The Host – MacFarlane is the Only Thing People Can Talk About?

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It appears that Seth MacFarlane was too offensive for Oscar audiences. I was too busy paying attention to the offensive awards being given out and the charade of the whole thing at all I barely noticed MacFarlane.  Sometimes forget that it’s not Hollywood watching. It’s the public and the public want the dream machine.

MacFarlane was apparently sexist, racist and unfunny.  Again, didn’t notice. Was too busy noticing how racist the Oscars themselves are.  With the option of nominating an emerging writer of color in the original screenplay category, Ava DuVernay, they went with five white male writers in that category and one of them won for writing a movie about slavery (Lincoln wasn’t “about slavery”), casting many black actors but only one, a white guy, gets noticed and awarded by the Academy.

Sexist? Yeah, the boob thing? Right. Well, I was too busy noticing how only one movie was actually about a woman and despite being the best reviewed film of the year, besides nearly making $100 million dollars and despite being directed BY a woman, the only award it got was half of a sound editing award. I was noticing how every woman on the red carpet was asked what she was wearing and dissected by how she looked while the men got to talk about their work.  I noticed that, once again, youth and beauty rule the Oscars where women are concerned and the role that was given the big prize was about a woman who wanted nothing but for the guy she likes to like her back.   All three of the other female parts offered more substance for women, even the one played by Quevenzhane Wallis. So are you sure you want to talk about sexism?

Homophobic? How many out gay actors, writers and directors have won Oscars?    Do we really want to talk about that? No? Didn’t think so.  Hollywood is not moving forward with the rest of society; it’s moving backwards. Just look at what movie was named Best Picture.

I would love it if all of these angry pieces about MacFarlane were directed where they matter more: the status quo that hasn’t really changed much in 85 years of Oscar history.  But hey, by all means chase after the thing you think you have more control over. I won’t stop you.

131 Comments on this Post

  1. I actually thought he was funny. Reminded us how silly this whole charade really is. I mean, Argo beating Lincoln? Life of Pi? ZD30? BOTSW?

    On the brighter side, the Afflec pitty parade is finally over.

  2. christiannnw

    Seth MacFarlane was fine (I loved the “Flight” sock spoof and boob diddy, but the Shatner component should’ve been trimmed), but the show needed more of him. I thought the show itself was a haphazardly constructed debacle, from the prematurely aborted 007 tribute to the embarrassingly forced opulence of musical numbers (I took a bathroom break when that waif-sounding woman sung the “Ted” song, muted the Les Mis number when Russell Crowe came onstage).

  3. Couldn’t agree more. The Academy Awards have a 100 more problems than the actual Oscar telecast. While I was fine with most of the winners except one(the beautifully talented Lawrence where the Academy showed their sexism), I’m baffled by the hate for MacFarlane and I didn’t even love him.

    We have more to worry about like the politics of Hollywood than MacFarlane’s admirable try where he was gonna get hate no matter what he did.

  4. I agree with you, Sasha; my only quibble is why does it have to be one or the other? It seems to me that the two issues–the show/MacFarlane being sexist/racist/homophobic, and the awards themselves seemingly going backward rather than forward–are part and parcel of the same issue. Society is changing, but in a group that’s still mostly white males over a certain age, that change is coming at an almost glacial pace…so, who’s going to put a blowtorch to that glacier? Anyone?

  5. THANK YOU SASHA! You are dead right again as usual.

    If only the MORON and CORRUPT Oscar voters had their pathetic performance in picking winners as scrutinized as we do our Oscar hosts. It’s just disgusting how transparent these people are, its all a popularity contest, all about personality, who they like, whose in the cool crowd, etc.

    I think the Golden Globes are now the most important awards show in the world surpassing the Oscars. The Oscars simply copy and do what the Globes tell them to do now.

  6. Robin, I hear you. I guess I’m just a little bugged that people don’t see the bigger picture. But yes, I agree with you.

  7. richard Crawford

    I liked him.

  8. MacFarlane was actually one of the better hosts they’ve had in a while, certainly much better than Hathaway & Franco or Martin & Baldwin. It’s odd how I’ve seen certain reporters talk about how much they disliked MacFarlane, yet the public seems to have liked him a lot. The overlong telecast wasn’t his fault. The opening bit should have been cut down to about 5-10 minutes tops. 20+ minutes was way too long. Plus, there were several unnecessary performances throughout the night that should have been eliminated to make the show much tighter. So yeah, good host, poor show plan.

    As for the awards themselves, the ones that are going to be looked back on as mistakes are Argo winning Best Adapted Screenplay over Lincoln, as well as Argo winning Best Picture over several more deserving films. It’s still rather hard to fathom that the former actually happened. The Academy needs to stop this insane practice of feeling the need to justify their BP choices by awarding it screenplay even when it doesn’t deserve it, especially when it comes at the cost of denying the award to a much better screenplay.

  9. He was ok, kind of boring for me.

  10. I was embarrassed for the Academy when Chris Terrio won for Adapted Screenplay. He better hold on to that Oscar tight otherwise it will go to stay in Tony Kushner’s home. Instead of standing up for their choices the Academy sheepishly agreed that Ben Affleck was wrongly denied a nomination.

  11. Tero Heikkinen

    What are they talking about? He was great. ‘James T. Kirk from the future’ was a smart way of showing “tasteless” stuff in there, as they were already a mistake. But I believe the opening lasted 17 minutes, so it could’ve been a little shorter (I would have cut Radcliffe/Gordon-Levitt -bit out).

    Plus they need to learn how to have some extra air, so that speeches are not cut so brutally, and that the host will then fill in the gaps if needed. The show, without commercials ran for 2hrs 53 minutes, that’s pretty tight considering that 1/4 was spent on musical numbers.

  12. I liked Seth even though I felt the show was boring. That is not his fault though–that is the director’s fault. And why was there so little panning?!

    The “Boobs” song was hilarious. Yes, it it talking about breasts, but what it actually points out is how often women have to strip down in their roles. Seth isn’t part of the problem–he’s pointing out the problem.

  13. I was noticing something else Oscar night. I was seeing a great comeback story in Ben Affleck. And how one of the most delightful Hollywood personas, George Clooney, has become an incredible producer. I was marveling at how a maverick like Tarantino is embraced by the supposed old boring Academy. And celebrating great young talent in Jennifer Lawrence.
    I was thrilled by Ang Lee winning his second Oscar (and he’s not white or American). And DDL winning for the third time – how lucky I am to have seen him in my lifetime.
    Every year there is so much WHINING about the awards. We have seen some great movies, filmmakers, actors, and talent in our lives. Some of them are recognized by Oscars and some ignored. I am glad to be seeing it all.

  14. While he was a bit less than I expected, I thought McFarlane did OK, under the circumstances.

    The show appeared as though is was cobbled together in components (musical bits, funny bits, and the business at hand), all by different committees, then glued together with not very satisfying results overall. What does that remind me of?

    I’d like to think that was an intentional meditation on the whole Oscar machinery – maybe that was why the set design looked liked interlocked sparklie cogs at times? I’d like to think that, but it’s not likely the machine is even aware of itself.

    There were moments of brilliance (DDLs speech), moments of realization (Adele is no Bassey), moments of face in the pillow embarassment (Tarantino:”peace out”? really?) and flashes when they got it very, very right (Ang Lee = BD).

    But, that’s the Oscar’s. It’s always the same. It’s inevitable results could have gone to a film called “Ergo”, not Argo.

    Sasha’s right – why go after the MC? The waiter didn’t cook the meal.

  15. daveinprogress

    I love your ‘fire in the belly’ writing, Sasha. Succinct, right on target and an apt summary of the event and the voting procedures that pivot on it.

  16. Perhaps it’s that they are too afraid to point out the wider problem- that the industry itself is racist sexist etc. – so they resort to the easy punch. “The host sucked. The show is too long”

    It’s a testament of the same thing- few speaking out against the actual, real problem

  17. Tero Heikkinen

    Couldn’t have said it any better, Steve50. So, I just post someone’s tweet that Seth himself retweeted:

    “Why Seth MacFarlane’s Oscars were mean spirited and misogynistic, coming up next after our review of the worst dressed women.”

