A recap of the 85th Academy Awards ceremony.
By Matthew D. Bowland
The 85th Oscars ceremony opened in the Dolby Theatre with a monologue by host Seth MacFarlane poking fun at various nominees (including a quest to make Tommy Lee Jones laugh), past winners, and acknowledging the nominated films. He was then interrupted by Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) with a transmission from the future, trying to save the show.
Kirk’s mission: to change MacFarlane’s “terrible host” review. He played a clip of what MacFarlane did wrong: he sang a song about seeing various movie starlets’ breasts (“We Saw Your Boobs”) with backup from the Los Angeles Gay Men’s Chorus.
Shatner advised singing a song that celebrates the movies — “Just the Way You Look Tonight.” Channing Tatum and Charlize Theron came on stage and danced in classic Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers style. Who knew Theron could dance like that?
Then Kirk shared another thing that MacFarlane did that gave him “terrible host” status: a sock puppet reenactment of “Flight.”
Kirk’s advice: “Keep it classy.” Daniel Radcliffe and Joseph Gordon-Levitt then came on stage to sing “High Hopes” with MacFarlane and performed a soft-shoe.
That still wasn’t enough to class up MacFarlane’s act because MacFarlane insulted Sally Field in the green room by dangling from the ceiling in a Flying Nun costume and hitting on her, which ended up with the two running off together. Kirk revealed that Field actually won the Supporting Actress Oscar but wasn’t there to accept since she ran off with MacFarlane and Amy Adams stole the statuette.
Kirk recommended a “show-stopper” to change future history. MacFarlane performed “Be Our Guest” with lyrics modified to poke fun at the nominees complete with glamorous dancers.
The review from the future after that? “Best Oscars ever, says everyone but Entertainment Weekly.” The official ceremony then began.
Last year’s Best Supporting Actress winner, Octavia Spencer, presented the award for Best Supporting Actor. Christoph Waltz won for his performance in “Django Unchained.” This was his second career win. He won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for “Inglorious Basterds” in 2009.
Paul Rudd and Melissa McCarthy presented the award for Best Animated Short and Best Animated Feature. “Paperman” won Best Animated Short Oscar for John Kahrs. This was his first nomination and first win. “Brave” won Best Animated Feature Oscars for Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman.
Les Misérables,” “Life of Pi,” and “Beasts of the Southern Wild.”
MacFarlane acknowledged Best Actress youngest nominee, Quvenzhané Wallis with a few jokes about her age.
The Avengers all appeared on stage together (with the exception of Scarlett Johansson, who is currently performing on Broadway in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”) to present the Oscars for Best Cinematography and Best Visual Effects.
Claudio Miranda won for Best Cinematography Oscar for “Life of Pi.”
Samuel L. Jackson skipped his banter between awards. Robert Downey Jr. tried to get him back on track, but Jackson just skipped ahead.
“Life of Pi” won the Best Visual Effects Oscar for Erik-Jan De Boer, Donald R. Elliott, Guillaume Rocheron and Bill Westenhofer.
This was the first acceptance speech that went over time. To get the message across, the orchestra played the iconic “Jaws” theme.
Channing Tatum and Jennifer Aniston then presented the awards for Best Costume Design and Best Makeup and Hairstyling. Jacqueline Durran won Best Costume Design Oscar for “Anna Karenina” and “Les Misérables” won Best Makeup and Hairstyling Oscars for Julie Dartnell and Lisa Westcott.
Halle Berry then had the honor of introducing the highly-anticipated Bond tribute, which featured three minutes of clips and music from the Bond films. Dame Shirley Bassey then performed “Goldfinger.” Her performance started out a little rocky, but she belted out the final note with fervor. She received a standing ovation.
MacFarlane acknowledged producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron and director Don Mischer.
Kerry Washington and Jamie Foxx then presented the Oscars for Best Live Action Short and Best Documentary Short. “Curfew” won a Best Live Action Short Oscar for Shawn Christensen and “Inocente” won a Best Documentary Short Oscar for Andrea Nix Fine and Sean Fine.
Liam Neeson then introduced the next three Best Picture nominees: “Argo,” “Lincoln” and “Zero Dark Thirty.”
Ben Affleck presented for the Best Documentary Feature category. “Searching for Sugar Man” won Best Documentary Feature Oscars for Malik Bendjelloul and Simon Chinn. This was Chinn's second career win.
Jennifer Garner and Jessica Chastain then presented the awards for Best Foreign Language Film. “Amour” (Austria) won Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. Director, Michael Haneke, accepted the award.
