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It's easy to be negative when talking about the Oscars, since any awards ceremony that long and self-indulgent is bound to find a way to make you angry. But as we shake off our Oscar party hangovers and the terrible realization of just how off our predictions were, is more bitterness really what we need?
OK, maybe you do, and if you're in that camp, Sean has plenty of negativity for you over at the 5 Worst Moments From The 2013 Academy Awards. But even as we can't quite believe that Seth MacFarlane sang "We Saw Your Boobs" or that Argo won Best Adapted Screenplay instead of Lincoln, there were plenty of moments at last night's Oscars worth cheering, and we've picked ten of the best below. Let us know if you agree or have some other moments in mind in the comments on the last page.
#1: Daniel Day-Lewis's acceptance speech.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that Daniel Day-Lewis is just not like the rest of us, and most likely is a gentle and soft-spoken shapeshifter descended from a more intelligent planet, put here on Earth to make us better people. It's difficult as hell to win three Best Actor statues-- in fact, no one else had ever done it before-- but even harder to accept your third with a perfect balance of emotion and humor. It helps to have Meryl Streep to bounce off of, but we're giving DDL all the credit for this one-- and waiting patiently for the next time he emerges from his meditation cocoon to give us another performance to shower with awards.
Photo Credit ©ABC
#2: Everything Adele did, period.
It's hard to have gotten this far in pop culture without adoring Adele, but between her mega-sweep at the Grammys last year and her return to perform "Skyfall" last night, she managed to make us miss her so much that her comeback felt like the cure to a disease we didn't even know she had. She slayed her performance of Skyfall, of course, but then gave a bubbly and wonderful acceptance speech for her Best Original Song Oscar just a few moments later. I think what we're saying, basically, is will Adele be our best friend?
#3: The tie! No b.s., a tie!
Mark Wahlberg's surprise said it best-- there have only been six ties in the history of the Academy Awards, and it happened again last night when Zero Dark Thirty and Skyfall tied for Best Sound Editing, of all things. People who otherwise never pay the slightest bit of attention to the sound categories were suddenly riveted by the big surprise, and two movies that really deserved far more Oscars got the chance to shine in a single category. Makes you wish there could be more ties just so more people get moments like this.
#4: Every musical number that didn't involve Seth MacFarlane.
I honestly expected more singing from MacFarlane-- he has his own album of jazz standards, after all-- but it was all the better that he ceded the microphone, allowing the cast of Les Miserables, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jennifer Hudson, Barbra Streisand and Norah Jones all to take the spotlight. Bonus points to the massive Les Miserables cast, who managed to assemble a huge group of voices for a really polished-sound number that couldn't have come with that much rehearsal. Even Russell Crowe sounded good! Yes, I said it!
#5: Jennifer Lawrence's trip, and the men who came to her rescue.
It's not fun to watch a young woman trip on live TV, especially when she's just won the highest honor in her field and is on her way to give an acceptance speech. But Lawrence, continuing to prove her endless cool, recovered from the trip with a flushed smile and a great speech-- and had the added bonus of both Hugh Jackman and Bradley Cooper attempting to help her up when she fell. The fact that she didn't need their help just gives her extra cool-gal points.
#6: Ben Affleck's emotional speech.
In a different universe, one in which the Best Director category didn't turn out totally crazy, we probably would have seen Ben Affleck speaking when he accepted Best Director and handed over the mic to producer Grant Heslov. Instead Affleck's only moment came when Argo won Best Picture, and his genuine emotion at the honor-- and how far he's come since that memorable Good Will Hunting win 15 years ago-- was well worth the wait.
#7: Ang Lee's general everything.
But don't go thinking that Affleck managed to outshine the director who actually did take home that big directing prize. The ever-amiable Ang Lee won a much-deserved Best Director statue for Life of Pi, a capstone for four years he spent making the hugely expensive film that the studio didn't want to pour nearly enough money into. It's Lee's second Best Director prize, the second to come without a corresponding Best Picture win (the first being Brokeback Mountain), and bizarrely, the second time the Best Picture he didn't get was awarded by Jack Nicholson. But to watch Lee, he didn't notice any of it-- and you'd think he was a dazed first-time winner instead of an industry veteran. People with crazy confidence like Anne Hathaway make the Oscars fun to watch, but Lee's consistent humility is an excellent addition as well.
#8: Charlize Theron and Channing Tatum channeling Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.
They were wrapped up in a confusing, exceptionally long Seth MacFarlane bit that also included William Shatner's cameo and the "We Saw Your Boobs" number, but it didn't matter-- seeing the incredibly graceful Channing Tatum and the incredibly poised Charlize Theron dance onstage was perfect, and MacFarlane was much better singing than he was cracking jokes with Captain Kirk. Can we start the "Channing Tatum for Oscar host" campaign now?
#9: Every Quvenzhane Wallis reaction shot.
She knew she probably wasn't going to win Best Actress, but that didn't stop the category's youngest nominee ever from milking every moment on camera-- and showing off her impressive 9-year-old muscles.
#10: All the winners who took the stage with lipstick marks on their cheeks.
HD TV broadcasts can do a lot of bad things for peoples' looks, but it was completely charming to see several winners-- including Best Sound Editing winner Paul N.J. Ottosson-- take the stage with a big red mark on their cheeks from where their spouse/mom/whoever had kissed them. Even Brenda Chapman's daughter, credited by the Brave director as the story's inspiration, had a big one on her cheek sitting in the audience. So much love to go around at this year's Oscars!