And with that song, this cycle has ended. It’s been an interesting one; my opinions on the winners can be guessed with some accuracy if you have read my previous posts on the subject: the ballot and the guesses.
It’s not, therefore, any surprise how happy I am for Argo. Some circles usually choose to dismiss a film if it’s too entertaining, as if that’s either easy or undesirable. There is more to Argo than some lead to believe.
The surprises were, in general, few and small. The biggest one, of course, was to witness a tie: that’s so rare that I could not help but get excited about it. None was unpleasant, as so many of the films awarded tonight were also present in my own top 10 list. I’m glad to have seen Christoph Waltz win, with such a strong field of nominees, and while I’m not a fan of Life of Pi, Ang Lee is such a great artist, one that goes beyond any cultural boundaries, that is hard to begrudge his win.
Another great artist that was fairly rewarded and gave the best speech of the night was Daniel Day-Lewis. It is undeniable that Lincoln is a masterpiece, even if not the whole of me agrees. Much of that comes from the inspired acting of the whole cast, really, but in particular Mr Day-Lewis.
As for the ceremony itself, I must confess I was pleasantly surprised with Seth MacFarlane. While his opening bit with William Shatner promissed dark clouds ahead, that was not the case. For starters, he has a good singing voice, but most importantly, his jokes were better than the last few years’. I’m a fan of black humor, so I laughed at the Lincoln joke. (And while hokey, the Von Trapp joke was a good one too.)
As the cast of Chicago stated when presenting the music awards, the fourth art is a relevant piece in filmmaking, so dedicating the show to music in film was an inspired choice, even if some of the choices were rather arbitrary. (Dreamgirls in particular, but that’s my bias. The particular song from Chicago is my favorite of that film and the rendition by Les Misérables‘ cast of “One Day More”, the real showstopper of that movie, almost made me forget Tom Hooper’s misguided choices. However, if you are going to pay homage to musicals, those are minor examples at best.) Highlight belongs to Mr. Bond with the great renditions of the great songs “Goldfinger” and “Skyfall”.
At the end of the night, I was entertained and happy. The thing is, while obviously self-congratulatory, as a movie lover, any sort of congratulations for well-done movies is a deserved one in my book.
Love for movies has been a shining light in my life for many years, and a guiding light for the past few. I love to love the Oscars, as I love to hate it when they got it wrong.
This year they got it right.