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Let's Talk 2013 Oscars - Surprises? Disappointments? Gaffes? Props? Ho-Hum? (Open Thread)

by Tambay A. Obenson
February 25, 2013 10:25 AM
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I had a bit of fun live-tweeting and *Facebooking* the Oscars last night, and I thank all of you who participated, and gave what could've been an otherwise dull evening, some life.

The biggest surprise for me was all the recognition that Life of Pi received - especially Ang Lee winning for Best Director. I didn't see that coming at all! But it was a nice surprise. I was almost sure that it would go to either David O. Russell or Quentin Tarantino, and was glad that neither of them won it. In fact, I was especially pleased that neither Silver Linings Playbook nor Django Unchained won the Best Picture Oscar. You all alreay know how I feel about Django, so I won't rehash, and I think even Tarantino winning for Best Original Screenplay was rubbish. Even some die-hard fans of the movie agree that the 3rd act is shoddy. Not good enough for a Best Original Screenplay.

Mark Boal should've won that award for Zero Dark Thirty.

But Silver Lininings Playbook, I thought was one of the most over-rated films of 2012. The appeal is completely lost on me.

I'd say the same thing about Argo as well, but it won Best Picture so what do I know, right? Showing some nationalistic pride there perhaps; throw in the fact that Michelle Obama, the First Lady Of these United States announced it.

With Argo winning Best Picture, it was even more surprising to see Zero Dark Thirty, another film about American political/governmental success in *enemy territory,* practically shut out. Maybe the more realistic of the 2 films. It split an award for Sound Editing! That's it!

I couldn't help but feel for Kathryn Bigelow. Zero Dark Thirty was, without question, one of the best films I saw in 2012, especially at that level. But maybe because it was a bit TOO real for some (in terms of its depictions of torture successfully-used as a tool to extract information at a time of war), and shutting it out last night was a way to send a message without literally sending a message.

I was really disappointed that Beasts Of The Souther Wild didn't win a single Oscar. Nothing! It's especially even more frustrating when you consider that it was also nearly shut out at the Indie Spirit Awards the night before - an awards show that it really shoul have dominated, but lost in all the major categories it was nominated for, thanks to a movie that shouldn't have been nominated for any Indie Spirit Awards in the first place - Silver Linings Playbook - essentially a Hollywood studio movie. If Beasts had cleaned up at the Indie Spirit Awards as it should have, last night's shut out at the Oscars wouldn't have been as disappointing to me. It was certainly one of the most imaginative films I saw in all of 2012, and was a stronger film than half of the 10 films nominated for Best Picture.

As for black artists who were nominated, I'm not surprised that neither of them won. Denzel Washington was in a tough category, and I was certain Daniel Day-Lewis would win Best Actor. And even though I was rooting for Quvenzhane Wallis in the Best Actress category, realistically, I just didn't think she had a shot - not with the actresses she was going up against anyway.

And speaking of Ms Wallis, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the commotion caused by a tweet from The Onion that I'm sure most of you heard about, especially as Twitter was raging over it last night, after the Oscars. I won't repeat what was said here (I already did that last night on Facebook and Twitter). A quick search will tell you everything you need to know.

I really didn't know how to respond to it. I think I was just left speechless. I understand The Onion's edgy satirical commentary, and they're usually quite funny; but this one I think crossed the line, and they're paying for it right now, because I know they're being bombarded with emails, tweets, on the Facebook page, articles have already been written, slamming them, etc. I heard they actually had to shut down their "Contact Us" page on their website last night, because on the deluge.

Something tells me they'll likely be issuing a public statement in response soon, if they haven't already. Or maybe not...

With all that said, what were your highlights or low-lights from last night?

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  • Agent K | February 26, 2013 7:15 AMReply

    I believe that Joaquin Phoenix should have won for Best Actor.

  • Agent K | February 26, 2013 1:36 PM

    @Justin W
    She is good and her role in Silver Linings was good but it's whatever.

  • Justin W | February 26, 2013 11:33 AM

    She's a really good actress, but I'm with you on the whole appeal thing of Lawrence. I liked her performance in Silver Linings, but I thought the Best Actress award should have gone to Chastain.

