When the nominees for Best Picture for the Academy Awards of 2013 were announced, I realized I had already seen quite a few of them. The nominees were “Django Unchained,” “Les MisÃ©rables,” “Lincoln,” “Silver Linings Playbook,” “Amour,” “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” “Argo,” “Life of Pi,” and “Zero Dark Thirty.” I had already seen the first four, and I wanted to see the last three. I was a girl on a mission, so by the time the ceremony rolled around, I had seen seven out of nine nominees.
Before I continue, I have to share my own personal upset about the Best Picture nominees this year. I was movie-crazed over winter break, and the fact that I went to the movies enough times to reach double digits is truly frightening. My favorite of the crop was “The Impossible,” a poignant movie about victims of the tsunami in Indonesia. It was amazing, and I was incredibly disappointed to see that it was not nominated for Best Picture.
Anyway, after my friends and I salivated over well-dressed male celebrities and developed serious cases of envy for more than one female celebrity, the Oscars began. I was surprised to find how much I enjoyed Seth MacFarlane as a host. Even if some of the jokes were incredibly rude, I have to admit that I laughed particularly hard at the song entitled “We Saw Your Boobs.” This year’s ceremony had a theme, which was Music in Film. As a musical aficionado, I was thrilled by the references to “Beauty and the Beast,” and “The Sound of Music,” and the performances later in the show from “Chicago,” “Dreamgirls,” and “Les MisÃ©rables.” The ceremony also incorporated well-known scores from movies while actors were entering or leaving the stage, most notably using the theme from “Jaws” to get winners off the stage whose acceptance speeches ran long.
When the time came to begin giving awards, the winner of the Best Supporting Actor category was Cristoph Waltz for “Django Unchained.” I thought he was great, and this category was sort of cool, to be honest, because every nominee had already won in the past. The only thing that I would have changed is that Leonardo DiCaprio should have been nominated in the same category for the same movie, but I could write an entire article about how much he has been gypped for previous performances.
Next, “Paperman” won for Best Animated Short Film, and “Brave” won for Best Animated Feature Film, which made me happy because it was the only movie from that category that I had seen.
“Life of Pi” won the next two categories: Best Cinematography and Best Visual Effects. I approved completely of the win for cinematography, but I thought that “Anna Karenina” should have won for visual effects, because the entire movie was portrayed on different levels of a stage, which was really interesting to watch. However, “Anna Karenina” then won for Best Costumes, so I was satisfied. I loved neither “Anna Karenina” nor “Life of Pi,” but the honest truth is that they are both beautiful movies to watch.
Next, “Les MisÃ©rables” won for Best Makeup and Hairstyling, which I thought was funny because two of the characters had little to no hair at parts (Anne Hathaway had hers chopped, and Hugh Jackman had a prison-worthy shaved head in the beginning).
The next few categories generated winners that I have no input for. Best Live Action Short Film went to “Curfew,” Best Documentary (short subject) went to “Inocente,” Best Documentary went to “Searching for Sugar Man,” and Best Foreign Language Film went to “Amour.”
“Les MisÃ©rables” won for Best Sound Mixing,. “Les Mis” was unprecedented in its creation; all of the actors recorded their songs live and on location instead of lip-synching their studio recordings, which is truly incredible and set the standard for future movie musicals. Now that I just had that little nerd moment, I will get back to the results. There was a tie for Best Sound Editing between “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Skyfall.” In case you went back to reread that, you were correct: there was a tie, which I had never heard of before.
Anne Hathaway won Best Supporting Actress for her role as Fantine in “Les MisÃ©rables,” and I was obviously thrilled. “Argo” won for Best Editing, and “Lincoln” won for Best Production Design, which I agreed with because there were so many different sets in Lincoln. “Life of Pi” won for Best Original Score, which I thought it deserved, but again, I would not have been upset to see that go to “Anna Karenina,” either. Adele won Best Song for her song “Skyfall,” named after the same movie. This absolutely overjoyed me because I’m a hardcore Adele fan and I absolutely expected “Les Mis” to win for “Suddenly,” the brand-new song written just for the movie.
“Argo” won for Best Adapted Screenplay, of which I approved. Quentin Tarantino won Best Original Screenplay for “Django Unchained.” I supported this, too, because although I thought that the last 30 minutes were too violent, it was still a great movie.
Now here was an upset for me, personally: Ang Lee won Best Director for “Life of Pi.” I did not like this decision at all, because frankly, I did not like “Life of Pi.” I did not think that it translated well to screen. What I really would have liked is for the “Les Mis” director to have won in this category, but he wasn’t even nominated.
I would not say that this next award was an upset, per se. Jennifer Lawrence won Best Actress for “Silver Linings Playbook.” Her speech was adorable, even after she tripped up the stairs in her gorgeous gown, but I have to admit that I was pulling for Naomi Watts, only because, as I said earlier, “The Impossible” was my favorite movie out of the crop and that was the only category in which it was nominated. However, Lawrence completely deserved it and I was delighted on her behalf.
I cannot even begin to explain my excitement when Daniel Day-Lewis won Best Actor for playing the title role in “Lincoln” and broke the record for Best Actor Awards by winning his third. His performance was so good that it literally made me want to get to know President Lincoln.
Finally, “Argo” won Best Picture, which was the shock of the century for me. I thought that every movie I had seen deserved its nomination (aside fro
m Life of Pi), but “Argo” had received so much negative press that I did not expect it to win. If the choice were up to me, I think I would have chosen “Les MisÃ©rables,” but I am definitely biased. The fact that “Argo” won Best Picture and Ben Affleck wasn’t even nominated for Best Director made me angry though. The Academy may as well have told him, “Your movie is the best of the bunch, but you are not even good enough to be nominated.” That is something that I will never understand.
All in all, I was really happy with the outcome of the Academy Awards of 2013. There were definitely some different choices I would have made, but I think that overall, most people were happy.
Clare Haggerty is a second-year student majoring in English. She can be reached at CH757342@wcupa.edu.