About Sunday Night: Sean Burns' FInal Say on the Oscars

By Sean Burns
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Feb. 27, 2013

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"Chicago" star Catherine Zeta Jones performed as Velma Kelly at the Oscars.

I don’t remember how I endured televised awards ceremonies before Twitter. (Being shitfaced was probably key.) These days there’s nothing quite like snarking your way through a mass cultural event in the company of several hundred of your wittiest “friends,” even while your real pals in the room now think you’re a drag at parties because you’ve got your face buried in that goddamn phone all night.

Twitter was a huge help for me during this past Sunday’s Oscars, as I got stuck working late and didn’t tune in until roughly halfway through the ceremony. And yet, I was able to follow the first seven or eight hours of it just fine, as the (ahem) deliberate pace of the broadcast made sure I only missed one major award. Meanwhile, a lot of folks online were awful angry at host Seth McFarlane for acting like a sexist pig, which, at this stage of his career, kind of feels like getting furious at the Earth for being round.

Eventually I sat down to a prolonged celebration of the 10th anniversary of the film Chicago, during which a couple films from 2012 were occasionally mentioned and given statues. It was a bold and selfless choice by Oscar producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron to devote so much screen time reminding us of a movie nobody has thought about in nearly a decade, particularly since Zadan and Meron also produced Chicago.

What I saw was riddled with some shockingly amateurish audio problems—how do you let background singers drown out Adele?—which I guess makes sense because the warbled Les Miserables won an award for sound mixing. But I will shut up about this right now because apparently every sound guy in Hollywood looks like that bad guy from Die Hard who tried to steal Harrison Ford’s girlfriend in Witness.

After a sweaty, unpleasant interlude of Quentin Tarantino thanking himself for being a genius, the evening picked up with Daniel Day-Lewis’ brilliant method performance as a gracious standup comedian. Comeback kid Ben Affleck lamented those tough times when he was getting paid millions of dollars to not work very hard while sleeping with Jennifer Lopez, and Jack Nicholson’s perverted self-amusement once again made me embarrassingly happy to share a planet with this man.

Conspiracy theory: First Lady Michelle Obama only co-presented via satellite to spare some poor Secret Service agent from having to jump in front of a grope.

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