2013 Academy Awards Live-Blog
How did Oscar host Seth MacFarlane handle the lead-up to a big 'Argo' Night?
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It's a wonderful night for Oscar! Oscar, Oscar! Who will win!
Follow HitFix's full live-blog of Hollywood's Big Night, hosted by Seth MacFarlane and join the conversation below.
8:25 p.m. ET. Hopefully after three or four hours of pre-show coverage you still have a will to live. Remember: Only another three hours!
8:28 p.m. There are rumors this may be the longest Oscars ever. That is, of course, what she said.
8:30 p.m. Are we all excited Jack Nicholson will be back in the crowd tonight? How long until our first Jack reaction shot?
8:30 p.m. We're STARTING!!!
8:30 p.m. Robert Downey Jr. isn't clapping for Seth. Not yet. He has to earn this. "And the quest to make Tommy Lee Jones laugh begins now," Seth says and... TOMMY LAUGHS. He's Seth's monkey. "It's an honor that everyone else said no, from Whoopi all the way down to Ron Jeremy, it eventually found its way to me," Seth cracks of his hosting.
8:31 p.m. "The story's so top-secret that the film's director is unknown to the Academy... They know they screwed up," Seth says of "Argo" and Ben Affleck. Then he throws in a Robin Williams impression. "Ben, it's not your fault," he says. Not that Robin Williams said that to Ben Affleck.
8:32 p.m. Ouch. Jean Dujardin joke. "He couldn't make it in the talkies," Seth says.
8:33 p.m. A Roman Coppola joke? Weird. He's the sixth member of the family to be nominated for an Oscar. But... still. Roman Coppola? Is that who the billion people watching want to see?
8:33 p.m. Yes. Daniel Day-Lewis is method. "If you bumped into Don Cheadle on the studio lot, did you... like... try to free him?" Seth asks. Heh.
8:34 p.m. Ouch. Chris Brown-Rihanna joke, related to "Django Unchained." "That's what we were afraid he would do... That's as bad as it gets if that makes you feel any better," he says. "I hear the screenplay is loosely based on Mel Gibson's voicemails?" Seth says of the use of the n-word in "Django." The crowd groans. "Oh. So you're on his side?"
8:36 p.m. William Shatner interrupts in Captain Kirk costume. "I'm here to stop you from doing what you're about to do," Kirk says. "Your jokes are tasteless and inappropriate and everyone ends up hating you. Why couldn't they just get Tina and Amy to host the show?" Kirk says. "They'll host next year," Seth says.
8:37 p.m. Kirk says that what's going to ruin the show is a song that Seth will sing. Cut to footage from the future of Seth singing a song about all of the movies in which he's seen the A-list actresses' boobs. There are all sorts of amusing future-cutaways to the actors being amused or unamused. We haven't seen Jennifer Lawrence's boobs. We've seen Kate Winslet's boobs a lot. He's joined by the Los Angeles Gay Men's Chorus at the end. "In July 2015 you join the chorus," Kirk says when the song is over. Seth wants to know how to fix things. "If you're going to do a song, sing one that celebrates the movies," Kirk suggests.
8:39 p.m. Seth starts singing, joined by Channing Tatum and Charlize Theron dancing attractively behind him. Channing Tatum and Charlize Theron are both very nice dancers. Much kudos to both of them. And Seth does a fine version of "Some Day," which doesn't actually celebrate the movies. Seth wants to know if that fixed everything? No. Apparently there's a reenactment of "Flight" done entirely by sock puppets. A brown sock puppet doing coke is kinda funny. And puppet John Goodman is also weirdly funny. "That's not that bad, right?" Seth says. "Are you crazy? You're a white guy in 2013. You can't wear black-hand," Kirk says.
8:42 p.m. Enter Daniel Radcliffe and Joseph Gordon-Levitt to join in a trio on "High Hopes." Joseph Gordon-Levitt is very good. Harry Potter is less impressive and the lighting guy even forgets to illuminate him. The crowd cheers. Will that fix the show? He's now up to "mediocre" in his future reviews. "That's actually the best review I've ever gotten," Seth says. "Are you sure you want to be the first Oscar host ever to get a bad review?" Kirk asks. Nobody laughs. See... That was a joke.
