I’ll begin by saying that I’m not
particularly a fan of Family Guy and
I never saw the movie Ted so I wasn’t
expecting much from this year’s Oscar host, Seth McFarlane, other than I was imagining
the worst, something along the lines of Ricky Gervais, but even more crude.  I would’ve never guessed that the man behind
such irreverent and profane humor would actually appear rather dapper dressed
to the nines in an elegant black tux and donning a beautiful smile and great
posture.  I had absolutely no idea he was
a wildly talented song and dance man who had performed at both Carnegie Hall
and London’s Royal Albert Hall and been nominated for two Grammy’s!  So when he launched into his first song, “We
Saw Your Boobs,” however ridiculously inappropriate the subject matter, I was
impressed with his vocal and production chops. I was further mesmerized by his commandeering
presence on the stage clapping vigorously and jumping right in with his hosting
duties after each musical cue. His jokes, although sometimes dipping into the
dangerous – the Chris Brown and Rihanna mention was a specifically low jab –
garnered a steady stream of laughs from the audience.
That being said, there is no way
around the fact that the show ran long clocking in at three and a half hours
exactly.  And we’re not just being
literal here.  The monologue, which contained
some witty one liners,
started to become monotonous. The William Shatner “Star Trek” and Sally Field “Flying
Nun” references I could have done without. 
However, the skit with sock puppets poking fun at the
movie “Flight” was absolute genius!  The banter among the presenters seemed to
drone on a bit long. Note to the Avengers cast, Paul Rudd & Melissa
McCarthy: Were you supposed to improvise or was it scripted? And, the song and
dance numbers began to border on wearisome. Did we really need to see dancing
from Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Daniel Radcliffe and was the final number with
Kristin Chenoweth to celebrate the losers truly necessary?  Apologies in advance to the producers, Neil
Meron and Craig Zadan.  I don’t mean to
offend. You are undoubtedly two talented guys and I do love Smash, but the show clearly could’ve
been edited down.  I was worried about
the poor starving female nominees, presenters and winners in their fabulous
dresses who were already withering away when they arrived!  They must have been salivating at the thought
of Wolfgang Puck’s creations and what they would soon be devouring at the
Governor’s Ball.
Now on to the
awarding of the Oscars themselves.  It
was a spectacular year for movies with a total of nine films up for Best Picture
alone.  What was noticeably different was
that there was not one clean sweep for any one picture, but that the wealth was
spread amongst the top contenders.  While
Ben Affleck was snubbed for Best Director, his biopic, “Argo,” won for Best
Picture as well as Best Adapted Screenplay. 
The Best Director nod went to the extraordinarily imaginative Ang Lee
for “Life of Pi.”  Best Actor, Daniel
Day-Lewis, gave “Lincoln” a nice affirmation as did Best Actress, Jennifer
Lawrence, for “Silver Linings Playbook.” 
The Best Supporting Actor and Actress roles went to frontrunners,
and Anne Hathaway for their steady portrayals in “
Django Unchained” and Les
Misérables.”  Our recap wouldn’t be
complete, however, without our red carpet manners commentary encapsulating the most
noticeable moments of the night. Here they are.

A Colorless Red Carpet. Each awards show the legions of hired stylists
highlight a central color on the red carpet and this year’s Oscars was no
different.  We spotted an almost wedding
party theme with an inordinate amount of light pinks and blush dresses on
everyone from Jennifer Lawrence and Charlize Theron to Anne Hathaway and a
pregnant Georgina Chapman. Shades of grey ranging from barely
there to gunmetal in interesting fabrics were worn by celebs including a
striking Naomi Watts, a wispy Amy Adams, a leggy Stacy Keibler and even the
First Lady, Michelle Obama, were in abundance! There was a small spectrum of other
colors donned by celebs including Jennifer Garner in burgundy, Jennifer Aniston in red, Helen
Hunt in navy and Jane Fonda in yellow. Trains were a plenty. Makeup for the most part sparse with
pale lips.
Ominous Interrupter.
  Please don’t even get me started on whose
decision it was to play the theme music from Jaws every time an acceptance
speech ran long. That may have been the worst choice in history!  And, why were the earlier acceptance speeches
cut off by the music whereas the night’s biggest winners had license to thank
virtually every one they’ve ever known without threat? Each time I heard the famous
strings taunt, I imagined a giant shark ripping through the stage.  I was thinking to myself, “Are they kidding us
with this?”
