By Laura Li
On the 25th of February, the stars poured out of their mansions and on to the red carpet for the 85th Academy Awards. The 3 and a half hour long marathon of a show started out with a bit by the host, Seth MacFarlane, being his smarmy slick self, and William Shatner, who returned as his role of Captain Kirk from the Star Trek series two very different entertainers from two different generations. This contrast of new and old set the precedent for the rest of the show, with continuing efforts to bridge the appeal of both the new younger audience and the loyal older watchers with varying success.
The New York Times live vlogging of the Oscars (with chief movie critic A.O Scott and cultural commentator David Carr) complained about McFarlane’s crude, and often unapologetic/offensive style, and gave him a C+ for his efforts. But if anyone is familiar with Macfarlane’s work (Family Guy, American Dad, Ted) it’s obvious what the academy signed up for. If you hire someone like Macfarlane, you shouldn’t be shocked when you get some offcolor jokes and a song called “We Saw Your Boobs”. For classy politically correct humor, look elsewhere.
There were live performances by Shirley Bassey (Goldfinger), Adele (Skyfall), the cast of Chicago, the cast of Les Miserables, Barbara Streissand, Jennifer Hudson we see again and again the meeting between the nostalgia of the past and the innovations of the present. The new and old blood of Hollywood.
The major awards of the night went to Life of Pi (which cleaned up with Best Director, Visual Effects, Original Score, and Cinematography the most of the night), Django: Unchained (Supporting Actor and Original Screenplay), and Argo (Editing, Adapted Screenplay, and Best Picture).
Other highlights include Jennifer Lawrence tripping over her Dior couture dress on her way up to the stage to accept her Best Actress award, the genuine and heartfelt speeches of Cristoph Waltz and Ben Affleck, the Best Picture reveal by First Lady Michelle Obama, and the addition of the Jaws theme music that preceded the mic cut off for rambling thank you speeches.