2013 Oscars values cutting-edge talent

Mary Morris

Contributing Writer

Feb. 24 served as the pinnacle of the 2013 awards season as the world evaluated dazzling dresses and argued the Academy’s credibility at the Oscars.

The night began with a procession of glittering fabrics, fitted figures and princess skirts. Jennifer Lawrence looked stunning in a blush Dior gown that preluded her fairy tale night, while Naomi Watts took a risk in a sparkling gunmetal Armani gown featuring an off-center cut along the bust-line. Reese Witherspoon, Amy Adams and Charlize Theron also lit up the red carpet in original and eye-catching gowns.

Eventually, the lights dimmed and Seth MacFarlane commenced with what continued for quite some time as a hit-or-miss performance as host. Audiences were left feeling confused and uncomfortable at moments, especially those including a song devoted to exposed breasts, a flying nun costume and a joke about John Wilkes Booth. While there are some who find MacFarlane’s jokes harmless and entertaining, the Oscars may not have been the best platform for such humor. The recurring question of the night was where are Tina Fey and Amy Poehler?

Things finally picked up as the awards got underway. “Life of Pi” walked away with multiple awards in Best Cinematography, Best Original Score, Best Visual Effects and Best Director. Personally, I was a little surprised considering the hype surrounding many of the other nominated movies for some of these awards, particularly Best Director. Regardless, students have cause to join in the celebration of the wins of “Life of Pi,” as alum Bill Westenhofer ’90 was a member of the visual effects team.

Daniel Day-Lewis deservedly won his third Best Actor award for his memorable and awe-inspiring role in “Lincoln,” which made him the most decorated male actor in Oscar’s history.

The award that had viewers biting their nails must have been the race for Best Actress. In a stacked category including Naomi Watts for “The Impossible,” Jennifer Lawrence for “Silver Linings Playbook,” Jessica Chastain for “Zero Dark Thirty,” Quvenzhané Wallis for “Beasts of the Southern Wild” and Emmanuelle Riva for “Amour,” America’s newest sweetheart Jennifer Lawrence came out on top for her first Oscar win. Lawrence was endearing and gracious even as she tripped up the stairs to accept her award. Adele also made her Oscar debut as she joined the ranks of new Oscar winners for “Skyfall” in Best Original Song.

The final award of the night, the coveted award for Best Picture, went to “Argo” and its famously snubbed director, Ben Affleck, had his fabled return to the Oscar stage. Although I was rooting for “Silver Linings Playbook” and “Lincoln,” I have heard great things about “Argo.” Still, I wonder if anything could compare to Day-Lewis’s portrayal of Abraham Lincoln, or the realistic and moving story produced by David O. Russell in “Silver Linings Playbook.” I guess the only solution will be a weekend-long movie marathon, during which I can curse the Academy for its obvious mistakes or applaud them for recognizing the true art of filmmaking.

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