Excruciating Acceptance.
gravity of the menacing music was felt most during the acceptance speech for Best
Visual Effects for the film, Life of Pi.  The Oscar winners said their thanks and then just as they began to make
mention that the irony was not lost – referring to the recent press about
visual effects house, Rhythm and Hues,
having to file Chapter 11 – they were cut off abruptly by the band.  Whether they had reached their allotted time limit
or the producers did not want the show to be used as a political platform is debatable.
A Flawless Performance. The theme for the 85th Oscars
was a celebration of music in film.  There
was no doubt that the show’s producers would throw in a number from their hit
film Chicago with the reliable Catherine Zeta-Jones (by the way – was she lip-syncing?),
and certainly Oscar nominated Les Mis had to have a moment on stage, but it was
the performance by the gorgeously svelte, Jennifer Hudson, that was the
evening’s show stopper.  First of all, it
is hands down one of best songs ever written and secondly, there is no
comparison to the strength in her voice and raw emotion. Her pain is
palpable.  I will always love Barbra and
saw her in concert at the Hollywood Bowl last Fall, but she just wasn’t feeling
it last night. Nora Jones is wonderful to listen to during a spa treatment, but
not to watch on a nationally televised show. 
Adele’s voice is also heavenly, but “Skyfall” is not one of our favorites. We were delighted; however, to hear (and see) Dame Shirley Bassey’s Bond tribute that earned her one of the night’s standing ovations. Old Hollywood never fails.
A Most Patient Audience.  After
the second hour hit, we could see the audience starting to squirm and the
tension beginning to build as they struggled to figure out how in the world the
show was going to finish on time.  We’re
not sure if it was originally planned or was brought in to save the day, but
the lovely outfitted candy girls offering sweets and popcorn to
sedate fidgety spectators was a great idea! 
On the subject of length, is there good reason why audiences must be
held captive while they save the most important awards for the bitter end?  The problem is those last ten minutes are the
part of the show that is mainly worth watching and, due to limited time, we are
forced to cram both the awards and the speeches into a warp speed mess!
A Disastrous Moment.  Kudos
to whoever styles Jennifer Lawrence from head to toe.  Her dress, her hair, her makeup and her
jewels were entirely flawless.  I will
say, however, that I’m not sure if the train on her elaborate dress by Dior was
a blessing or curse.  She was obviously overwhelmed
with excitement as she took to the stage to accept her award for Best Actress,
but she didn’t account for the layers of fabric around her feet which prevented
her from getting their faster. One quick step and she was down!  Thank goodness, however, that the dress was as
full as it was because at least she was fully covered and was able to recover
quickly, especially thanks to the aid of Hugh Jackman who was nearby. It will
definitely go down in history, but as the saying goes, it could’ve been worse.  She might have hit her face and broken a
tooth! Could you imagine???
A Presidential Presenter.  The
First Lady, Michelle Obama, has never looked better.  She probably completed extra reps of arm weights
to prepare for last night’s appearance on the Oscars because they happened to
look especially toned.  It’s not every day
that the White House presents the Best Picture Award and it did make quite the
impression.  There was a long speech by
the First Lady that may have sent some for a quick restroom break, but when the
envelope was opened and Argo was announced the winner, it was especially gratifying to witness the many service
men and women who continuously fight for our country and to think about the
countless other Americans who are held captive in foreign countries every day.
A Breathless Victory Speech. The evening finally came to a close
with shoe-in, Ben Affleck, accepting the Best Picture award for Argo.  Overcome with emotion, he at least had a
moment to compose his thoughts while fellow producing partners, Grant Heslov and George Clooney,
took to the mic.  When it was his turn
to speak, he was still breathless, but genuinely humbled, and spoke reverently about
his first Oscar win for Good Will Hunting fifteen years earlier.  His thanks was plenty mentioning virtually
everyone who helped him make his film possible from the actors to the hosting
countries.  His only slight misstep was when
he appeared a bit overzealous thanking his wife, the demure Jennifer Garner,
for working on their marriage emphasizing perhaps a tad too much that although
it is the best kind of work – marriage is definitely work!  Those of us that are married may concur, but
best perhaps to keep that conversation limited to your small circle of friends
rather than the one billion people watching the show!