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Sunday, February 24, 2013

The 85th Annual Academy Awards: Results and Reactions

The Winners and Surprises

By Chris Sabga

A month ago, I posted the nominees and my predictions, which you can read again by clicking here.

Seth MacFarlane ("Ted," "Family Guy") was the best Oscar host in years. He was charming, funny, and just inappropriate enough give the ceremony a much-needed edge without ever going overboard. The skits involving him and William Shatner as Captain Kirk made for the most hilarious and memorable Oscar opener in a long time.

The heavy amount of music during the ceremony likely pleased some and irritated others. I personally thought there was too much of it – but to be fair, the host did let us know it was going to be a musical evening. Adele and Streisand both performed beautifully.

The tie for Sound Editing was a shocker and made me wonder if something like that could ever happen in the Actor, Actress, or Best Picture categories this year. It has actually happened fives times before, with the most famous example being for two 1968 movies: Katharine Hepburn won Best Actress for "The Lion in Winter" while Barbra Streisand also won for "Funny Girl."

In a night with no truly great speeches, Quentin Tarantino came close with his bizarre but endearing acceptance of the Best Original Screenplay award. Daniel Day-Lewis might have been even weirder, comically playing on his stiff reputation as an intense method actor. It was hard to tell when he was joking – if he was – and when he wasn't. Ben Affleck ended the night on the perfect note with his touching, sincere, and very classy speech for "Argo."

The full results, and my thoughts, are below. The winners are listed in BOLD.

And the Oscars go to...

Best Motion Picture of the Year

Amour: Margaret Ménégoz, Stefan Arndt, Veit Heiduschka, Michael Katz

Argo: Grant Heslov, Ben Affleck, George Clooney

Beasts of the Southern Wild: Dan Janvey, Josh Penn, Michael Gottwald

Django Unchained: Stacey Sher, Reginald Hudlin, Pilar Savone

Les Misérables: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward, Cameron Mackintosh

Life of Pi: Gil Netter, Ang Lee, David Womark

Lincoln: Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy

Silver Linings Playbook: Donna Gigliotti, Bruce Cohen, Jonathan Gordon

Zero Dark Thirty: Mark Boal, Kathryn Bigelow, Megan Ellison

Thoughts: My heart was with "Silver Linings Playbook" but there's no denying that "Argo" was an intense, effective thriller that also skillfully blended in bits of comedy. Its most impressive feat was looking like a true period piece, right down to its old-school WB logo at the beginning.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Bradley Cooper for Silver Linings Playbook

Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln

Hugh Jackman for Les Misérables

Joaquin Phoenix for The Master

Denzel Washington for Flight

Thoughts: There was never any doubt that this was Daniel Day-Lewis's award to win. His transformation as the 16th President was staggering. This victory also puts Day-Lewis in the history books as the first person ever to win three Best Actor Oscars. Still, part of me was rooting for Bradley Cooper anyway. In any other year, I think it would have been his. Regardless, Cooper has proven to any doubters he may have had (I was never among them) that he's a genuine talent with incredible range.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Jessica Chastain for Zero Dark Thirty

Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook

Emmanuelle Riva for Amour

Quvenzhané Wallis for Beasts of the Southern Wild

Naomi Watts for The Impossible

Thoughts: At the last minute, I became convinced that "Amour's" Emmanuelle Riva was a lock. Obviously, I was wrong. Lawrence was incredible in "Silver Linings Playbook" and was very much worthy of winning the statuette.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Alan Arkin for Argo

Robert De Niro for Silver Linings Playbook

Philip Seymour Hoffman for The Master

Tommy Lee Jones for Lincoln

Christoph Waltz for Django Unchained

Thoughts: Friends of mine and other media outlets called this one, but it was still a complete shock to me. I was convinced that the race was between De Niro and Tommy Lee Jones. Maybe they split the vote?

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Amy Adams for The Master

Sally Field for Lincoln

Anne Hathaway for Les Misérables

Helen Hunt for The Sessions

Jacki Weaver for Silver Linings Playbook

Thoughts: Along with Daniel Day-Lewis, this was probably the least shocking winner. Hathaway was considered all but a given, and to no one's surprise, she won here for her role as Fantine.  

Best Achievement in Directing

Michael Haneke for Amour

Ang Lee for Life of Pi

David O. Russell for Silver Linings Playbook

Steven Spielberg for Lincoln

Benh Zeitlin for Beasts of the Southern Wild

Thoughts: Another upset, at least to me, but Lee is a director of great skill. His previous win (for "Brokeback Mountain") and nomination (for "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon") is a testament to that.

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen

Amour: Michael Haneke

Django Unchained: Quentin Tarantino

Flight: John Gatins

Moonrise Kingdom: Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola

Zero Dark Thirty: Mark Boal

Thoughts: For some reason, this one surprised me. But maybe it shouldn't have. Tarantino has a writing "voice" that's uniquely his, and he was rewarded this year. Part of me was rooting for "Moonrise Kingdom," but with this being its only nomination, it was sadly under-represented at this year's Oscars.