  18. The one thing that struck me at the end of telecast was that no one was safe from Macfarlane. I fall into four of the groups that he made fun of (Jewish, Gay, Irish, Sock Puppet…I kid on the last one) and I took it for what it was. A host trying to be cheeky to make the show a bit more entertaining. He got a knock at everyone from the old WASPs to the Indians. Equal opportunity offender and it was really fun. He was very self aware and more importantly, aware at how ridiculous the whole show is.

    I’ve been following this post for quite a few years now, and I read the SAME THING every year. Not enough women, not the right women, not enough African Americans…there are many minority groups – Asian, Native American, Indian, to name a few – that are ignored by the Academy and quite frankly are far more egregious oversights. The last time an Asian actor won a Best Actor Oscar was 1982 (Sir Ben Kingsley). The last woman was… well Merle Oberon was nominate in 1935. 1935!!! And yet some amazing film comes from the minds and performances of Asian artists. At the end of the day, this is an awards show designed by an industry for an industry, and there is no requirement that every category be inclusive to minorities, women, the LGBT community, etc. In a pool of hundreds of films, not everyone can win and my hope is that when it comes to nominations it’s the best in show, especially for the technical categories, that are going to be recognized.

  19. rufussondheim

    I should point out that Bradley Cooper was once out. He’s now back in. But still, it should half count, right?

  20. My first thought on this post was the same as Chris Kw.’s above. Really?? You write about the Oscars for, what, 12 years and then this random tirade?? I LOVE awardsdaily, but this post just seems off, not your style.

    Hollywood has the problem. The Oscars themselves are a bi-product of that. As far as the nominees and winners go?? Mhmm. They weren’t fantastic. But was Jamie Foxx really as good as Christoph Waltz was in Django?? And even if he was, would ONE nomination really have made a difference?? Not really, no. The Oscars are trying to honour “the best” in the year of film, and it’s a sad truth that the most popular and “awards worthy contenders” throughout the year are ABOUT white, straight males. You can’t just want a movie to win an award simply because it meets a specific criteria of ethnicity or gender. Your gripe should be with Hollywood and not with the Oscars, necessarily.

    Which is why it’s easy to blame the host. The show itself?? As a piece of entertainment, which most people watch for, was not good. MacFarlane seems to be a good host, just not for the Oscars. That’s the best way I can put it. And even though I didn’t personally care for him, the show itself was uneven and ill-conceived. Not entirely his fault, but he’s the face of it, so the public needs someone to blame. In that judgement though, I am speaking strictly of the show as a showcase. The actual awards, nominees, politics can and should be judged separately.

    I love the Oscars, but they’re always bull. Everyone knows that. Which is why it’s disappointing when you try and watch the redeeming factor of all the bull (the spectacle of the show, a celebration of film) and you’re met with a song about boobs or Michelle Obama. That’s why it’s much easier to blame Seth MacFarlane.

  21. Amour is about a woman as much as it is about a man.

    Shouldn’t they nominate 4 of the best original screenplays of the year (and Flight) because they were written by white dudes?

    And shouldn’t they have nominated Waltz for being white? Or should they have done it only if they voted for one of the black people in the movie? For the record, I think Waltz is leading and would have voted for SLJ (and Dwight Henry).

    Of course, I have to wonder if, in case it was Lincoln winning Best Picture, Director and Screenplay, you would be complaining about all the white dudes winning…

    As for Macfarlane, I think 9 out of his 10 critics entered the broadcast deciding to hate him already. I haven’t even watched Ted and I am not a fan of Family Guy, but he was OK- but ANY host would be screwed with that disastrous show.

  22. This is one of the first times I’ve truly agreed with you all year, Sasha. (Your shorter, more pointed posts usually hit home better.) White males are still clutching to their pearls after decades of banging on the castle doors. Our country is changing fast though–the Academy’s out-of-touch-ness will become more and more evident in the next 5-10 years.

  23. People get frustrated with the Oscars, I get frustrated with the Oscars. Sasha you get really frustrated with the Oscars, yet you and I both watch it year after year after year. Just saying……

  24. Felipe Mejia

    BD must be retarded or really he doesn’t comprehend the English language. I’m sorry I had to say this.. WTF????

  25. Incidentally, the last white American males to win the Best Director Oscar were the Coen Brothers five years ago. I mean, the Academy are far from perfect, but they are slowly, belatedly changing to some extent.

  26. zero dark thirty was snubbed because it wasn’t as consummately pro-american as argo was; the cia dissociated themselves from the film because of the depiction of torture, for example. talk all you want about the lack of recognized females in the film industry, but make your argument a little more nuanced and thought-out.

  27. I have a feeling that people blasting MacFarlene are the kinds of people who don’t like him to start with, and were inevitably going to hate him as a host. Honestly, I’ll take him and his occasionally-offensive brand of humor over the snorefest that was Billy Crystal last year, at least now we have something to talk about.

    I see what you’re saying about the rest, Sasha, though in defense of Jennifer Lawrence, she performed the hell out of a sort of poorly-written role. On a performance-level, I think she was a deserving winner; as a written character, O. Russell fittingly and deservingly did not win Adapted Screenplay.

  28. Woman?! You describe Jennifer Lawrence’s character only as ‘woman’? How about “A woman that just lost her husband, is grieving, probably has a mental disfunction that nobody is aware about and no one gives a sh!t and finds acceptance and love in a man that is far from sane.”?

  29. [another asshole who should not be a reader at this site]

  30. [more assholes wasting our time with their pissy comments]

  31. This is a BRILLIANT piece Sasha! Bravo!!

    Lines like this — “MacFarlane was apparently sexist, racist and unfunny. Again, didn’t notice. Was too busy noticing how racist the Oscars themselves are” — are superb because you’re basically reminding everyone that a potentially racist joke isn’t as damaging to society and people of color as institutionalized racism which is certainly alive and well in Hollywood (and reflected at the Oscars). Ditto for sexism and homophobia. THANK YOU for saying it Sasha (and for always saying it, even when you get flack for it).

    And I mean not for nothing, but when everyone was talking about how offensive Seth’s “boob” number was, all I could think was, “Yeah but…these women DO show their boobs an awful lot in films. What’s up with that?”

  32. Christophe

    Brave did have two strong women as main characters, it even had a couple of them in the directing team, yet it’s a shame it won bc it simply wasn’t the best anim. feature.

  33. I’ve played over and over the youtube clip of “We Saw Your Boobs” about 5 times already. It’s a catchy song, funny, and I actually loved that he went there with a song and poked a bit of fun at the simple joy of nudity in movies, particularly boob shots, regardless of the context of the scene. We always find out when an actress bares her breasts in a film even if we haven’t seen the film…it always gets attention from the press above all, and now the same press are all condemning MacFarlane for making fun of it all.

    But I loved it. Argo and Jennifer Lawrence wins were the only downside of the night, and I could have seen less “Chicago” musical promotions, etc. But I LOVE WE SAW YOUR BOOBS. And the Kate Winslet finale to the song was hilarious!!!!

  34. Single best article I’ve read about the entire Oscar hoopla this year. Well said.

  35. Well said, Ms. Stone; please don’t get discouraged by this year’s results and continue this site and, if I may, I’ll suggest you write more of these and maybe you’ll start a movement and inspire bloggers and critics to denounce more the Academy’s taste rather than to try to just predict their choices; 85 years is enough time to care to question voting rationales and acquire serious responsibility over election methods. I think there should be a respectable film critics branch or something because it is obvious, people in the industry alone, for whatever reason, rarely pick the “best” year after year. It used to not matter as much but ever since home entertainment began with VHS/DVD/Blu-ray, we have access to constantly remind ourselves of the academy’s egregious picks over the years and, therefore, their credibility keeps deteriorating. That is their true challenge if they wish to continue their legacy, not who hosts.

  36. Ahmed Al-Kubaisi

    I think the most embarrassing moment was with the “Boobs” segment I think that was irrelevant for most of the actresses attending the ceremony. The ceremony as an overall rendered many musical moments and it was a kind of celebration of music rather than celebrating movies. MacFarlane was not funny in his jokes .I go with Sasha favoring Billy Crystal and David Letterman as ceremony hosts. Finally, I preferred William Shatner’s comment “ They should’ve let Amy and Tina host the Oscars … why they don’t make Tina and Amy host all the shows” .I thought that was really funny and true statement.

