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Karen Datangel is a communications specialist, writer, connector, sports enthusiast (Go SF Giants, 49ers, and Warriors), and philanthropy-minded extroverted introvert. Born, bred, and based in the Bay Area, Karen graduated with a degree in Journalism from San Francisco State University. Her writing/media resume includes contributions to and internships with Hollywood Life, CAAMFest (Formerly the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival), Audrey Magazine (Now part of Character Media), Bustle, Fandom, SheKnows, and POPSUGAR. She now focuses mostly on social media and communications in various industries, currently working as the Public Relations Assistant with the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) and having worked previously at Salesforce and Google. Outside of work, she is an active member of the Spinsters of San Francisco.

From Musicals to Michelle: Karen’s Favorite Moments from the 2013 Oscars

“The quest to make Tommy Lee Jones laugh begins now.” So said 2013 Oscars host Seth MacFarlane in his opening monologue (And what do you know? It brought out some positive emotion from Tommy Lee after all!). While the entertainer/writer/director/producer best known for his work in Family Guy and Ted received mixed reactions across the board, Hollywood’s biggest celebration of film delivered surprises, scripted and unscripted hilarity, and so many rousing musical performances that you probably would’ve mistaken the show as the Grammys or Tonys instead. From Jennifer Hudson making us raise our gospel hands to Jennifer Lawrence taking a fall, from Channing Tatum and Charlize Theron‘s foxtrot to Christopher Plummer maybe but maybe not hiding during Seth’s The Sound of Music themed bit, here are some of the moments (and acceptance speeches!) from this year’s edition of the Academy Awards that left me the most starry-eyed.

Presented in no particular order…

1. Captain Kirk speaks the truth, Channing and Charlize class up the joint, JGL and Dan Rad join the party

Channing Tatum and Charlize Theron get romantic in the Oscars opening. (photo credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images North America)

The opening monologue was more than self-deprecating as Seth took jabs at everyone from Chris Brown and Rihanna to a long list of actresses who bared their breasts on-screen and elsewhere, but the host was put in his place by a special guest via jumbotron: William Shatner in his Captain James T. Kirk incarnation. The captain displayed messages from the future, which declared Seth as the worst Oscar host ever. Little-by-little, with each recorded segment and live performance, under the review of Mr. Shatner, those declarations were made better by terms such as “bad.” He uttered some of the truest words as he wondered out loud, “Why can’t Tina [Fey] and Amy [Poehler] host everything?” Sorry Seth, but those ladies raised the bar pretty high when it comes to hosting awards shows!

However, one thing you can’t deny is that Seth MacFarlane is one heck of a singer, and he plenty showcased his old-fashioned pipes. Channing Tatum and Charlize Theron played the part of a modern-day Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in a graceful foxtrot as Seth sang “The Way You Look Tonight,” a move that swept the audience off its feet. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Daniel Radcliffe then joined Seth for a song and dance routine that was as equally charming.

2. Avengers Assemble!

Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, and Samuel L. Jackson presented awards in the Best Cinematography and Best Visual Effects categories. (photo credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images North America)

One of the other best films of the year was not nominated for any major awards, but most of its top-billed cast reunited to present some tech awards. Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo, and Samuel L. Jackson of the superhero blockbuster The Avengers assembled to announce the nominees and present the Oscars for Best Cinematography and Best Visual Effects, but not before dissing each other’s heights and ages. It’s always a pleasure to see these guys together (We missed you, Scarlett Johansson and Chris Hemsworth!) but although they were all very dapper in their suits, they could have demonstrated the importance of aesthetics in cinema by walking out in character and in full costume. Yes, that includes you and your oversized green Hulk body, Mark.

3. Jaws is in the house!

We’re all used to seeing them at award shows: a humbled filmmaker or a chatty actor thanks God, their spouses, their kids, their collaborators, their agents, their publicists, their drivers, their dog-walkers…you get it. Then after two minutes, the orchestra plays a polite little ditty to rudely make them rush through their speech and get off the stage. This year, someone had the brilliant idea to use the sneaky and scary Jaws theme to warn the ramblers. I wonder what would have happened if those folks chose to ignore it. I would’ve taken a chomp out of an animatronic shark invasion!

4. Dame Shirley Bassey and Adele: Then, now, and Bond

Dame Shirley Bassey and Adele paid musical tribute to 50 years of James Bond films. (photo credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images North America)

In celebration of Fifty Years of Bond (…James Bond) Films and also coinciding with the Music in Film theme of the evening, Dame Shirley Bassey belted out “Goldfinger” and brought the entire house to its feet, an ode to how sparkling she still is after all these years. Later in the show, Adele sang the title track of the latest Bond film “Skyfall,” which eventually won the Oscar for Best Original Song. Through their soaring vocals, these two fiery ladies showed exactly why they are THE timeless voices behind Bond themes—they not only fit but have shaped the standards of high-class and sultriness in performing them. Like how Mr. Bond likes his martinis, they left us shaken, not stirred.

