The Academy Awards 2013 – A Retrospective

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Perhaps this should be prefaced with a little saving face. I picked my Oscar predictions more based on who I wanted to win rather than who could be said was most likely to win. But, at least, the one thing I could properly predict was that Seth MacFarlane would appropriately use his supply of crude and unexpected reference humor to his advantage as host, concocting a fun little medley out of class and crass. The fact that he happened to pick Star Trek and William Shatner in his Admiral Kirk costume as the character to bounce his self aware anxiety of being a rather unorthodox host was just a fun bonus. However, I will say that where I missed, I am actually happy I missed because even so there was still a happy outcome. I’m sure Christoph Waltz agrees with me. And he would thank Quentin Tarantino for it too.

So how did the Oscars go? In order to save time and be more efficient, the general information of who won what will be up here, the hypothetical reasoning behind various wins below. Best Director went to Ang Lee, Best Actress went to Jennifer Lawrence, Best Actor went to Daniel Day-Lewis, and Best Picture went to Argo. Christoph Waltz and Quentin Tarantino won their second Oscars, and Anne Hathaway bagged her first. Skyfall won original song, and Brave won Best Animated Feature.


  • Animated Short – Paperman
  • Cinematography – Life of Pi
  • Visual Effects – Life of Pi
  • Costume Design – Anna Karenina
  • Make up & Hairstyling – Les Miserables
  • Live Action Short Film – Curfew
  • Documentary Short – Inocente
  • Documentary – Searching for Sugar Man
  • Foreign Language Film – Amour
  • Sound Mixing – Les Miserables
  • Sound Editing – Zero Dark Thirty & Skyfall
  • Film Editing – Argo
  • Production Design – Lincoln
  • Original Score – Life of Pi
  • Adapted Screenplay – Argo

First off, Shirley Bessey is 76 years old and she impressively proves she can still sing with her rendition of “Goldfinger” during the tribute to 50 years of Bond segment. Catherine Zeta-Jones is 43 years old and proves she should never be allowed to sing again after her rendition of “All that Jazz” from the musical Chicago. Second, there were some really stunning upsets last night. Christoph Waltz, a tremendous actor by any stretch of the word, really pulled out the rug on his opponents with his win. He had a spectacular performance, but his ability to beat out Robert De Niro and Tommy Lee Jones is nothing short of stupefying. Second was Ang Lee’s victory for Best Director. Everyone in the world basically nodded and agreed that it would go to Steven Spielberg, so seeing him tie that one up was something special to see. And speaking of ties, the first draw in 18 years happened, only the sixth tie to ever occur in the history of the Oscars. The win was shared by Skyfall and Zero Dark Thirty for best sound editing.

From a little while back, up through Nate Silver‘s projections being released, the mood of most critics went from Lincoln nabbing best picture to Argo. It was a logical transition to make given that it’s a movie about Hollywood getting to be the hero and America being the overall good guys. All despite the help offered and received by the Canadians along the way. It created an enormous amount of tension in a story everyone already knows the ending to going in. That was reason enough for it to be nominated. Lincoln was a slow burner about the tides of progress in the United States. Life of Pi, was a feast for the eyes and as such won all the appropriate awards. Silver Linings Playbook was an imperfect romantic comedy about imperfect people finding perfection in each other, which is all warm and fuzzy, but Argo it seems, went over the top because none of the other films were able to offer a similar sensation in their work.

Rewinding back to the beginning now, Seth MacFarlane definitely had one of the most memorable opening numbers I’ve seen at the Academy Awards. I don’t think anyone was expecting him to converse with Captain Kirk about his future performance of “We Saw Your Boobs” or his subsequent dance numbers with Channing Tatum, Charlize Theron, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Daniel Radcliffe. His jokes would either land gracefully or miss and strike a nerve without much left in between, which is exactly like his style. He performed the way you would expect him to perform the same way you expected he would make a movie when he said he was making a movie. References and gaseous release humor (because it’s too classy to say fart jokes). I laughed. And when Lincoln didn’t win Best Picture, I cried.

By Marc Price

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