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Forget the presenter’s dresses. Forget Seth McFarlane’s jokes. The real reason for all the hoopla, after all, is who gets an Academy Award, and the results Sunday night were a nice mix of expected wins and dramatic upsets.
Christoph Waltz? Again? Already? He just won a supporting-actor Oscar three years ago, so it was surprising that he nabbed another one so soon. (All the other nominees in that category had won, too, but longer ago than Waltz.) Both of Waltz’s awards were for very distinctive Quentin Tarantino movies — “Inglourious Basterds” and “Django Unchained.” I would have voted for Robert De Niro, who was so wonderful and multifaceted as the OCD head of a loving if dysfunctional family in "Silver Linings Playbook."
Every critic who wrote about the movie adaptation of “Life of Pi” invariably mentioned that most people had considered the book unfilmable. So the fact that Ang Lee did, in fact, create a film version that drew lots of plaudits certainly put him near the top of the best-directors heap. I really expected, though, that Steven Spielberg would win. In my mind, “Lincoln” was a much superior film to “Pi,” which I thought was overrated.
So those were the unexpected winners.
The others may not have had the dramatic upset factor, but they were well-deserved. “Argo” was a truly fine film. Daniel Day-Lewis is, well, Daniel Day-Lewis — kind of hard to argue against his genius.
Jennifer Lawrence, at the tender age of 22, has already proved herself an acting powerhouse. And she’s endearing — hilarous in a very non-Hollywood way. She handled her trip on the way to the podium with the right humor and self-deprecation. My theory: her stumble up the stairs counts as her bad luck for the year, so she won’t be subject to the best-actress curse. What curse? Well, the winners tend to be stuck in unaccountably bad movies for the next couple of years.
Anne Hathway won. Yawn.
“Lincoln’s” Tony Kushner, who inaccurately portrayed Connecticut congressmen’s votes on the 13th amendment, did NOT win for best adapted screenplay. That trophy went to Chris Terrio for “Argo.” Somewhere, Joe Courtney must be smiling.
What was your take on who won an Oscar? What did you think of the show itself?