  37. “A woman that just lost her husband, is grieving, probably has a mental disfunction that nobody is aware about and no one gives a sh!t and finds acceptance and love in a man that is far from sane”

    JESUS CHRIST man????? that sharade lasted for the first 10-15 minutes of the film. Do you honestly believe that silliness? Do you honestly believe that SLP is about people overcoming their mental, social and family dysfunctions through love, compassion and acting strange and silly???

  38. Let me get this straight. You think Tarantino and Waltz winning is racist? It’s gonna take me some time to wrap my head arround that one.

    I understrand however that nominating Haneke, who is “a white guy”, is racist. The man’s an Austrian (so is Waltz by the way, not to mention also “a white guy”) and that practically makes him a Nazi. You hear that Academy? Awarding Waltz and Haneke is the equivalent of giving Emil Jannings a posthumous Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. For shame.

    It’s just like Walter Sobchak said – “Fucking Germans. Nothing changes. Fucking Nazis.”

  39. what a crock! Wow, angry much? It was the best oscars in years, simply because it was fun and interesting and the awards could have gone to a number of deserving candidates.

    the second you look for colour you become the racist – simple.

    mcfarlane was great, funny and ‘edgy’ and sooo not racist or sexist. again that is the opinion of people who only see the surface.

    the best people won, regardless of colour, regardless of if i liked them or not or thought that they deserved it.

    the oscars is an awards show, not the united nations?

    move on, its almost time for next years oscars.

  40. McFarlane was great, and if people are really claiming him to be racist, sexist, homophobic, etc, then I guess he was too subversive for them. The guy is a liberal progressive (some times annoyingly so) and personally I found his effort to be one of the best in a long time. The sock puppets were a highlight, so were his retorts to any time the audience was taken aback (“Ooohhh, yeah, that’s what we were afraid you’d do”/”Wow, really? One hundred fifty years and still it’s too soon?”).

  41. http://www.nydailynews.com/producer-kicked-oscars-paper-planes-article-1.1272722

    Here’s another example of how the Academy is sexist and prejudice against women. It’s a good thing the movie’s gimmick is a paper plane, not dog poop. Anyway, viral marketing at it’s ultimate best – chucking paper at people – are there any awards for that? If so, this lady is a sho-in, given of course that the “Academy of throwing stuff at people” isn’t a bunch of white males. I kinda wish some more people would go with the flow like this lady. I wouldn’t mind seing Spielberg handing out copies of the 16th ammendment during commercial brakes, or Affleck running arround taking people’s pictures and giving them their own personal forged Canadian passports as souvenirs.

  42. Ava duvarny’s screenplay wasnt big enough or good enough to break that list,

    And if i had to force shove another actor from Django into the tight talent filled categories it would be dicaprio,

    Why force a racial issue ?

  43. Christophe

    “This anti-Iran film [Argo] lacks any artistic aspects and it is a very weak film from an artistic perspective and we don’t expect anything else from the enemy [huh… is the enemy supposed to be Affleck or Clooney?]”

    No, this is NOT a Spielberg quote! It is a statement from Iranian Culture Minister Mohammad Hosseini, and I’m afraid for the first time in my life I have to agree with the Iranian government.

  44. The J Viewer

    I watched the event from live streaming just like many other foreigners/readers here. And unfortunately it went on and off; I personally believe you should have seen it properly, let’s say, as on TV or at least with stable streaming signal to do justice to the subject(s). I wikied him because as a non-American viewer *don’t joke about you being American and not knowing him either; I’ve read tabloids and I see your point* I didn’t know much about the man.

    The above paragraph aside, I think, in terms of poise, that is, the way he carried himself physically on stage and, apparently himself as voice actor, vocal charisma, he was doing all right – not very well, but *at least* ably enough to be invited back next year IF, in my opinion, he promises to rehearse more with his timing and even his poise on stage.

  45. Sasha I agree with your comments, but when are you going to post that a high profile actress – Angelina Jolie is going to direct a movie written by the Coen Brothers about an American Hero? I never saw a word of you about Jolie work as a director, even if you dont like it, but I read something that you write about her in Cannes where you only said things about her beauty and so on.
    With respect.

  46. Bob Burns

    excellent POV, Sasha. you go.

    MacFarlane was interesting. liked his hosting. predict that next year we go back to pre-chewed food.

  47. Bob Burns

    oh, yeah… the red flag flew, hung, over the stage, Sunday night. very cool.

    Anne’s last remark, should not go without notice in this discussion.

  48. Note to the Academy: In the name of fairness, I demand that, next year, TIna and Amy do a number called “I Saw Your Junk” where they make a dig that exposure has the opposite effect on male actors who are usually guaranteed to NOT get a nomination by exposing themselves (Ewen M, Michael F, etc). Lucky Jeremy Irons already had his Oscar before his trot down the stairs in Damage.

    Just a thought, AMPAS.

  49. SallyinChicago

    According to THR, Seth is not returning next year his own decision. His humor is not my mother’s humor (Bob Hope) or mine (Johnny Carson), but he’s this generation’s humor (South Park) and if people were easily offended (ADL) then sobeit.
    I thought the Ted skit fell really flat. And Mark looked bored or like he was in another country far away. Melissa McCarthy fell flat and the Avengers fumbled their words. But don’t we see this a LOT during the Oscars? If you don’t have a killer host like Johnny Carson, then it’s hard to save the ship.
    Took me awhile to “get” some of the humor….it definitely took the Oscars in a different direction. I wasn’t too bummed by the all the music, but some of it went on too long.
    I often wonder, why can’t they get this show down to 2 hours like the Grammys and GG? Could they just hand out the acting awards right away and maybe during the middle, do the tecnicals and the music, and then near the end hand out the BIG ones, like BP?

  50. Bryce Forestieri

    Give me Bradley Cooper over Hugh Jackman any day of the year. Hell even for conversation, Jackman does come across as kind of a dummy, and his “singing” I don’t buy it. But that’s only me again. Why do people dislike him so much? THE HANGOVER PART II is to Cooper what the THE FOUNTAIN is to Jackman with PART II being slightly more re-watchable. Plus he made that thing AUSTRALIA.

  51. Bryce Forestieri

    @Ryan Adams

    Why moderation? I’ve advocating post-ceremony civility…

  52. I am meh on McPharlane but I think he did an ok job but like ZD30, if he didn’t create controversy there would be no buzz. The show itself was terribly produced and uneven. He wasn’t the problem or not a big one. I just don’t find him funny, but when he was just being glib and irreverent, I thought he was charming. It was when he was trying to ” be edgy” that it didn’t work. The Boobs number was offensive. And I guess if some can find humor in poking fun at Jodie Fosters need to expose her breasts in a gang rape scene in The Accused more power to you.

    When the Oscars are over it’s always a couple of things that the public hangs onto. This year it’s McPharlane and Jennifer Lawrence. Back when Denzel and Halle won it was them, back when Biglelow won she was it. I think the key is to see what stands the test of time. It’s a Wonderful Life was a flop at the box office despite being Oscar nominated and look how history has embraced it. Hitchcock never won an Oscar but he’s more recognized for his influence than Sydney Pollack.

  53. Tero Heikkinen

    Too bad you had to resort to a live stream. This is – after all – a show that gets a billion television viewers live. For example, is there a European country that does NOT show the Oscars? I don’t think so. In some countries they have commentators ON the show and that kind of live show I would not watch. You gotta hear what they say, right? In that case I would choose a live stream.

    Seth himself said that probably 95% of people in the world don’t know who he is. It’s not like we’ve SEEN him a lot.

  54. Author Libba Bray wrote a fantastic review that both spoke to the ignorance of Hollywood to its own sexism and racism (among other things) and how Seth McFarlane personified that ignorance rather than subverting it. I highly recommend reading it.

    http://libbabraysactualblog.tumblr.com/

    Excerpt: “But how about this? Learn how to MAKE a joke. Learn how to craft intelligent, searing, mind-blowing, paradigm-shifting jokes—especially if you’re going to have the platform of the Academy Awards in which to do it. You want to make people uncomfortable? Great, go for the jugular. Make a joke about the unintended irony of having the “Jaws” theme—from a movie about a special effects shark—being used to silence the visual effects award winners who were making a pointed political comment about Hollywood’s callous treatment of the visual effects industry.”

