Photo: © Rex Features
Would you look at this woman? Never mind that she’s an amazon – a giantess, especially next to all the short actors in Hollywood. Look at how gorgeous she is in her classic Dior gown, close-cropped blonde hair and perfect face. Plus, it turns out, she can dance. She got my vote for best everything.
I love Jane Fonda, but I didn’t love her dress – the color or the ’80′s “Dynasty” look. I did love that she and Michael Douglas presented. It’s always good to see them both. He looked pretty healthy for someone who’d been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer.
I know K-Stew was on crutches, but couldn’t her stylist have combed her hair?
Photo: Getty Images
Plus size or not, Melissa McCarthy could have found a better gown than this gray tent. Adele is pleasingly plump and always looks impeccable. But then McCarthy, who is usually hilarious, was stuck in a terrible presentation on stage that went on forever and wasn’t the least bit clever.
Meryl Streep looked matronly and shlubby, but I love her too much to include her on the “ugh” list. I also love that she probably doesn’t have a stylist and just does her own thing.
Gorgeous dresses were everywhere – Amy Adams, Jessica Chastain, Jennifer Lawrence, Halle Berry, Amanda Seyfried, Jennifer Gardner in purple.
The awards themselves were interesting. At my house, where I screwed up the jambalaya and made the rice as fluffy as cement, we all filled out ballots before the show. I did pretty well picking winners Ang Lee, Argo, Anne Hathaway and Daniel Day-Lewis. I had Robert DeNiro instead of Christoph Waltz for Best Supporting Actor, but I was happy Waltz won.
As for the show, I’ll let the New York Times‘ Alessandra Stanley do the honors. She echoes everything I felt but says it better than I could have.
Long Night’s Trip Across Decades
MacFarlane Hosts an Oscar Show for All Ages
By ALESSANDRA STANLEY
It was a night of surprises and contradictions.
Fewer could have foreseen that old Hollywood and new would come together in one M.C.
Seth MacFarlane, the creator of “Family Guy,” crooned sappy standards (“The Way You Look Tonight”) and carried himself like Fred Astaire. But he also stayed true to form, taking crude shots at Jews in Hollywood, women and even the Lincoln assassination. (He made a joke that despite brilliant impersonations by Daniel Day-Lewis and Raymond Massey, the actor “who really got inside Lincoln’s head was John Wilkes Booth.”)
The hedged-bets, have-it-all-ways ceremony made Sunday night’s one of the longer and most self-conscious Oscars imaginable. Even the music played to expel overly loquacious winners was arch: the theme of “Jaws.” But it wasn’t the acceptance speeches that prolonged the night; there were too many stars doing fatuous presentations — even Melissa McCarthy wasn’t funny. And by the time Michelle Obama made a surprise cameo, via satellite, to announce the best picture, it was almost midnight and too late to revive a sagging evening.
Mr. MacFarlane, a writer, director and animator with one feature film, “Ted,” and few acting credits, has a cult following among young men, but for many viewers, he may have been the least recognizable Oscars host since Lawrence Grant, a British character actor, in 1931.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, ever worried about the defection of younger viewers, has veered between pandering to new Hollywood and honoring the old, going from the too-cool-for-school actor James Franco, who bombed as a co-host in 2011, to Billy Crystal, who hosted last year.
They chose Mr. MacFarlane as a split-the-difference host: he’s a comedian with a profane Generation Y sense of humor who also has a bond with the A.A.R.P. (He recorded an album of 1950s standards in 2011, “Music Is Better than Words.”) And he worked hard to serve both audiences.
He delivered his usual borderline-offensive irreverence (he said that for Rihanna and Chris Brown, a couple with a history of domestic abuse, the super-violent “Django Unchained” was a “date movie”) with a winning smile. He also went retro with ’30s-style song-and-dance numbers. To bridge the gap, the producers, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, even worked in a cameo of William Shatner as Captain Kirk of “Star Trek” traveling through time to stop Mr. MacFarlane from ruining the Oscars.
Anne Hathaway won an Oscar, but she also deserved an award for most succinct, gracious acceptance speech, praising her fellow nominees by name, as well her co-star, Hugh Jackman, among others. Daniel Day-Lewis outdid her: Known for being deeply serious, he said that he had been up for the part of Margaret Thatcher, and that he had prevented Steven Spielberg from making “Lincoln” a musical.
Ms. Lawrence tripped on her way to the stage but didn’t make any faux pas in her acceptance speech. She was less guarded on the red carpet, complaining to one interviewer that she was hungry and moaning presciently that the show is too long. With another, she let fly a profanity that ABC barely bleeped in time.
It wasn’t the first time she’s flouted awards-show etiquette: At the Golden Globes, she began her acceptance speech by dissing Meryl Streep. (Mr. MacFarlane referred to the gaffe in a joke, saying that he heard Ms. Lawrence say that win or lose, “it’s just an honor that Meryl Streep wasn’t nominated.”) It could be a rebellious streak in her, but mostly it’s a reminder of how young and unworldly some stars are, despite all the coaching, minders and Dior gowns.
The Oscars almost always lose energy midway because the front end is loaded down with technical awards. The producers tried to liven up the night with a theme — movie musicals — but even that tribute grew overly long, larded with unnecessary performances that had nothing to do with the films at hand. With so many stars of “Les Misérables”singing together onstage, Barbra Streisand singing solo the theme from “The Way We Were” in a tribute to Marvin Hamlisch, and Shirley Bassey belting out “Goldfinger,” it seemed a little unnecessary to have Catherine Zeta-Jones reprise a song from “Chicago.” (The producers obviously didn’t think so since they also were executive producers of “Chicago.”) Jennifer Hudson, who flawlessly delivered her showstopping number from “Dreamgirls,” would have done the trick.
Mr. MacFarlane didn’t ruin the show. But the show almost ruined the Oscars.