Reverberating crowd, thundering applause and deafening cheers of fans echoed here, as celebrity traffic jammed the red carpet of the movie industry's highest honours, the 85th annual Oscar award ceremony in Los Angeles on Sunday evening. While what mostly looked like the perfect date night with couples walking arms-in-arms, the first question volleyed at female actors was "Who're you wearing?", and the men passed in tuxedos, and talked about the craft rather than the clothes.
Held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood & Highland Center, the ceremony was hosted by first timer Seth MacFarlane, who stole the show with his in the face digs at almost everybody in Hollwood (not sparing even the Academy), before hogging all the limelight with a song about actresses b**** with the Gay Men's Chorus of LA.
The three and half hour show saw more entertaining action from MacFarlane, before, 22-year-old Jennifer Lawrence, had her big tumble, while she was about to climb the stairs to collect her Best Actress trophy for her part in Silver Lining's Playbook. However, Lawrence, who spoke to journalists backstage after the ceremony took it with a pinch of salt. "Look at my dress...I tried to walk upstairs in this dress, that's what happened. I tried to walk upstairs and stepped on the fabric. They waxed the stairs." She was modest enough to even reveal her immediate reaction inside her head after she tripped. "A bad word that I can't say. It starts with F," she laughed.
Meanwhile, the ceremony brought back the classic back on the Oscar stage in terms of performances, as well as the number of vest jackets and cummerbunds that men paired with their tuxedos. Actor Daniel Day Lewis won the Best Actor trophy for the third time, this time for Lincoln, while filmmaker Ang Lee bagged the Best Director gong for Life of Pi. He earned praises for the film's extraordinary directorial and technical accomplishment.
Lewis, who is infamous to stay in his character until the film releases was excited. We asked him if he was still in character, thanks to the win, he told us, "I'm definitely out of character at the moment. If I slip back into it by mistake, you can do an intervention of some kind."
Canadian composer Mychael Danna, who won the Oscar for the best original score for Pi told us, "When we were done making this movie and even while we were making it, we just wanted the world to know how impossible it was to film it. We realised that we succeded in capturing the essence of the novel. Ever since then, we have been smiling," he told us.
Actor-filmmaker Ben Alleck, on the other hand, sported a yogic smile throughout despite the big oscar snub in the Best Director category, but broke down onstage after Argo was pronounced the Best Picture. However, he did make a point and said, "No grudges" against the Academy. In fact Argo has become the first movie to take home the statuette for Best Picture without its director winning even a nomination since Driving Miss Daisy in 1990.
Hollywood mega producer Harvey Weinstein, was the one who in fact arranged for US First Lady Michelle Obama's Best Picture announcement surprise. Other highlight of the night was the short but entertaining sequence between actor Mark Wahlberg and his furry bear co-star from their latest flick Ted.
A recent survey recently claimed that leading female actors were almost twice as likely to cry than leading actors while accepting the Oscars. However, tables turned here, as actors such as Christoph Waltz, Daniel Day-Lewis, Ben Affleck and Suraj Sharma couldn't hole back to their tears. Similary actors Anne Hathaway and Adele too let the flow go from their eyes.
The climax of Hollywood's annual awards season, had a musical theme this year, with highlights such as multiple Grammy award winning English singer Adele's Oscar-winning 007 theme song Skyfall that received a standing ovation. Dame Shirley Bassey, Norah Jones and Barbra Streisand also performed, however, Streisand deservingly got a standing thundering applause as well. Noteworthy is this was Streisand's first Academy Awards performance since 1977 when she sang the winning song from A Star Is Born. Ang Lee and Jennifer Hudson received standing ovations too. While Jennifer Lawrence, 22, who tumbled also got one too for her act, a rare for someone her age. However, she asked the audience to sit back and was hilariously outspoken enough to tell them, "You are standing because I fell down."
'LOSERS' ARE WINNERS TOO!
At the Oscars, losers are winners too, as not many know that the nominees, who didn't get to take home the coveted golden statuette this year, got hampers worth $45,000 each. To most of the viewers' ignorance, LA based marketing firm Distinctive Assets handed handing out its annual "Everyone Wins at the Oscars Nominee Gift Bag", to the 'losers'. Also known as swag bags, these contain a bouquet of items such as trips to Australia, Hawaii and Mexico, personal training sessions, condoms, a bottle of tequila, hand-illustrated tennis shoes, appointments for injectable fillers and portion-controlled dinnerware for those watching their figure. That's not it. There's also an under-the-counter water filtration system, acupuncture and aromatherapy sessions, a one-week stay at a fitness and weight-loss retreat, and a one-year membership to London's Heathrow Airport's private VIP service. Nominees' children also get benefits, as they get to enroll in professional all-kid circus classes.
DESI GET TOGETHER IN LA
Not many know that Anil Ambani, who co-produced Lincoln, threw a small reception to honour the Indians who have been a part of the Oscars this year. Held at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverely Hills last Saturday, it was attended by the likes of actors Anupam Kher, Suraj Sharma, and Dev Patel, and carnatic singer Bombay Jayashri. A small get together with around 25 people including select media members, the hour and half long tea time party saw a mutual fan club among the actors, who were heard praising each other's work in their respective nominated films, and catching up. Kher, who later went on to attend the Oscar nominees official dinner that night, however, had to resort to watching the Oscars ceremony as a viewer rather than as an attendee, as he didn't have an entry ticket on him for the main event.
BEARD TRIBUTE TO ARGO?
Considering a slew of male celebs such as Chris Pine, Paul Rudd, Liam Neeson, etc came sporting beards apart from Ben Affleck and his partners on Argo, George Clooney and Grant Heslov. Rumours are rife that this was their way of paying a tribute to Affleck, who was overlooked in the Best Director category by the Academy.
RATE OR ROAST THE HOST
Being an Oscars host is one of the highly critical jobs in showbiz. But Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane, 39, who had proclaimed earlier that his hosting gig is a "one-off" and that he'll be "flayed by the press" no matter what he does, at his anchoring debut on the Oscars stage, received mostly a thumbs up for his performance. He succeeded in hybridising the pointed barbs of three-time Golden Globes host Ricky Gervais with the classy style of Billy Crystal, who hosted the Oscars nine times, most recently last year. MacFarlane, also sang during the show multiple times, and was also a nominee for his original song for Ted, but, as he had predicted earlier, he lost the category to Adele.
The writer's trip was sponsored by the channel Star Movies that aired the Oscars ceremony live on Monday morning.