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Oscar Watching: Bidding This Season Farewell, Looking to the Year Ahead

Well, last night happened. Seth MacFarlane hosted, balancing the did-you-just-go-there style of humor for which he’s so often known and the showmanship you’d expect from an Oscar host. He took to the challenge, and for the most part, he landed. Yes, I would more openly welcome Tina Fey and Amy Poehlerto host next year, but MacFarlane hardly did a terrible job. His opening monologue, however drawn out it was, was a great way to break the ice and get what most were afraid of out of the way. However, he still came in with those Kardashian and Bardem/Cruz/Hayek jokes, which shouldn’t have made their way into the ceremony.  Besides, can we honestly say he did worse than Melissa McCarthy and Paul Rudd did as they presented the animated categories, or the cast of Marvel’s The Avengers presenting?

Moving on to the actual Oscar winners, Ben Affleck’s Argo claimed three wins including best picture and best adapted screenplay. Meanwhile, Ang Lee’s Life of Pi won four prizes – more than any other film – including best director. Tom Hooper’s Les Miserables took home three awards – including best supporting actress for Anne Hathaway. Joe Wright’s Anna KareninaQuentin Tarantino‘s Django Unchained, and Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln prevailed in two categories each. The night didn’t go quite as I planned it would. I only got four of the top eight races correct, and overall, I called just 15 of the 24 wins

Check out all the Oscar winners below, and see where my predictions landed here.

Best Picture: Argo

Best Director: Ang Lee for Life of Pi

Best Actress in a Leading Role: Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook

Best Actor in a Leading Role: Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln

Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Anne Hathaway for Les Misérables

Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Christoph Waltz for Django Unchained

Best Original Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino for Django Unchained

Best Adapted Screenplay: Chris Terrio for Argo


Best Animated Feature: Brave

Best Documentary Feature: Searching for Sugar Man

Best Foreign Language Film: Amour

Best Documentary Short: Inocente

Best Short (Animated): Paperman

Best Short (Live Action): Curfew


Best Cinematography: Claudio Miranda for Life of Pi

Best Film Editing: William Goldenberg for Argo

Best Makeup and Hairstyling: Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell for Les Misérables

Best Production Design: Sarah Greenwood and Katie Spencer for Anna Karenina

Best Sound Editing (tie): Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers for Skyfall; Paul N.J. Ottosson for Zero Dark Thirty

Best Sound Mixing: Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson, and Simon Hayes for Les Misérables

Best Visual Effects: Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Bour, and Donald R. Elliott for Life of Pi

Best Original Score: Mychael Danna for Life of Pi

Best Original Song: “Skyfall” from Skyfall (Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth)


I’m less than happy with how I fared in my predictions, but hey, you win some, you lose some.

It’s bad to let the season affect you on a level that has nothing to do with crunching numbers and analyzing precursor wins. But most devastating to me on a personal level was Emmanuelle Riva losing the best actress race for her timeless performance in Amour. For anyone wondering, that’s not meant to be a slight on Jennifer Lawrence’s work in Silver Linings Playbook: she’s an incredible talent who’s great in David O. Russell’s problematic romantic dramedy – even if it isn’t a leading role – and she’s proven herself as a more than commendable talent in other films like The Burning Plain and The Hunger Games. But that Riva could lose the Oscar for commanding the screen with such reality, such depth, and so many emotions revealed not through words but just her face as she remains silent… I’m just stunned. I know the odds were against Riva winning and that such a win would have been a surprise, but I carried the silly hope that the numbers wouldn’t add up the way we thought they would.

But I digress. This awards season came to an end last night, so no more Oscar Watching until things heat up again – likely around the time Cannes announces its lineup.

Still, before bidding the column a temporary farewell…

Check out my year-in-advance predictions on the next page.

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The Author

Donovan Warren

Donovan Warren

Donovan Warren loves the wonderful world of film and all that comes with it. He specifically loves long takes, fabulous actresses, and keeping up with the Oscar season - even when it's far too early to make sense of anything.