Hosting is hard work.
It’s tough being a comedian at the Oscars. James Franco and Anne Hathaway put people to sleep in 2011. David Letterman and Chris Rock had awkward turns in the 90’s. Even the tried-and-true Billy Crystal was looked down upon as old and having lost his touch last year. But this year’s pick, Seth McFarlane, was doomed from the start. His brand of humor is lewd and often abrasive, something that has not been favorably reviewed at the Academy Awards as of late. It requires a balanced approach, precision timing, and a keen eye for the crowd’s mood – not something the Family Guy creator is particularly good at, especially when half of the audience had no idea who he was. He had his moments, and a lot of his jokes actually worked. But in the end, they were too few and far between. So I’m sorry, Seth. You were set up for failure. We all just wish you could have been a little less… meh (although the song and dance about actresses exposing their ta-ta’s was pretty spectacular, if not tasteless). It’s too bad that someone like Groucho Marx isn’t around to host next year – a Duck Soup-style delivery would definitely be a winner on a stage like that. And before you ask who that is, do yourself a favor and educate yourself via Youtube.
The Academy is predictable and unsympathetic… like basically every year.
Amour‘s Emmanuelle Riva and Beasts of the Southern Wild‘s Quvenzhane Wallis were the oldest and youngest actresses ever to be nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role, respectively. And in the face of Riva’s poor health and The Onion’s tasteless joke about Wallis, the fact that neither of them came away with gold was a little disappointing. Also, indie writer/director Wes Anderson was again denied a statuette, losing Best Original Screenplay to Tarantino’s Django Unchained – though, to be fair, I loved the latter’s southern/western ballad. It’s just too bad that the Academy isn’t a risk taking entity, especially with deserving indie titles such as Moonrise Kingdom.
I’m surprisingly good at picking winners.
I went 7-for-8 in the categories I predicted, if you count my lukewarm endorsement of Ang Lee as the dark horse in the Best Director department. Not bad for a college kid who doesn’t have time to sit around and dissect every nominee in every major category.
Jennifer Lawrence is awesome – and clumsy, and attractive. Very attractive.
She’s 22, has an Oscar under her belt, and made falling up the stairs to receive said Oscar look good. She handled her speech with a balance of surprising maturity and authentic, buoyant enthusiasm. She’s starred in gritty dramas, action-adventures, and heartfelt dramadies (read: Silver Linings Playbook). Hell, she even got her acting start on the USA Network series Monk, a favorite show of mine growing up. So what’s not to like about the hot commodity that is Jennifer Lawrence?
Yes, that pun was intended. Did I mention she’s extremely attractive?