8:44 p.m. In the future, Seth MacFarlane as The Flying Nun. With Sally Field. He tells her that back when she was The Flying Nun and Gidget, she was "so hot." "You know they're going to give it to Anne Hathaway," Seth says and they make out and then drive off in a Trans-Am. In the audience, Sally Field is confused. This leads to a long conversation about how Sally was supposed to win and Amy Adams ran out to grab it. I'm not sure if this is disrespectful, but it's a bit weird... I mean, we're not supposed to pretend that these things are in the bag, even if they're in the bag. Otherwise, why don't we just give "Argo" Best Picture and let me recap "The Amazing Race"?
8:46 p.m. Seth closes with a rewritten rendition of "Be Our Guest." Lots of dancers. On the bright side... No Snow White. He ends with a screen saying everybody other than Entertainment Weekly called it the best Oscars ever...
8:47 p.m. Octavia Spencer is presenting tonight's first award for Best Support Actor. My own preference? Philip Seymour Hoffman for "The Master." He doesn't stand a chance, of course. Your winner... Christoph Waltz for "Django Unchained." This is his second Oscar.Tommy Lee Jones smiles quickly. Waltz begins by bowing to his competition. He starts by thanking Quentin Tarantino and also thanks most of the notable people in the cast. Samuel L. Jackson's red smoking jacket looks like the most comfortable article of clothing in the world. Waltz closes by quoting his character. The band plays the theme from "E.T." which would make more sense of a Spielberg actor had just won. Wait a few hours.
8:55 p.m. Paul Rudd and Melissa McCarthy don't really get a joke introduction. They're doing a bit about voices. It's... Not working. Jokes about jokes bombing are always dangerous. The best way to handle bad material is to avoid speaking into the mic. I guess. Maybe. Holy cow. They're presenting Animated Short Film, apparently. The Oscar goes to... "Paperman." That's not a surprise. John Kahrs accepts, thanking the Academy for getting the shorts out to everybody.
8:59 p.m. No more schtick. Straight on to Animated Feature. The winner is... "Brave." Because the Academy is complacent! All Hail Pixar! "I just happened to be wearing the kilt," Mark Andrews cracks. It's a very nice, teal kilt. The co-director thanks her daughter for inspiring "Brave" into being. Daughter is in the audience, looking both proud and embarrassed.
9:01 p.m. Reese Witherspoon is presenting the trailer for "Les Miserables." Or... Maybe she isn't, because she's also listing "Life of Pi" and "Beasts of the Southern Wild." Oh. OK. They're doing the trailers in trios.
9:06: p.m. "Once there was a Hushpuppy and she lived with her daddy in the Bathtub." Good times. "She's adorable Quvenzhane. She said to me backstage, 'I really hope I don't lose to that old lady... Jennifer Lawrence,'" Seth jokes. Then he makes a George Clooney joke that doesn't get a cut-away to Clooney. Seth throws Clooney a bottle of booze and at least that gets a half-smile. Hmmm...
9:05 p.m. "This just in, billion dollar franchise launches tops Oscar nomination," says Robert Downey Jr, joined by four cast members from "The Avengers." They're presenting Cinematography and they're talking about how the job of cinematographers is working hard to make Robert Downey Jr. look tall and young. Or... something. Geez. Yet another totally failed bit. Who wrote this show? The Cinematography winner... Claudio Miranda for "Life of Pi." Sigh. Roger Deakins just keeps getting hosed over and over and over again. "This movie was quite a beast to make," Miranda says. He plays the Chris Farley role, rambling about his favorite scenes to make.
9:08 p.m. Samuel L. Jackson starts to read the VFX nominations and it becomes an awkward referendum on the protests outside the Awards. Seriously. I have no clue what's happening here. Were there no writers for this show at all? Or are the presenters going rogue? The Visual Effects winner is... "Life of Pi." Oh my! It's a juggernaut! "Life of Pi" is unstoppable. Upset city! The effects in "Life of Pi" were, indeed, spectacular. I can't quibble with this one at all. The orchestra begins playing the music from "Jaws" as his play-off music, thus, people don't hear the emotional tribute to Rhythm and Hues. That sucks. The play-off music concept was funny. The execution was cold. And pointlessly cruel.
