Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Mr. McFarlane Goes To Washington, Brings Back First Lady, Oscars Get Dirty

The goal of the 2013 Oscars seemed more shock than awe, and they didn’t come from the awards themselves.

Alumni of the Golden-Statue Club were the predictable winners: Christoph Waltz won his second, Daniel Day Lewis his third, Ang Lee his second. Jennifer Lawrence won her first, and a bunch of technical awards went to Life of Pi. Anne Hathaway had a darling acceptance speech.

The only striking award was given to Argo for best picture, but considering the Golden Globe hype and critical brouhaha after director Affleck’s Oscar-snub, it still didn’t warrant a spit-take.

Instead, host Seth McFarlane, Family Guy and Ted creator, provided most of the eye-openers for the night.

During the opening ceremony, Denzel Washington’s character from Flight made a guest appearance as a sock-puppet doing cocaine, which  McFarlane assured viewers was okay because “Denzel was in all those Nutty Professor movies.”

William Shatner had to chide the television veteran, “you’re a white man in 2013; you can’t do black hand!”

“No that’s not as bad as it gets,” McFarlane assured after a John Wilkes Booth joke.

The official theme of the night’s Oscars was “Music and FIlm,” celebrating the nostalgia of movie-musicals and film-scores, but McFarlane’s own theme prevailed: Oscar self-acknowledgment and derision.

Traditional, Oscar-typical musical performances of a (flat) Shirley Bassey performance of “Goldfinger” in celebration of James Bond turning 50 and a full-cast stage performance of “One Day More” from  the Les Miserables ran second banana to McFarlane’s two originals,  “We Saw Your Boobs” and “Bless All The Losers”  that remained the glaring highlights of the night.

Jack Nicholson (accidently?) revealed why in his co-presentation with the awkwardly-telecasted First Lady about why they don’t have someone up front “messing around; making comments about rouge, chiffon, sequins and ringlets,” because that’s whole point--the Oscars escape reality, they don’t critique it.

But McFarlane’s commentary focused on the divide between the people that actually watch movies; audiences that laugh at the homophobic-racist-classist jokes be made throughout the evening, and the uplifting quality of films that Mrs. Obama claims “help us celebrate, broaden our minds, lift our spirits....no matter who we are, where we’re from, or who we love...”

It seemed inappropriate fiction compared to the glamour and gold and whiteness of the celebration that included jokes about how you can only be Jewish in Hollywood and if musicals were gay enough, it was hard to see how accurate her words were.

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