There were very few big surprises at last night’s Oscar ceremony — especially when it came to awarding prizes. Ben Affleck’s Argo won Best Picture and accepted the prize emotionally; Daniel Day-Lewis made sure that no other actor in his category laboured under the impression that they had even a chance — his acceptance speech was characteristically dry and humble; and Anne Hathaway was given the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her work in a single take of Les Misérables.
The only unforeseen triumph of the evening was Ang Lee ‘s Life of Pi, which took home the most prizes of the evening including Director, Cinematography and Visual Effects. In fact, Lee’s film managed to shut Lincoln out of almost every category with the exception of Best Actor. An adaptation of Yann Martel’s record breaking novel, the film was roundly praised for its use of 3D in telling the story of a young Indian man stuck on a lifeboat with a Bengal Tiger. This marks Lee’s second directing Oscar in an eclectic career that included Brokeback Mountain, The Hulk, The Ice Storm and Sense and Sensibility.
If you were to look at it objectively, Life of Pi was a groundbreaking feat of cinematic storytelling. It was the first film in a long time that made 3D feel essential to the picture. Lee made an incredibly human film that just so happened to feature a whole tonne of visual effects. Lincoln, while incredibly worthy, is not anywhere near one of Steven Spielberg’s better films. In interviews, The Beard claimed that he dialled-back his personal ticks in order to serve the story but on the contrary, we found his constantly moving camera and over-use of a John Williams score to be very distracting. And if we dare say it: the movie was a little boring as well.
Christoph Waltz also beat out favourite Tommy Lee Jones to bring home his second Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in Django Unchained. To think that four years ago, he was completely unknown in Hollywood. Quentin Tarantino also picked up his second Academy Award for Original Screenplay, managing to keep the self-aggrandizement down to a minimum in his acceptance speech.
Oscars Winners List (Highlights)
Best Adapted Screenplay: Argo, Chris Terrio
Beasts of the Southern Wild, Lucy Alibar and Benh Zeitlin,
Life of Pi, David Magee
Lincoln, Tony Kushner
Silver Linings Playbook, David O. Russell
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