  55. Mr-Cinema

    They gave out awards? All I remember is non stop singing and dancing. Here’s what always pisses me off about the Oscars. The people we are there to watch, ie the filmmakers, actors, art directors, editors, and others who are responsible for the very movies we love, always are the ones who are rushed off stage when they receive the biggest prize of their life. Why are they rushed? To make room for the next fucking glamorized singing production. I’m sick of this shit. Can’t we, for once, just focus on movies and the movie making process? Why do these producers waste all of this energy on these stupid mini-concerts? The Film Editor of the Best Picture winner gets to speak for 1 minute, but Jennifer Hudson gets to blast our ears with another over emotional performance.

    Why does Catherine Zeta Jones get more time on stage than Ben Affleck? It’s stuff like this that pisses me off so much. They need to start hiring producers who don’t have a musical background. This is not supposed to be the Tony Awards.

    Okay, rant over. :)

  56. Let me get this straight. You think Tarantino and Waltz winning is racist? It’s gonna take me some time to wrap my head arround that one.

    Gee, you seemed to REALLY get my point. Wow. Impressed!

  57. Dear Arjecc, I’m sorry to say that I’ve been writing about this stuff for years and no other Oscar blogger cares about it. They just want to predict the awards. Write about the awards. But they’re not much into the social impact the awards have on our culture as I am.

  58. I didn’t notice mcfarlane being raciist. I thought he was clean funny and did a good job.. the oscars was about the celebration of music in film. The best speeches. Came towards the end of the night. They were alot of long haiir guys that won the technical awards.

  59. Well, you got it right that there are 6 white dudes nominated in the original category. That seems to be the problem, right? So how should the nominee list here should look like? And does the script quality matter or just sex and skin color of the writer? If it’s just about skin color and sex then I agree – in that contest the Academy fails miserably by nominating 6 white dudes in a category that’s definition is “fuck the scripts – diversity above all”.

    Just to be sure. Mark Boal and Tony Kushner are white dudes, right?

  60. ALAIN Vezina

    I am happy that Argo. It shows what the oscars are all about: young, white, beautiful american people who make money. But what about the best talent: I am not so sure. Ben Affleck has made 3 films… Hitchock never won director? How many so so films have been nominated: Airport, The Alamo, Chariots of Fire… Ang Lee won the best director, but Life of Pi has been seen by more people in the world than Argo. Women are making publicity for great for their dresses in 2013… Song about boobs. I never watch Family Guy. Thank God.

  61. Dan Conley

    The Oscars could help a lot of movies stand the test of time if the voters had the guts to venture out of their comfort zones and recognize movies that reflect something other than the white male American experience of life. For being a supposed bastion of American liberalism, Sasha’s right, the country is far ahead of them now. Most corporations understand the value of diversity far more than the movie industry does.

  62. Paul Voorhies

    I thought Seth was great. I’d have him back in an instant. I enjoyed the program, and it certainly felt a lot quicker than most telecasts. As for the bitching about the awards themselves: aaaaah.

  63. I thought Seth was fine, to be honest I usally forget what he said right after he said it. I think Spielberg should have won, what an epic movie and to pull the performance from DDL was a feat in itself, even though DDL brought it all himself, it is evident that he has so much respect for Spielberg. By the way, I am from Ireland, we know DDL is English but he lives in Ireland and he is our adopted son, we are very fond of him over there and also the way he conducts himself, does not cheapen himself and always comes across as a sweet, lovely and professional person.

    Did anyone notice that when they showed the faces for Best Director, they put Emanulle Riva instead of David O. Russell (he looked like a no show – was it to do with Clooney?).

    Also the intensity on Rebecca Miller’s face when her handsome hubby name was announced, she had a hard time letting him go! As for Meryl, classy lady, they had some chemistry on stage, would be great for them to act together.

    As for Anne Hathway, like her on screen, but off screen she comes across as very annoying and superficial, worse than Catherine Zeta Jones, who is by far the fakest and most confident woman in Hollywood.

    Sasha, I love your site, you and Ryan do a great job and we hope you keep it up for a long time.

    Thanks

  64. Pierre de Plume

    I actually liked the Oscarcast. Mind you I’m grading on the curve as most of them are pretty awful. I try to ignore the problems the Academy has encountered — sexism, racism, etc. — choosing instead to observe how officials try to present that body to the world.

    This year’s producers, I feel, did a good job of structuring the show, which seemed less stodgy and more fluid than in the past. MacFarlane, though plagued by humor that didn’t work that well, notably the hit-me-over-the-head-with-our-sexism-right-out-of-the-gate Boob Song, did best when he segued to song-and-dance man, straight man and traditional host. Getting back to that song — even though I came to get the motivation and concept behind it, such a piece would’ve been better off a bit later in the show, if at all.

    Did everyone see the clip of Samuel L. Jackson backstage complaining that there were no black people in the center section, that they were relegated to the sides? That was interesting.

    Rather than focusing on the Academy’s shortcomings during the show, I sit back and enjoy it for what it is — usually ananthropological disaster, but still fascinating.

  65. The single most disgusting thing for me was the audience reaction to the slap in the Amour clip – the multitude of audible gasps told me that a hell of a lot of the people who voted on best picture and the best actor/actress categories hadn’t even seen the film, and it was there for all to see.

  66. Ryan Adams

    ^
    So true, Dan.
    Single biggest problem with the Academy is that so many members have no interest in watching anything beyond the easiest mediocre dreck.

  67. Please and Thank you!

    Sasha Stone / February 26, 2013
    “Dear Arjecc, I’m sorry to say that I’ve been writing about this stuff for years and no other Oscar blogger cares about it. They just want to predict the awards. Write about the awards. But they’re not much into the social impact the awards have on our culture as I am.”

    Can you kindly point me in the direction of those sites? I kind of want to have fun following the Oscars again…

  68. Like every Oscar telecast, it’s easily forgotten as soon as it’s over. I only watch to see which films the Academy selected in each category for the year and feel happy, disappointed, or indifferent.

    Sure, MacFarlane didn’t really impress me, but then again, I don’t watch the shows for the hosts and I don’t really pay attention to them, let alone rate them. The only host that has ever really impressed me is Billy Crystal–he puts on a show rather than just standard comic jokes, and I love his “interactions” with other movies and movie characters.

    As far as the sexism, racism, and homosexuality, I really never take time to notice. It either bores me or is just so common with the Oscars that I don’t care. Perhaps it’s because I’m a guy, perhaps it’s because I’m white, maybe even because it’s because I’m straight, but I think it’s because I’m me, and me just watch Oscars to see their “winners.”

  69. Tero Heikkinen

    Yeah, I noticed that, too. Many obviously did not see the film, and now they are not even going to…

    Plus it was probably the only acting clip where the nominee was not screaming/yelling or singing/crying. Spitting water and getting slapped is the one getting gasps.

    Academy finds the clips anyway, Amour hasn’t revealed much of itself on trailers or on YouTube clips. This was the first time hundreds of millions of viewers saw this bit.

  70. Arjecc

    Check out http://thefilmexperience.com
    http://carpetbagger.blogs.nytimes.com/

    Don’t give up on having fun here. We have fun.

  71. Jason Travis

    The Oscar producers need to go back to hiring hosts that are from the FILM industry. Not Television writers, not “catering to a younger audience”. Whoopi said it best on The View- teenagers won’t watch the Oscars unless Twilight is winning. It doesn’t matter for your ratings if you get ‘cool’ hosts with filthy mouths. It just insults the baby boomers and people like my parents, who would prefer to see Billy Crystal or Whoopi Goldberg do it again. Hosts in the film industry can make jokes about movies, and not Rhiannah and Chris Brown. MacFarlane was okay, but what do you expect from Family Guy? For someone who almost lost their life on September 11th (he was supposed to be on one of the planes), I’m surprised he’s sick enough to crack the John Booth joke- someone should have fired back “Hey Seth, gotta flight to catch early morning?”

    The winners were better then they could have been. Sure Argo won, but Picture, Editing and Screenplay means the academy still knew to spread it out. Ang Lee was a great win, Lincoln took 2 deserving trophies including of course the immaculate Lewis (anyone dissing his performance is a straight up asshole)- and Production Design, that was a real treat. I was happy Django Unchained took 2 deserving prizes home, how is anyone shocked Tarantino won? He has steamrolled through everything this season and he’s a great writer.

