Best, Worst and FLLRRRGGHHARPPH
If you’re like me, you watched the Oscars this past Sunday night. Also, if you’re like me, you’re just home from work, fiercely downing a pint of Hopalicious to try and erase the image of a middle-aged couple you served drinks to over an hour before making out like back-acne’d teenagers in a parked 2008 Audi behind the Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt shop.
You are probably not like me.
But back to the Oscars. If you watched them and are still alive enough to read this, then congratulations: you managed to override the auto-destruct sequence designed to kick in whenever Seth MacFarlane acts like an impossible f***ing moron. If he were any more of a douchebag, he’d be zipped up in a surreptitious, tasteful little satchel, attached to Christopher Plummer’s hip. I’ve got lots of these, but I’m saving them for later.
Stupid, offensive people do stupid, offensive things every year at the Oscars, but — and I don’t know if my Bulls**t-o-Meter is growing more sensitive with age or what — this year seemed particularly egregious, forced. The most depressing part is that there were some truly great moments here, but that’s kind of like sprinkling diamond dust over fecal matter. Or hell, paprika over fecal matter. The second-most depressing part is that people like Bruce Villanche are already writing the patter for the 2014 ceremony, and this is still the best they’ll be able to come up with.
Christoph Waltz Wins His Second Best Supporting Actor Oscar.
I love Christoph Waltz so much, I don’t even care that this category pretty much cost me the win in our family Oscar pool. The winner gets to pick the annual Christmas Eve movie for next year, and I was going to make everyone go see whatever a Wayans was doing at that point. No wonder I was banished to the North.
Not only did he beat out frontrunners Tommy Lee Jones and Alan Arkin (from this year’s two most Oscar-winning productions), but he did it in probably the most controversial, uncomfortable and, let’s face it, downright exploitative mainstream film this year. In the span of a few short years, he’s won two Academy Awards for playing a somehow-likable Nazi officer, and a man who helps Jamie Foxx explode some slavers. That’s range you can’t luck into. He’ll soon be playing Nietzsche, which, along with Tom Waits as Satan, had to have been pre-ordained before the beginning of recorded time. Jennifer Lawrence Trips.
Don’t misunderstand; this is not out of malice. Jennifer Lawrence is an immensely talented young actress, and she’s so charming that I don’t even hold harbor the resentment I normally would against someone who won her first Oscar at an age when I was still sporting a neck-beard made mostly of Brillo pads and alfalfa. I can’t help it; she keeps on being in my favorite films. Yes, even “The Hunger Games.” Yes, I’m 13 years old. Yes, that answers a lot of your questions.
Going into the ceremony, everyone knew good and damn well that she and Anne Hathaway were going to take home their respective awards. But whereas Anne only had an awkward, super-nippled gown to offset the exhaustion of inevitability, Jennifer Lawrence went and freaking tripped on her way up the stairs to receive the statue.
There is no better way to endear yourself to an audience than by personal, physical embarrassment. That’s why all those parents signed molestation waivers for Michael Jackson after his head caught on fire. Everyone in attendance knew Lawrence was going to win, but that standing ovation was for the stumble, not the accolade. And good on her. Daniel Day-Lewis’ Acceptance Speech.
This one was so much of a shoe-in, all other nominees were preemptively ignored once this movie was even announced. It’s a classic play on the traditional Oscar formula: historical biopic plus marquee director plus legendary method actor. “Lincoln” was nominated for a whopping dozen Oscars, and while it didn’t take home many, it was nothing if not a tailor-made vehicle for Day-Lewis’ chameleonic talents.
It’s that intensely insular way about him, that reputation for complete immersion, that made his acceptance speech so charming and refreshing. Gracious, self-aware and with a simultaneous nod to and jab at Hollywood’s tendency to stunt-cast in pursuit of fame, it was by far the most poetic, most human moment of a lackluster ceremony. Shirley Bassey.
Bowing down. Enough said.
“We Saw Your Boobs.”
A lot has already been said about this — and more eloquently than in these pages — by the New York Times and Vulture, but it bears repeating as often as we can stand it. Yeah, the song and dance number was “meant” to be offensive as part of a meta-joke in the supremely boring opening exchange between MacFarlane and Shatner. But there are two things in particular that stand out as tasteless and/or lazy: 1) mentioning Jodie Foster in “The Accused.” I’m sorry, but reducing a film that deals so viscerally with the horrors of freaking gang rape to “tits” is terrifyingly bad judgment. 2) The Los Angeles Gay Men’s Choir. “Hey look! Guys that wear tuxes and sing pretty; they must be queer, right? Because Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Christopher Plummer, Jerry Orbach, Andrea Bocelli and Joseph Gordon-Levitt are all figments of our stupid, misogynistic imaginations.” Seth MacFarlane.
Jesus Christ, where to start with this dips**t? The best thing you can possibly say about MacFarlane’s performance as Oscar host is that he didn’t do the Stewie voice, a show of restraint that I’m sure made him physically ill. He was attention-whoring, smarmy, unfunny and exuded all the integrity and class of a clown stuck in a meat grinder. Seth MacFarlane is proof that God either does not exist or He was stuck on the john with food poisoning for four hours on Sunday night.
Look, I know it’s a thankless gig. To anyone with a mote of self-respect, taking this job must make them feel like Lewis Black did at that Bush-era correspondence dinner. And it wasn’t just MacFarlane, objectively terrible and entitled as he is. Everyone involved with the planning and execution of that broadcast thought, Okay, Seth MacFarlane is a punchable, grating douchebag — let’s do everything we can to enhance that. FLLRRRGGHHARPPH
Ben Affleck’s Best Picture Acceptance Speech.
Truthfully, I’m glad “Argo” won, and I have immense respect for Ben Affleck as a filmmaker after seeing “Gone Baby Gone” and “The Town.” But that speech was a sticky s**t-salad. It was so rambling, uncomfortable and unintentionally revealing (regarding his marriage to Jennifer Garner), it was like Mitt Romney discussing his tax returns and Mel Gibson watching “Schindler’s List” all at once.
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