"Jamie Foxx and Kerry Washington should be hosting."
That's what New York Times critic Jon Caramanica wrote while live blogging Sunday about the 85th Academy Awards. While the pair--who play husband and wife in Oscar-nominated film "Django Unchained"--would certainly make a delectable duo as hosts of the Academy Awards, they were simply presenters at the ceremony. Seth McFarlane hosted and, as usual, very few of the nominees were minorities.
Veteran director Ang Lee, however, nabbed the best director Oscar for his work in "Life of Pi." He's won once before--for "Brokeback Mountain" in 2005. Nine-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis was nominated for best actress for "Beasts of the Southern Wild," a film about a girl and her father in a Louisiana swamp threatened by rising floodwaters. While adorable Quvenzhané won scores of attention with her star-making turn in "Beasts," she predictably lost the award to Jennifer Lawrence of "Silver Linings Playbook." Denzel Washington lost out on an Oscar for his lead role in "Flight" to Daniel Day-Lewis of "Lincoln." Since Washington already has a couple of Oscars under his belt, this was likely no big loss for him. Lastly, "Django Unchained" was nominated for best picture, but "Argo" won. Had "Django," Reginald Hudlin would have received an Oscar, as he co-produced the controversial Western.
The fact that year after year few minorities land work substantial enough for Oscar consideration wasn't lost on comic George Lopez. During an appearance on "CBS This Morning" on Friday, Lopez jokingly called Ben Affleck, "our finest Latino actor right now." This was a sly way to point out that Affleck, who is white, played a Latino named Tony Mendez in "Argo." Certainly, Lopez wondered why a Latino actor could not have played Mendez instead.
Seemingly to compensate for the dearth of Oscar nominees of color, the Academy showcased a diverse lineup of presenters. In addition to Washington and Foxx, Halle Berry, an Oscar winner and Bond girl, gave a tribute to 50 years of Bond films. Zoe Saldana, Queen Latifah and Salma Hayek also presented, but Mc Farlane insulted Hayek, not to mention Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem and native Spanish speakers generally, by quipping that no one can understand them when they present awards. Aside from that, Jennifer Hudson, Shirley Bassey and Norah Jones performed musical numbers. First Lady Michelle Obama helped to introduce the best picture via satellite. Octavia Spencer, who won last year for her supporting role in "The Help," presented the best actor award to Christoph Waltz for "Django."
Spencer appeared Thursday on ABC chat show "The View" and spoke of her dreams for her future in Hollywood. I think her hopes sum up what every marginalized person in the business wishes would happen. "I want to put men, women, of all ages, of all shapes and body types, of all races, of all sexual orientations to work," she said. "I want to see it."