  • Agent K | February 26, 2013 7:22 AM

    I would also say I don't understand the appeal of Jennifer Lawrence.

  • Africameleon | February 25, 2013 5:30 PMReply

    I had problems with both Lincoln and Django Unchained, but Tommy Lee Jones was robbed!!! I didn't have any other surprises per say. I'm glad Argo was a big winner b/c it was a good film. MacFarlane was... interesting. There were some funny moments though. And the live broadcast was NOT a good idea. That's my three cents.

  • Africamleon | February 25, 2013 8:01 PM

    PS: Dame Shirley Bassey and the Puppy Purse were my personal highlights.

  • getthesenets | February 25, 2013 1:50 PMReply

    The young girl shouldn't have been in the audience with Seth hosting...

    Never noticed or cared before, but young actors REALLY should be in a dressing room or lounge somewhere when there is an "edgy" host....

    just poor taste for her to be in the front row when bootleg Peter Brady is making boob jokes, and other juvenile attempts at humor

  • getthesenets | February 25, 2013 5:56 PM


    My bad, I forgot..I can't directly or indirectly criticize white folks when you're around.

    I just felt uncomfortable with a young Black girl in the front row with those kinds of jokes flying around from the host.

  • monkeysuit | February 25, 2013 3:36 PM

    Which means she works alongside adults, who probably say worse things than "boob."

  • DJ | February 25, 2013 3:20 PM

    @MonkeySuit -- which means what exactly, that she's now been initiated into the dregs of society?

  • monkeysuit | February 25, 2013 2:45 PM

    Oh please. She's in the industry now. I'm sure she's heard worse.

  • Justin W | February 25, 2013 1:24 PMReply

    Also, what's everybody impression on Seth McFarlane last night?

  • Justin W | February 26, 2013 11:33 AM

    Hahahaha I thought the John Wilkes Booth joke was hilarious

  • Akimbo | February 25, 2013 6:54 PM

    Oh, yeah, that joke was telegraphed from a mile away. I'm sure it was funny the first time someone told it...100 years ago.

  • Donella | February 25, 2013 5:35 PM

    I thought he was funny, except for the John Wilkes Booth joke.

  • Akimbo | February 25, 2013 3:32 PM

    Aside from a few clunkers, I thought Seth was a good (not great) host. I'm completely baffled by the attempts of some bloggers to make it seem like he was terrible. I'm not a fan of his, but I can't lie and say he didn't acquit himself well. The Rihanna and Salma Hayek jokes irritated me, the Daniel Day Lewis/Don Cheadle joke and Sound of Music gag made me laugh out loud, and most everything else was passable.

  • Justin W | February 25, 2013 1:22 PMReply

    I thought Speilberg was going to win Best Director for Lincoln, but I really don't mind Ang Lee winning for Life of Pi. After Life of Pi started racking up awards even with categories people thought it wasn't going to win in, I kinda saw it coming.

  • CareyCarey | February 25, 2013 12:09 PMReply

    Shocker: Everything about Life of Pi. Too much ado about absolutely nothing. I feel asleep on Sinbad and his magic carpet.

    My who is THAT moment: Who was the skinny old lady who sang the closing curtain song? What's her claim to fame? It certainly IS NOT singing. And Seth MacFarlane was the worst-est of worst hosts of ALL time. Who is that guy, anyway?

    My I don't get it moments: I don't understand the fuss over Argo nor Life of Pi. If I was voting, they'd be in my bottom. All the rest I'd throw in the air with the hope that Flight would land on top (I have a personal connection with the subject matter, so sue me). But Silver Lining Playbook and Les Miserable were my favorites.

    My "yeah" that's right moments: Jennifer Hudson's singing made me smile. That one chick, the one who won best actress, finally got the memo. She quickly walk to the mic, said her phony thank yous in 50 words or less, and then, got the hell off the stage. Yep, this time she did it right.

    The most sincere acceptance speeches: Ben Affleck and the screenwriter for Argo.

    The most surprisingly funny speech. Daniel Day Lewis

    Refreshing appearance: Quvenzhane Wallis with her open and honest child's heart.

