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Music and the movies was the unofficial-official theme of the 2013 Academy Awards, and big names were on hand to flesh the concept out. Jennifer Hudson, Adele, Barbra Streisand, host Seth MacFarlane, Kristin Chenoweth, Shirley Bassey, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Norah Jones the cast of "Les Miserables" and more were all on hand to work the wares from their famed flicks.
Below is an outline of the show's big numbers and some commentary. Be sure to vote on which you think was the best. Has Adele won over your heart, too?
+ The show host Seth MacFarlane had promised big musical numbers from the top, once he got the job, and considering the depth of know-how from his creation of "Family Guy," the dude knows how to speak Hollywood. And did he. Maybe a little too well... or a little too Old Hollywood. In between cracks with Captain Kirk, he trotted out A-Lister Dancing With The Stars Channing Tatum and Charlize Theron for "The Way You Look Tonight" and a soft shoe bit with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Daniel Radcliffe, who recently caught the Broadway musical bug.
+ Honoring 50 years of James Bond, the lead entertainer was Shirley Bassey and her "Goldfinger," which warranted a standing ovation. Watchers were perhaps hoping for a much bigger, more surprising combination of 007 alum (hey, I hear Paul McCartney's just sitting by the phone), but this stood well on its own.
+ Adele sang her Oscar-winner "Skyfall' with grace and shimmying charm. The overall sound mix was far less elegance. Watch it and read more here.
The career of Seth MacFarlane has often seemed like a battle for supremacy between Frat Boy Seth and Old-Time Hollywood Seth, and every time it seems the former has won, the latter will slip an extended recreation of "Shipoopi" from "The Music Man" into an episode of "Family Guy." He makes his money on dick and fart jokes and '80s reference humor, but you get the sense sometimes that he'd be happier singing showtunes.
MacFarlane's stint as host of the 2013 Academy Awards was that battle writ large, on the most prominent stage he's ever had, and a rare one where he wasn't hiding behind an animated rendering of an evil baby or a crude teddy bear. MacFarlane came out dressed in a classic black tuxedo, channeling Johnny Carson as he cracked jokes about being the last choice to host the show and about "Argo" being "so top secret that the film's director is unknown to the Academy." It was Old-Time Hollywood Seth all the way for a few minutes, before the other guy started to slip in and cause trouble, starting with a Chris Brown joke that drew groans in the room and another about the dialogue of "Django Unchained" being "loosely based on Mel Gibson's voicemails."
Crowning off an industry awards running of the table, from the Critics' Choice Movie Awards the night director Ben Affleck was passed over for a Best Director Oscar nomination through a guild circuit that brought high profile recognition from the likes of producers, directors, actors and writers, Warner Bros. Pictures' "Argo" has been named Best Picture of 2012 by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
"I know what you're thinking. The three sexiest producers alive," said producer Grant Heslov said between co-producers George Clooney and Ben Affleck on the stage of the Dolby Theatre, able to accept a prize as producer despite being left off the directors' line-up. "I want to acknowledge my partner in crime and my great friend George Clooney. Everybody should be so lucky to have a partner as talented, as humorous and with so much integrity. On behalf of George and myself, I want to thank you, Ben. You directed a hell of a film."
Daniel Day-Lewis has broken an Oscar record this evening. The "Lincoln" star picked up the Best Actor trophy for his performance in the Steven Spielberg film, making him the first actor to win three lead actor prizes.
Jennifer Lawrence, the 22-year-old star of "Silver Linings Playbook," has won the Oscar for Best Actress at the 85th annual Academy Awards.
"Thank you to the women this year," she said in her acceptance speech. " You were so magnificent and so inspired. It's been so amazing getting to know you…you've made this experience unforgettable."
Shortly before she took the prize for Best Original Song at the Academy Awards, Adele wowed audiences across the board with the very track that earned her the Oscar honor. "Skyfall" fell on the stage with a full orchestra, choir and floor to ceiling sparkle, with the acclaimed British singer front-and-center.
Now, if only her vocals could have been treated the same. All night, the house orchestra tended to overpower vocals -- including on other powerhouse performances from 007-famed Shirley Bassey and "Dreamgirls" Oscars winner Jennifer Hudson. While Adele kept her kinder notes understated like in the recording, her backing band seemed to challenge her. Great performance on her part, but an iffy mix.
Still, she put a little shimmy in, with the glitter of her heels and the shine of that dress. It was a win for the James Bond franchise, another feather in Adele's already ample cap -- even for a 24-year-old -- and another step toward the inevitable: Adele for EGOT. Just don't go for the Tony too soon.
In a race lacking the frontrunner for Best Picture ("Argo" director Ben Affleck was left off the list by his fellow filmmakers in the Academy), Best Director boiled down to the visionary, watercolor vision of "Life of Pi" helmer Ang Lee.
Quentin Tarantino and Chris Terrio will be the lucky writers walking out of the Dolby Theatre tonight with Oscars in hand. The two men won their prizes for "Django Unchained" (Best Original Screenplay) and "Argo" (Best Adapted Screenplay) respectively.
Anyone who saw "Les Miserables" (as I did) has to concede that Anne Hathaway richly deserved her Oscar. But whether or not she won anyone over with her red carpet attire is another matter.
Pop music sensation can add an Oscar to the countless American Music Awards, Billboard Awards and Grammys she's amassed to date. The "Rolling in the Deep" vocalist won Best Original Song at the Academy Awards this evening for her title track to the James Bond film "Skyfall."
"Life of Pi" have have taken the Best Original Score Oscar for long-serving Canadian composer Mychael Danna -- his first ever win -- but that was far from the only celebration of music in the movies at tonight's ceremony.
The odds may be against "Les Miserables" taking Best Picture at the Academy Awards tonight, but don't tell that to telecast producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who gave the film the most generous showcase of any of the nominees in a glittery number dedicated to three of the Academy's favorite musicals of the last decade.