The 2013 Oscars telecast was a rather tedious affair, largely characterized by the audience's awkward reaction to host Seth MacFarlane's borderline tasteless attempts at humor. On what it is considered our big night, our Super Bowl, gays were mentioned three times:
- The Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles appeared on stage;
- After the chorus' appearance, MacFarlane told William Shatner (who was visiting from the future) that he wasn't a member of the chorus, to which Shatner replied, "Oh, trust me, in July 2015 you join the chorus".
- Later in the telecast MacFarlane announced that the musical Chicago was being honored for winning Best Picture 10 years ago, "because we're afraid the show wasn't gay enough yet."
By far, the highlight of the night for me was Dame Shirley Bassey, who appeared at the end of a tribute to 50 years of James Bond movies and performed the theme from Gold Finger. It was a very electric performance (such expressive use of her hands and arms!) and the audience gave her quite a reception. Later, at the end of the "In Memoriam" tribute, Barbra Streisand came on stage and, in tribute to Marvin Hamlisch, sang The Way We Were.
I loved hearing last year's Best Actor winner, French actor Jean Dujardin, pronouncing the names of the Best Actress nominees.
Although it was a nice surprise to see the Gay Men's Chorus of LA on stage, unfortunately, it was during the frat boy number I Saw Your Boobs. (Whose sprightly melody I can't get out of my head.) I don't know what the connection was between the two. Mercifully, they were on screen just 15 seconds. And Although I'm not certain, I believe they may also have provided background vocals for Adele later in the telecast.
Charlize Theron and Channing Tatum did a very nice Astaire/Rogers dance number at the beginning of the show, performed to The Way You Look Tonight. And Catherine Zeta Jones killed during her All That Jazz number.
Beards (the facial hair type) were the look for men as evidenced by Ben Affleck, Hugh Jackman, Jean Dujardin, George Clooney, Bradley Cooper, Tommy Lee Jones, Bryan Cranston, Chris Pine, Justin Theroux and Ann Hathaway's husband. (I lost count at ten.)
Melissa McCarthy's and Paul Rudd's banter fell embarrassingly flat (and like last year, her gown resembled a shapeless sack); Daniel Radcliffe and Kristin Stewart had no chemistry whatsoever; the usually stunning Nicole Kidman looked a bit wilted; and Rene Zelwegger looked uncomfortable when she appeared on stage with her fellow cast members from Chicago.
Thankfully, 75-year-old Jane Fonda looked incredible because her gown was bound to draw attention due to its florescent-yellow color. And co-presenter, Michael Douglas (68 years old), also looked great.
In closing, one thing I'll say in Seth MacFarlane's favor is that he has a very nice speaking and singing voice.
To read my comments from last year's Oscar telecast, double click here.