Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the Oscars...
Seth MacFarlane closed the Oscars telecast in a duet with Kristin Chenoweth about honoring the losers. But were the losers… us?
Anyone who watched the 2013 Academy Awards knows that the big night didn’t exactly go off without a hitch. So were the Oscars worthy of Amour or were they Les Miserables? Check out some of the most awkward moments from the star-studded night and decide for yourself!
13. Did Meryl even open the envelope?
In Hollywood, what Meryl Streep says goes. Did she call Best Actor as Daniel Day-Lewis without even opening the envelope? It looked that way, but perhaps she stole a glance at the winner while we were seeing the nominees. If there was one sure winner of the night, this was it, so really, anyone could have called it without looking...
12. Is Renee Zellweger illiterate?
The cast of Chicago reunited on stage ten years after their big win for Best Picture, but the movie’s leading lady couldn’t be bothered to read the winner of the awards they were presenting… twice. Did squinty Renee forget her glasses? Was she drunk? Or just lazy? Or has she been hiding the fact that she actually can’t read from us all this time?
11. Avengers assemble… and fall apart
Much was made of the stars of The Avengers reassembling on stage. Unfortunately, they were missing a few key members (Thor and Black Widow!) and proved themselves to be not such an ace superhero team in a badly-performed skit that had them ribbing each other’s heights and ages. Everyone in the cast seemed to be on a different wavelength, with only Samuel L. Jackson injecting any life into the bit. None of these guys brought their A-game. If aliens had struck last night, we’d be doomed.
10. Sandra’s struggles
Seth MacFarlane referenced what might be Sandra Bullock’s most forgettable film role, playing an alcoholic in 28 Days, which was released in 2000 (thirteen years ago!) ― merely as the setup from a pretty lame joke about his own alcoholism. Moments later, Sandy struggled to open the envelope and made the night’s most epic face, which of course has been splashed all across the internet by now.
9. Joaquin doesn’t care
Joaquin has previously called the Oscars “bull―” and when his name was announced as a possible Best Actor winner, he couldn’t have cared less. Ungrateful much? Remember that time Joaquin said he was quitting acting to become a rapper? How can we make that happen again?
8. Kristen doesn’t care either
Maybe she was on pain meds because of whatever happened to her leg, but Kristen also couldn’t have seemed less interested in the Academy Awards. Couldn’t she have given her ticket to someone who actually wanted to be there? Maybe she and Joaquin should have watched at home, where they were free to speak aloud about how lame it all is and how they'd rather be watching Twilight.
7. Is it too soon for a Lincoln joke?
“The actor who really got inside Lincoln’s head was John Wilkes Booth,” Seth cracked, prompting groans from the audience (and many of us at home). Expecting such a reaction, he tried to combat it with: “A hundred and fifty years and it’s still too soon?” But, yes, the assassination of one of our greatest presidents isn’t really great standup material, particularly at an affair like the Oscars, when a biopic about the man is being honored. The joke wasn’t funny enough to warrant the crudeness.
6. Melissa & Paul flail
Remember that time Paul Rudd awkwardly flailed at the Golden Globes when the teleprompter neglected to give him the proper information? Well, apparently awards shows just aren’t his deal. Not only did his bit with Melissa McCarthy suffer major sound issues, it was so awkwardly performed that it was hard to tell if it even was a bit. How could two such hilarious people be so distinctly unfunny?
5. Bennifer II
It’s only natural to thank a spouse during an acceptance speech. But Ben’s shout-out to his wife came complete with an awkward bit about how much “work” their marriage is. Um, problems at home, guys?
4. Best Picture, First Lady
First Lady Michelle Obama’s surprise appearance to announce Best Picture could have been a cool surprise… if she was actually there. But having her do it from the White House felt stiff and awkward, especially since the winner was neither Lincoln (a movie about a president) or Zero Dark Thirty (about one of Barack’s key accomplishments in office). Michelle went on about how important and moving the movies of 2013 were, before presenting it to Argo… a slick thriller that lacks the weight and relevance of Lincoln and Zero Dark Thirty. Oopsie!
3. Zero Dark Misogyny?
Host Seth MacFarlane had a few “zingers” that were in questionable taste, from the “We Saw Your Boobs” number to a joke likening Rihanna to the brutalized slave Broomhilda in Django Unchained. But the worst might have been the one about how Zero Dark Thirty was proof of women’s inability to let things go. That joke might’ve been funny on The Honeymooners 60 years ago, but it felt oddly dated in 2013.
2. Jaws swallows unimportant winners
It comes as no surprise anymore that winners who take some time on their speeches get played off with movie music ― especially if they’re not stars. But the theme from Jaws? Really? The shark struck first as Life of Pi’s visual effects team accepted their award, prompting some sympathy from Nicole Kidman in the audience. And though it provided plenty of comedy as those at home waited for John Williams’ familiar theme to strike up when anyone rambled on too long, for those hard-working artists who were getting a brief moment in the spotlight to recognize their talents, it was an incredibly rude and disrespectful way to make it clear that Hollywood doesn’t care what they have to say because they’re not famous enough. Yep, working in Hollywood really is like swimming with sharks…
1. Seth gives up
At some point during the Oscars telecast, it became clear that Seth MacFarlane new some of his gags were bombing and just gave up. He peppered a lot of his jokes with self-deprecating comments about how the show wasn't going well... and even his opening monologue, with William Shatner coming from the "future" to warn Seth about how badly he'd bombed, was oddly prescient. (He also said he was okay with being mediocre, which ended up seeming awfully true.) It may have helped Seth save face a bit to acknowledge the bad joke-writing, but it sure didn't make the show any funnier for those of us watching. Essentially, it was proof that Seth's lowbrow brand of humor doesn't really belong at a more upscale show like the Oscars, and he didn't seem to find the right balance between edgy humor and playing it safe, wavering back and forth between canned, safe humor and gags in poor taste. Can we have Amy Poehler and Tina Fey next year, please?
Now to wash all that awkwardness away, let's champion one moment that really could've been awkward that was saved... Jennifer Lawrence tripping over her huge dress! What could've been a humiliating blunder was saved by Jenn's trademark humility at winning Best Actress, so that it was easily forgotten in the moment (even if everyone still talked about it after).
What'd you think of the Oscars this year?