Hollywood gathers for record-breaking Oscars
The Oscars, movies’ biggest night, brings all of Hollywood’s stars and royalty together to honor those who have made great achievements in the art of film. Movies are so important in our culture. They make us laugh, cry, hope, dream and aspire to be better than that which we have already become. They make us ponder life’s great complexities, they bring about new ideas, they inspire us to do great things and they define generations. They are stories put into motion, beautiful and epic.
This year’s Oscars were hosted by Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy), who seemed like an odd choice at first but did a wonderful job. This man is a triple threat, he can sing, he can dance and he is funny as heck. The night started off with Seth waltzing onto the stage with the dazzling lights behind him wearing a suave tux. He shot off some funny jokes making the audience laugh at times and cringe at others. He showed off his impressive, Frank Sinatra style voice by singing “The Way You Look Tonight” as Channing Tatum and Charlize Theron very gracefully ballroom danced around him. And he made our hearts pound when he tapped danced with Daniel Radcliff and Joseph Gorden-Levitt to “High Hopes”.
The night was dedicated to the music of film and how without music, movies would be next to nothing. Music lets the audience know what to feel and when to feel it; it is the building block of motion pictures. There were many wonderful performances including Catherine Zeta Jones singing “All that Jazz” from “Chicago,” which won Best Picture ten years ago. Dream Girl’s Jenifer Hudson sang a beautiful rendition of “You’re Gonna Love Me”. The entire cast of Les Misérables came together to sing “One more day,” and Adele sang “Skyfall” which not only won a Grammy but received an the Oscar for Best Original Song.
The night was history in the making; many records were broken. Nine-year-old, Quvenzhane Wallis was the youngest person nominated for Best Actress in Oscar history for her role in “Beasts of the Southern Wild.” Mark Wahlberg announced a tie for the category of Sound Editing; both “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Skyfall” won and Wahlberg assured us that it was no “B.S.”
This is the first tie for this category, but not the first tie to occur for the Oscars. In 1932 Wallace Beery and Frederic March both won Best Actor and in 1968 Katherine Hepburn and Barbara Streisand both won Best Actress. Daniel Day Lewis won Best Actor for his role as Lincoln, making him the first actor to ever win three Oscars for that category. And he very appropriately thanked his inspiration, “the mysterious beautiful mind, body and spirit of Abraham Lincoln.”
For Best Supporting Actor, Christopher Waltz took home the Oscar for his role in Django. Anne Hathaway won Best Supporting Actress for “Les Miserables,” which was not a surprise after her performance singing “I Dreamed a Dream” which was breathtaking and brought many people (myself included) to tears. Hathaway accepted the Oscar soft spoken and teary eyed.
She fittingly added into her speech, “Here’s hoping that someday in the not-too-distant future the misfortunes of Fantine will only be found in stories and nevermore in real life. Thank you.”
A very well-deserving “Brave” won Best Animated Film, Quentin Tarantino’s “Django” won best Original Screenplay and Ang Li won an Oscar for directing his film, “Life of Pi.”
But by far the highlight of the night was Jennifer Lawrence winning Best Actress. The young star fell up the stairs and stayed on the ground, catching her breath as the crowd rose to give her a standing ovation.
She responded: “You guys are just standing up because you feel really bad that I fell and that’s embarrassing, but thank you.”
The night ended with Jack Nicholson and Michelle Obama via video feed from the White House, announcing Best Picture; which was none other than Argo, which had been nominated for a total of seven Oscars.
Ben Affleck, who not only starred in the movie but also directed and produced it, accepted the award with an inspiring speech saying, “You have to work harder than you think you possibly can… and it doesn’t matter how you get knocked down in life because that will happen—all that matters is you gotta get up.”
Argo is the fourth film in 85 years to win Best Picture when the director wasn’t nominated, and he really should have been.
As Seth MacFarlane said, “The film is so secret that the film’s director is unknown to the academy. They know they screwed up.”