Long before the first envelope was opened, headlines and history were being written by the bucketload. There’s been the Ben Affleck controversy of course, not to mention this year’s competition including the oldest and youngest ever nominees, at 89 and nine years old respectively. So who could possibly anchor such a jam-packed affair? Step forward Seth McFarlane.
It was hoped that the Family Guy creator would be more likely to attract a young audience. Either way, an estimated 90 million were tuning in, across 120 countries, but McFarlane took it all in his stride. As the man himself had said beforehand: “While it’s obviously a ceremony that’s important to the people involved, you know we’re not curing cancer here.”
If there was something you had to bet your mortgage on, most people would probably have predicted success for Life of Pi in the visuals department. The film’s stunning 3-D imagery richly deserved the best cinematography and visual effects double, but what came as more of a surprise was Ang Lee landing the prize for best director, taking Pi’s overall tally to four and outperforming Argo and Lincoln.
But you can’t keep a good man down and Lincoln lead Daniel Day-Lewis did eventually complete the Best Actor hat-trick: “I really don’t know how any of this happened,” he said. “I do know I’ve received more than my fair share of good fortune in my life.” Meanwhile, Argo took the much-coveted Best Picture title.
The show was, quite literally, all-singing all-dancing. A Les Miserables medley was a real treat for the audience, but of the movie’s cast it was only Anne Hathaway who scooped an acting gong, that of Best Supporting Actress for her role as Fantine. Also on song were British ‘Bond Girls’ past and present. The ever-popular Adele, who collected the award for best original song, belted out the first ever live performance of Skyfall, whilst Shirley Bassey complemented with a rendition of Goldfinger.
But with the Oscars being the Oscars, fashion was never far from the forefront. Before the main event got underway, most of the talk focused on Jessica Chastain’s dress. “I just don’t think it’s my year,” she had said. Her prediction came true as she had to watch Jennifer Lawrence walk away as Best Actress. Let us not forget the very first recipient of the night, best supporting actor Christoph Waltz, who is now the proud owner of two golden statuettes.
So how should we remember the Academy Awards in 2013? To quote Les Miserables producer Eric Fellner, “this year of all years there’s the opportunity to surprise because there are so many good films.” Surprise it certainly did.