The 2013 Academy Awards may be remembered for Seth McFarlane’s overlong opener (with the most repeated uses of the word “boob”). It was the night that audiences cheered over Anne Hathaway’s Best Supporting Actress win while simultaneously turning thumbs-down on her dress. Viewers held their breath to see whether Hugh Jackman would beat out Daniel Day-Lewis for Best Actor, and stuck out their tongues at the Academy for not nominating Ben Affleck for Best Director.
But truly, the night belonged to the incredible singers who more than did credit to the Movie Music theme of the Oscars this year. It may have been tacky to play off overly wordy winners with the theme from Jaws, but the live singing performances more than made up for it.
As happy luck would have it, the outstanding singers also happened to be mothers. Starting off the run was Dame Shirley Bassey, who immortalized three of the themes of James Bond movies. She sang a spot-on full-belt “Goldfinger” that drew thunderous applause. And oh, yes – she just happens to be 76 years old.
She was followed by a string of equally talented musical moms: Catherine Zeta-Jones reprising her Oscar-winning performance with “All That Jazz” from Chicago, Jennifer Hudson re-nailing “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going,” which earned her that little gold statue for Dreamgirls and new mom Adele standing tall and sending chills with her rendition of the title tune from Skyfall. (Adele then topped off the honor by winning the Oscar for Best Song.)
And then the theater fell silent as Barbra Streisand took the Academy stage for the first time in nearly 36 years to sing “The Way We Were.” Her simple but emotional tribute to the late Marvin Hamlisch reminded us all of the pure magic that can happen when the right composer and musician meet.
So sigh if you will over the length of the show. Gush over the gowns, sneer at the host, argue among yourselves over who should have won and lost.
Tonight belonged to the musical mothers.
[Photos: via PacificCoastNews]
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