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The Group: Based on the Book by Mary McCarthy

Hey Oscar! The party's over...now go home!

Picture Source: Entertainment Tonight
THE big night in movies is behind us, and even with a day to digest everything I have to say I'm still disappointed that the Oscar show didn't reach the dazzling heights of this year's films but c'est la vie. Maybe Tina and Amy will host next year! As for this year's host Seth McFarlane; he proved he can sing and dance and that he can be tremendously funny. He also showed that he can bomb and just as easily cross the line into boorish and hurtful rudeness. As for the rest of the show I'm pretty much in synch with what Michael Russnow said in today's Huffington Post which I suggest you read after...

A few thoughts of my own :

L to R: Daniel Day-Lewis, Jennifer Lawrence
Anne Hathawy & Christoph Waltz
The top acting nods were dished out pretty much as expected;  Jessica Chastain lost - I wonder with how big a margin - to Jennifer Lawrence who took Best Actress for Silver Linings Playbook.  As surely as Anne Hathaway was going to win Best Supporting Actress for Les Miserables, Lincoln's Daniel Day-Lewis was the only one really in the running for Best Actor. And while some of us hoped Tommy Lee Jones would snatch the Best Supporting Actor for playing Thaddeus Stevens in Lincoln from Django Unchained's Christoph Waltz, that didn't happen.

I think my favorite moment of the event came from 9-year old Quvenzhane Wallis, nominated for Best Actress for Beasts of the Southern Wild. She was carrying a puppy-purse which, she delightedly shared on the Red Carpet, she'd adorned with a tiarra and sparkly necklace. She was so fresh, so sweet, innocent and joyous ... just a lovely highlight.  Which made the closing number "Here's to the losers" sung by McFarlane and Kristen Chenowith all the more egregious to me. Perhaps adults can laugh at being called losers - which I doubt with the 'losing' being so fresh - but a little girl? I assume she'd been prepped by her family that she would probably not win given her age and experience but that the nomination made her a winner, period. True enough but that doesn't negate the fact that she's still a nine year child and couldn't be expected to enjoy being the butt of the joke. MLH says it's possible she didn't make the connection. I hope so. I know it's a grown up venue and when you play with the big boys ya gotta play by their rules but still...she's a child, just a child.

I also loved Shirley Bassey's singing of the iconic Goldfinger theme song. There was a moment at the beginning when I thought they should have stuck with her original recording but that was soon replaced by admiration. I just loved how she sold it...and couldn't help singing along under my breath.
Aaron Tveit as Enjolras

The Les Miz cast was fantastique; I'm thrilled that Aaron Tveit who played Enjolras was included. He's got a great singing voice and he's gorgeous in a gorgeously manly way. Expect to see more of him as his exposure kicks in and everyone, even those in Hollywood who still haven't seen the film*, starts saying who is that guy. *Yeah, there's still an anti-musical bias in Hollywood that Les Miz financial success looks like it may turn around. Sure was a musical heavy show to set the stage.

I'm disappointed that Zero Dark Thirty was basically ignored - it won only for sound editing - and considering Jessica Chastain's standout performance, I'm thinking it might be a good idea for the Academy to follow the Golden Globes example and break down the awards into two categories; drama and comedy or musical. Not that they ever will! Jennifer Lawrence was amazing in Silver Linings Playbook but how do you even begin to compare her performance to Jessica Chastain's in the drama Zero Dark Thirty or Naomi Watts come to think of it, in The Impossible, a deeply visceral and emotional performance. It's all just ridiculous which is why I say C'est la vie.

What else? I'm happy for Ang Lee because Life of Pi is a beautiful film based on a beautiful book. It's a magnificent  achievement, especially in the categories where it understandably won - for Mychael Danna's gorgeous score, for Claudio Miranda's eye popping cinematography and for Bill Westenhofer's truly astonishing visual effects. This movie could not have been made just a few years ago. And I'm feeling bad for Stephen Spielberg - Daniel Day-Lewis has been justly rewarded but the film and Spielberg's direction, not so much. Lincoln is, like all the nominees, a marvelous movie, the current $179 million dollar and counting take will have to suffice!

I didn't expect Silver Linings Playbook to win Best Adapted Screenplay - Chris Terrio has been winning that for Argo all over the place. SLP is an amazing script though, really making the most of Matthew Quick's novel but, let's say enhancing it, when needed.

And let's see,  what other random thoughts are swilling around in my so called brain?  ... Jane Fonda has the neck of a thirty year old and was radiant in yellow. Quentin Tarantino encouraged writers - yay ! Barbara Streisand stood and delivered a moving tribute to Marvin Hamlish, singing The Way We Were at the end of In Memoriam which unfortunately left out a few important names including Andy Griffith!  Joseph Gordon-Levitt is too cute for words singin and a dancin in his tux and Adele is Adele is Adele. A for amazing, awesome, astonishing, astounding and on and on. Skyfall was another no-brainer for Best Song - it's one of the songs I walk to, listening with ear buds on my iPhone  everyday.  It's really hard not to sing along but I resist, lest the Neighborhood Watch bust me for impersonating someone who can carry a tune.
I think that about wraps it up for me; it's no more worrying about the race and back to a steady diet of basics. Bookish movie news about past, present and future screen adaptations based on the books we love yesterday, today and tomorrow.