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published

Argo: Chris Terrio

Beasts of the Southern Wild: Lucy Alibar, Benh Zeitlin

Life of Pi: David Magee

Lincoln: Tony Kushner

Silver Linings Playbook: David O. Russell

Thoughts: Another surprise. "Lincoln" and "Silver Linings" were the front-runners in my mind. But there's no doubting what a thrilling ride "Argo" was. Besides, it probably has the most memorable line of any of the movies nominated: "Argo F*** Yourself."

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

Brave: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman

Frankenweenie: Tim Burton

ParaNorman: Sam Fell, Chris Butler

The Pirates! Band of Misfits: Peter Lord

Wreck-It Ralph: Rich Moore

Thoughts: I assumed all along that "Brave" would win, and it did. I personally loved "Wreck-It Ralph" though. It was a fantastic love letter to video games. (I was also thrilled to see "Paperman" win in the Best Animated Shorts category. It was shown before "Ralph," and truth be told, it was the better of the two.)

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year

Amour (Austria)

War Witch (Canada)

No (Chile)

A Royal Affair (Denmark)

Kon-Tiki (Norway)

Thoughts: This may have been even more obvious than Day-Lewis's victory. Of course the only foreign film also nominated for Best Picture was going to win in this category.

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Here are the rest of the categories and winners:

Best Achievement in Cinematography

Anna Karenina: Seamus McGarvey

Django Unchained: Robert Richardson

Life of Pi: Claudio Miranda

Lincoln: Janusz Kaminski

Skyfall: Roger Deakins

Best Achievement in Editing

Argo: William Goldenberg

Life of Pi: Tim Squyres

Lincoln: Michael Kahn

Silver Linings Playbook: Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers

Zero Dark Thirty: William Goldenberg, Dylan Tichenor

Best Achievement in Production Design

Anna Karenina: Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: Dan Hennah, Ra Vincent, Simon Bright

Les Misérables: Eve Stewart, Anna Lynch-Robinson

Life of Pi: David Gropman, Anna Pinnock

Lincoln: Rick Carter, Jim Erickson

Best Achievement in Costume Design

Anna Karenina: Jacqueline Durran

Les Misérables: Paco Delgado

Lincoln: Joanna Johnston

Mirror Mirror: Eiko Ishioka

Snow White and the Huntsman: Colleen Atwood

Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling

Hitchcock: Howard Berger, Peter Montagna, Martin Samuel

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: Peter King, Rick Findlater, Tami Lane

Les Misérables: Lisa Westcott, Julie Dartnell

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score

Anna Karenina: Dario Marianelli

Argo: Alexandre Desplat

Life of Pi: Mychael Danna

Lincoln: John Williams

Skyfall: Thomas Newman

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song

Chasing Ice: J. Ralph ("Before My Time")

Les Misérables: Alain Boublil, Claude-Michel Schönberg, Herbert Kretzmer ("Suddenly")

Life of Pi: Mychael Danna, Bombay Jayshree ("Pi's Lullaby")

Skyfall: Adele, Paul Epworth ("Skyfall")

Ted: Walter Murphy, Seth MacFarlane ("Everybody Needs a Best Friend")

Best Achievement in Sound Mixing

Argo: John T. Reitz, Gregg Rudloff, José Antonio García

Les Misérables: Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson, Simon Hayes

Life of Pi: Ron Bartlett, Doug Hemphill, Drew Kunin

Lincoln: Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom, Ron Judkins

Skyfall: Scott Millan, Greg P. Russell, Stuart Wilson

Best Achievement in Sound Editing (TIE)

Argo: Erik Aadahl, Ethan Van der Ryn

Django Unchained: Wylie Stateman

Life of Pi: Eugene Gearty, Philip Stockton

Skyfall: Per Hallberg, Karen M. Baker

Zero Dark Thirty: Paul N.J. Ottosson

Best Achievement in Visual Effects

The Avengers: Janek Sirrs, Jeff White, Guy Williams, Daniel Sudick

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton, R. Christopher White

Life of Pi: Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik De Boer, Donald Elliott

Prometheus: Richard Stammers, Trevor Wood, Charley Henley, Martin Hill

Snow White and the Huntsman: Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, Phil Brennan, Neil Corbould, Michael Dawson

Best Documentary, Features

5 Broken Cameras: Emad Burnat, Guy Davidi

The Gatekeepers: Dror Moreh, Philippa Kowarsky, Estelle Fialon

How to Survive a Plague: David France, Howard Gertler

The Invisible War: Kirby Dick, Amy Ziering

Searching for Sugar Man: Malik Bendjelloul, Simon Chinn

Best Documentary, Short Subjects

Inocente: Sean Fine, Andrea Nix

Kings Point: Sari Gilman, Jedd Wider

Mondays at Racine: Cynthia Wade, Robin Honan

Open Heart: Kief Davidson, Cori Shepherd Stern

Redemption: Jon Alpert, Matthew O'Neill

Best Short Film, Animated

Adam and Dog: Minkyu Lee

Fresh Guacamole: PES

Head Over Heels: Timothy Reckart, Fodhla Cronin O'Reilly

Paperman: John Kahrs

The Simpsons: The Longest Daycare: David Silverman

Best Short Film, Live Action

Asad: Bryan Buckley, Mino Jarjoura

Buzkashi Boys: Sam French, Ariel Nasr

Curfew: Shawn Christensen

Death of a Shadow: Tom Van Avermaet, Ellen De Waele

Henry: Yan England

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