Tuesday, February 26, 2013

85th Academy Award Winners

Oscars 2013
Well, the 2013 Oscars have come and gone. From Seth MacFarlane's moderately awkward attempt at hosting (seriously, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, WE ARE BEGGING YOU!!!) to J-Law face-planting on the steps to Ben Affleck's Argo taking home the Best Picture prize, the Academy Awards offered few surprises, but plenty of fun for viewers. And plenty of fun for the many films, as there wasn't a clear dominating film this year.  

Life of Pi ended up taking home the most naked, gold men statuettes with 4, followed by Argo's 3. While Lincoln was an early award season favorite, Spielberg's epic finished with 2 awards. A bit disappointing for sure, but nonetheless, not surprising as Argo was sweeping up the award circuit in the past months. As it has been painstakingly noted to death, Argo is the only film since the 1989 film Driving Home Miss Daisy to win Best Picture without having a Best Director nomination. In the biggest surprise of the evening, a tie between Zero Dark Thirty and Skyfall for Best Sound Editing became only the sixth tie in Oscar history. The audience was so startled that equally stunned presenter Mark Walhberg said, "No BS, we have a tie." Ergo, nobody, I repeat NOBODY could have filled out a 100% correct Oscar ballot. So there.

Oscar VFX Protest
One event that attracted attention was the post-Oscar protest of concerning Visual Effects. After being played off a bit early during the acceptance speech of Life of Pi Visual Effects winner, Ben Westenhofer, many people took to Twitter to point out the possible conspiracy. They claimed the Academy cut Westenhofer off early out of fear that he would mention the plight of VFX studios everywhere. It certainly is a problem, as Life of Pi (a film that based itself on visual effects) has been a big box office draw, yet the studio behind the visual effects, Rhymes & Hues had to file for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. Westenhofer was able to get his message out, though, and in a statement he said:
"At a time when visual effects movies are dominating the box office, [the] visual effects companies are struggling. And I wanted to point out that we aren’t technicians. Visual effects is not just a commodity that’s being done by people pushing buttons. We’re artists, and if we don’t find a way to fix the business model, we start to loses the artistry. If anything, Life of Pi shows that we’re artists and not just technicians."
While the hubbub has been dying out, this might become a bigger problem in the future, especially due to the fact that, as Westenhofer pointed out, visual effects are becoming more and more necessary in big box office films.

Here are the winners of the 85th Academy Awards: