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Oscars - Right Or Wrong?

Tuesday 26 February 2013, 12:24

Mark Kermode Mark Kermode

So the Oscars are over for another year - did the Academy get it right or wrong and what did you think of Seth McFarlane as host?

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    Comment number 1.

    It would be a huge understatement to say that the Oscars have always been dull and cheesy at best, but this was the first year where I watched it all the way through, simply because of Seth MacFarlane. Not every gag was great, in fact only half of them were really any good, but there were some gems in there and that really kept me going through the tedium. Watching the show back on Sky was quite useful as I was able to fast-forward through the worst bits, including the disgustingly soppy, inoffensive commentary from Alex Zane and company in the Sky studio. Perhaps I'm also being too nice to the show because the last awards show I watched, the Brits, was hateful due to its back-patting, arrogant nature.
    I largely agree with you over the awards themselves, but not when it came to Adele and Shirley Bassey's performances. I understand completely that Bassey is past her prime and did the best she could, but I must admit that I cringed slightly when she started. I also know how blasphemous it is to say anything against Adele nowadays, but I thought that she really struggled to apply any of the power we're accustomed to into her performance. Now that I'm undoubtedly going to receive endless criticism for that comment, I'll sign off by admitting that I'm not really a fan of the song either!

  • rate this
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    Comment number 2.

    Wrong!
    The Master was by far the best film that I saw this year at the cinema. It's what film is all about (or should be all about)-a real modern classic.
    Argo, on the other hand, while being very enjoyable and well made, was pretty forgettable. Solid but nothing special. It will quickly be forgotten.
    Zero Dark Thirty and Skyfall should also have been better represented. The Oscars are too political and maybe not to be taken seriously. Argo said all the right things(America triumphs with Hollywood's help) and won, while Zero Dark Thirty (too controversial) and The Master (too odd for the Academy whilst also upsetting the Scientology brigade) said all the wrong things!
    ........................and don't get me started on that Bond song, who penned those lyrics?!!!!.......

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    Comment number 3.

    I have to say that to me Awards don't mean anything, as different people across the world have different views on different films. I agree that Ang Lee's directing was superb but really any one of those directors could have won that award. Lovely to see Anne Hathaway get her Oscar, too. personally, Bond doesn't mean anything to me and I don't get the nationalistic pride out of watching that film succeed, especially considering the (police) state the UK is currently in...

    As for best Picture, I'd have to say Argo was the frontrunner even though Affleck wasn't nominated and so I think the Academy got it right there but that does not mean that their glaring omission has been washed away either.

    Overall, the Oscars always end up disappointing me in one of the categories, like animation. Frankenweenie was such a nice little film by Tim Burton so it's sad to see Disney/Pixar get their award simply because they have already been nominated and because they are a big studio. Once you enter that club your winning chances are usually much higher.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 4.

    PS. Berberian sound studio was the best film of the year, well done for that Kermode awards! I saw it on Curzon on demand and wish I'd seen it at the cinema. Brilliant.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 5.

    The Master - Best Film
    The Master - Best Director
    The Master - Best Actor
    The Master - Best Supporting Actor

    Amour - Best Foreign Language film
    Amour - Best Actress

    They got one right -

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    Comment number 6.

    The Oscars are there to promote Hollywood business, not great film-making. Occasionally a few bones are chucked in the direction of world cinema, but the best films of the year are mostly ignored because they're not American.

    Berberian Sound Studio was brilliant but even critics listing it in their films of the year list would have been amazed had it been up for the Best Film Oscar. It was the wrong nationality, wrong budget and wrong subject matter.

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    Comment number 7.

    The ceremony was horrifically sexist. All these brilliant actresses, so dedicated to their art and they opened with a song called "I've seen your boobies"!? And the whole thing was littered with sexist jokes. Seth MacFarlane was awful awful awful and should never be allowed near a microphone again,

  • rate this
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    Comment number 8.

