It was that time again – the celebration of the marvelous films of 2012 rolled around as the great and good gathered to laud the 85th Academy Awards and the 2013 Oscar Winners. With box office records being shattered with $10.8 million having been spent on going to the movies in 2012, the ceremony promised to be a major fest of back patting and self-glorification, but hey who cares – it’s a truly fabulous occasion and a must-see for every movie fan (and who doesn’t eagerly watch those dresses on the red carpet?)Let’s take a look at the main 2013 Oscar winners – and congratulations to them all.
1 Best Film
In one of the most hotly contested showdowns for many years – heaven knows how they managed to whittle the list down to just 9 – the most eagerly awaited of the 2013 Oscar Winners was the best film. The nominations line up – Les Miserables, Argo, The Life of Pi, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Zero Dark Thirty, Amour, Silver Linings Playbook, Django Unchained and Lincoln. Introduced by Jack Nicholson then Michelle Obama live from The Whitehouse, the winner was Argo, making the film’s haul three overall from seven nominations. The Life of Pi was actually the most successful with 4 wins.
2 Best Director
Three not so household names (David O Russell, Michael Haneke, and Benh Zeitlin) lined up against major names like Steven Spielberg and Ang Lee for the accolade of Best Achievement in Direction. It was a second win for Ang Lee for the movie The Life of Pi. (His previous win was for Brokeback Mountain.)
3 Best Actor
Was there any ever doubt that one of the 2013 Oscar winners was going to be Daniel Day Lewis? This was truly a category of luminaries this year – unlike other years when a new star enters Hollywood’s firmament (like Jean Dujardin last year) – Denzel Washington, Hugh Jackman, Joaquin Phoenix, and Bradley Cooper. Huge, huge congrats to Daniel Day Lewis who becomes the first to win 3 Oscars for Actor in a Leading Role. He also got one of the biggest laughs of the night for his joke about having originally been picked for the role of Margaret Thatcher in Iron Lady and swapping it with award presenter Meryl Streep for her intended role in Lincoln. Does this win crown him as the best actor in the world? Few would argue that it doesn’t.
4 Best Actress
Jessica Chastain, Jennifer Lawrence, Emmanuelle Riva, Naomi Watts and Quvenzhané Wallis were the 2013 Oscar nominees for leading actress, and the winner was Jennifer Lawrence for her great performance in Silver Linings Playbook. Shame she tripped on her way to collect the award. (She did the same at the Golden Globes – she’s obviously cool, but clumsy).
5 Best Supporting Actor
The actors nominated this year actually share 21 nominations between them. That’s a pretty impressive line up. When a supporting category includes the heavyweights Robert De Niro, Alan Arkin, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Tommy Lee Jones and Christophe Waltz, you know something special has been going on our screens. This year’s award was the first of the 2013 Oscar Winners to be announced and it went to Christophe Waltz – his second nomination and second win, and both for Quentin Tarantino films (Inglorious Bb*****ds and Django Unchained). Seems like Mr. Waltz has certainly found his European feet firmly planted in Hollywood.
6 Best Supporting Actress
Probably one of the only predictable winners of the 2013 Oscars (despite nominations for formidable contenders Sally Fields, Helen Hunt, Amy Adams, and Jennifer Weaver), Anne Hathaway indeed did pick up the award for best supporting actress, giving her a clean sweep of all the major awards for her role as Fantine in Les Miserables.
7 Best Foreign Film
It seemed that it was always going to be a shoe-in that Amour – a touching story of love and ageing - would take the Oscar and it did, being the 2nd Austrian movie to win in this category. I was glad to see A Royal Affair nominated. The Danish film shows that not just the British can do sumptuous costume drama and its star, Mads Mikkelsen (he played Le Chiffre in Casino Royale) really is one of the hottest (we’re talking major sizzle) actors in Europe right now.
8 Best Original Screenplay
Quentin Tarantino has definitely been entrenched as a Hollywood A Lister. The man who used to be vilified as a producer of mindless violence without storytelling purpose, has shown his class with Django Unchained and went home with a golden statuette for his efforts.
9 Best Song
I must just give a shout out to Skyfall – although the ceremony included a terrific tribute to 50 years of James Bond, sadly, what has been hailed as the best Bond film ever, only picked up two 2013 Academy Awards for best sound editing and best song. Dame Shirley Bassey is rarely anything but shining and her live performance of Goldfinger was as impeccable as ever, but Adele is really flying the flag for British music and she was exemplary. (Unlike that awful row made by Jennifer Hudson in her song from Dreamgirls – she scared my cat! - sorry to anyone who liked it.) Congrats to Adele!
10 Best Documentary
I think it’s important to remember that Hollywood does serious stuff too. Many of us probably don’t watch many of the documentaries, but there is always more than a few tours de force among them. Subjects are always extremely diverse and you never know which countries the winners will come from. The winners of the 2013 Oscars for documentaries were (short) Inocente – an inspiring story of a homeless artist and (feature) Searching for Sugar Man, the story of musician Rodriguez. Simon Chinn who produced this also won the Oscar in 2008 for documentary feature for Man on Wire.
I loved the 85th Academy Awards. Seth MacFarlane was a little understated as a host but funny in places and the musical theme wasn’t as glitzy as I had hoped but many congratulations to all the 2013 Oscar Winners.
Was your favorite among the winners? Who do you think missed out?
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