Seth MacFarlane then acknowledged the orchestra who performed off-site this year at the legendary Capitol Records building. (It seems strange to have the orchestra off-site for an Oscars show celebrating the music of the movies.)
John Travolta then introduced the much-discussed tribute to movie musicals. Catherine Zeta-Jones performed “All That Jazz” from “Chicago” with backup dancers. Jennifer Hudson then performed alone on stage “And I am Telling You” from “Dreamgirls,” for which she received a standing ovation. The cast of “Les Misérables” closed out the tribute performing a medley of songs. Hugh Jackman performed the Oscar-nominated song, “Suddenly.” Anne Hathaway joined him and sang a portion of “I Dreamed A Dream” before being joined by the rest of the cast to sing “One Day More” with everyone singing live.
Chris Pine and Zoe Saldana then recapped the Academy’s 2012 Scientific and Technical Awards.
Mark Wahlberg, with sidekick Ted from the motion picture of the same name, then quipped about being Jewish (or not) in Hollywood before presenting the awards for Best Sound Mixing and Best Sound Editing.
“Les Misérables” won Best Sound Mixing Oscars for Simon Hayes, Mark Paterson and Andy Nelson. This was Nelson's second career win.
In a surprise twist, there was a tie for the Best Sound Editing category (something that’s only happened five times before). “Zero Dark Thirty” won giving Paul N.J. Ottosson his 3rd Oscar. “Skyfall” also won for Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers, the team’s fourth win.
MacFarlane introduced last year’s Best Supporting Actor winner, Christopher Plummer, playing on the famous introduction (and no-show) of the Family Von Trapp in “The Sound of Music.” Plummer presented Anne Hathaway with the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her much-acclaimed performance in “Les Misérables.” This was Hathaway’s second nomination and first win.
MacFarlane then introduced the six student filmmakers selected to hold the statuettes before the winners received them. The students replaced the models seen in years past.
Sandra Bullock presented the Best Film Editing Oscar to William Goldenberg for “Argo.” He has received two previous nominations, and this was his first win.
Nicole Kidman then introduced the final three Best Picture nominees. “Silver Linings Playbook,” “Django Unchained” and “Amour.”
Daniel Radcliffe and Kristen Stewart presented the Oscar for Best Production Design. Rick Carter and Jim Erickson (Set Decoration) won for “Lincoln.” This was Carter's second career win.
Salma Hayek introduced the four Governors Awards recipients: American Film Institute founder George Stevens Jr., stuntman-turned-director Hal Needham, documentarian D.A. Pennebaker and producer Jeffrey Katzenberg.
George Clooney introduced the In Memoriam section. Toward the end, Barbra Streisand entered and performed “The Way Were Were” as a tribute to the late composer, Marvin Hamlisch.
In celebration of the 10th anniversary of “Chicago” cast members Renée Zellweger, Queen Latifah, Richard Gere and Catherine Zeta-Jones presented awards to Mychael Danna for Best Original Score Oscar for “Life of Pi” and Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth for Best Original Song from “Skyfall.”
Dustin Hoffman and Charlize Theron presented the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar to Chris Terrio for “Argo” and Best Original Screenplay award to Quentin Tarantino for “Django Unchained,” his second career win.
Jane Fonda and Michael Douglas presented the Best Director Oscar to Ang Lee for “Life of Pi,” his second career win.
Last year’s Best Actor winner, Jean Dujardin, presented Jennifer Lawrence with her Best Actress Oscar for “Silver Linings Playbook.” This was her second nomination and first win. She took a minor spill on her way up the stairs to accept her award, which seemed to throw off the beginning of her acceptance speech.
MacFarlane introduced Meryl Streep by saying “This next actress needs no introduction.” Streep won the Best Actress Oscar last year and announced this year’s Best Actor winner. Daniel Day-Lewis won the Oscar for his performance of the 16th President in “Lincoln.” This was his third career win and fifth nomination. He is the fist actor to receive three Best Actor Oscars.
Jack Nicholson casually walked on stage and introduced First Lady Michelle Obama, who introduced the nine Oscar-nominated films as well as the winner, “Argo.” Producers Ben Affleck, George Clooney and Grant Heslov accepted the award. This was second career wins for Affleck and Clooney, who previously won for Original Screenplay and Supporting Actor, respectively.
After mentioning production sponsors it was time for the much-touted closing musical number. MacFarlane performed the song, “Here’s to the Losers” with Kristin Chenoweth, which had some timing problems and forgotten lyrics.
After running over by about 30 minutes, the 85th Academy Awards came to an end.