Full of exciting performances and celebrity spotlights, this year's Oscars proved to be not only an amazing awards telecast but one of the best Divas Live concerts in a long time. The opening number featured ambiguously gay host Seth MacFarlane singing an original song, "We Saw Your Boobs," which listed the many famous actresses who have bared their breasts on the big screen. Ironically, as the song reached its climax, MacFarlane was joined by the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles, who likely had no real interest in the jingle's topic.
Brave, with its strong feminist undertones, won for Best Animated Feature Film. Though I was disappointed that neither The Invisible War nor How to Survive a Plague, two important social justice films, won for Best Documentary Feature (they lost out to Searching for Sugar Man), I was pleased that Anne Hathaway swept away the competition and proved every queen's predication right with her win for Best Supporting Actress for Les Misérables. I also love Jennifer Lawrence and was happy to see her win the award for Best Actress for Silver Linings Playbook (and laugh off her awkward fall as she climbed the steps to the stage), but I was really rooting for the youngest actress ever nominated in this category, Quvenzhané Wallis, to win for Beasts of the Southern Wild. Still, Wallis received enormous applause when her name was announced, and she was recognized earlier in the evening with a sweet shout-out from MacFarlane. During his acceptance speech for his Best Actor win for the Tony Kushner-penned Lincoln, method actor and Hollywood veteran Daniel Day-Lewis thanked his wife for years of putting up with his multiple personalities at home. And to top it all off, a gorgeous First Lady Michelle Obama, surrounded by distinguished service members, announced the winner for Best Picture, Argo, live from the White House.
During the telecast we also had a Dancing With the Stars-esque segment in which heartthrobs Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Daniel Radcliffe, both LGBTQ allies, joined MacFarlane in a song-and-dance number, followed by Channing Tatum (Magic Mike) and Charlize Theron (Snow White and the Huntsman) channeling Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, with Theron sporting what may have been the best haircut of the evening.
For me, the biggest highlight of the evening was the phenomenal lineup of female vocalists, with live performances strategically placed throughout the telecast. Though I tuned in for the films, I kept watching because of these women. Catherine Zeta-Jones proved that she still has it as she performed "All That Jazz" from Chicago. Dame Shirley Bassey sang the title number from the James Bond classic Goldfinger, and Adele sang the current Bond theme, "Skyfall." There was even a rare appearance by the incomparable Barbra Streisand, who honored those featured in the In Memoriam segment, particularly her friend, the late composer Marvin Hamlisch, with a performance of "The Way We Were." But perhaps my favorite performance of the night came from Jennifer Hudson, who proved yet again why she won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in 2007 as she showed off every bit of her vocal prowess and slayed the competition with a flawless rendition of "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" from Dreamgirls, to a standing ovation.
Clearly MacFarlane and the Oscars' producers know how to entertain. I would even go so far as to suggest the inconceivable: that this year's Oscars ceremony trumped Beyoncé's Super Bowl halftime performance. Yes, queen, yes, this awards show may have been a gay man's campy wet dream, and I will be eagerly anticipating what is to come next year. The bar has been set!