9:16 p.m. Jennifer Aniston and Channing Tatum are presenting Costume & Stuff. Tatum makes a funny-ish joke about both George Clooney and waxing. It's not a huge hit, but relative to previous presenting bits, it's a total win. The Costume Design winner is... Jacqueline Durran for "Anna Karenina." VERY well-deserved. She thanks Joe Wright and her children back in England, who she suspects are fast asleep.
9:19 p.m. Tatum and Aniston stick around for Makeup and Hairstyling, where the winner is... Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell from "Les Miserables." Well, everybody did look dirty and scraggly. They're sitting very far away, so I assume that by the time they make it on the stage, they only have around 15 seconds. They're swift and efficient and they don't have to find out what other play-off music the orchestra has in store.
9:21 p.m. Seth praises the beautiful women in the crowd and tells them that getting the flu paid off. Sigh. Nobody laughs. And why would they? It's not funny. Halle Berry is on-hand to present a tribute to 50 Years of James Bond. You know what would have been a better tribute? Giving "Skyfall" a Best Picture nomination. Lots of music. And some clips.
9:24 p.m. This clip package barely rises to the level of DVD bonus feature.
9:25 p.m. Thank God for Shirley Bassey. She saves us from montage by coming out poured into a gold dress and bellowing "Goldfinger" awesomely.
9:27 p.m. Standing ovation for Shirley Bassey. OK. That was a great moment.
9:31 p.m. "Now I want to take a moment..." Seth says. We all go "Ugh."
9:32 p.m. ABC's milking this... In the commercial break, we had a terrific Bond-themed "Scandal" promo and now we go to "Scandal" Kerry Washington, presenting with Jamie Foxx. They're presenting Live-Action Short Film. The winner is... Shawn Christenson and "Curfew." He also is sitting so far away that he has to rush through his speech.He makes good use of his time, thanking everybody including "my devilishly handsome father."
9:35 p.m. On to Documentary Short Subject. The winner is... "Innocente" from Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine. They get played off.
9:37 p.m. Liam Neeson presents after MacFarlane bombs with a joke about middle-aged men looking for teenage girls in Europe and Harvey Weinstein. Sigh. He's presenting clips from "Argo," "Lincoln" and "Zero Dark Thirty."
9:41 p.m. Raymond Massey shout-out! "I would argue that the actor who really got in Lincoln's head was John Wilkes Booth," MacFarlane says to minimal response. On to talking about Affleck. "I feel like we're six months away from having to call him 'Benjamin Affleck,'" MacFarlane says, without any cut-aways to Affleck. How odd. That leads to a Kardashians joke that gets more laughs than anything that came before.
9:42 p.m. Oh. That's why no cut-aways to Ben Affleck. He was coming out next to present. He's not especially amused. He's presenting Best Documentary Feature. My vote would be for "The Invisible War," I think. But I'm not gonna take issue if the winner is... "Searching For Sugar Man." You should buy "Cold Fact" if you haven't already. It's fantastic. Really, my finding that album is the best thing about "Searching For Sugar Man." That's not a bad thing. Rodriguez isn't here tonight. And... "Jaws" music.
9:45 p.m. MacFarlane sets up the upcoming presenters and adds, "Plus, the cast of 'Prometheus' explains what the hell was going on there."
9:49 p.m. "This is like church, only with more people praying," MacFarlane says, introducing Jessica Chastain and Jennifer Garner, who are a kinda fun presenting pairing. They're giving our Foreign Language Film. Of course, it goes to "Amour" and Michael Haneke. I'm relieved that clips didn't spoil the twist ending. "You are the center of my life," Haneke says to his wife of 30 years.
9:52 p.m. The orchestra plays over MacFarlane's intro to the orchestra. Apparently the orchestra is playing at the Capital Records building down the street. Who knew? John Travolta is looking very dapper. He's introing the tribute to musicals. Lots of big names performing... After a montage, at least.