    Over all I am glad with the results, just wish the producers knew how to hire better hosts.

  72. When I saw “Amour” in the theater, people’s biggest reaction was to the slap. I thought that clip was an odd choice for Riva’s nomination, and I am not at all surprised that it got a reaction from the audience, whether or not it was their first time seeing it. Plenty of AMPAS members must have seen it, as it did receive 5 nominations.

    281 (!!) movies were seen by more people than “Middle of Nowhere” was in the past year. In the face of that stat, you expected nominations?

  73. Why am I on moderation? I’ve been a good boy for months! Did the other Tony do something?

  74. the whole site is on moderation for a little while, Tony.

    you’re always a god boy. we’re clearing comments fast, but you’d surprised at some of the vicious stuff we’re seeing that makes moderation necessary

  75. Why is Argo being considered such a great fail? I know that we all push against the things we fear will beat the things we favour (I’ve spent a month hating Jessica Chastain, and I’m glad we can be friends again), but now that all is said and done, why can’t we celebrate the winners? They’ve won. How is argo winning any more backward than ZDT or Lincoln? Lincoln has been this blog’s #1, and it’s certainly no more “pro-feminism” than Argo. And between Argo and ZDT, even though Argo is based around a male protagonist I’d argue it had a few strong female characters, in the end it made me personally feel happier walking out of the theatre. Maybe it’s this year’s The Artist. Maybe it’s been a depressing few years and people don’t want to be depressed by films. Maybe that’s why people picked Jennifer over Emanuelle and Argo over ZDT and Lincoln. These made us happy in a year when it’s hard to find happiness. Why can’t feeling good and wanting to rewatch be a valued quality? Why does something being a gut wrenching journey, making you upset or even cry, give something an innate quality of high art or betterness? Maybe the true gift is now making the viewer smile, and that’s what people are awarding.

  76. And another thing! :) I agree that there isn’t a representation of gay or non-white people in these films, but as a female I take issue with calling everything sexist. I could argue that Bradley Cooper’s character is defined by the female characters. He goes from one to the other, finding sanity only once he’s found a woman who accepts him. Tiffany is the one who stands strong throughout. She doesn’t change, he does. She helps him grow. He is defined by her. But no one is arguing that. It’s Pat’s story, sure. But it’s his story. That doesn’t take away from the strength of the women around him. Should there be more strong female characters in films? Absolutely. But the way we choose to define the ones that exist speak to our own biases, and saying that any female character that is even involved with a man is a stepbackward for feminism isn’t fair either.

  77. I don’t believe that oscars are nearly as important as some here do, but I find it interesting and slightly bizarre that a person crying for the academy to give awards based on MERIT, can in the same breath criticize the Academy for not using the awards as affirmative action tools to promote, what, equality? There are about five inherent contradictions there, and for myself, where I voting member of AMPAS, I would NEVER insult a Halle Berry/Denzel Washington/Marianne Jean-Baptiste/Angela Bassett/Morgan Freeman or Rinko Kikuchi or WHOEVER, by voting for them because I feel bad for them because minorities get less good role and thus less awards. As if voting for them and giving them awards for racial issues will help! And help what, exactly? To encourage dishonesty? To encourage studios to continue the status quo, I’d say. I believe affirmative action oscars have the opposite of the desired result because if we give out these awards in an attempt to MAKE UP FOR a lack of good roles being written/produced for minorities, then a major incentive to create good roles for minorities is LAZILY taken away because the idea of letting awards affirmative action taking care of it will prevail….the easy way out/path of least resistance always prevails, and you do only harm to the minorities you are pretending to help. Voting based on merit is always they way to go. AND ONLY THEN there is no resentment and backfiring when people get pissed that Halle Berry has an oscar, because the consensus among the voters will always be, at least within their voting block, that they voted for her based on merit, NOT mainly because it’s about time a black woman won best lead actress. And the good role for Halle did not come from the Academy, it came from a writer and the backing of a producer! THAT is what needs to change…because there is a sore lack of diversity of GOOD roles being written for minorities, really only a small handful each year. Increase production of quality screenplays from black screenwriters for the sake of affirmative action, or for WHATEVER reason….but to do it with the oscars? It won’t work the way you think it will. It will backfire.

  78. Can you kindly point me in the direction of those sites? I kind of want to have fun following the Oscars again…

    Any other site on line start with a really great one called Google.

  79. I have two thoughts on the lack of diversity in Oscar nominations and wins.

    1. We’ll probably have to wait until Hollywood itself is more diverse before we can see a real change in the nominations and wins. That could take a while, but just as the American electorate is becoming more and more diverse, movies should, over time, reflect that diversity. This wouldn’t be a conscious decision. It would have to happen naturally. (And, somehow, I don’t think that allowing up to 10 Best Picture nominations addresses the issue. All those nominations in one category just adds to the frustration.)

    2. I suppose that the Oscars could go the way of the Grammys and add a couple of dozen more categories, just to make sure different demographics get recognized. But all the additional categories, overall, tend to dilute the prestige of a Grammy win, and I suspect the same would happen with the Oscars if they went in that direction.

    The one thing that Hollywood has been doing right since the end of Jim Crow – even since the end of World War Two, which led to the end of Jim Crow – is make many movies with the sort of subject matter you’d never have had when segregation ruled the day and African-Americans still didn’t have the vote. And we’ve moved far away from the glorification of the “southern” point of view when it comes to the Civil War and the status of African-Americans in society. Also, it’s been decades since we’ve seen traditional Cowboy-n-Indians westerns thank goodness. So Hollywood does lag, but it also learns. It just has a steep learning curve, I think.

  80. I find it interesting and slightly bizarre to see so many people completely miss the point of what Sasha is saying. And to miss the whole point that the WHOLE POINT is pointing a spotlight at the problem. And the people crying about us “crying” as if we should just shut up about it and let the studios fix it.

  81. Jason Travis

    I understand where Sasha is coming from. Her, like me – was concerned with the outcome of the winners then the MC. The same thing happened when Seth hosted the nominations- I kept yelling at the TV “Get to the nominees, already!” The point of the Oscars is to honor filmmaking and movies, not dissect the MC. The MC is merley the garnish at the top of the sundae to make everything flow a little better and to keep people relaxed.

    I wish more reporters had focused on the outcome of the actual winners then just why MacFarlane did a Boob song. Honestly who cares?

    By the way Sasha & Ryan, when Lincoln won Production Design were you as happy as I was? I don’t think I’ve ever yelled out so happily during the presentation of a Tech award, or been as happy to hear it coming from Kristen Stewart’s mouth.

  82. Sasha, observing MoN, which I have admittedly not seen, as a ‘snub’ for a category that is white male (two of which were screenplays with a black male lead, or at least one with a black co-lead, one with a female lead, two with a young couple, and the last with an older couple co-lead) is really selling the category short. You know if Boal or Haneke won you would not write about this.

    Tarantino did not win for the content. He won because of who he is and that it has nearly been two decades since he won. A guy who won for a lesser work in a category where three scripts were more deserved. Not shocking at all. Disappointing people just see his name and celebrate it when his point of view on issues within the film’s content are not taken seriously even if there is a mixed message of what he does want to be taken seriously and not seriously.

    And bringing up Kushner’s script in the context of race is not going to impress the Lincoln critics. They wanted their Frederick Douglass cameo. Or something. I’ve heard way too many ‘best HS play ever!!!’ faint praise of that film and script (though I think that was more aimed at Spielberg than TK).

  83. Robert A.

    The whole site is in moderation? I’m posting this just to see what it looks like to have a comment in moderation.

  84. Christophe

    Just watched the oscar monologue again and the jokes were fine but it was way too long and all over the place. why wasn’t there an opening montage? seth does film parodies all the time on family guy, this year’s bp nominees would’ve been a goldmine for him, then he could’ve followed it up with his “be our guest” song filled with cracks at the expense of celebrities in the room. this could be done in less than 10 minutes, no need for 3 awkward dance numbers, no need fo captain kirk.

    the whole show suffers not only from mildly funny writing but also from a serious lack of structure. why make a tribute to movie musicals with three numbers from lackluster films? instead a montage from all the oscar-winning musicals would’ve been much better and i guess the les mis number was ok since the film was also nommed for best song, and the performance was actually much better than the film itself.

    every year i am left with the same impression: i cannot believe that the best comic writers in the business work on that show for 3 months only to come up with such haphazard lines… late night shows are much better, even though they’re written the same day!

