There were tears, wipeouts, and whole lot of jokes that just didn’t land at the 85th annual Academy Awards ceremony at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, Calif. Yet Sunday night’s show was still an entertaining spectacle, complete with a few surprises.
Ben Affleck was snubbed for a Best Director nod this year, but his passion project Argo took home several awards, including Best Motion Picture, Adapted Screenplay, and Achievement in Film Editing. Affleck used his podium time to deliver a heartfelt and teary-eyed speech in which he thanked his wife, Jennifer Garner, their children, and reminisced about his first Oscar win for Good Will Hunting when he was "just a kid."
Jennifer Lawrence, too, was a bit choked up when she accepted her first ever Academy Award for Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role for Silver Linings Playbook. Having just fallen up the stage steps in front of hundreds of Hollywood A-Listers and a billion television viewers worldwide, a little emotion is normal.
Host Seth MacFarlane’s fumbles were more offensive and deliberate. The Family Guy and Ted creator opened the evening with an uncomfortable number titled, “We Saw Your Boobs,” in which he name-checked various actresses who had bared their breasts in films. His anti-Semitic jokes and plug for John Wilkes Booth were also classless.
Adele, however, sparkled with a performance of the 007 song, “Skyfall,” which she sang with pizzazz and showbiz bravura amid a fabulous light show. The Bond film went on to win Original Song and, for the third time ever in Oscar history, faced a tie with Zero Dark Thirty for Achievement in Sound Editing.
Catherine Zeta-Jones rocked the stage with her rendition of “All That Jazz,” from the 2002 film, Chicago. 10 years later, Zeta-Jones’ performance was every bit as stunning and sexy as her original. Jennifer Hudson followed in suit by belting out the Dreamgirls hit, “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going” with gusto.
Anne Hathaway’s Best Actress acceptance speech was a little weird—she whispered, “It came true,” to the statue in her hand—Sandra Bullock had an awkward envelope-opening moment, and Michelle Obama surprised everyone by showing up at the end to announce Best Motion Picture.
Despite the various faux pas, the evening was upbeat, lively, and well received. With a room full of Hollywood’s best, little else is expected.