    Argo - Wrong
    Best Actor - Yes he's great but Booooooring, Joaquin Phoenix was right answer or why not shock everyone and give it to Bradley Cooper
    Best Actress - I fell in love in her character in SLP Tiffany but I don't think it is Oscar-worthy, she deserved it more for Winter's Bone. I didn't see Amour or ZDT but I saw The Impossible and Naomi Watts was really really good but I don't think it was a leading role.
    Supporting Actor - Waltz has to kiss Tarantino in the ass for the rest of his life but Philip Seymour Hoffman was the right answer here.
    Supporting Actress - Sing 2 songs and die and all along keep oscars on your mind... Naomi Watts was the right answer
    All in all the got it wrong but what else is new?

  • rate this
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    Comment number 9.

    OK, we know the Oscars are a joke most of the time. The fact that The Master didn't pick up any acting awards says a lot. No problem with Jennifer Lawrence, but PSH or TLJ were both better that Waltz. Giving an award to Tarantino - that will just encourage him and his next film will be an hour too long. Again.

    MacFarlane - just no. Have to agree with Kate - and as pointed out in the Grauniad, about half of the women he joked about in the "boobs" song were playing rape victims at the time. Terrible, he must never be allowed back. Let's start a fund to pay Billy Crystal ANYTHING he likes to come back next year.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 10.

    Well, it really was a mixed field for me.

    Here are my negatives:
    1. Firstly, and most importantly, Skyfall not getting nominated in the major categories (Best Picture, Director, Actor, Supprting Actor and Supporting Actress). It was in my opinion, the overall best film of 2012, and a real gem in filmmaking history.
    2. The omission of Rust and Bone in both Best Foreign Language Film and Best Actress. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy Jennifer Lawrence won as I thought it was about time she won, plus I think she's a great actress, but the omission of Marion Cotillard in the that category was enough to get me angry. She delivered a heartfelt and mesmerising performance, and she was the real heart of a truly powerful film.
    3. No surprises here, but Ben Affleck missing out on the Best Director nomination is almost an embarrasment for the Oscar's, even after him getting nominated and winning at the Bafta's.
    4. Mark's right about Brave. Alright film, but no more than that. Any other of the animated films in that category would've been fine with me.
    5. And Mark's right here again, but Seth's hosting was... well, to say it was jarring would be a real understatement, and the less said about it... the better!

    But, despite my usual grumpiness with the Oscar's, I'm really happy Anne Hathaway won the Best Supporting Actress award as I thought she gave the best performance of that year, and that Les Miserables musical number was a real highlight, summing up what I loved about that film. Also, the James Bond tribute and the Skyfall wins were just enough to put a smile on my face. But, overall, I would still choose both the Bafta's and the Kermode's ANYTIME! Nuff's Said.

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    Comment number 11.

    I was pleasantly surprised, after years and years of the Oscars just being 'The Golden Globes - the extended cut! In 3D and Imax!' (the nadir of which was The King's Speech making up for 'Oh, we were a little too uncomfortable with A Single Man to give Colin Fir- wait, a sunday night BBC drama? Give him one' at the expense of The Social Network), with this year.
    Only quibble - as brilliant as Lawrence was (and always is, no less), still think Jessica Chastain did more, did it far less predictably and really made the viewer uncomfortable while also astonishing.
    And hey, Tarantino having won two pointedly 'You're a story-teller' Oscars now, surely it'll stop him doing cameos. We can only hope.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 12.

    Personally I think both Mark and the Academy got it wrong for Best Picture. Berberian did nothing for me and whilst I liked Argo, it wasn't one of my favourites from last year. Personally, I would have preferred Amour or Les Mis to win in that category. I thought it was a shame that Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams all got overlooked, as certainly each gave wonderful performances in The Master. Both Wreck-It Ralph and Pirates! were far more enjoyable than Brave.
    I didn't watch the ceremony, but it sounds like McFarlane was pretty dreadful, but hey, what were people expecting? Maturity? At least it wasn't Gervais presenting.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 13.

    Thought Seth was excellent as a host, I mean this is the first time I've watched the whole thing without giving up and going to bed.

