Oscars 2013: Local Winners and Losers

Did you stay up to watch all of the Oscars? (I don’t blame you if you turned it off.) When I realized I’d been watching the ceremony — not counting the pre-show — for three hours and they still had all the major awards to go, I considered switching over to our DVRed episode of Girls and calling it a night. I stuck it out through the end, though, so I can tell you which of our neighbors trotted off to the Governor’s Ball with statues in hand.  

The big answer, of course, is Ang Lee. Ang Lee! The Life of Pi director and Larchmont resident has been somewhat overlooked this season, losing the Director’s Guild award, the Golden Globe, and our general attention to Ben Affleck and his seemingly unstoppable Argo juggernaut. It just didn’t seem like the momentum was there for him. But Affleck wasn’t even nominated for the Oscar, which meant that Lee finally had the chance to slip past him — and fellow Westchester alums David O. Russell, Benh Zeitlin, and a little director by the name of Steven Spielberg — to win the Oscar. It was a tough category, so Lee’s win is really an accomplishment.

life of pi movieLife of Pi photograph ™ and © 2011 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved

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If that wasn’t heartwarming enough, we have my favorite winner of the night, John Kahrs. His romantic “Paperman” took home the award for Best Animated Short — and, in my opinion, the Cornwall native deserved it. His win is also a feat considering that his short is almost silent and nearly black-and-white, two things that don’t really go over big these days.

Alas, it wasn’t meant to be for the rest of our local nominees. Mount Vernon’s Denzel Washington, who was up for the Best Actor award for Flight, lost out to Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln). More surprisingly, “Mondays at Racine” director Cynthia Wade, who grew up in Croton-on-Hudson, lost in the Documentary Short category to “Innocente,” about a young, homeless artist. But the biggest loser of all, I think, was the viewer, who had to sit through Seth MacFarlane’s half-hour monologues and interminable cutaway gags before any awards were even given out, then treated to a bunch of songs that bore no relevance to this year’s crop of nominees. It makes you realize that entertaining people isn’t so easy, so the people who do it well really do deserve some awards.

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