HOST: Seth MacFarlane-got off to a good fresh start, loved his signing and dancing, but pacing evaded him; he gradually wore thin, and practically disappeared until he and the chirpy Kristin Chenoweth re-emerged for that last, depressing musical coda about the losers. Seth was better than Letterman and James Franco (which isn’t saying much) but didn’t have the spontaneous comedic chops and elegance to pull it off like the Big Boys: HOPE, CARSON, MARTIN, CRYSTAL.
RED CARPET: Kristin Chenoweth completely annoying, cloying, and engaging unsuspecting honorees in embarrassing conversations on the red carpet. I had to look away.
FASHION– FLOPS: Meryl Streep who seemed to be wearing the same gown she wore last year only in dark silver. Helena Bonham Carter looked frightful in Vivienne Westwood. Didn’t like that purple color on Jennifer Garner. Tired of Jennifer Aniston‘s strapless, long straight hair thing– at least she wore red (again) and it flared. Kristen stewart looked like she rolled out of bed, wore someone else’s ill-fitting gown, and forgot to smile. What is the problem there? I heard she was nursing a broken leg.
STANDOUTS: Charlize, Kerry Washington, Nicole, Jennifer Lawrence (fashion trend–backward necklace) Octavia Spencer, Anne Hathaway (her elegance overshadowed the darts. It’s fashion, people, get over it.) Naomi Watts (though I usually dislike blonds in silver or gray) Jane Fonda-- too bright a yellow, but the body, carriage, make-up– flawless! The woman is 75.
IN MEMORIAM: They forgot Andy Griffith, Ben Gazzara.
HIGH POINTS: Barbra Streisand singing for Marvin Hamlisch. Increasingly shy about performing in public, it was a rare appearance and she hasn’t sounded that good in years– truly touching especially given that her voice is not “the way it was” — but still retains a poignant and powerful expressiveness. That’s how it’s done. Charlize and Channing Tatum dancing. All the musical numbers: Chicago, Les Mis, Adele, Jennifer Hudson (though I am sick of her singing this song and I think she is too)– especially in light of the horrible sound mixing. Shirley Bassey belting out GOLDFINGER in that one of a kind voice– she had ALL the notes and history and left it all onstage. Jack Nicholson onstage anywhere, anytime, doing anything. Jennifer Lawrence composure and self-deprecating humor after falling up the stairs on her way to accepting her Oscar for Best Actress. The gown was glorious even as she tumbled.
Daniel Day-Lewis surprisingly hilarious acceptance speech where he reveals that Streep was Spielberg’s first choice to play Lincoln, while he was all set to play Thatcher!
Ben’s speech breathlessly thanking Canada, Iran, and his wife in 2 and half seconds. Charming, poignant, meaningful, funny with the boyish enthusiasm I witnessed when he and Matt accepted their first Oscar 15 years ago.
Quentin Tarantino’s wacked out enthusiasm and self-deprecating charm acknowledging the actors for bringing his words to life. Peace out.
LOW POINTS: The boob song, the loser song, the John Wilkes Booth joke, the Kardashian joke, the Chris Brown joke (and the same comeback both times when the audience groaned.)
ODD MOMENT: Michelle Obama– though I LOVED her dancing with Jimmy Fallon earlier this week–her announcing the Best Picture Winner didn’t feel right. Not her sphere. BUT I loved her shout-out to the arts and the themes of the movies this year and the way movies at their best stimulate our imaginations. She should have stopped there.