Admittedly, I only watched about 45 actual minutes of the 85th Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday, but what I saw I generally liked.
I know friends and relatives who will watch the entire production, from 4:30 Sunday afternoon when they start the red carpet until the show ends at 11:30 p.m., but I don’t have the constitution for that.
Thankfully, the Internet had me filled in Monday morning within about half an hour of browsing.
Host Seth MacFarlane brought his sense of humor to the opening monologue, a long stream-of-conscious number full of his three favorite subjects – pop culture references, song and dance numbers, and pretty creatively sexist humor.
While I don’t regularly watch any of his shows, I find them to be generally hilarious, and I appreciated seeing his take on how the show should be hosted.
I also liked how the show was produced to make it look like it was a work in progress, with jokes that actually included the actors in the audience like Jennifer Lawrence and Charlize Theron.
But when it comes to the Oscars, the hosting and joking always plays a distant second to the movies and their stars.
I was not surprised to see “Argo” win for best picture, but by the time I had watched the end of it for the first time last week, I convinced myself it wouldn’t win.
While it’s a great film, I thought Ben Affleck didn’t really act very much in it.
His performance seemed shallow and one-dimensional, and you don’t really get a sense of what makes his character crucial to getting the hostages out of Iran.
As for the other nominees, I would have liked to see “Silver Linings Playbook” win, but it doesn’t have the historical scope present in “Lincoln” or “Les Miserables.”
Another shoe-in, Daniel Day-Lewis, won a record third Oscar for best actor.
Again, no big surprise, but what I find more interesting about his work was that he was in character as Abraham Lincoln for nine months in preparation.
That just seems downright bizarre. Sure, it makes for great character portrayal, but how did he send texts or order a sandwich?
After Sunday night, the world is in love with Jennifer Lawrence, who won the best actress award for her work on “Playbook,” and she actually charmed people by falling down while walking up to the podium.
I’ve got a sawbuck that says she’s the Renee Zellweger of whatever we’ve decide to call this decade.
Most of the other winners were pretty much standard, although it didn’t make sense to me for Christoph Waltz to win a second best actor in a supporting role for being good in two Quentin Tarantino movies within a few years.
Robert DeNiro was amazing in “Playbook,” and he played a soft and sentimental role as opposed to his tough guy gangster façade.
One interesting thing happened when Ang Lee won best director for “Life of Pi;” Steven Spielberg was handed yet another snub.
I’ve written before about how the academy has famously given a few directors the proverbial middle finger – the most egregious honor was bestowed upon Stanley Kubrick – and they are keeping that tradition alive, somewhat.
While he did win best director in 1998 for “Saving Private Ryan,” he has not won the award ever since despite numerous nominations.
I think the most interesting thing that I saw throughout the whole program was when the award for visual effects was given.
Bill Westenhofer, supervisor on “Life of Pi,” was giving his acceptance speech when suddenly the theme from “Jaws” played very loudly and he and his cronies were ushered off the stage.
It’s been said Westenhofer was about to address the lack of union organization among visual effects houses and the producers of the show did not want to hear anything about it.
Over the past 10 years, many successful visual effects companies have gone bankrupt despite winning Academy Awards for their efforts.
It’s a provocative play on whether winning an Oscar is good or bad for anyone's Hollywood career.
If I had to pick a quote to pinpoint this year’s Oscars I’d turn to my dear friend and former teacher Bryan Wofford, who once offered me a cup of Kool-Aid while hiking the Appalachian Trail, saying “It is not great – but it is decent.”