You may have heard that Sunday’s Oscars was the worst ceremony in Academy history. I bet you also heard it was the best ceremony in Academy history. Get this: Neither is true! The Oscars were perfectly Oscar-y on Sunday, not dreadful or miraculous almost ever. Except for when host Seth MacFarlane stepped up to the dais. Oh God, guys. I don’t watch his cartoon, The Hilariously Funny Family Guy Variety Hour or whatever it’s called, but rest assured I won’t be tuning in any time soon. We’ll get to that in a bit.
Let’s start with uplifting award handouts: I mostly applauded the night’s winners, including the first honoree, the sexy, angular, tantalizingly clean-shaven Christoph Waltz. No doubt about it, the sinister gent is a talented looker. I have dreams where he stares at me like a cruel headmaster and I fall to the ground in sexual hysteria. But having just seen Django Unchained, which is as close to an “expected” Tarantino movie as you’ll ever get (a fact that makes Tarantino’s Original Screenplay win sort of bizarre, honestly), I admit I dug Waltz’s performance but question the following three things: 1) It is most certainly not a supporting performance, which bothers me since I’m a category queen. 2) Is the role different enough from his calm, commanding, yet terrifying role in Inglourious Basterds to warrant another Oscar? 3) Are we comfortable with Christoph Waltz as the new Jason Robards, snagging two supporting trophies in record time? You know, I can deal with that one. Hell, I’d watch Waltz play Dashiell Hammett in a remake of Julia. Fine. Fine! Waltz’s speech was much less prepared than his Basterds win, and thank God, because that speech sucked. He mentioned something about the majesty of continents? I almost voted him to Antarctica. His win this time was a long shot, and we got to see the casually intelligent man sound gracious and unpretentious. He rules and didn’t have to prepare a sonnet to do it. Woo.
Anne Hathaway shocked absolutely no one by picking up Best Supporting Actress for her role as Malnourished Susan Boyle in Les Miserables. The Hathaway backlash is boring at this point, by the way. The girl is talented, has paid her dues, and gives a cute speech. So she’s a little bit of a hyper-enthusiastic drama camp counselor. Swell, I say. She likes to act and is good at it. Les Miz is not my thing, but I’m glad Anne is her smart and suuuuper gay-positive self. Admittedly when Anne won, I screamed at the TV, “Sally Field, storm the stage and feed selfish Shelby her juice!” but I didn’t really mean it. It’s OK that Sally Field finally lost an Oscar. I think. Yeah. It might not be OK, actually, but whatever, this life is flawed.
Other expected winners: Adele and her Valium-dull “Skyfall” (which she sang wonderfully), a Costume Design win for Anna Karenina (which is a beautiful-looking, well-couture’d movie, even if it’s a slightly prosaic adaptation — Keira‘s my girl nonetheless), the documentary feature Searching for Sugar Man, and Foreign Language film Amour, which is a French word that apparently means “unbearable, mortality-piercing grimness.” Surely we all picked up gimme points on our high-stakes Oscar ballots in those categories, no?