  85. filmboymichael

    I don’t agree with everything you say here, but you’ve definitely written another great, provocative and polarizing piece. Something I always expect when I come here!

  86. MacFarlane was capable of simultaneously insulting women, Blacks, Jews and Hispanics and did so in a way that was not funny (which we could live with). He was truly offensive.

  87. Ryan you’re right and as usual myself included, the message gets diluted.

    In order for more equality and diversity you need the people financing films to embrace diversity.I’ll comment on Megan Ellison(even if her father is a snake). She’s committed allegedly to help finance projects that normally would not get financed. Some have been bad choices(Main Street, Lawless to an extent) some great choices poorly promoted(The Master) and some great choices that have been successful(zero Dark Thirty). Tyler Perry while laughed at in general has made the bulk of his money from catering to an unserved market and in the midst financed Precious. If anyone read that article in Forbes, the problem is that there is still a feeling that female producers can’t be trusted with money.therefore you need more people like Ellison, Perry who have the money and confidence to help bring diversity into Hollywood behind and in front of the camera. It’s all about money people.

  88. “If anyone read that article in Forbes, the problem is that there is still a feeling that female producers can’t be trusted with money.”

    ack! I didn’t see that and haven’t heard about till now. do you have a link, Valerie?

    (because the male bankers and male wall street vultures who crashed the global economy can be trusted with money?)

  89. I went through the comments quickly. Nobody seems to have mentioned specificaklly the “losers” song at the end. To me that was the most tasteless bit: films, performers and crew members are nominated over thousands of their colleagues, make the selective list (even though we may disagree on some, but still…) and it is appropriate to make fun of those who did not get a statuette by calling them losers ??? The real loser here is that poor excuse of a “host” with his silly Cheshire grin. OUT ! Bring back a real movie star as a host, please.

  90. “The single most disgusting thing for me was the audience reaction to the slap in the Amour clip”

    I thought it was a good clip to show but I was sure it was going to end on her spitting water and not the slap. I gasped due to the editing choice; but I guess if people didn’t see it they’d be shocked by the caretaker’s slap itself.

  91. Jennifer Lawrence is very offensive, too. She’s made sexist comments (“Katniss is a male hero with a vagina”), homophobic comments (saying that she was “dykey” for playing sports as a kid), transphobic comments (“I named my cat Chaz Bono because I can’t tell if it’s a boy or a girl”) and has made fun of Jesse Eisenberg for his OCD.

    No wonder she loved Seth’s hosting job.

  92. Christophe

    lynn, didn’t know that abt jlaw! now you mention it i feel less sad about her win, she does sound like an all-around no-holds-barred fun girl!

  93. Ryan I misspoke it was Businessweek. You guys might have touched on this already based on the reports out of Sundance but here goes.

    http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-02-21/why-women-in-hollywood-cant-get-film-financing

  94. thanks Valerie! no wonder I kept coming up empty on google :)

  95. The highlights of the ceremony for me were Daniel Day-Lewis thanking and acknowledging Kathleen Kennedy for her brilliance, and Ang Lee calling Suraj Sharma ” a miracle”. Both moments made me cry and are what I will take away from the ceremony and the race.

  96. I’m still trying to process Kushner’s loss, and I just can’t quite get over it. Sorry. And seeing Kathleen Kennedy looking radiant in the theatre as DDL is letting the industry know that she MADE the movie happen just breaks my heart.

  97. I just finished rewatching the ceremony and it’s a really great show besides the awards giving. It’s a shame Seth MacFarlane doesn’t want to do another one. I hope he reconsiders some time in the future. The only thing that seemed weird the second time was when the First Lady gave out BP via satellite. I think if she’d been in the theater or had just done the speech part remotely it would have been fine. But when they went back again so she’d do the envelope that seemed a little disorganized and weird. I saw Ben Affleck on one of the wrap up shows saying something like he was confused and thought he won a Michelle Obama award. He was joking, but still. I loved the dance numbers. I want to see Joseph Gordon Levitt, Daniel Radcliffe and Charlize Theron in a movie musical ASAP. :)

    I think it actually might have been the best telecast I’ve seen and I’ve been watching since the late 80s.

  98. Phil Boroff

    McFarlane’s comedy is “low comedy” — immature, frat boy (teenage boy?) humor that is certainly not mature, sophisticated comedy (only pretending at satire and usually devoid of double entendre, or anything that might require some intelligence). Yes, the show was very poorly organized and written. Add that to McFarlane’s lame comedy, and the result was dull, boring and over-long..

    This is the Oscars, not the Tony Awards (as has been said by others). The show should be about films and filmmakers. Yes, it should be entertaining, but it is also an opportunity to educate and illustrate. Remember the years where there were attempts to show what the people in the technical areas actually DO? Most of the musical numbers in this year’s show were excruciating. Keep Adele and Bassey and Babs, but edit all of the others. As someone else suggested, the producers should not come from a Musical Theatre background, but should be filmmakers who know and understand film — and film fans.

    McFarlane;s humor was, indeed, sexist. As another poster suggested, to make some amends, next year, we should be treated to an “I Saw Your Junk: musical number. That will never happen because Hollywood, itself, is sexist. Women and understanding men should certainly have been offended by the juvenile “Boobs” number, especially rape victims and breast cancer survivors.

    And McFarlane was also racist. The “brown” sock puppet, the Rhianna-Brown slur and the Lincoln-Cheadle joke were offensive and lacked wit.

    Ultimately, however, McFarlane’s comedy and the show may well represent the superficial view of the Academy, itself, which, as has been pointed out, is also often sexist and racist.

    The Oscars are much more about “business” than about “arts and sciences.” The name should be changed to “The Academy of Motion Picture Business;” it should be AMPB rather than AMPAS. Compromise and plurality rule, while artistic integrity and individual merit are often the victim. Will “arts and sciences” return to the Academy — or were they ever even ever there?

  99. Well you’re probably right about women and the lack of awards for them.

    But about the gay/blacks and other minorities I don’t agree. The first reason they don’t win as much is that they are fewer than the majority. And the second reason is that they already have awards for them, for gays or black and others.
    And since they get awards no matter what the academy doesn’t really need to give them awards, unless they are really really good.
    I might compare this with the foreign language category. They get many awards in their countries and at the academy one awards is more than enough.

  100. unlikely hood

    Most of the gripes in the OP could have been aired on nomination morning, 6 weeks ago. Why the renewed displeasure? Just because more eyeballs come to the site now?

    I’ll say it again, since no one responded to this point on yesterday’s thread with a Django pic: commemorating a film like Beasts as at least this year’s In the Bedroom (indie, no wins, lots of noms including Picture) does not count as regressive. It just doesn’t. If they had ignored it, you’d be crying racism, so you don’t get to ignore it yourself during your argument about being regressive. Fair’s fair.

    As for Django, personally I love that after all of Harvey’s work, Django won more Oscars than SLP. Bet on the wrong horse much Harvey?

    Now if SLP *had* won, say, four Oscars including BP, you’d have a much stronger argument about regression. But as I said on the other thread, Django’s wins (perhaps the most surprising of the night, those and Ang Lee’s, and thank God for all of them) are no more evidence of regression than Uncle Tom’s Cabin is evidence that Harriet Beecher Stowe should shut up and stick to writing about white ladies.

    When has the Oscars ever noticed a black revenge film? Never.

    When have they noticed a blaxploitation film? Never.

    When has America *made* a black-revenge film since the 70s? Just about never.

    They liked it, they really liked it. (OT: Did Sally Field only agree to do the flying nun skit if they promised to leave “you like me you really like me” out of it?) Should a black person have done it? Sure. Could he/she next time? Maybe, probably not, if you listen to the wise black men who do the “Field Negro’s Guide to Art and Culture” podcast. But the Academy is open to the themes – and you’re raking them over the coals for that. I don’t think that’s helping.

