Lincoln and Django Unchained in the space of a few weeks and sure that one of them would take the best picture award home. But once it became clear that there were other contenders like the awful musical version of Les Miserables and the trite Silver Linings Playbook, I began to have my doubts. So, it was with some trepidation, that I began watching the ceremony.
The first award, however, went to Chrisoph Waltz for Django Unchained and I couldn’t have been more delighted. In my review of the film I expressed my disappointment that it would most likely be snubbed at the Oscars and so, whatever happened afterward, Tarantino’s film would be on the books as having one at least one award. After that, Life of Pi won the awards for cinematography and visual effects. Visual effects I can see, but cinematography, for a green-screen movie? Historical films have a tradition of taking home the award for costume design and the field was full of them, but Anna Karenina won the Oscar. The fist big disappointment--a win for Les Miserables--came with makeup and hair design.
During the nearly two hours after the first big award for supporting actor were awards for sound editing, tied between Zero Dark Thirty and Skyfall. Best foreign film went to Amour--something that always bothered me when a film could double dip, seeing as how it’s also nominated for best picture. Finally, the award for best supporting actress, which went to Anne Hathaway and thus began what I feared would be a long, slow descent into disappointment. But first, Argo won for film editing, which thus far had been shut out. And then we finally broke the ice when Lincoln won for best production design. After that best film score went to Life of Pi, tying it for the moment with Les Mis with three apiece.
At last, it was time for the big six (seven really, because the screenplay is divided into two). Best adapted screenplay went to Argo and original screenplay to my man Quentin Tarantino for my favorite film of the year, Django Unchained. The Oscar for best director was given to Ang Lee for Life of Pi, making that film one of the big winners of the evening. In the end, however, it was a very democratic night, with no film really dominating. For best actress, Silver Linings Playbook’s Jennifer Lawrence won, giving that film its first Oscar of the night. Then it was on to the best actor and the second award of the night for Lincoln, with Daniel Day-Lewis taking home the award. And then, best picture, the one we’d all be waiting for: Argo. Not the storybook ending I had hoped for, but of the options other than Lincoln and Django, I can live with it. All in all, a great night.