Monday, February 25, 2013

An evening of off-color comments

The theme of the 2013 Academy Awards was music at the movies, and the show appropriately began with host Seth MacFarlane performing a musical number of his own.
Less appropriate was the title of his performance: “We Saw Your Boobs.”  MacFarlane proceeded to list off the names of actresses who have showed their breasts in on-screen roles.
And not in a casual sense, mind you — the nudity in Brokeback Mountain is hardly something to mock Anne Hathaway for doing.
This was the lightest of many misogynistic moments during the ceremony. During the same (lengthy) opening, MacFarlane took jabs at eating disorders and domestic violence.
He made a crack at women who “got the flu” prior to the event so they could fit into their dresses.
He drew parallels between “Django Unchained” and an abusive relationship: “Django is a movie where a woman is subjected to violence, or as we call it, a Chris Brown and Rihanna date movie,” he said. He seemed a little uncomfortable afterward, telling the audience that it was the rudest joke he had for the evening.
Later MacFarlane joked about Selma Hayek’s accent, saying it was okay that the audience wouldn’t understand her because she is pretty.
To be fair, this crack extended to Javier Bardem, although abandoning gender for race seems hardly seems like an improvement in the entertainment department.
The offensive humor sometimes overshadowed the high points of the show. Musical numbers included Catherine Zeta-Jones performing “All That Jazz” and Jennifer Hudson doing a song from Dreamgirls.
Women dominated these interludes, proving that MacFarlane’s disparaging comments had little basis in reality.
The ceremony dragged, running over three hours. Best actress went to Jennifer Lawrence for her role in Silver Linings Playbook. She stumbled over her wide skirt while walking up the stairs but laughed it off once onstage.
Daniel Day-Lewis won best actor for his role in Lincoln, an award so expected that Meryl Streep didn’t bother to pause for suspense when she announced it.
And Argo took home the best picture award. It was a justified nod of recognition for Ben Affleck, who was left out of the best director nominations.
MacFarlane closed the show with Kristen Chenoweth, singing a song dedicated to the night’s losers. It took a direct shot at Quvenzhan√© Wallace who, at age nine, probably didn’t need to be mocked. It was a classless end to a classless evening.

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