    Here’s the hypocrisy I see Sasha: you have complained that Spielberg gets attacked for taking on black issues, e.g. Color Purple and Amistad. And now here you are making the same complaint about Tarantino and Zeitlin (Zeitlin by proxy; certainly you’re leaving him out of these posts as even a caveat). I don’t think that’s consistent or fair.

    I do think it’s interesting that if we put Lincoln in with Spielberg’s three historical films about the legacy of slavery, those films have gone a collective 2 for 27 at the Oscars (Color Purple 0 for 11, Amistad 0 for 4, Lincoln 2 for 12). But I think that complaints like yours in the OP make sure that that number is gonna grow to 3 or 4 for 40. Because you’re basically advocating for only black voices to tell black stories. And y’know, if a Boyz N tha Hood comes along, I’m sure the Academy will nominate that. But barring that, if the Academy hears you (as Aaron Sorkin did last year), they will feel squishy and awkward about the Zeitlins and Tarantinos and Spielbergs, and just avoid the whole thing altogether and reach for even more comfort food a la Artist and Argo.

    Just cast John Goodman as a studio exec and watch yourself get Best Pictured.

  101. there is no doubt sexism and homophobia exist in the Academy, as they do in society, but I think AMPAs biggest problem is that they seldom reward the truly best achievements in film. It should be called Most Popular Picture, Actor etc.

    They get it wrong more often than they get it right.

    But they always have. And we need to be careful about demanding wholesale change when our particular favorites dont win.

  102. I don’t understand why people are surprised that the creator of Family Guy would make sexist/racist jokes? Have they never seen Family Guy? Or Ted? What exactly were they expecting him to be like, politically correct? Maybe next year they can hire Sarah Silverman to host and then complain when fakes “mean” jokes about celebrities.

  103. Six of us women got together to watch the Oscars (as we do every year). We are all intelligent, strong women and none of us were insulted by Seth MacFarlane. We thought he was hilarious . . . We roared with laughter at the sock puppet movie and loved “We Saw Your Boobs”. There were some jokes that were not your usual Oscar fare, but this was Seth MacFarlane, what exactly was everyone expecting? I wish I had a dollar for every time one of us said “I love this guy! I hope he does it again next year.” Not once did anyone complain of being bored, which happens ever other year that I can remember.

    As far as the awards themselves go, I was okay with some and not so much with others. Loved, loved, loved that Daniel Day Lewis won (I honestly think I would have had a hissy fit if he hadn’t won). Was disappointed that Argo won Best Picture (even though I KNEW it would win). I was unrealistically holding out hope that Lincoln would take it. Unlike the majority in here, I was happy that Jennifer Lawrence won. I saw all the performances except for Riva’s (I live in a small city in Maritime Canada and Amour has never appeared here), thought everyone did a fantastic job but Jennifer’s performance just seemed to grab me more than the others. Oh, and I hated, hated, hated that Tony Kushner’s gorgeous words were not rewarded.

  104. I totally agree. Seth was ok, nothing great. The “We Saw Your Boobs” song made me laugh, so sue me. Actually, the music this time was a highlight; perhaps they succeeded a little on that score. “Skyfall” is a great song, Streisand was wonderful singing “The Way We Were,” and I liked All That Jazz to begin with…

    I did really well in Oscar pools, but it’s tainted by the fact that my favorite movies didn’t get much. At least Lincoln got Production Design and ZD30 got Sound Editing. I hope I do worse in predicting next year if it means the winners will be better.

  105. An interesting, mind boggling insight. The Oscarcast this year (which I actually enjoyed TBH) was a TV show celebrating film through a TV writer/actor/director host and produced by Broadway producers. No wonder people found it confusing! That’s like crossing a baboon with a tarantula and thinking the baby will be adorable. Or like the TV show “Smash”. Fans of Smash, I look forward to your angry comments ;)

  106. Jason Travis

    5 BEST WINS OF THE NIGHT FOR ME:

    1. Daniel Day-Lewis
    2. Christoph Waltz
    3. Quentin Tarantino
    4. Ang Lee
    5. Lincoln wins Best Production Design

    5 WORST WINS OF THE NIGHT:

    1. Chris Terrio beats Tony Kushner- just how?
    2. Jennifer Lawrence over Emmanuelle Riva
    3. Brave over Wreck it Ralph
    4. Les Miserables wins Makeup over The Hobbit & Hitchcock
    5. Argo wins Best Picture over Lincoln

    Over all I was happier then I was sad; Grey Goose was goooood.

  107. I just read that Martin Richards died in November but wasn’t in the In Memoriam. Seriously—the movie won Best Picture AND there was a Chicago segment!

    Best Wins: This might take me awhile. I guess Production Design, Best Actor, and Sound Editing. I am glad that Lincoln and Zero Dark Thirty didn’t go away empty-handed. I also liked the Waltz and Tarantino wins. Quentin amuses me. I also loved how Hoffman announced the award, “Mr. Tarantino.” On the other hand, I HATED how Streep announced DDL’s really quickly.

    Worst Wins: *sigh* Terrio beating Kushner, Lincoln losing best picture… those two hurt even though I picked them correctly.

  108. Preach it, Sasha! Good analysis of the unbearable whiteness of being Oscar and of its outdated feminine mystique.

  109. BenG,

    set up a PayPal account and I’ll send you $1 every time you make a comment like that.

  110. nycguy234

    I wonder what would make people happy? All twenty acting nominees being black? Should we institute a quota system? The bigger problem is the small films getting out to Academy members. Middle of Nowhere had a much chance of getting nominations as Compliance, and I didn’t see any black people in Compliance. Should Sam Jackson or Jamie Foxx be nominated instead of Christoph Waltz to make people feel better? Christoph Waltz gave the best performance in the film, but perhaps we should have just given the award to one of the black people in the cast. What this site is advocating is tokenism and it’s the most offensive sort of racism. Worse than outright hatred, I think.

    The people who say there aren’t enough black people nominated are the same people who see skin color. Or maybe it’s just petty being mad because Lincoln didn’t win Best Picture and you want to have grievance with a little more gravitas.

    Either which way, I’m happy with most of the winners. Emmanuelle Riva was never going to win. That whole movie was downright disgusting. Riva debased herself – all she had to do was lay there gasping like a dying fish. Haneke is a director with very little taste – here he gave us euthanasia porn. I’m surprised that the Academy nominated it in the first place, but relieved that it was ignored in the major categories save for Foreign Film, which is a totally meaningless award.

  111. Balcanquel

    HOW THE OSCARS THANKED CANADA…if they surmise you have a Non-USA (ie Canadian, British, whatever) IP address, you cannot watch the videos on the Oscar.com website

  112. The show was okay. Except for a few cringe-worthy jokes (all related to “Lincoln”), I thought McFarland was rather tame, certainly for the guy behind “Family Guy.” I was expecting something much more offensive from this guy, including digs at religion (he’s an atheist, I believe), so I was pleasantly surprised. Still, I wish they’d get Steve Martin to host. There’s a guy with class and wit. Martin is the only host in recent years comparable to Johnny Carson who was the absolute best at this job in my opinion. I liked Billy Crystal the first several times he hosted, but after awhile he was so popular as host that he seemed to think the show was about him.

    I could have done without the “boobs” segment and the absolutely ridiculous tribute to “Chicago” on the 10th anniversary of its Oscar win as best picture (as if it’s “Gone With the Wind” when it’s actually comparable to “The Greatest Show on Earth” and other forgettable Oscar winners).

    Shirley Bassey and Adele were great, and Streisand was good (and probably great if you’re a diehard fan which, sorry to say, I’m not). The “In Memorium” segment was a disaster. Where was Andy Griffith? James Farentino? These are just two that come to mind, but I’m sure they skipped a lot of others.

  113. Houstonrufus

    Well, Sasha, color me confused. I typically agree with your very frequent critiques of the Hollywood machine, especially as demonstrated by film awards, but I was pretty stunned to read you enjoyed MacFarlane. He was basically reinforcing all the messages you rail against all the time. Yeah, so the industry problem is the real problem. Well, the messaging he sent out to untold millions of young girls Sunday night about what their role might be as artists in the film biz if they were to choose such a path was pretty appalling. So, yeah, I find the disconnect between your anger at the Academy and your indifference to the face and host that that same Academy selected this year to be weird at best.