    Who's your barber?: Denzel and Jamie Foxx

    My "something is wrong" moment: The Samuel Jackson and Robert Downey Jr. skit was a mess. It appeared as if somebody was stepping on somebodies toes and nobody knew who was suppose to say what or when they was suppose to say WHATEVER they were suppose to say. Yeah, figure that out.

    My snub award: No, it's not Ben Affleck. It's Samuel Jackson's performance in Django.

    And by the way, I never made it through Zero Dark Thirty. I couldn't find any reason to finish that movie. And, looking back, Along with Samuel Jackson, I received the most pleasure from Robert DeNiro's performance.

  • Agent K | February 26, 2013 1:43 PM

    I had to laugh at that bit about Life of Pi. If I had a turban I would tip it off to you.

  • Akimbo | February 26, 2013 10:44 AM

    Tell yourself whatever you must to feel better about being wrong.

  • CareyCarey | February 26, 2013 4:36 AM

    "Bad boys bad boys what you gonna do, what you gonna do when they come for you"

    Okay you blog coppers, my hands are in the air... you got me. I swear I'll never use another analogy (to embellish my point) that uses two fictional characters who both perform magic. If I do so, I'll be sure to use a white guy ( not Tonto, Ali Baba or Kunta Kinte, but like Noah and his arc) so everyone will know I wasn't trying to belittle someone's race. And lord have mercy on my soul because although I did not stop to think that Sinbad did not fly on magic carpets, ignorance is no defense in the eyes of the laws of the blogsphere. I should have known that if a person is being facetious up in this town, angry black folks who love to scream racism (and make mountains out of mole hills) are always watching. So again, I will never EVER compare an Indian man to one born in Iraq, even if they both eat sushi. Nor will I ever... no never compare the magic of a flying carpet to a magical 8 ft life boat filled with a monkey, a man eating Bengal tiger, a dog and a person of color. Because now I know that's some straight-up, racist-ass-BS.

    So Mr. Gravedigger Jones and Mrs. Coffin Ed Johnson, yawl can put your guns down because there's no more rage in this Harlem.

  • mawon | February 25, 2013 8:09 PM

    Nobody called you racist. Just what you said. I mean trick like ploy or technique. Not like you're literally tricking people. What you said is the age old "they're all the same" mess. Like saying Bruce Lee did karate or Nigerians speak Swahili. You may have a stricter definition of what's considered "racist," but I definitely think calling an Indian an Arab character is out of pocket.

  • CareyCarey | February 25, 2013 7:59 PM

    "you and I both know that mixing Indians, Arabs and Persians is a common racist trick" ~ Mawon

    AND?! And what was I trying to trick you into believing that made me a racist? What... that I was implying Pi and Sinbad were really stupid fools (unlike people of other races) because everybody knows people of color don't fly on magic carpets or live with dangerous animals on a small life boat? Is that what you are suggesting? Maybe I was implying that all people of color are ignorant slap happy dreamers, huh?

    Come on Mawon, you've shown signs of a better man than that. Give it a rest. But I will throw you a bone. Poor taste, maybe, possibly. That depends on the mindset of the reader, but racist remark... nawl.

  • Akimbo | February 25, 2013 7:48 PM

    LMAO, Carey just stop. There are so many magical boat rides you could compare Pi's to, most notably Noah's arc (what with the animals and all), but you radomly took it to "carpet ride." You insult yourself and anyone with half a brain by trying to claim that race/ethnicity had nothing to do with your lumping Pi, Sinbad, and Aladdin/Prince Husein together.

  • mawon | February 25, 2013 7:39 PM

    It's pretty easy to comment on a board so I don't see how this is distracting from those bigger fish. You said something ignorant with racial implications. Deal with it and move on. How is anyone supposed to infer you happen to use a magic carpet, which happens to be an Arabian stereotype and called an Indian man "Sinbad" for a roundabout reason, far-fetched analogy? Face it. Even if we give you the benefit of the doubt, you were still reckless.

  • CareyCarey | February 25, 2013 7:31 PM

    Please Akimbo, I know you know my use of the magic carpet was an analogy for the magic we saw on Pi's raft. Which AGAIN, has absolutely nothing to do with skin color.

