The Oscars, otherwise known as the longest night in show business, is over for another year. Anointing winners and snubbing others, the 85th Academy Awards delivered some surprises but overall wasn’t as dire as some imagined it would be.
That is, apart from Family Guy’s Seth MacFarlane’s screeching an apparently comic “We Saw Your Boobs” song at the beginning of the ceremony.
Name checking a list of actresses whose breasts have appeared on screen — Charlize Theron in Monster, Anne Hathaway in Brokeback Mountain, Naomi Watts in Mulholland Drive, Jodie Foster in The Accused, Kate Winslet in “whatever you’re shooting right now” among others — after William Shatner in full Star Trek regalia beamed an offense warning via video link.
It wasn’t good.
But MacFarlane did win points for a genuinely joke when he said the Academy’s non-nomination of Ben Affleck for Best Director was all part of a plan that was “so top secret that the film’s director is unknown to the Academy. Ben, they know they screwed up.”
And so to the awards, or at least the standout moments.
The opening award for Best Supporting Actor went to Christoph Waltz for his performance in Quentin Tarantino’s slavery Western Django Unchained.
In a category that included acting titans Robert De Niro, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Alan Arkin, and Tommy Lee Jones, Waltz literally waltzed off with the top prize, his second in a Tarantino film.
Tarantino later picked up the award for Best Original Screenplay. Accepting, he said:
“If people know my movies 50 years from now, it’ll be for the characters I created. I only get one chance to get it right and cast the right people. Boy, did I do it this time!
“One last thing: I’d like to say it’s such an honor to get it this year. This is the writer’s year, I love the competition. Peace out.”
One of the least surprising wins of the night went to the formidable Daniel Day-Lewis, who made Oscar history after winning the Best Actor prize for the third time.
His portrayal of President Abraham Lincoln in Steven Spielberg’s historical epic Lincoln had been a shoo-in for the actor, so it was a nice touch when he accepted his Oscar from Meryl Streep, saying: “I really don’t know how any of this happened, I do know I’ve received more than my fair share of good fortune in my life.”
The actor delighted the Dolby Theater audience with a joke that he and Streep had “agreed to a straight swap, I’d already signed up to play Margaret Thatcher. And Meryl had agreed to play Lincoln.”
Fellow Brit, Adele, scored the prize for Best Original Song for her Bond theme Skyfall. The singer tearfully thanked her songwriting partner Paul Epworth for “believing in me all the time, and my man, I love you baby,” later thrilling the audience with a first ever live performance of the song.
But the big moment came when Affleck’s Iranian hostage thriller, Argo, won the Oscar for Best Picture, despite his snub in the Best Director category.
In what was one of the most tightly contested categories for many years, Argo went up against David O. Russell’s Silver Lining Playbook, Michael Haneke’s Amour, Spielberg’s Lincoln, Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty, Tom Hooper’s Les Miserables, Benh Zeitlin’s Beasts of the Southern Wild, Tarantino’s Django Unchained, and Ang Lee’s Life of Pi — and won.
First Lady Michelle Obama introduced the nominees by live feed from the White House, before naming Argo as the winner.
Accepting the award, a clearly emotional Affleck drew comparisons to his 1998 win with Matt Damon when they won the Best Screenplay award for Good Will Hunting.
“I was here 15 years ago or something and you known I had no idea what I was doing, stood out here in front of you all, [I was] really just a kid. I went out and I never thought I would be back here,” Affleck said. “So many people extended themselves to me and I want to thank them. You can’t hold grudges, it’s hard, but you can’t hold grudges.”
He added, “It doesn’t matter how you get knocked down in life because that’s gonna happen. All that matters is that you gotta get up.”
In a nice touch to the other frontrunner for Best Film, Affleck also paid tribute to the “genius” of Spielberg. Argo’s win marked the first time since Driving Miss Daisy that a film won the top prize at the Oscars without its director also being nominated, Sky News noted.
Argo also won the Best Adapted Screenplay prize with Chris Terrio accepting and Best Film Editing for William Goldenburg.
Jennifer Lawrence’s Best Actress win for Silver Linings Playbook — while not a huge surprise — did nix Emmanuelle Riva’s run for Amour, Jessica Chastain for Zero Dark Thirty, and Naomi Watt’s for The Impossible. Quvenzhane Wallis was always an outside shot.
Lawrence fell as she climbed the steps to accept her award but received a standing ovation nonetheless.
“This is nuts,” the actress said ruefully when she got on stage. “I know you’re only standing up because you feel bad that I fell.”
BBC News reports that the 22-year-old later joked with reporters: “They wax the stairs.”
A further upset came when Taiwanese director Ang Lee’s won the Best Director award for Life of Pi. Many thought Spielberg would bag that award for Lincoln. The film also picked up the gong for Best Visual Effects, Best Original Score rewarding Mychael Danna’s work, and the prize for Best Cinematography.
As expected, Anne Hathaway picked up the Best Supporting Actress statue for her role in Les Miserables, beating out Helen Hunt, Jacki Weaver, Amy Adams, and Sally Fields, who were also nominated. Typically tearful, Hathaway said “it came true” before thanking her husband and the cast of the film with a special mention to co-star Hugh Jackman.
Michael Haneke accepted the Best Foreign Language Film for Amour, while Skyfall won the trophy for best sound editing in a tie with Zero Dark Thirty— the Osama Bin Laden hunt film’s only award of the night.
True to the Oscar’s “music in the movies” theme, Catherine Zeta Jones sang “All That Jazz,” while Barbra Streisand in her first Oscar’s performance in 36 years sang “Memories” during the “In Memoriam” segment.
The show also featured a tribute to the Bond films’ 50 year lineage.
Introduced by former Bond girl and Oscar winner Halle Berry, a montage of 007 clips backdrop’d performances by Adele and Dame Shirley Bassey who belted out “Goldfinger,” before receiving a standing ovation.
For better or worse, at one point, the cast of Les Miserables also assembled on stage for a medley of songs. Later, Jennifer Hudson tore through a rendition of wore “You’re Gonna Love Me,” that was — frankly — stunning.
All in all, Oscars 2013 didn’t deliver the belly-laugh irreverence of the Golden Globes, but it did crown an awards season with a degree of aplomb.
A full list of nominees and winners comes courtesy of the BBC and a gallery of the bold and the beautiful can be seen in a selection of clips from the ceremony below.