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2013 Awards Season: Argo Unites a Divided Night at the Oscars

February 25th, 2013

Argo was the big winner at the Oscars last night, although arguably, there were no big winners, but a lot of films that shared in the glory. There were also some pretty interesting twists and a few events that stand out. Due to ongoing computer difficulties, I was unable to live-blog the Oscars this year. I will still be giving my reactions on a category by category basis, but not in the order they were handed out.

The categories and nominations are...

BEST PICTURE

Argo won for Best Picture, capping off a surprising run during Awards season. There was a bit of controversy late on with the Canadian ambassador complaining that Canada's role in the rescue was minimized in the movie, and Jimmy Carter backed him up in that complaint. As a Canadian, I'm a little annoyed at this snub, but I still agree with this win.

DIRECTING

This was a two-horse race between Ang Lee and Steven Spielberg, and while I bet on the wrong horse, you can't really call this an upset.

BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

This was another two-horse race, this time between Jennifer Lawrence and Jessica Chastain. I would have been happy had either woman won, and I'm very certain Jessica Chastain will win in the future. In an interesting coincidence, when Jennifer Lawrence was nominated for Winter's Bone, she became the second youngest nominee in that category. By winning last night, she became the second youngest winner, as she was less than a year older than Marlee Matlin when she won for Children of a Lesser God. On a side note, when Jennifer Lawrence fell walking up to the stage, it actually made me like her more. She's a great actress, and from what I can tell from interviews and such, she hasn't "Gone Hollywood".

BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

One of the least surprising results of the night.

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

This is a bit of an upset, as both Robert De Niro and Tommy Lee Jones were thought to have better odds.

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

One of the least surprising result of the night.

BEST WRITING - ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Not a surprising result, but Mark Boal did have a legitimate shot at winning.

BEST WRITING - ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

This would have been a surprise, had Argo not won so many awards previous to last night.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

Wreck-It Ralph was considered the favorite, but I was hoping Brave would win, and it did.

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

The least surprising result of the evening.

BEST DOCUMENTARY - FEATURE LENGTH

This film was the overwhelming favorite, although I thought How to Survive a Plague or The Invisible War should have won.

BEST DOCUMENTARY - SHORT FILM

  • Inocente
This was down to a horse race between Inocente and Open Heart. My gut said Inocente, but the experts said Open Heart. I should have gone with my gut.

SHORT FILM - LIVE ACTION

  • Curfew
Got this one right, as did most of our readers.

SHORT FILM - ANIMATED

  • Paperman
Same with this category. The shorts are notoriously hard to predict, so our readers going two for three is a good call.

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN CINEMATOGRAPHY

Life of Pi was clearly made to win Oscars, but a lot of critics said it was better as a technical enterprise than it was as a story, it is not surprising it picked up Oscars in a few technical categories.

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN PRODUCTION DESIGN

An upset as most thought Les Miserables would win, while Anna Karenina was the second most picked choice.

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN COSTUME DESIGN

Costume dramas seem to have an inherent edge in this category.

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN MAKEUP

This was a really close race between The Hobbit: The Unexpected Journey and Les Miserables. Our readers and I picked The Hobbit by a narrow margin, but the Oscar voters went the other way.

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN VISUAL EFFECTS

Should have been Marvel's The Avengers.

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN EDITING

I thought Zero Dark Thirty would win this one. I was wrong, our readers were right.

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND EDITING

This was the closest race in our contest with Zero Dark Thirty beating Skyfall by a single vote. Turns out the actual Oscar voting was even closer. This isn't the first time there has been a tie at the Oscars, but it has been nearly two decades since Franz Kafka's It's a Wonderful Life and Trevor tied for Best Live Action Short Film in 1994.

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND MIXING

Makes sense that an epic scale musical would win here.

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC - ORIGINAL SCORE

Our readers got this one as well, but it wasn't a runaway winner.

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC - ORIGINAL SONG

Another one of the less surprising results of the night.

Notes and Reactions...

  • Life of Pi took home four Oscars making it the most awarded film of the night. That said, Argo won Best picture and two other Oscars, so it is arguably the big winner of the evening.
  • Les Miserables also picked up three awards, while Django Unchained, Lincoln, and Skyfall both won two awards.
  • With no film truly dominating and a dozen feature-length films taking home awards, a lot of different people had reasons to celebrate.

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Filed under: Awards Season, Lincoln, Life of Pi, Brave, Skyfall, Zero Dark Thirty, Django Unchained, Argo, Anna Karenina, Les Miserables, Silver Linings Playbook, Searching for Sugar Man, The Invisible War, How to Survive a Plague, Amour, Robert De Niro, Jessica Chastain, Daniel Day-Lewis, Anne Hathaway, Tommy Lee Jones, Jennifer Lawrence, Ang Lee, Marlee Matlin, Steven Spielberg, Quentin Tarantino, Christoph Waltz, Mark Boal, Chris Terrio