Might as well make a tradition of the Extra Oscars! I know it’s two days later so in Internetland, the Oscars are ancient history. But whatever. I have this thing called a baby. She sabotages my deadlines, dudes.
I do watch the ceremony almost every year now, thanks to Karissa’s parties that make it all worthwhile. It was a really fun evening. I think that if you’re going to watch the Oscars, you need to have lots of delicious snacks and some friends around. That way you can be in a good mood and enjoy the show – and not take it too seriously. MOTL (below, in fact).
First, the actual Hollywood-Related Extra Oscars:
- Best Dressed: Jennifer Lawrence, even though the dress proved problematic, and Jennifer Aniston. I like pretty skirts.
- Honourable Mention: Helen Hunt, who famously wore a dress from H&M for its green cachet (made entirely from sustainable, and some recycled, materials).
- Worst Dressed: Halle Berry (I think she’s awesome but I didn’t like the robot look) and Anne Hathaway (oh, nipple-darts, you are not attractive).
- Most Surprising Dress: Salma Hayek. No cleavage showing WHATSOEVER.
- Strongest Shoulders: Kristin Chenoweth. She’s so tiny it’s almost ridiculous, so no matter who she’s interviewing, she has to hold the mike way up.
- Best Name: Quvenzhané Wallis. Names don’t get cooler than that. It doesn’t hurt when they belong to 9-year-old acting prodigies with serious moxie.
- Best Song About Boobs: Seth MacFarlane, We Saw Your Boobs. Okay, it was the only song about boobs. But we, in the room, chuckled. People have been complaining that this silly little song was offensive, but because MacFarlane pre-acknowledged that it was, I personally took it to be a mockery not of women who’ve been topless in films but of men(‘s obsession with boobs). It’s possible I also got a kick out of it because I happened to have my boob out at the time.
- Best Spats: Channing Tatum. Okay, they were the only spats, as far as I could tell, and he only wore them for his dance number. But seriously, there aren’t enough spats-wearing gentlemen these days.
- Best Surprise Talent: Charlize Theron is a lovely dancer, and Daniel Radcliffe can totally sing. Maybe you guys already knew those things, but both were pleasant surprises to me.
- Best Earrings: Norah Jones, singing Everybody Needs a Best Friend from Ted. Dress was good too. And hey, might as well mention that the singing was spot-on.
- Best Tie: Sound Editing. (Get it?? Zero Dark Thirty and Skyfall tied for Best Sound Editing. Haw haw.)
- Best Klutz: Jennifer Lawrence. Kristen Stewart was in the running – she apparently had crutches backstage because she’d “stepped on glass” at some point, and opted to hobble for her presentation instead of using them. Her heart was clearly not in the whole experience. Jennifer Lawrence, despite falling up the stairs to accept the Best Actress Oscar, managed to be gracefully self-deprecating (seeing the audience standing for her, she said, “Thank you. You guys are just standing up because you feel bad that I fell, and that’s really embarrassing, but thank you.”) Love her.
- Best Joke: Christopher Plummer’s intro by Seth MacFarlane. The camera swung with the spotlight over to the doors, where Mr. Plummer did not appear. MacFarlane announced, “Family Von Trapp!” with the perfect fanfare from Sound of Music. While it may be hackneyed to refer to the movie around Mr. Plummer, well… The S of M is dear to my heart. So I dug the tribute-joke.
Okay, segue into mini-Diatribe. As mentioned re the Boob Song, the Twitterverse and Internetland in general are all hating on Seth for his hosting job. He predicted it himself (that is, he had Captain Kirk come from the future and tell him he was going to be the worst host ever). People are saying they should bring back Billy Crystal. Two responses from me:
a) You’ve forgotten how bad Billy was last year. I mean, I love him, he’s a funny guy, but last year… even our good-natured group found him very unfunny.
b) I don’t think Seth was that bad. Maybe I was all high from getting out of the house for the evening, but I took his jokes in the most positive light, and it wasn’t that hard to do.
People are all “He’s racist and sexist! He’s homophobic! Shocking and offensive!!”
Firstly, let’s keep in mind that part of the job description for an Oscar host is to be politically incorrect, to jokingly cross the lines of appropriateness. Can you name a host who hasn’t? And if there ever were one, people would jump on that person for being wimpy and boring.
Secondly, he is not homophobic. He is, in fact, a well-known and vocal supporter of gay rights, including gay marriage. If there were jokes that sounded homophobic (I personally don’t recall any), they were not intended as such.
