Music and the movies was the unofficial-official theme of the 2013 Academy Awards, and big names were on hand to flesh the concept out. Jennifer Hudson, Adele, Barbra Streisand, host Seth MacFarlane, Kristin Chenoweth, Shirley Bassey, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Norah Jones the cast of “Les Miserables” and more were all on hand to work the wares from their famed flicks.
Below is an outline of the show’s big numbers and some commentary. Be sure to vote on which you think was the best. Has Adele won over your heart, too?
+ The show host Seth MacFarlane had promised big musical numbers from the top, once he got the job, and considering the depth of know-how from his creation of “Family Guy,” the dude knows how to speak Hollywood. And did he. Maybe a little too well… or a little too Old Hollywood. In between cracks with Captain Kirk, he trotted out A-Lister Dancing With The Stars Channing Tatum and Charlize Theron for “The Way You Look Tonight” and a soft shoe bit with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Daniel Radcliffe, who recently caught the Broadway musical bug.
+ Honoring 50 years of James Bond, the lead entertainer was Shirley Bassey and her “Goldfinger,” which warranted a standing ovation. Watchers were perhaps hoping for a much bigger, more surprising combination of 007 alum (hey, I hear Paul McCartney’s just sitting by the phone), but this stood well on its own.
+ Barbra Streisand singing “The Way We Were” by Marvin Hamlisch at the end of the In Memoriam? How has this not been done 50 times before already? I can’t imagine it sounding any better than it did here, though, because at 70, Streisand still has “it.”
+ Norah Jones sang the song from “Ted,” it sounded lovely. But it looked like a slog rather than a prime-time showstopper, as though she were picking out light bulbs or filling out a tax form.
+ While I’m sure the producers had grand plans to shine off this 52-hour show in a big explosive finale, it was Kristin Chenoweth and MacFarlane, sending people to the exits with a re-made “Here’s to the Losers” that was barely choreographed and, obviously, unrehearsed to any deed of satisfaction. Continuing with the theme of orchestra overload, the audience couldn’t hear the “jokes,” the scant few I caught involved the word “c*nt,” making fun of “Chicago” and Bradley Cooper going home empty-handed but forever having “The Hangover” sequels.