9:54 p.m. Catherine Zeta-Jones looks spectacular as she breaks into "All That Jazz" in her "Chicago" costume. She's not doing most of the choreography and she hasn't been working on her pipes, but I'll give her credit anyway. Remembering the Mandy Patinkin joke from the Golden Globes, I wish they'd found a way to work him in somewhere.
9:57 p.m. Jennifer Hudson, unlike Catherine Zeta-Jones, has been working on her pipes. It's a lot to ask of a singer to just walk out on stage and nail "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going." Probably they should have just let Jennifer Hudson close this tribute, because she kills it. The bulk of the crowd, including Jack Nicholson, stands for J-Hud.
10:01 p.m. Poor "Les Mis" people having to follow J-Hud. At least Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway have sung before on the Oscars stage. Several of these people are very good at the singing as well. And then Russell Crowe comes out. And Borat. And Helena Bonham Carter. Couldn't they have done this "Les Mis" tribute just with the singers? Would Russell Crowe have been insulted? There are a lot of people singing on the stage. And most of them really can sing. It's not bad. I'd rather have this than Seth MacFarlane. Even Tommy Lee Jones stands and claps and kinda smiles!
10:08 p.m. Chris Pine and Zoe Saldana were apparently the hosts of the Science Tech Oscars.
10:10 p.m. "You guys have made some beautiful, some inspiring movies. I made 'Ted,'" MacFarlane says to the other nominees. "Please welcome the stars of my mediocre effort... Mark Wahlberg and Ted," he says. Hey look! It's Mark Wahlberg and a bear. Ted starts with a joke about Ed Harris being short? Ted says there's "a big post-Oscars Hollywood orgy." He vows to bring soda and snacks and soap if they tell him where the orgy is. "It's at Jack Nicholson's house," Wahlberg says. But no cut-away to Jack Nicholson. They're presenting... Sound Mixing. The winner is "Les Miserables." They're a long way away. Ted remains on the stage, but who will give them their awards? Mark Wahlberg. They're efficient and avoid being "Jaws"-ed.
10:13 p.m. Ted recognizes a bunch of of stars from the stage and says "they're all half-Jewish." He points out that Mark has a "berg" in his name and asks if he's Jewish, too. No. Mark is not Jewish. But Ted? He is. Claiming his name is "Theodore Shapiro," he says he give money to Israel and... LORD. That was awful. The winner for Sound Effects Editing. A TIE!!! "No BS. We have a tie." The first winner is "Zero Dark Thirty." And the second is "Skyfall." This is officially my favorite category of the night. The "Skyfall" guy gets "Jaws"-ed.
10:18 p.m. I think we're introducing Christopher Plummer with an extended Nazi/"Sound of Music" joke. "So that was that joke," MacFarlane says as people look on perplexed. Finally, we get the real Christopher Plummer. It's The Anne Hathaway Memorial Best Supporting Actress Award.I think I'd vote for Amy Adams here, but that would be like voting for Ralph Nader. The winner is... Anne Hathaway. Everybody had their happy faces prepared. "It came true," Anne coos. She thanks Hugh Jackman and thanks the sound guys who won earlier. She thanks her team. Hopefully she remembers everybody this time. She goes on for a while, but you don't "Jaws" Anne Hathaway. "Here's hoping that someday in the not-too-distant future, the misfortunes of Fantine will only be found in stories and nevermore in real life," Hathaway closes.
10:28 p.m. Hawk Koch is our current Academy President. Who knew? He's inviting us to visit the new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. I will! No. Really. Los Angeles has desperately needed a venue like this.
10:31 p.m. Ha. Alcoholism joke. Sandra Bullock is an Oscar winner. And she's presenting something. Ah. Editing. She very nicely credits editors with making actors look "way better than we ever have the right to." William Goldenberg is going to win this, but for which movie? "Argo." Yeah, I'd have gone with "Zero Dark Thirty," but there's no question Goldenberg deserved it. Plus, I was watching "Coyote Ugly" last night and he edited that, too. That's the first "Argo" win of the night, right? "You're my brother, I love you and thank you for this," he tells Affleck.
