The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

March 4, 2013

Oscar 2013 Held Few Surprises

Roger Thomas
CNHI

Monday, March 4, 2013 —

The 85th Academy Awards were held and movie fans around the globe had a great time rooting for their favorites. Here are a few thoughts about the evening.

First, for my predictions, I was correct 79 percent of the time. Out of the 24 categories, I got 19 correct. The biggest surprise was Best Director; I had predicted Spielberg for Lincoln and Ang Lee took the prize for Life of Pi. Spielberg already has two Best Director Oscars and Lee only one. Now they both have two, so that may have been what some people thinking when casting their vote.

I also missed Supporting Actor. This was a very difficult category considering that all of the nominees did great work and had won before. I predicted Tommy Lee Jones for Lincoln but ultimately Christoph Waltz won for Django Unchained. I was disappointed that I was wrong but not surprised by the decision. Waltz’s role in Django was the most prominent among the five nominees; he could have even been nominated for Best Actor.

I also predicted that the Production Design on Anna Karenina would be recognized, but instead Lincoln took that prize. (I still think Karenina should have won.) Best Short Documentary went to Innoccente rather than Open Heart. I had seen neither of these films so I was just guessing in that category.

Finally, I missed Sound Editing. I had predicted Argo, mainly because I wanted that film to win more than three Oscars. (I predicted all of Argo’s wins). In the Sound Editing category, Oscar had a tie. This has only happened five previous times in Oscar history, so if for nothing else, the 85th Oscars will be remembered for the “tie.” (Other years with ties are 1932, 1949, 1986, 1994, and the most famous one when Katharine Hepburn and Barbara Streisand both won Best Actress in 1968.)

That sums up my mistakes. Here are a few other thoughts. I enjoyed Seth McFarlane as host and hope they ask him again. I liked the theme of celebrating the music of movies, but I did wonder, what other kind of themes the Academy might use in future years. The celebration of music just fits with the Oscar broadcast.

I did note in past years when it was a five year anniversary of the awards, they usually recognizes all the past winning actors who are still living, and there was always a montage of all the Best Picture winners. I missed these things on this, the 85th Awards.

A couple of interesting bits of trivia. No film with 12 nominations has ever won only 2 Oscars; Lincoln set a new record with only Best Actor and Best Production Design. Jennifer Lawrence is the second youngest winner of Best Actress at age 22; Marlee Matlin was 21 when she won for Children of a Lesser God. Seventeen of the twenty-four awards were won by Best Picture Nominees. When you consider that five of the awards are special categories (Documentary, Animated, or Short Subject) that leaves only two categories not won by Best Picture nominees: Best Song (Skyfall) and Best Costumes (Anna Karenina). Beasts of the Southern Wild was the only Best Picture Nominee which did not win a single Oscar. Skyfall is the only non-Best Picture Nominee to win two Oscars (Skyfall tied with Best Picture nominee Zero Dark Thirty for the Sound Editing Award.) And for the first time ever, the film with the fifth highest nomination count ended up winning Best Picture. In spite of the odds, Argo pulled it off.

In the end, I had a great evening. Good friends, good food and a great Oscar Ceremony. My favorite film of the year, Argo, won Best Picture. Three out of the four actors that I chose won their categories. I was especially pleased with Jennifer Lawrence’s win. And glad that Wreck-It Ralph did not beat Brave. I guess the only downside to the whole evening is that now we have to wait another year before the 86th Academy Awards Ceremony.

Roger Thomas reviews films for The Stanly News & Press and online at thesnaponline.com.