    Best Film-Argo is descent and skilfully handled but Berberian was more interesting and had more artistic merit whilst Django was far more cinematic.
    Director-No problems with Ang Lee getting it.
    Actor-DDL. No problems there either.
    Actress-Lawrence was fully deserving (though I've not seen Amour) . Ree Dolly is a better performance however.
    Supporting Actor-Waltz/Hoffman/TL Jones all gave equally good performances.
    Supporting Actress- Haven't seen Les Mis. So no opinion there.
    Also good to see Tarrantino get original screenplay. He seemed stoked.

    Next year then. Stoker an early front runner?

  • rate this
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    Comment number 14.

    The Oscars is, and pretty much always was motivated by politics and Argo winning Best Picture pretty much proves the point.

    Jennifer Lawrence winning Best Actress was a delayed reaction to her brilliant performance in the masterful Winter's Bone. Day Lewis really had no competition and walked away with the prize. I mean Bradley Cooper was considered a competition? Please....

    The only reason I follow the Oscars is to see the odds on which nominee to bet on and thanks to Ang Lee's win I won £45. However this year I did watch the show due to the fact that MacFarlane was hosting the show, and I for one was happy that his edgy offensive style was on show. It's not the best thing he has done, but it sure was a welcome relief from the boring hosting duties of Anne Hathaway, and the pure mean spirted jokes of Ricky Gervais.

    However the biggest culprit of the ceramony was the Bond presentation, surely something more memorable could have been presented and Shirley Bassey's performance was cringeworthy, and as always this was more about her then the Bond films. I was never a fan of Bassey's songs, especially her Bond songs. Overall I have to say that Danny Boyle should have barged in and saved the day by creating a spectacle that the corpses (aka the Acadamy) would never forget.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 15.

    Although I've not seen Argo so I can't comment on whether it deserved it or not, Xan Brooks from the guardian came up with the conclusion that in order for you to win best film, film has to be about how good Hollywood is e.g. we had the Artist last year and this year we have Argo, both showing Hollywood as "good" things.

    I'm glad Ang Lee won best director, it deserved some great recognition. Anne Hathaway winning best Supporting actress is alright as well with Daniel Day Lewis winning best Actor, but they were both to be expected. Not seen Silverlinings Playbook, but Jennifer Lawrence is a great Actress, she just needs to do better films (I hated the Hunger Games).

    Django Unchained for best Original Screenplay??????? Really????????????? and will Roger Deakins ever win for Best Cinemtography!

    I thought Seth MacFarlane's 'Boob' was funny because (maybe just for me) there was something anarchic about it. Jennifer Lawrence seemed to get the joke and was laughing while Naomi Watts and Charlize Theron just looked pretentiously miffed.

    Yeah and I'm not with the Adele or Skyfall band wagon either.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 16.

    HOLD ON... when the dicken's were the Kermode awards? i missed that one by a mile.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 17.

    Neil, the Kermodes were on the Culture Show this week. It's on iplayer now!

  • rate this
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    Comment number 18.

    I forgot to say in my first post (thanks to Luke Smith for reminding me) that I took issue with Roger Deakins not winning Best Cinematography for Skyfall. I know Life of Pi is a hard act to compete with but, given that the Academy will often give out awards based on past snubs and it being someone's "turn", surely it was time for Deakins to get some recognition?

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    Comment number 19.

    The thing that baffled me most from both the BAFTAs and the Oscars is that Life of Pi didn't win best adapted screenplay. The BAFTAs awarded it to Silver Linings Playbook and the Oscars to Argo. Having read the book, my impression of SLP was that the author was begging for Hollywood's attention to the point it felt like I was already reading a screenplay. Whilst the memoire and article on which Argo is based have Hollywood written all over them (literally). On the other hand the novel of Life of Pi is entirely literary. There were millions of ways in which David Magee could have written a screenplay which would have turned a brilliant novel into an over-indulgent bore. The fact that he found a way to adapt the story without it losing any of its breath taking emotion has got to be the screenwriting achievement of the year.

    On the Kermodes, I was a bit disappointed that there was no mention of The Woman in Black. But it was still fabously entertaining... Seth MacFarlane could have learned a thing or two about hosting from Dr. Mark.

  • Comment number 20.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

 

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Outspoken, opinionated and never lost for words, Mark is the UK's leading film critic.

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