Well, it's another one for the books. The 2013 Oscars (yes, 2013, folks; we're honoring the cinema of 2013 despite it being March of 2014) are now behind us, and despite the suspense of the Best Picture race (which even up until Will Smith opened the final envelope could have gone to either 12 Years a Slave or Gravity), there were no surprises to be found. Twenty-three of the 24 categories saw the presumed frontrunner walk away with a statue--the only exception being the French animated short Mr. Hublot besting Get a Horse!, the latter starring a (still winless) Mickey Mouse.
We at the CineMunch household had a great time as always, despite a truly terrifying 10 minutes during which the cable went out. (We fixed it in time to see Darlene Love belting a tune from the stage.) Much like the telecast, our menu featured some hits (American Brussels! Wolf of Waldorf Salad! Last-minute cheese additions!) and misses (We're looking at you, Tang Gravityni). So, before we put this year's awards race behind us, let's count down our ten most memorable moments from the Oscars telecast.
Honorable mentions: Liza Minelli being Liza Minelli, Harrison Ford looking extra jowly, Spike Jonze solidifying his title as Cutest Human Ever.
10. Goldie Hawn - It was lovely to see this Academy Award-winning, Kate Hudson-spawning sometime actress grace the Oscar stage. (She hasn't been in a movie since 2002?!) Less lovely was her presentation of three of this year's Best Picture nominees (including 12 Years a ...SLAVE!, emphasis hers). It also seemed like a wasted opportunity to not have Goldie reunite with either Meryl for a little Death Becomes Her banter or Bette and the absent Diane Keaton for a First Wives Club song and dance number. Or were we the only ones clamoring for such a thing?
9. A Civilized Orchestra - It may be just us, because we'd be content with a seven-hour telecast, but wasn't it refreshing that the orchestra just let the winners speak? No one took advantage of their time on stage, and the atmosphere in the room provided for some honest and touching words from many of the winners.
8. Pink - The Wizard of Oz tribute was unnecessary and blandly staged, but Pink killed "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." She's not often thought of as a gifted vocalist, but she proved the haters wrong with her stirring rendition of the classic tune.
7. Pharrell's performance of "Happy" - Placing this infectiously upbeat song near the beginning of the ceremony set the right tone for the evening. Pharrell was great, but this was all about Lupita dancing, Meryl shimmying, and Amy grooving along.
6. Ellen as Host - A class act as always, Ellen freshened up what can be a stuffy affair. The pizza delivery gag and Glinda (a la Whoopi) were standouts.
5. The Twitpic that Broke Twitter - So many talented, beautiful people in one place?! Can't. Compute.
4. Kim Novak, Frozen - It's not nice to say, but she's fallen quite a ways since Vertigo. Her interpretive reading of Best Animated Feature "Oohhh oh oh ohohoh... Are you ready? FROZEN!" was one of the scariest moments of the night.
3. Lupita Nyong'o's Best Supporting Actress Win - A talented, gracious, beautiful winner. She had us in tears. Here's hoping Hollywood provides her with the opportunities she deserves.
2. The Bette's Swan Arm - Her gesticulations would have made a great transition into "I Put a Spell on You," but they worked well as a closing flourish. Watch for Bette in the NYC Ballet's next production of "Swan Lake."
1. The Birth of Adele Dazeem - Was John Travolta speaking in tongues, or just having a small stroke? Either way, he created a star. Adele had her own Twitter account within the hour.
Did we say that's it for 2013? Well, almost. At some point--let's say a year from now, roughly--look for a Top 10 Films of 2013 post from us. Until then, onwards to 2014!