Hilarious opening sequence by new Oscar emcee Seth McFarlane, expectedly it is irreverent, reflecting Seth's brand of comedy on the TV animated series, "Family Guy". He goes through the nominated films one by one. The funniest one I recall was that when he remarked how Daniel Day Lewis was so in character as Lincoln, did he want to save Don Cheadle when he meets him? Haha!
Seth's monologue was interrupted by a video message from Capt. James T. Kirk (an ever-hammy William Shatner) telling Seth to stop because he is going to receive dismal reviews for his emceeing.
Kirk shows a video with Seth singing about seeing actresses breasts in various films which was really something else! It may be the most irreverent song sung in the Oscars since the South Park song. I found it quite funny, but I realize it is quite disrespectful to the women named in the song. Here is a video of that controversial song. Watch at your own risk:
He makes up for that with a dance number featuring Channing Tatum and Charlize Theron, while Seth sang "The Way You Look Tonight". We know Channing can dance but I never saw Charlize dance that way before, and they did very well indeed.
Shatner then tells him the reviews are still bad and shows him another video where Seth spoofed the air crash scene of "Flight" using sock puppets.. He made up for that by having Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Daniel Radcliffe sing "High Hopes". Again, I have never seen those two guys sing before. This was followed by a clip showing Seth seduce Sally Field! He makes up for that last clip by singing "Be Our Guest". I thought that was one number too long.
The first award is Best Supporting Actor, presented by last year's Best Supporting Actress, Octavia Spencer from "The Help"/ All the nominees this year are already previous Oscar winners. The Oscar goes to Christoph Waltz of "Django Unchained"! Wow, I didn't expect that one. I was expecting and wanted Robert de Niro of "Silver Linings Playbook" to win it.
The next presenters were Paul Rudd and Melissa McCarthy. They had such a dreadful dead-air conversation about I do not know exactly what. The Best Animated Short is "Paperman" by Disney which is the favorite. But I liked the artistry of "Adam and Dog" better. I even thought "The Longest Daycare" starring Maggie Simpson had a chance, being the first Simpsons film ever nominated for an Oscar. The Best Animated Feature Film is "Brave." Didn't like that one, I thought "Wreck-It Ralph" will win. But my heart thought "ParaNorman" should win.
Noted that they do not say "Academy Award winner" when they introduced Reese Witherspoon. Merely calling her a n "Oscar winning actress" does not resonate too well. She presented clips of the first three films nominated for Best Picture: "Les Miserables", "Life of Pi" and "Beasts of the Southern Wild."
Avengers (Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner and Samuel L. Jackson) unite on the Oscar stage to present Cinematography! Of those five, everyone had been an Oscar nominee except for Evans. The winner is "Life of Pi". Very deserving with all the vivid scenes at sea in that film. But I would have wanted to see lush "Skyfall" to win that one. The Visual Effects Oscar of course goes to "Life of Pi". The realistic visual effect that is Richard Parker is the life of that film. The orchestra music which told the winner to wind up his speech was "Jaws"!
Channing Tatum and Jennifer Aniston present award for Costume Design. He jokes about having to wax, and Jen says "welcome to the club". The winner is "Anna Karenina", as is well-deserved! For Make-up and Hairstyling (the latter newly added to the name of the category), the winner is "Les Miserables"! Another deserving winner!
Halle Berry presents a "Fifty Years of Bond" tribute. The montage is quite a memory rush. It was too bad that they were not able to invite even one single Bond actor to grace the affair. The presence of Sean Connery and Daniel Craig would have been perfect. Dame Shirley Bassey on the Oscar stage now to sing "Goldfinger". She belted that song as fiercely and strongly as ever!
Jamie Foxx and Kerri Washington present Best Short Film Live Action. Oscar goes to "Curfew". Did not see any of the nominees, but I just found out they were on oscar.com all this time! I should check it out. This was followed by the presentation of the Oscar for Best Documentary Short to "Inocente". Haven't seen that as well.
Great to hear the theme of "Schindler's List" again as Liam Neeson comes out to introduce the next three Best Pic nominees, "Argo", "Lincoln" and "Zero Dark Thirty". Seth commented afterwards that ZDT celebrates "women's innate ability to never ever let things go." Funny one, Seth.
Ben Affleck presents Documentary Feature. Winner is "Searching for Sugar Man." I have seen this and I think this is well deserved. I will write out my review of that film soon. Would have wished that the subject of that documentary, the singer Rodriguez, was there himself.
Seth compares this Oscar Sunday to church, only with more people praying. Haha! Jennifer Garner and Jessica Chastain come out to present Best Foreign Language Film to the haunting theme of "Cinema Paradiso"! Of course, "Amour" wins as expected for Austria. But I did not really think this was the best of the five nominees. Director Michael Haneke receives the award for his film.
