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Oscar telecasts full of surprises, memorable moments

Feb. 21, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

Movies & More reviewer John Gillispie wonders what the most memorable moments of this year's Oscar telecast will be when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences hands out its annual awards.

I was starting to worry. About a week and a half ago I told a friend I was concerned that I didn't seem very excited about this year's Oscar telecast. And then, last Sunday with just a week to go before the ceremony, I found myself wondering what will happen, who will win and what movie history will be made.

Will Daniel Day Lewis, Sally Field, Denzel Washington or Robert De Niro win a third Oscar? For his performance in "Lincoln," it seems that Daniel Day Lewis, who is nominated for Best Actor, has a great chance to win again.

Will Anne Hathaway take home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her work in "Les Miserables"? Or will Sally Field win in the same category for her amazing performance in "Lincoln"? Part of the excitement of watching the Academy Awards is that you just never know until the names of the winners are announced.

Following the coverage of the stars arriving, ABC will broadcast the Oscar ceremony beginning at 8: 30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 24. Seth MacFarlane will host this year's program, and anyone who has heard MacFarlane's work on "Family Guy" and the movie "Ted" may be curious to see how he will do.

For years now, when I write about the Oscars, I have been hoping for more movie clips to be shown from both older and more recent films. After all, this ceremony is supposed to be about the movies. It seems that the clothes being worn by the stars continue to get more and more attention each year. And while that doesn't really bother me a lot, I wish more clips from classic movies could be shown to encourage younger people to get interested in the films that their parents and grandparents appreciated. Of course, some older films don't hold up as well as others, but there are so many powerful performances in the history of the movies that it seems a shame not to encourage a new generation of viewers to see them.

When thinking about this year's event, I remembered several things from Oscar telecasts of days gone by.

I recall being completely surprised when a young Anna Paquin won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her work in "The Piano" over Winona Ryder in "The Age of Innocence." It wasn't that I didn't think Paquin was good in "The Piano." I just thought that Ryder was a star who had consistently given solid performances and that she would be rewarded for her work in a beautiful movie. And another year, I remember really wanting to see Tom Hanks win the Best Actor award for "Forrest Gump" and being concerned that he might be punished for having won the Oscar the year before for "Philadelphia." Of course, Hanks did win.

And I can still recall the look on the face of movie legend Lauren Bacall, nominated for "The Mirror Had Two Faces," when she lost the Supporting Actress Oscar to Juliette Binoche for her work in "The English Patient." I was sad to see her lose.

When we go to the movie theater, we are supposed to watch the movie without talking. However, we can talk to one another while watching the Oscar telecast in the comfort of our living rooms and share our thoughts on the winners and the events of the evening -- including the fashion. But, no matter what happens Sunday night (and I hope everyone looks great in their designer outfits), I will be wishing for movie fans to have an entertaining evening.

John Gillispie is the public relations director for the Huntington Museum of Art. Contact the writer at jgillisp@hmoa.org.

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