Monday, February 25, 2013

The Wrong Rightness and the Right Wrongness

I must say it's fascinating that people are condemning Seth MacFarlane for intentionally saying wrong things and no-one's mentioning how the audience booed when MacFarlane alluded to the fact that Mel Gibson left a voice mail for his ex-girlfriend wishing she would be "raped by a pack of niggers." Because I guess it's only okay to make racist and misogynist statements when you clearly mean them.

I thought MacFarlane was funny. He told a lot of duds but never seemed unbalanced by them. I told my sister, "I like MacFarlane, but sometimes I don't think he has a soul." It's just eerie how completely steeled his nerves seemed. He really seemed like he did not give a fuck.

It took around twelve hours, I noticed, before opinion sites started to decide what was inexcusable about him. I didn't think the "I Saw Your Boobs" song was sexist or potentially damaging to children. It's a song about how women have boobs and guys like seeing them. What's so sexist about that?

My favourite bit, though, was the re-enactment of Robert Zemeckis' Flight with sock puppets. I was laughing so hard at that I started to tear up, and that was before I started drinking.

For some reason I came away really digging Charlize Theron. Her and Channing Tatum paying tribute to Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers was pretty impressive.

I was quite pleased to be wrong about the best director winner. Ang Lee's output over the past twenty years has been generally superior to Spielberg's, though I guess I do need to see Lincoln to be fair about this. And, naturally, I was right about Argo winning best picture. Once again, Ang Lee takes home the best director Oscar while losing to an undeserving rival in the best picture category.

It was good to see Tarantino win for original screenplay and Christoph Waltz for best supporting actor.

The musical performances were among the best I've seen. Other than a typically mediocre, overly mannered performance by Barbra Streisand, all the songs were relatively good. MacFarlane can sing well enough to be funny or support dancers, Adele was nice and strong, and most of all I loved the extraordinary performance of "Goldfinger" from Shirley Bassey. Her voice sounded every bit as strong as it sounded fifty years ago.

All in all, this was the nicest time I had watching the Oscars in years. The pleasing wrongness of MacFarlane's humour kept me from wanting to throw up, and since I already knew Argo was going to receive insincere honours, I wasn't broadsided by it. I even actually kind of liked Ben Affleck's speech but, then, I was full of bourbon at that point.

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