Posted by Sean van der Heijden
Overall, Oscar night was spectacular. Seth MacFarlane was a hilarious host-he has in his repertoire some classy Hollywood acts, as well as some borderline inappropriate humor. Although some wins were expected, there were still plenty of surprises to keep the night interesting. Of course, not everything was perfect: there were some serious mistakes made by the Oscar voters, in this writer's opinion, but there were also some fantastic choices. This is why I'm listing what I believe to be the top five most deserving winners as well as the top five least deserving winners. Let's start on a high note:
The Top Five Most Deserving Winners:
5. Sound Editing: Per Hallberg, Karen M. Baker for "Skyfall" and joint winner Paul N.J. Ottosson for "Zero Dark Thirty"
While this is more of a technical category, what's so curious about this tie is that both candidates actually deserved to win. Sound editing is a post-production process that essentially controls the volume and timing of most of the sounds in a film. This was done perfectly in both Skyfall and Zero Dark Thirty. Ties may be rather unprecedented in Oscar history, but this one couldn't have been more right.
4. Costume Design: Jacqueline Durran for Anna Karenina
Another category that is often overlooked; the costumes in Anna Karenina were exquisite. They were able to capture the film's feel of a confined, fairy-tale atmosphere while still staying true to the Russian aristocratic fashion of the time. The costumeswere perfectly suited for each of the characters' emotions.
3. Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway for Les Mis??rables
Sure, all Anne Hathaway really did was cry, look sad and sing, but she did it well. Besides (spoiler alert), a deprived prostitute who has to give up her only daughter and then dies fits the Academy bill perfectly, even more so given that she was only in the film for about half an hour or so.
2. Original Song: Adele and Paul Epworth for Skyfall
Everybody knew this song was going to win, but that's because it deserved it. Not only is it one of the best Bond theme songs but it's also arguably one of the best songs ever to win this category, at least in recent history.
1. Direction: Ang Lee for Life of Pi
Yes, Ben Affleck should have been nominated here but even if he was, Lee still deserved to win. Most of Life of Pi was done on a green screen, yet he was still able to bring the story to life in a truly remarkable way. While this was one of the bigger surprises of Oscar night, it is nonetheless one of the most deserved wins.
Top Five Least Deserving Winners:
5. Adapted Screenplay: Chris Terrio for Argo
This movie was great, but too historically inaccurate to be Oscar-worthy. Both Life of Pi, which was considered un-filmable by many, and Lincoln, which had some fantastic dialogue, would have been better choices here.
4. Animated Feature: Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman for Brave
Brave was good, but I believe it won because of the powerful studios backing it. Pretty much every other film, possibly with the exception of The Pirates! Band of Misfits, were more deserving of the prize here.
3. Cinematography: Claudio Miranda for Life of Pi
Life of Pi was brilliantly shot, but just not the best this year. Skyfall, which was done by Roger Deakins, was easily the best-shot and most visually astounding film of the year, and there is much injustice in the fact that Deakins has been nominated ten times now without a win.
2. Original Score: Mychael Danna for Life of Pi
Danna, with a few exceptions, pretty much swept the award season and I don't get why. The soundtrack for Life of Pi, while a good fit for the movie, is largely forgettable. Meanwhile, Thomas Newman gave arguably the best Bond score ever for Skyfall and Dario Marianelli's classic yet unique score was perfect for Anna Karenina.
1. Leading Actress: Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook
Say what you will about Jennifer Lawrence, but she didn't deserve this one. Sure, she's a great actress, but Naomi Watts gave a powerful and emotionally gripping performance in The Impossible that should have been rewarded. Unfortunately, that film as well as Watts' performance, was overlooked by the Academy.