I tweeted last night that I guessed 20 of the 24 categories correctly but a recount proves I'd overestimated myself. It's actually 19, which is two less than my all-time high of 2007 but still respectable, I think. The five categories I got wrong were supporting actor and original screenplay (I'd assumed Django would leave the ceremony empty-handed but voters clearly had other ideas), best short documentary, best production design, and the unbelievably unforeseeable sound editing category. I'm still surprised that they awarded two films and none of those were Life of Pi. I thought it was a shoo-in. But I'm always in for ties. They're so very rare and it's a beautiful moment to see two different groups of artists getting their dues on the stage.
I don't know if I'm starting to get too picky with these things but I thought the show was woefully directed. Quite often the camera would just linger on the speaker as they mentioned several names, and it would never cut to the audience members they were name-checking. The scheduling didn't really work either. Bits and pieces of it felt stitched together incoherently and that song at the end really just did not fit. Why not sing it before handing out the best picture prize, when the lyrics are going to point out individual nominees and mention all the best picture contenders?
Seth MacFarlane did a relatively good job. Haters gon' hate, but it was a massive improvement on every show since the Jackman one and I think I'll take that. The online media is acting like THIS HAS BEEN THE WORST THING SINCE EVERRRR and that's really not true. MacFarlane knew this was coming all along and he poked fun at it during the ceremony too. Certain bits felt self-centric or forced or both, but overall it was pretty funny, especially as the show went on and we saw him in smaller doses. People will accuse him of being sexist and racist and homophobic and anything else that's terrible but I think there's an immense difference between making a joke about race and being racist.
The 'We Saw Your Boobs' bit has everyone screaming sexism. I do think it goes a bit too far, but to be honest, I only wish he'd ended it with a we saw your dick dig at Fassbender both for comedy effect and dodging these accusations. There was nothing inherently racist about Ted's jokes about being Jewish in Hollywood either. A lot of the reaction comes from presupposed feelings about Seth MacFarlane. If he'd made the Hitler memorabilia joke that Steve Martin made a couple of years ago, all hell would break loose, but a much tamer gag like Theodore Shapiro offends everyone. Gawker made a big fuss over MacFarlane's jokes about abuse and rape, where in reality, the only joke he made to that effect was one about Chris Brown and Rihanna, two rich, popular celebrities who are in a consensual, abusive relationship. Big Fuckin' Deal. Cry them a river. I'm sure they're so heartbroken over it.
Still, it'd be nice to have the Fey/Poehler team on stage next year.
I love Jennifer Lawrence and I'm very fond of her performance in Silver Linings Playbook - it made my own top ten - but the only possible reason for her win is that not enough people have watched Amour. How could they have not voted for Emmanuelle Riva otherwise? She was head and shoulders above the competition. For sentimental reasons, too, that would have been a bigger Oscar moment: an 86-year-old French actress, a stalwart of the nouvelle vague, an enduring figure in world cinema who's guaranteed to never have this opportunity in her life again, winning an Oscar on her birthday. The Academy screwed up on this one and a few years down the line, when Lawrence has come back to the party a few times more and given a slew of other great performances, this year's award will look worse and worse in retrospect. That being said, she's proven herself a capable actress and a terrific star so far, anchoring both low-key dramas and huge blockbusters with ease, and she nailed the zany comedy in Silver Linings Playbook. Also, I have an enormous crush on her and I can't deny the fact that I'm incredibly excited to see how she handles the rest of her career.
My favorite award of the night came in the unlikely form of the aforementioned sound editing. It was one of the toughest categories to predict all along and it ended in a tie, which I inexplicably find really cool. Christoph Waltz's win in the supporting actor category wasn't a surprise and though I thought he was incredible in Django Unchained, I'm still miffed that the best performance of the year failed to gain traction in the most volatile category of the year. But I'm sure Hoffman will be back with another stellar performance sometime soon and get his due.
I've already detailed out my thoughts on the year's best picture winner here and it won exactly the same three awards I'd predicted: the top prize (ahead of five superior nominees), best adapted screenplay (ahead of the infinitely superior Lincoln) and best editing (ahead of William Goldenberg's stronger work in 2012, Zero Dark Thirty). Meanwhile, in the night's single most YES-worthy moment, Michael Haneke took the stage to accept the best foreign language film award for Amour. Coming on the back of A Separation, this is proof that the executive summary is doing something right. Long may it continue.