On February 24, the 85th Annual Oscar Awards occurred at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles. It will be remembered as an evening of many unexpected features. Host Seth MacFarlane entertained with witty jokes, Best Actress winner Jennifer Lawrence fell on her dress and First Lady Michelle Obama announced the Best Picture award from the White House via satellite.
Then there was a limping Kristen Stewart, best known for the “Twilight Saga,” who presented the award for Best Production Design. Paired up with Daniel Radcliffe, better known as Harry Potter, Stewart left her crutches behind and limped her way down the stage to the microphone even though she was visibly affected by the foot injury she incurred from stepping on broken glass.
The ceremony’s Best Actress in a Leading Role winner also made a significant entrance. When Jennifer Lawrence was announced as the winner of one of the Academy’s most prestigious prizes for her performance as Tiffany in “Silver Linings Playbook,” the 22-year-old accidently tripped on her Cinderella-style bone-white dress and fell on her way up the stage. After a short pause, she stood up, excused herself for what she called “a very embarrassing entrance” and gave her many thanks for her first golden statuette.
The Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role went to Daniel Day-Lewis for his interpretation of Abraham Lincoln in “Lincoln.” Steven Spielberg’s 150-minute-long movie about one of the most renowned presidents in American history was a favorite to win Best Picture, but instead Ben Affleck and his team behind “Argo” claimed the coveted prize.
Argo, about a U.S. Government agent’s idea to use a fake Hollywood film production as a cover to go into Iran and rescue six Americans during the hostage crisis of 1979, grossed more than $250 million worldwide since premiering in winter 2012.
A familiar but unexpected face appeared on a large screen via satellite to announce the award for Best Picture. Dressed in a metallic sleeveless dress by designer Naeem Khan, First Lady Michelle Obama smiled and addressed the audience from the Diplomatic Room of the White House.
There were well-known faces among the other presenters. Many were Oscar winners from last year, like Octavia Spencer (“The Help”), Christopher Plummer (“Beginners”) and Meryl Streep (“The Iron Lady”). Jennifer Aniston, Sandra Bullock and Jack Nicholson were presenters as well.
Halle Berry, who in 2002 starred in the Bond movie “Die Another Day,” appeared in a metallic body-hugging Versace dress, to introduce a tribute to the Bond movies and the movies’ soundtracks. Shirley Bassey then sang “Goldfinger” from the 1964 movie of the same name and then Adele performed “Skyfall” from the latest Bond installment. The 24-year-old British singer-songwriter won this year’s Oscar for Best Original Song for “Skyfall.”
The cast of “Les Miserables” performed a song from the musical-turned-movie, based on the novel by Victor Hugo. Hollywood actors and actresses like Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried and Anne Hathaway were among the singers featured. Hathaway also walked home with the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Fantine.
And then there was Seth MacFarlane, who was asked to host the Academy Awards in order to attract a younger audience. The actor, voice-actor, comedian and singer who created Family Guy in 1997 and later made box office success “Ted” drew much attention because of his witty jokes. Among them were a song about actresses’ breasts and a comparison between “Django Unchained” and Chris Brown and Rihanna’s stormy relationship.
The day after the Oscars, the Twittersphere, along with numerous media outlets across America, had MacFarlane in the headlines. Some questioned if he went too far, even playing on sexism, while others praised his ability to lighten up the show.
The 85th Annual Academy Awards was an evening of many unexpected events and untraditional features. The things that usually remain the same year after year did just that. There was the traditional spectacle over dresses, who wore what, by whom and why, the in memoriam tribute to some of the film industry’s most important contributors who passed away in 2012 and some of Hollywood’s elite bringing home the statuettes.