On Sunday the 25th of February, the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood was a who’s who of 2012 in film. With Seth McFarlane on hosting duties it was certain he would be looking to offend and the publicists would be out in force, and a list of nominees that inspired surprise in very few meant anticipation for the 85th Academy Awards was perhaps a little lower than usual. When it came to the event, the dresses were sequinned, the suits were sharp, and those that rambled in their acceptance speeches were drowned out by the hilarious use of the Jaws theme music.
Life of Pi proved the bigger winner of the night scooping four awards, whilst Argo took three, including Best Picture. Ben Affleck offered a gracious and heartfelt speech as did Jennifer Lawrence, who capped off a year that has seen her take home just about every best actress accolade going (BAFTA excluded) with the Best Actress accolade. Django Unchained was acknowledged with Quentin Tarantino and Christoph Waltz taking home their second Academy Award each for Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor respectively, and British success was celebrated by Adele’s Skyfall win for Best Original Song, and Daniel Day Lewis, now the holder of the record for most Best Actor Academy Awards. He gave an amusing and touching speech thanking Meryl Streep, who statistically has been thanked more times in Oscar acceptance speeches than God.
The ceremony itself unsurprisingly featured a slew of sexist and cringe-worthy jokes from McFarlane, who had the charisma of a thirteen year-old boy guffawing at his own gags and failing to bring any charm or class to the proceedings. Come back Anne Hathaway and James Franco, all is forgiven. The highlights came in the form of spectacular musical performances from Adele, Dame Shirley Bassey, Barbara Streisand, Catherine Zeta-Jones and the film cast of Les Miserables. Overall the night was suitably underwhelming, and one can only hope the organisers take into account the line delivered by William Shatner in the ceremony’s opening gambit: ‘Why couldn’t they get Tina Fey and Amy Poehler to host?’ Bill, we were thinking the same thing.
words: Hannah Woodhead
image: Alberto E. Rodriguez/WireImage