10:34 p.m. Jennifer Lawrence! YAY. And she's introducing Adele... Yay.
10:35 p.m. Adele is sparkling. And tremendous. Is the mix off? Adele sounds just a bit drowned out by the orchestra. And Adele should never sound like she's being drowned out by the orchestra. They do an audio correction after the first chorus and she's much more audible in her second chorus. Since we know that the Academy orchestra is down the street somewhere, who's performing with Adele now?
10:38 p.m. That was a very good performance. I still feel like the techies screwed Adele a bit.
10:43 p.m. "American Idol" judge Keith Urban's wife Nicole Kidman is presenting the last trio of Best Picture nominees. That'd be "Silver Linings Playbook," "Django Unchained" and "Amour." Bathroom break!
10:47 p.m. Daniel Radcliffe and Kristen Stewart are presenting Production Design. We should all be impressed that K-Stew made it onto the stage without her crutches. The winner is... "Lincoln." I'm fine with that. Rick Carter claims not to have been prepared for this. He thanks his wife Adele. Not that Adele.
10:50 p.m. A joke about hot people with foreign accents. Salma Hayek is telling us who won honorary awards that they already gave out. That would be D.A. Pennebaker, George Stevens Jr., Hal Needham and Jeffrey Katzenberg. The winners already got their awards and gave their speeches, but they're still holding their awards and sitting in the balcony.
10:57 p.m. Thankfully, Seth MacFarlane isn't introing the Necrology. They get George Clooney to do it, because The Clooneymeister is always classy. They kick the tribute off with Ernest Borgnine. Nobody's singing anything anywhere. It's just music and images and names. Adam Yuach makes the cut. That's good. A couple tech people get to talk about their jobs, which is interesting. And Andrew Sarris gets to say a few words. Also nice. They seem to be muting the applause, but you can hear clapping for Tony Scott and Nora Ephron and Richard Zanuck. Marvin Hamlisch gets the list slide as a lead-in to... Babs! Singing "Memories"!
11:08 p.m. "In just a moment, Rex Reed will be out to review Adele's performance of 'Skyfall,'" says MacFarlane. That would be funny if MacFarlane hadn't been kinda a bit misogynistic himself. Just differently so.
11:09 p.m. Anyway... More people from "Chicago." Because the people producing the Oscars produced "Chicago." So it has become "important." Why not bring out Rita Moreno and anybody remaining from the cast of "West Side Story"? That would be a musical tribute worth doing. The Original Score Oscar goes to... Mychael Danna for "Life of Pi." More tributes to Ang Lee, who we all assume is getting an Oscar of his own a little bit later tonight. Danna is a great composer and it's very weird he didn't have a single nomination before this year. "Life of Pi" has three wins already. "Les Miserables" has three wins.
11:12 p.m. On to Original Song. After most of the nominees are announced, Norah Jones comes out to sing her nominated song from "Ted." This is very structurally weird. Obviously Scarlett Johansson's busy on Broadway, but this was a scattershot approach to this category. But when the heck was that performance? Because seconds later, the "Chicago" people are back on-star announcing that "Skyfall" won. "This is amazing," Adele gushes. "You're all amazing," Adele says.
11:18 p.m. Best Actor and Actress are allegedly coming up.
11:22 p.m. "It's getting late in the show. I'll think I'll just free-associate the name of the two most physically opposite Oscar winners I can think of and see if they appear," Seth says, introducing Charlize Theron and Dustin Hoffman. "You're a good dancer," Dustin says, gloriously embarrassing Charlize. They're presenting the screenplay awards. Adapted Screenplay goes to... Chris Terrio for "Argo." That's only our second "Argo" win of the night, but it's something! Terrio's looking a bit strung out, but he thanks his fellow nominees and tells Ben Affleck that he loves him. He dedicates the award to Tony Mendez. And not to the Canadians.