John Travolta presents the cast of Les Miserables to sing!!! This is it -- my most awaited part of the show! First though, Catherine Zeta Jones sings "All that Jazz" with an impressive live (?) performance. Then, Jennifer Hudson now to sing her Dreamgirls number "And I Am Telling You." Of course she blows it up from the first note! Finally, the cast of the Les Mis movie sings live the anthem "One More Day". Hugh Jackman and Eddie Redmayne can really hit those high notes. I believe those few wonky bass notes at the end may have come from Russell Crowe. Haha! But overall, it was a fantastic song number. Here is the video:
Chris Pine and Zoe Saldana present the technical awards. It used to be just a female presenter before.
Mark Wahlberg and and his animated teddy bear co-star Ted (voiced by emcee Seth McFarlane) are presenting together. Will this be another Rob Lowe - Snow White fiasco? A bit naughty, but not an outright disaster at all. The Sound Mixing winner is "Les Miserables"! I thought this one was deserving because it must have been a challenge to mis the live singing the cast had to do. Incredibly, the Sound Editing award ended in A TIE! "Zero Dark Thirty" and "Skyfall" share the honor, and both are deserving, as with the other nominees frankly.
McFarlane has a joke about the missing Von Trapp family at the end of "Sound of Music" in order to introduce the next presenter, Christopher Plummer. That was funny. Plummer made a nice note that all these Best Supporting Actress nominees started in their teens. I actually remember Helen Hunt as a teen in the old Swiss Family Robinson TV series! Of course, Anne Hathway wins this one. We knew it since that first video of "I Dreamed a Dream" came out even before the movie did. I am sure her wistful "It came true..." at the beginning of her speech annoyed some people, haha!
Sandra Bullock to present award to Film Editors. I thought this should go to "Argo" for that final sequence at the Teheran Airport alone. And it did!
Jennifer Lawrence introduces Adele to sing "Skyfall". Adele had all her brassy pipes going, but the number was not too impressive for me despite the big choir backing her up.
Nicole Kidman out to introduce the last three Best Pic nominees: "Silver Linings Playbook," "Django Unchained" and "Amour".
Daniel Radcliffe and a limping Kristen Stewart come out to present the newly named Production Design category (previously known as Art Direction). I thought the award will go to the very elegant "Anna Karenina". However, I consider it an upset that the Oscar went to considerably more stuffy set of "Lincoln"! Did not expect that at all.
Selma Hayek presents the Honorary Oscars. One was to a documentarian. The other went to a stunt man. The only recognizable name for me was Jeffrey Katzenberg who won the Jean Herscholt award.
Academy Award winner George Clooney presents the In Memoriam segment. Ernest Borgnine. Jack Klugman. Celeste Holm. Michael Clarke Duncan. Charles Durning. Tony Scott. Hal David. Nora Ephron. Ray Bradbury. Richard Zanuck. Marvin Hamlisch. After this last name, Barbra Streisand pays tribute to Hamlisch by singing "The Way We Were"!
The "Chicago" cast (Renee Zellweger, Queen Latifah, Catherine Zeta Jones and Richard Gere) reunites to present the music awards. "Life of Pi" wins for Best Original Score. Deserving. The Original Song nominees were named. Norah Jones sings the last nominee live. Very boring song. Best Original Song is inevitably given to "Skyfall".
Dustin Hoffman and Charleze Theron to present the writing awards. Adapted Screenplay goes to "Argo". I did so want "Silver Linings" to win this one. Quentin Tarantino wins Original Screenplay for "Django Unchained" as predicted widely. Great. He is right to say that this is the writers year! All nominees were all too good.
Michael Douglas and Jane Fonda come out to present the award for Best Director. OMG, the winner is Ang Lee!!!! After Ben Affleck was snubbed, people thought Steven Spielberg will win his third Oscar. But that was not to be. I am not unhappy that Ang Lee won.
Jean Dujardin presents the Best Actress award. Jennifer Lawrence wins it! Yeah! A standing ovation! She trips on her way up the stage!!!
JLaw Trips and Falls on the way to her Oscar
(Photo Credit: cnn.com)
The Four Oscar-Winning Actors Pose Together
(Photo credit: The Oscars FB Page)
Jack Nicholson onstage looking drunk as only he could. Haha! Then surprisingly, Michelle Obama and her bangs spoke from the White House by live feed. They will present Best Picture. And the Oscar goes to ARGO! Producer Grant Heslov stood between his co-producers George Clooney and Ben Affleck, and announced "Three sexiest producers alive!" LOL! Ben Affleck then took the mike to deliver an impassioned thank you speech for his victory. "Argo" is the first Best Picture without a Best Director nomination since "Driving Miss Daisy" in 1989.
The producers of "Argo": "Three sexiest producers alive!" LOL!
(Photo credit: The Oscars FB Page)
And just when you thought the show is over, Seth sings one last song dedicated to "losers" with first-time red carpet host Kristen Chenowith. A bit anti-climactic but they ended on one big last note!