5. Recognizing the greatness of movie musicals

Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and members of the Les Miserables cast performed as part of an Oscar winning and nominated movie musical showcase. (photo credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images North America)

Let’s be real: This was actually the single greatest moment of the entire night, at least if you’re a Broadway freak. Celebrating some of the Oscar-winning and nominated musicals-turned-films of the past ten years, this epic segment sure made many hearts sing out in joy. Catherine Zeta-Jones opened up this part of the show with the sexy and slinky “All That Jazz” from 2002 Best Picture winner Chicago, followed by 2008 Best Supporting Actress winner Jennifer Hudson’s jaw-dropping rendition of “And I Am Telling You (I’m Not Going)” from Dreamgirls. Closing it out was the cast of the latest Broadway-Hollywood darling Les Miserables, singing a medley of songs from the film. Yes, we heard the people sing—and I don’t think I would have minded if they just kept singing.

6. Where’s Christopher Plummer?

Poor Christopher Plummer—he will never live down The Sound of Music. Seth attempted to introduce Captain Von Trapp and the Von Trapp family—twice—only for someone dressed as a Nazi soldier to run in and announce “They’re gone!” But turns out Captain Von Trapp actually was there and wasn’t just messing around. “Pick on someone your own size” was his witty comeback.

7. Fantine dreamed a dream…and it came true

Anne Hathaway‘s sweet acceptance speech for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her beautifully tragic turn in Les Miserables began with a tie-in to her character as she whispered to Oscar, “It came true.” Because you know, Fantine sang a song about dreaming a dream. Well, Anne’s dream came true. How often does something like that happen?

8. Jennifer Lawrence falls up the stairs—and acknowledges it

Best Actress winner Jennifer Lawrence trips up the stairs as she accepts her Oscar.(photo credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images North America)

Best Actress winner Jennifer Lawrence trips up the stairs as she accepts her Oscar.(photo credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images North America)

In The Hudsucker’s pre-Oscars piece, I wrote about why Jennifer deserved to win Best Actress for her role in Silver Linings Playbook, so I couldn’t be more excited when this result was announced. She is not only a top-notch artist, but she’s also one kooky character even when she’s not in character. Paired along with her huge poofy dress, it made total sense that the endearing and eccentric Jennifer fell up the stairs as she ascended to accept her award. She then brought even more attention to the fact by adding another quote to her never-ending list of J-Law-isms by saying “You guys are just standing up for me because you felt bad that I fell.” Hey girl, they say you never forget your first, right?

9. Daniel Day-Lewis makes a big reveal

“I was committed to play Margaret Thatcher and Meryl [Streep] was Steven [Spielberg]‘s first choice for Lincoln,” the Best Actor winner joked after being presented with the award by last year’s Best Actress winner for The Iron Lady. Can anyone piece those alternate films back together from the cutting room floor?

10. Michelle Obama makes a surprise appearance

Michelle Obama, the First Lady of the United States, made a special appearance via satellite to present the Best Picture award. (photo credit: The White House/Getty Images North America)

When Jack Nicholson appeared as the final presenter of the night, I had horrible flashbacks from the year Crash won Best Picture. But then there was a different kind of plot twist: the FLOTUS would read the name of this year’s Best Picture winner via satellite. Looking as couture as always, Michelle Obama—said to be a major film buff—introduced the films by saying, “[These films] taught us that love can beat all odds. They reminded us that we can overcome any obstacle if we dig deep enough and fight hard enough and find the courage within ourselves. [It’s through cinema that] our children learn to open their imagination and dream just a little bigger and to strive every day to reach those dreams.” After cutting back to Nicholson for a few more words, Michelle read off Argo as the winner of the Best Picture Oscar.

11. Ben Affleck runs out of breath, still makes unicorns appear everywhere with his very candid and touching acceptance speech

Ben Affleck addresses the crowd as he accepts the Best Picture award for Argo. (photo credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images North America)

Ben not appearing in the Best Director category was one of the biggest snubs of this year’s Oscars, but as a producer, he got his moment in the spotlight after all as his political drama Argo took home the highest honor. His voice cracked with obvious emotion as he thanked his wife, fellow actor Jennifer Garner, with quite interesting wording.

“I want to thank you for working on our marriage for ten Christmases,” he said. “It’s work, but it’s good. It’s the best kind of work and there’s no one I’d rather work with!”

Ben ended his speech by expressing his gratitude to people in the industry who helped him, and with some memorable words of wisdom: “You have to work harder than you think you possibly can…and it doesn’t matter how you get knocked down in life because that’s going to happen. All that matters is that you’ve gotta get up.”

That’s a wrap from the 2013 Academy Awards! You can relive all of these moments in action on the official Oscars website, as well as rewatch the entire telecast for the first time ever online. Let’s hear some of your favorite moments from Sunday night, and flashback to our predictions and see how yours, ours, and the Academy’s stacked up!

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