himself when talking about “working” with his wife. But then Affleck got serious and I might have gotten a little choked up. He talked about the opportunities that so many people in the room gave him even when he couldn’t offer them much more than hard work (my words, not his). He spoke about how you can’t hold grudges and that even though you get knocked down, you gotta get back up. It was a bit cliche, but it was also really really true. Affleck has been kicked around by the entertainment industry for over a decade. He was celebrated at a young age for his screenwriting/Good Will Hunting-ness with Matt Damon, but quickly got sucked into tabloid land with his relationship with JLo and some of his less awesome movies (Forces of Nature, Gigli, etc…). However, over the years, he completely picked himself back up and has made a name for himself as a talented filmmaker. He seems to have a wonderful family life with Jennifer Garner and their kids. He has directed three critically acclaimed feature films. He became the poster boy for snubbed artists when he didn’t get nominated for Best Director. At this point, Affleck doesn’t need a Best Director Oscar to tell him he’s doing okay. He’ll get one eventually. But, for now, he’s the guy who made an amazing film that took home every major guild award, as well as the Oscar for Best Picture. Ben Affleck is a serious filmmaker and I’m excited for anything and everything that he’ll direct in years to come.
Seth MacFarlane did a decent job as host. I thought most of his opening was amusing. I liked his Flying Nun bit he did with Sally Field and how he sang and danced with Channing Tatum, Charlize Theron, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Daniel Radcliffe. My favorite bit he did the whole night was the Sound of Music gag when introducing Christopher Plummer. I laughed out loud – that was brilliant.
I won the Oscar ballot battle between myself and my sister. I got 18/24 categories right and she got 16/24. The win felt good after she shellacked me during the Golden Globes.
Did you watch the Oscars? What were your favorite or least favorite moments?