Gay icons Barbra Streisand, Adele and Shirley Bassey perform and show includes tribute to Hollywood musicals with Jennifer Hudson
At one point during Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony in Hollywood, host Seth MacFarlane said the crowd: ‘We’re concerned tonight’s show isn’t gay enough yet.’
He then introduced the cast of Chicago, the 2002 film musical with a huge gay fan base, to present the award for best original song to gay icon Adele.
By that time, the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles had appeared with MacFarlane in the opening number. The host was quick to clarifiy that he isn’t a member.
But William Shatner, appearing as Star Trek’s Captain Kirk critiquing the show from the future said to MacFarlane: ‘Oh, trust me. In July 2015, you join the chorus.’
And then there were performances by divas Barbra Streisand, Adele, Jennifer Hudson and Shirley Bassey.
There were also musical numbers by the cast of Les Miserables and one from Chicago by Catherine Zeta-Jones.
The emphasis on musical numbers was no surprise in an Oscar show produced by Neil Meron and Craig Zadan, the openly gay producers of such big screen musicals as Chicago and Hairspray and TV’s Smash.
As expected, Argo took the best picture award after winning virtually every other prize during awards ceremony. What wasn’t expected was that the winner was announced by First Lady Michelle Obama from The White House.
‘I know what you’re thinking, the three sexiest producers alive,’ joked Argo co-producer Grant Heslow who was flanked onstage by his fellow producers Ben Affleck and George Clooney.
Affleck, whose career suffered some setbacks in the years since his 1998 screenwriting Oscar for Good Will Hunting, spoke of getting knocked down then said: ‘All that matters is that you gotta get up.’
Another award season juggernaut, Daniel Day-Lewis, won the best actor award for his performance in Lincoln.
Day-Lewis made history by becoming the first man in the history of the Academy Awards to win three best actor Oscars. His previous wins were for My Left Foot in 1990 and for There Will Be Blood in 2008.
‘I do know that I have received so much more than my fair share of good fortune,’ said Day-Lewis who joked that presenter Meryl Streep was actually the first choice for Lincoln.
The best actress award went to Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook. She joked that she only got a standing ovation because the crowd felt sorry for her after Lawrence fell on the steps leading up the stage.
Anne Hathaway, the heavy-favorite, won the best supporting actress Oscar for her performance as Fantine in Les Miserables shortly after she performed onstage with such cast mates as Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried and Eddie Redmayne.
The first award of the night was presented to Christoph Waltz for best supporting actor for Django Unchained. He beat out a field comprised of all former Oscar winners: Robert DeNiro, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Tommy Lee Jones, and Alan Arkin.
Waltz had previously won in the same category for 2009’s Inglourious Basterds.
The documentary How to Survive a Plague, about AIDS activists in New York City and their courageous efforts, lost to Searching for Sugar Man about an obscure Detroit singer.
Openly gay adapted screenwriting nominee Tony Kushner (Lincoln) lost to Chris Terrio who wrote the screenplay for Argo.
Full list of winners: Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained; Best Animated Short Film: Paperman; Best Animated Feature Film: Brave; Achievement in Cinematography: Life of Pi, Claudio Miranda; Achievement in Visual Effects: Life of Pi; Achievement in Costume Design: Anna Karenina, Jacqueline Durran; Achievement in Makeup & Hairstyling: Les Misérables; Best Live-Action Short Film: Curfew; Best Documentary Short Subject: Inocente; Best Documentary Feature: Searching for a Sugar Man; Best Foreign-Language Film: Amour (Austria); Achievement in Sound Mixing: Les Misérables; Achievement in Sound Editing: Zero Dark Thirty & Skyfall; Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role: Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables; Achievement in Film Editing: Argo; Achievement in Production Direction: Lincoln; Original Score: Life of Pi, Mychael Danna; Original Song: "Skyfall," Adele Adkins & Paul Epworth; Adapted Screenplay: Argo, Chris Terrio; Original Screenplay: Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino; Achievement in Directing: Ang Lee, Life of Pi; Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln; Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook; Best Motion Picture: Argo.