    But I have to ask you the same question I asked Mawon. Do you actually know the definition of racism? Check it out: The belief that a particular race is superior to others.
    2. Discrimination or prejudice based on race.

    So tell me, where in my comment did I suggest any of that? Yeah, I know... you're reaching, to say the least. It appears as if any time a person makes a remark about a person of color (that others might not agree with) the kneejerk black crowd automatically cries RACISM. And that's just so sad.

    Listen, ease your soul and your mind and give it a break. There are bigger... more real fish to fry.

  • mawon | February 25, 2013 7:21 PM

    And I'm not 100% on this, but I don't remember any magic carpets in the Sinbad story. So what's up with that? Mixing up exotic Arabia stereotypes are we?

  • mawon | February 25, 2013 7:16 PM

    Please. Let's use our knockers for a second. Your intention may have been to innocently liken the two stories. However, you and I both know that mixing Indians, Arabs and Persians is a common racist trick. So much so that Indians and the like have been targeted for hate crimes in the name of 9/11. So calling an Indian protagonist Sinbad is in poor taste, whether you meant it to be or not.

  • Akimbo | February 25, 2013 7:12 PM

    Careycarey, Sinbad didn't fly on a magic carpet; Prince Husein and/or Aladdin did. For it not to be about race, you certainly jumbled up a bunch of similarly brown guys. Feel free to name-check Abu Nasir, the Kardashians, and the Jungle Book and still claim it's not racist.

  • CareyCarey | February 25, 2013 6:00 PM

    NO! Tell me it ain't so. Et tu, Brute? Even you, Mawon "Likening an Indian to an Arab sounds pretty damn racist to me". Well hell, there's the problem... YOU!

    I was focusing on the story, you on the other hand was focusing on the their skin color. Even your example was woefully short-sighted. What's the relationship between Django and Kunta Kinte other than their skin color? Are there similarities in their storylines? Oh, that's right they were both slaves **shrugging shoulders**.

    That's the biggest problem with... some negros. They don't have the basic understand of the words racist and racism. Mawon, look it up and you might learn something. Until you do... pssst, be quiet because you might find yourself leading a charge up pork-chop hill without a weapon in your hand.

    In other words, don't show your hold card, son.

  • mawon | February 25, 2013 5:26 PM

    Likening an Indian to an Arab sounds pretty damn racist to me. Like if a white person said "I fell asleep on Kunta Kinte" talking about Django, that would be pretty offensive to me.

  • CareyCarey | February 25, 2013 4:52 PM

    Akimbo, really... are you kidding me? Because I associated Pi with Sinbad and his raft with a carpet, I am being a racist? I think you're stretching the spirit of the words.

    If you didn't know, the fictional character Sinbad is from Iraq. The character "Pi" is Indian. Much of the film was shot in Tiawan (Ang Lee's birthplace). What am I missing? ** shrugging shoulders **

    And surely you know the stories of Sinbad's epic journeys, right? And since you're commenting on Life Of Pi, surely you know it's about a young man who survives a disaster at sea and is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery, right?

    Akimbo, if you want to check me, you have to do better. Your accusation was dead wrong and I do accept apologies.

  • Akimbo | February 25, 2013 3:36 PM

    It's very possible to express your dislike for something without being racist about it. "Sinbad and his magic carpet" was uncalled for.

  • Donella | February 25, 2013 12:04 PMReply

    I'm so thrilled for Life of Pi's showing and ecstatic that Ang Lee won for Best Director. His talent is beyond measure.

  • Sweeta | February 25, 2013 11:25 AMReply

    Last night OFFICIALLY made Argo the most overrated film of the year. Womp...

  • Agent K | February 26, 2013 7:17 AM

    I was wondering why Argo was getting such rave reviews. It was just average.

  • Sona | February 25, 2013 11:13 AMReply

    Happy for Tarantino. Yes the last 15 mins of Django was a little weak but the 2 Hours and 30 mins of pure magic more than makes up for it and that is why he won. The fact that Django has made 380 million world wide might have help. People just love that film.

  • NO BRAINER | February 25, 2013 1:03 PM

    A little weak? It was terrible on every level.

