The best, worst and most surprising moments of the 2013 Oscars -
Published Monday, February 25, 2013 at 12:30 am / Updated at 7:14 am
The best, worst and most surprising moments of the 2013 Oscars

Ah, the Oscar show. Big stars, amazing getups, dazzling jewels, mind-numbing thank-you speeches, and hour after hour of the movie industry congratulating itself for some of the year's best work. As always, the night was memorable. Here are a few of the best moments, the worst moments and the biggest surprises from Sunday night's 85th annual Academy Awards.


Host Seth MacFarlane, who got the show off to a great start with an entertaining opening. The Captain Kirk gag with William Shatner worked. MacFarlane showed off his singing and dancing skills and got in some pretty good one-liners, too. Like that opening crack about making Tommy Lee Jones smile — which he did.

Shirley Bassey, who at age 76 brought the crowd to its feet as she belted out the theme song from “Goldfinger.” She was the capper of a salute to 50 years of James Bond in film. The breath control isn't what it was, but she hit that last big note with gusto.

Barbra Streisand's salute to composer Marvin Hamlisch, capping the “In Memoriam” segment as she sang “The Way We Were.” She sounded just a tad hoarse, but her heart was in every note.

Jennifer Hudson belting “And I Am Telling You,” the song that won her a supporting-actress Oscar for “Dreamgirls.” The highlight of a salute to musicals, Hudson had the audience leaping to its feet and cheering loudly.

The generosity of the winners in all the main categories. Each of their acceptance speeches saluted the other nominees, often by name. Ben Affleck, accepting a best picture trophy, said all the category's nominees were deserving, some perhaps even more than “Argo.”


Christoph Waltz, winning supporting actor for playing a bounty hunter in “Django Unchained.” Even the movie's director, Quentin Tarantino, looked surprised, as the oddsmakers gave Waltz little chance against Tommy Lee Jones for “Lincoln” and Robert De Niro for “Silver Linings Playbook.”

A rare tie. Both “Skyfall” and “Zero Dark Thirty” won the Oscar for sound editing. It was the third Oscar ever for the James Bond franchise, after 50 years of movies. Not as dramatic, perhaps, as when Katharine Hepburn (“The Lion in Winter”) and Barbra Streisand (“Funny Girl”) tied for best actress in 1969.

Another best-director trophy for a movie that didn't win best picture the same night. It's rare, but it's happened to Ang Lee twice: for “Brokeback Mountain” and now “Life of Pi.” Many thought Steven Spielberg would win this time for “Lincoln.”

A best production design win for “Lincoln.” Those in the know were split between “Anna Karenina” and “Les Miserables” in predicting who would win the award for production design. Maybe voters were split, too.

Jack Nicholson introducing First Lady Michelle Obama to salute the best pictures of the year, and announce the winner from the White House. Then Jack gave the trophy to the producers of “Argo,” including director Ben Affleck and actor George Clooney.


Bad speechmakers, like the visual effects winner who tried to shout over the top of the theme song from “Jaws” because he went on too long, and cinematography winner Claudio Miranda, who seemed completely unprepared for the moment of a lifetime.

The Oscar show reverted to its overbloated status, running past 3.5 hours and ending after 11 p.m., that's too long for most people.

MacFarlane's joke that the actor who most got inside Lincoln's head wasn't Raymond Massey or Daniel Day-Lewis, but rather assassin John Wilkes Booth. “Too soon after 150 years?” MacFarlane asked as the audience recoiled with a loud “Ooooh!” Well, yeah, Seth, always too soon for that one.

The closing number saluting the losers, delivered by Kristin Chenoweth and MacFarlane was a bust, and a deflating close to the show. A technical glitch looped the same lyrics about five times before ABC unceremoniously pulled the plug.

Contact the writer: Bob Fischbach    |   402-444-1269

Bob reviews movies and local theater productions and writes stories about those topics, as well.

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