11:26 p.m. On to Original Screenplay... I'd go with Mark Boal. The winner is... Quentin Tarantino for "Django Unchained." It's only his second Oscar. "That's cool. Charlize is my neighbor," QT says. He's very effusive about the actors in his cast and... Wow. They start to play QT off and then they stop. "This will be the Writers' Year," he says, before telling us "Peace Out."
11:28 p.m. "We're gonna go ahead and start the 2014 Oscars after this," Seth says before kicking us to another commercial.
11:32 p.m. Jane Fonda and Michael Douglas are a presenting Best Director Not Named Ben Affleck. This is one of the night's least predictable categories. Except that the Oscar goes to... exactly the person all of HitFix's expects predicted... Ang Lee for "Life of Pi." There's a ton of warmth in the room for Ang Lee. "Thank you, Movie God," Lee says. He thanks all of the usual people, plus Taiwan. He becomes the second person of the night to thank a wife of 30 years. She makes some classic faces in response.
11:37 p.m. Keep this sucker moving along! Nope. Commercial time! MacFarlane teases Best Actress coming up... "Will it be Quvenzhane Wallis, who's 9? Or will it be Emanuelle Riva, who was nine when this show started?" It's interesting that MacFarlane hasn't been phased out. I'm not saying that because he's been awful. It's just the reality that even the best of hosts get shuffled off as shows begin to run long. Apparently this year the producers decided that they were going to go long regardless, so MacFarlane might as well have a presence through the entire show. So MacFarlane has probably been the most featured host in recent memory. Interesting.
11:40 p.m. Jean Dujardin is here to present Best Actress. I'd vote for Jessica Chastain, but as we've established... my votes don't count and wouldn't matter anyway. The actual winner is... Jennifer Lawrence for "Silver Lining Playbook." And she faceplants going up the stairs. The crowd giving her a standing ovation. "This is nuts," she says adorably. Awww. She wishes Emmanuelle a happy birthday. It's very sweet and very flustered, which is what happens when you faceplant going up the stars.
11:45 p.m. Dame Meryl Streep requires no introduction. There are some good performances in the Best Actor Named Daniel Day-Lewis category, but only one was given by an actor named Daniel Day-Lewis. The winner is... Daniel Day-Lewis. Streep either looked at the envelop during the reading of the nominees, or she didn't even bother to look. I assume the former. Either way, it was a no-look pass. "Three years ago, before we decided to do a straight swap, I had actually been committed to playing Margaret Thatcher... And Meryl was Steven's first choice for 'Lincoln.' I'd like to see that version," Day-Lewis cracks. Then he makes a joke about "Lincoln" being a musical. He closes by thanking Tony Kushner, Steven Spielberg and the mind, body and spirit of Abraham Lincoln. Daniel Day-Lewis isn't just a better dramatic actor than everybody else, but he's funnier, too.
11:51 p.m. Jack Nicholson is presenting Best Picture. He makes a joke about how this is normally done solo, but... he's presenting with Michelle Obama via satellite. Heh. Bill Clinton at the Golden Globes, Michelle Obama here. And Michelle Obama is a tremendous presenter of... stuff. Yes, she makes it into a political moment, but what she's advocating is inspiring children. And if you think "inspiring children" is political, you've got issues.
11:54 p.m. The winner is... "Argo." Awww. Ben Affleck kisses Jennifer Garner and hugs George Clooney. Grant Heslov accepts, kinda shoving Affleck aside. "I know what you're thinking... Three sexiest producers alive." Heslov explains that he wanted to talk first so that he could thank Ben first. "Ladies and gentlemen, our co-producer and the director of 'Argo,'" Heslov says, introducing Affleck, who is obviously overwhelmed and almost unable to get the words out. He thanks Spielberg. He thanks Canada. He thanks Jennifer Garner. Nobody is "Jaws"-ing Ben Affleck. "It doesn't matter how you get knocked down in life, because that's gonna happen. All that matters is that you gotta get up," he closes, voice cracking as he salutes his daughters. Awwww.
12:00 p.m. MacFarlane and Kristin Chenoweth close the show by paying tribute to "the losers."
That's all, folks! Thanks for reading along!
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