  • DJ | February 25, 2013 10:57 AMReply

    Not sure if Tarantino had any shot at "best director," given that he wasn't even nominated!
    Ang Lee's win really shouldn't be a surprise: his body of work shows that he's mastered the roles of visualist, dramatist, cross-cultural observationist, with a commercial sensibility to boot. Lee may not be the pure painter of say, Wong Kar Wai, or (for better or worse) peddle the singular auteurist vision of QT, but he's sort of become the Spielberg in the age of globalization.

    Beasts had no chance whatsoever. We all know how the Academy works (thanks to N. Finke's snarky commentary, ha).

    And Argo's win was less about nationalist pride and more about painting Hollywood's "social conscience" in a self serving, self congratulatory light, I think.

  • Curtis | February 25, 2013 10:55 AMReply

    I am so happy for Django right now. It's QT best reviewed film Since Pulp Fiction. It his a massive Boxoffice Hit. 160 million and still going. Congrats to Tarantino on his win last night. You made one hell of a movie and its great to see the big success of it.

  • stephen | February 25, 2013 5:19 PM

    Damn you put Django in acts! I thought there was just one big messy act!

  • NO BRAINER | February 25, 2013 12:58 PM

    Django had the worst last act of all the nominated films. No way was it deserving of its screenplay win. No way...

  • monkeysuit | February 25, 2013 10:50 AMReply

    Zero Dark Thirty is a travesty, and everyone involved in its making should be ashamed of themselves for making such a politically disgusting movie. So I'm happy it had to split its only award. I'd be happier if it wasn't nominated in the first place.

    I wasn't really surprised by anything else except Tarantino and Ang Lee. I'm happy for Lee. I don't think Tarantino deserved it, but it's kind of weird that he's one of the best screenwriters and directors around and until last night had never won an award for either. I don't know why Justin W says Hollywood loves him when he has how many masterpieces under his belt and had no Oscars to show for it.

  • Justin W | February 25, 2013 1:17 PM

    He has a good number of nominations and wins not just from the Academy but from other award institutions as well. Tarantino is a real popular filmmaker in Hollywood and he's real popular to people who don't even watch films often

    Also, just look at his acceptance speech from last night. They cued up the music to get him off the stage and he told them to stop to let him finished and they did. I'm not saying it's necessarily a bad thing, just calling it like I see it.

  • DJ | February 25, 2013 11:16 AM

    QT shared the best original screenplay Oscar w/ Roger Avary for Pulp Fiction. So that's two for him.

  • Josh | February 25, 2013 10:47 AMReply

    Zero Dark Thirty was the best movie I saw. Since it created so much panic one might even consider it an "important" movie. Its not the All Quiet of the Western Front of the War on Terror but it definitely opens the door.

  • Justin W | February 25, 2013 10:40 AMReply

    Zero Dark Thirty was my fav film out the Best Picture bunch, but I knew there was no way in hell that it was going to win Best Picture. Since Argo was my 2nd fav film nominee, I really didn't mind. I really didn't mind any of the films winning Best Pic besides Django, Amour, and Les Mis.

    Agreed that Zero Dark Thirty should have won Best Original Screenplay. It was simply a better written script and tighter script than Django even though they are about the same length. As you said, the script just fell apart towards the end but hey, the Academy loves Tarantino so I wouldn't say that I'm completely surprised.

    I felt that Best Cinematography shouldn't even have gone to Life of Pi. I think the film with the Best Cinematography was The Master and it wasn't even nominated. Out of the nominees, Skyfall should have won IMO.

    For Best Supporting Actor, I thought that De Niro and Phillip Seymour Hoffman were miles better in their performances than Waltz, but once again the Academy loves Tarantino so it is what it is.

    These are my quick thoughts. Ill add some more later.

  • Justin W | February 26, 2013 11:34 AM

    @ Agent K I agree

  • Agent K | February 26, 2013 7:20 AM

    For me, the award for Best Supporting Actor should have went to Philip Seymour Hoffman.

  • Akimbo | February 25, 2013 3:40 PM

    I agree that Best Supporting could have gone to someone else, but not that the someone should have been De Niro. There was nothing particularly challenging about that role or standout about his performance to me. I think the issue is just that Waltz is so lovable, people just want to see him win.

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