We watched the Oscars at my daughter's house, and it was madness one step beyond. But it was great, and there was no shortage of reactions. Here are a few of my own, with selected notes from the crowd at my daughter's:
1. The music was mostly blah. Did not need to see the musical number from Chicago. Not tonight and not ever again, really. I like Adele but don't love the Bond song. Weirdly, the medley from Les Mis was the best music of the night, I thought, and I did not like the movie nor the music. Somehow, the cast singing live made it feel more immediate. I blame all the talk-singing of the movie. It was unbearable. But feel free to correct me if I'm wrong (but I'm not).
2. I was happy to see the visual gorgeousness of Life of Pi recognized in so many different ways. That film was mesmerizing.
3. While we're discussing Life of Pi, let's acknowledge that the young man who played the lead, Suraj Sharma, gave an absolutely wonderful performance, and if the little girl from Beasts of the Southern Wild can be nominated--and she should have been--so should Mr. Sharma. Also, the tiger should have been nominated, even if he was CGI. He was badass.
4. One more thing about Life of Pi: I was glad Ang Lee got the award for director. Nothing against anyone else. It was very touching to me.
5. Tarantino totally deserved that writing award. I loved when he credited his cast for making those characters so indelible.
6. I completely don't understand what the Academy's deal is with Leonardo DiCaprio. Because he's amazing, and was amazing in Django Unchained, and also I am literally breathless with anticipation about that crazy Baz Luhrmann version of The Great Gatsby. A wonderful, idiosyncratic actor. Diane Keaton said that he and Meryl Streep are the best mimics she ever heard of. For heaven's sake, Academy, get it together and give that kid an award.
7. I loved when Daniel Day-Lewis said that he had been planning to play Margaret Thatcher, and that Spielberg had wanted Streep to play Lincoln.
8. Little Quvenzhane Wallis was entirely adorable each and every time the camera caught her. I hope someone took her out for an ice cream sundae after the show.
9. I continue to think that Amour looks monumental and unbearably sad.
10. Anyone else think that the clips they showed for the acting performances skewed toward the scenery-chewy?
11. We all loved when Mark Wahlberg said "No b.s.!" about the tie for sound editing.
12. I thought Seth MacFarlane got off some pretty funny jokes. Like when he said Denzel Washington had a great sense of humor, since he was in those Nutty Professor remakes. Also, the whole Star Trek thing with William Shatner blew my mind. Pretty bold, pretty funny.
13. Completely disgraceful: The Master should have been nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Cinematography, and writing. It is a great film, better maybe than anything that was nominated this year.
14. Ladies and gentlemen, I do not believe that Argo is the best film of the year.
15. However, I did kind of warm to Ben Affleck bumbling around up there and choking up when he said his kids' names.