  114. Let’s talk about the predictably pull-out of pressure against Zero Dark Thirty after awards season (though that still did not stop that snake Glenn Greenwald to dance on its grave for winning just 1 of its 5 nominations). That Senate Intel Committee inquiry has ended with them only finding out the CIA only talked to them about their still undercover employees who would be characters or composites of characters in the film. Nothing else.

    http://carpetbagger.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/26/this-awards-season-the-politics-didnt-end-with-the-oscars/

    But who decided it was okay for 3 members of that Senate intel committee to write a letter to condemn the film (when it was unclear if any of them saw it beyond reading print media’s scattered reactions to it)? Some believe it was to cover their own asses but others feel like there may have been influence among Hollywood high-rollers who donate a lot of campaign money to these people. It seems that a lot of Oscar reporters are keeping their lids tight, even the LA Times story did not seem to rush to make assertions as to who could be doing smear tactics, but I have read all sorts of theories that lead back to the honchos who did the campaigns and produced those movies competing against Zero Dark Thirty. Seriously, I want the expose. Are we waiting until Monuments Men to drop that Heslov and Clooney were possibly involved?

    I feel like Zero Dark Thirty’s Oscar season is going to turn Megan Ellison into a more determined, no BS, take no prisoners producer. Like what Harvey became after seeing Pulp Fiction lose. I don’t think she quite knew how to do the whole schmoozing because of her age and such but she has two prestige bait-y projects (David O. Russell and Bennett Miller) that I am excited to see. Her 2012 projects was pretty incredible (Killing Them Softly’s message works if you think of it as John Milius does Doonesbury but even so it is well-acted and flawlessly photographed and I really think Lawless is primed for a re-discovery once people realize just how deep its roster is in awesome actors are beyond their Shia LaBeouf issues). Plus she endeared me to her when she basically made no bones about Kathryn Bigelow not being nominated. This is not some princess. She knows film and cares about making a quality product.

  115. ^
    more like this please

    thanks, CMG.

  116. “Hollywood is not moving forward with the rest of society; it’s moving backwards. Just look at what movie was named Best Picture.”

    Not saying you’re wrong–just curious what you mean by this…Would another of this year’s best pic nominees have particularly represented a step forward in your opinion?

  117. Thanks, Ryan. Discovering this forum, rather late in the game for Oscar season, was a good antidote to my sanity as a supporter of a film that was attacked from my own side politically and seeing it go down unlike any other Best Picture nominee I have ever seen. Glad to find some other like-minded people who felt the same way not just for ZD30 but other movies that got dragged through the mud.

  118. CMG
    Here’s some of Awards Daily’s coverage of Zero Dark Thirty over the past several weeks
    http://www.awardsdaily.com/blog/category/best-picture/zero-dark-thirty/

  119. Middle of Nowhere had a much chance of getting nominations as Compliance, and I didn’t see any black people in Compliance. Should Sam Jackson or Jamie Foxx be nominated instead of Christoph Waltz to make people feel better?

    Wrong. As they say in Glengarry Glen Ross don’t open your mouth unless you know what the shot is. Middle of Nowhere was a revolutionary, groundbreaking film – not just in subject matter but in how it was made and distributed. If she had been a man in the same exact position she would have been noticed. I know, I have been advocated for films for 14 years – I know what gets attention and what doesn’t. Compliance was a movie people hated. A total downer and hard to grasp. Middle of Nowhere was something much much better and worthy of attention.

    And yes, Sam Jackson and Jamie Foxx instead of Christoph Waltz would have made me happy but it also would have acknowledged the TWO BEST PERFORMANCES in the film. Waltz, as charming as he is, just did what he did in Inglourious Basterds and in Carnage. But let’s give him an Oscar anyway. It’s all bullshit. Slobbery blow job giving bullshit. The only sad part is how few people really get it. Do this job as long as I have and it will become all too clear.

  120. I didn’t really enjoy or not enjoy MacFarlane. My column wasn’t about him. It was about the hypocrisy of an industry (journalists and bloggers) who want to lay all of the social ills at MacFarlane’s feet. Ridiculous.

  121. Tero Heikkinen

    Only stupid people were offended. Smart people get the jokes.

    Everybody missed the joke Rufus made just here:

    “I do think it’s interesting that if we put Lincoln in with Spielberg’s three historical films about the legacy of slavery, those films have gone a collective 2 for 27 at the Oscars (Color Purple 0 for 11, Amistad 0 for 4, Lincoln 2 for 12).”

  122. Derek 8-Track

    I want to congratulate the Academy on one of the few things they did right. Nixing the models and instead choosing a diverse group of film students to escort the trophies to the presenters.

  123. unlikely hood

    Uh Tero I missed that joke and I made it – or did I?

  124. Tero Heikkinen

    Was it you? OK, I messed up.

    The Color Purple being somehow linked to slavery was not a joke? In that case all films with mostly black cast fits that description.

  125. Unlikely hood

    I wish I was joking, but I think Alice Walker would be the first to say her story is about the *legacy* of slavery

  126. I am agreeing with a lot of commenters here (surprisingly) but I really hate the notion that a person A or a film A should win over B,C,D or E just because it is about a certain subject or A is “from a minority group”.

    – In my library the library guests are overwhelming majority women. Maybe they read more, maybe men are slower readers than women … I don’t know, maybe we can find multiple researches that tell us why (never trust just a single research ;-) ).
    – Even though Icelanders don’t produce many films each year, we pride ourselves in the things we do (a film from Iceland even made it to the cut of 9 films for the oscars best foreign film category, before they cut it to 5). Yet, the controversy for the Icelandic Film/TV Awards was so much about the few parts for women (nominees in the male lead and supporting acting categories were five, while the female ones consisted of only 3!!)
    – The Grammy Awards are great, they reward so much and getting a Grammy is a great thing. But I cannot escape the thought that some categories appear to be “not as important”. I mean, we have the classical, pop, rock, rap, best single, best record … — So, if we want to implement this to the Oscars, Seth McFarlane (who I think did a great job hosting!!) would have had a hard time covering so many categories – I mean hosting in between awards. But we did have a short recording of the Oscars statues given to the technical departments (from the night before or week before?? don’t remember) … would this be a solution?

    What am I talking about? I’m simply saying that I don’t support anyone winning on the merit of anything else than being “the best”. While we differ greatly in what we consider what is the best, I believe in the democracy of voting. Argo won because it was the best film of the year (according to the majority of the voters). Why should Lincoln have won instead of Argo? Also, why should Lincoln have won the script award instead of Argo? Why should Mark Boal have won and not Tarantino? In my opinion, these awards were deserved, but please enlighten me: HOW SHOULD THE AWARDS HAVE BEEN WHERE EVERYTHING HAD BEEN POLITICALLY CORRECT AND ALSO ACCORDING TO THE SAID “MINORITY GROUPS”? Why would ZDT or Lincoln winning be a better thing? Actually I do think Lincoln would have been a worthy winnner but I preferred Argo.

  127. Dan Conley

    Nothing’s going to change until Harvey Weinstein is willing to lay it all on the line for a movie like Middle of Nowhere. There are a handful of power brokers in Hollywood who decide the slate every year and Harvey is king power broker. He is the person most responsible for how the Oscars are today.

  128. @ Sasha Stone,

    “Middle of Nowhere was revolutionary, groundbreaking film – not just in subject matter but in how it was made and distributed.”

    I’ve yet to see it. I recall seeing the trailer once in theaters. I’m curious, what elevates this film above a potentially well-made drama into “revolutionary, groundbreaking” status?

    I tried finding a few articles about how it was made, but many mentioned a $200k budget and 15-days, which is pretty common for low-budget indie films. Would love to know more about the film before it gets buried in my Netflix queue.

  129. what elevates this film above a potentially well-made drama into “revolutionary, groundbreaking” status?

    you just have to see it, Jason B

    it’s got some indefinable magic. the style and grace is breathtaking

    your mileage may differ, but it’s stuck in my mind , made my Top 10 of 2012 from the first day I saw it in October and has stayed there for the next 5 months.

  130. @ Ryan Adams,

    Huh, interesting. I would have just written it off as a Sundance melodrama that I often ignore (or rather, wait until the best is filtered out). But, I like it when a film surprises me because the trailer seems straight forward. I’ll look forward to getting around to it, as I believe it’s out of theaters.

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