Thirdly, about the racism. He joked to Daniel Day-Lewis about his staying in-character on and off set: “If you bumped into Don Cheadle on the studio lot, did you try to free him?” Maybe I’m being thick, but how is this racist? Don Cheadle is black. Lincoln was against slavery of black people. I actually think that’s a very interesting, even insightful, question. What would Lincoln think of today’s civil rights situation in America?
He joked, regarding Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, and Salma Hayek, that “they get up on stage and we have no idea what they’re saying, but we don’t care because they’re so attractive”. You could take that as racist. Or, since the statement is so obviously untrue (with respect to language, not attractiveness), you could take it as a nod to those same actors for being critically acclaimed successes in more than one language – and even a little jab at the monolingualism of most of America.
People got up in arms about “I always thought the actor who got most inside Lincoln’s head was John Wilkes Booth.” Our party groaned along with the audience, but come on. The play on words was a little bit funny. Seth acknowledged the groans with, “So, 150 years and it’s still too soon, huh?” Good point. Yes, we know Lincoln’s assassination was a tragedy. Joking about it serves the same purpose as gallows humour: sometimes you have to make light of things that suck.
Even the jokes that failed with the audience could be given the benefit of the doubt. There was Seth’s comment on Django Unchained: “This is the story of a man fighting to get back his woman, who’s been subjected to unthinkable violence. Or as Chris Brown and Rihanna call it, a date movie.” I agree that this joke isn’t in good taste, but domestic brutality needs to be talked about; sometimes we joke just to get an issue out and give it airtime. And after all, “unthinkable violence” is strongly condemnatory language.
I admit I didn’t enjoy this one: “For all those women who had the ‘flu’: It paid off. Looking good.” This may have been an attempt to address Hollywood’s unhealthy preoccupation with thinness; if so, it was clumsy and fell flat. But I do think it’s important to bring up. Hollywood’s female actors as a group are TOO THIN. Period.
FYI, I’m not a particular fan of Seth MacFarlane. I barely knew who he was before Oscar night. In all honesty, I’d rather have Jon Stewart or Ellen Degeneres back to host. But it irks me when people get unnecessarily hatey. Why are you watching the Oscars if you’re in such a bad mood?
It’s the same with Anne Hathaway – people were all a-Twitter with how she’s insincere and overeager and blah blah blah. Whatever. She’s a human, and I don’t see why she deserves such nitpicky bullying. People will pick on any random stupid thing and get internet validation for it. Anne Hathaway did an amazing job in her nominated role, and she fully deserved to win. And I don’t think she comes off as insincere; could you do any better on the Avenue of Awkwardness that is the red carpet?
Bottom line: if you’re jaded and humourless, you should probably do something else with your Sunday night.
Now, our personal party Oscars:
- Best Co-Hosts: the kids. Karissa is the hostess with the mostest, but I also appreciated that her five-year-old daughter made absolutely sure we had napkins and her three-year-old son filled in for E by giving my baby a kiss when we arrived.
- Best Potluck Dish Name: Finger Lickin’ Chicken Lincoln Wontons, by Krissy. Just say that to yourself – it’s fun. (For the record, my flourless chocolate cake, dubbed Cocoa Unchained, did get a couple votes.) (Hey, attendees, if you’re reading this – could you put your dish name in the comments so I can remember them all?)
- Best Celebrity Detective: Carrie, for identifying the most magazine-cutout celebrity smiles and bodies AND answering the tie-breaking question.
- Trivia Winner: technically Karissa, but since she was host and thereby ineligible, my sister Em (Oscar trivia rookie) got the next best score.
- Most Flabbergasting Trivia Fact: How many times do you think John Williams has been nominated for his movie scores? Twelve? Eighteen? Twenty-five? No. Try forty-eight.
- Highlight of the Evening: finding out, through the subtleties of trivia, that our friend Meg is expecting! YAY!!
- Best Dressed Guest: Skye’s Baby G, with his necktie onesie. Even without pants, it works.
- Best-Behaved Baby: Normally Baby G would take this category too, because he’s basically the best-behaved baby on the planet, but he had a couple of uncharacteristic bouts of screaming, so I’m going with Baby A (a.k.a. mine). Of course, I paid for this… dearly. She was in great spirits all evening, snoozing on-and-off, getting passed around and flirting with my friends, until abruptly she was not fine anymore (two presentations before the end of the show). This leads to…
- Worst Parenting Decision: goes to Dilovely, for allowing the overstimulation of my daughter. She was up every hour that night. Not restful for anyone. Lesson learned.