The 85th Academy Awards showcases an array of talents

By Colby Edson

On Sunday, Feb. 24th, the red carpet was unfolded. Movie stars, directors and producers alike were dressed to impress in sight of 40 million television viewers. A night so full of glitz and glamour could only be devoted to one thing – film. The 85th Academy Awards was an event solely devoted to celebrating the previous year in film as golden statuettes were being handed out that go by the name Oscar.

However, the Academy Awards would not be complete if it were not for an edgy host willing to push the boundaries of what is socially acceptable. Seth MacFarlane, best known for his raunchy television comedy Family Guy, was the Academy’s selection for host. MacFarlane opened the night with numerous biting and questionable remarks, which led to his low point of the night when he sang a classless song entitled, “We Saw Your Boobs.” It was a good thing that MacFarlane’s poorly constructed comedic routine was not the main focus of the night. When he finally finished his tediously shocking antics, the show was able to move on to recognizing the true artists in the room.

There has always been tremendous hype and meaningless speculation in the weeks leading up to the Academy Awards, and this year’s awards were no exception. The women in the category of best actress set two Oscar records with Quvenzhané Wallis, the lead actress in the indie underdog “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” being the youngest actress ever nominated at 9 years old.

Wallis’ fellow nominee, Emmanuelle Riva, was nominated for her heart-wrenchingly raw performance in the French film “Amour.” Riva was the oldest best actress nominee in Oscar history at the veteran age of 85. The best actress category was rounded out by Naomi Watts for her role in “The Impossible,” Jennifer Lawrence for her role in “Silver Linings Playbook,” and Jessica Chastain for her role in “Zero Dark Thirty.” However, at the end of the night, the Oscar was awarded to Lawrence who played Tiffany, a woman who had been left mentally unstable in the wake of her late husband’s death. Lawrence’s honest performance made critics and casual moviegoers alike fall in love with her.

The names of the nominees for best actor in a leading role were then read aloud. This was a powerhouse category with the three front-runners going into the night being Bradley Cooper in “Silver Linings Playbook,” Daniel-Day Lewis in “Lincoln” and Hugh Jackman in “Les Misérables.” Joaquin Phoenix in “The Master” and Denzel Washington in “Flight” rounded out the category of best actor in a leading role. However, at the end of the night, the Oscar went to Lewis for his performance in “Lincoln.” Lewis gave the most realistic portrayal of Abraham Lincoln in film history. His character gave audience members a rare insight into the mind and emotions of one of America’s most iconic figures. Although it was a tough category, his incredibly realistic exposé of Lincoln rose far above the rest.

As the night was winding down there was only one award left: Best Picture, an award dedicated to recognizing the best overall film of the previous year. This was one of the strongest best picture categories in the past decade, which posed a problem to anyone who attempted to predict which movie was going to take home the Oscar.

There were nine nominees in the best picture category: “Amour,” “Argo,” “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” “Django Unchained,” “Les Misérables,” “Life of Pi,” “Lincoln,” “Silver Linings Playbook,” and “Zero Dark Thirty.” And at the end of the night, the Oscar went to…“Argo,” the suspenseful and action-packed drama that portrayed the true story of the CIA operation to extract six Americans from revolutionary stricken Iran. Despite the film’s lack of a nominee in the best director category, “Argo” rode its momentum from the Golden Globes all the way to the Oscars, and will go down in history as one of the best movies of the 21st century.

Despite a few hiccups, unnecessary comments and tipsy celebrities, the 85th Academy Awards was certainly a success. Each and every winner was well deserved, especially the big three winners of best actress, best actor, and best picture. “Silver Linings Playbook,” “Lincoln,” and “Argo” are three must see films that have an unparalleled ability to captivate an audience and unveil beautifully written storylines with the help of dedicated actors, actresses and directors.