The 85th Academy Awards proved to be the most badass show in years, a feat it owes in large part to America’s most talented, unfiltered twenty-two-year-old: Jennifer Lawrence. After an awards season filled with genuinely hilarious speeches and red carpet antics, Lawrence truly saved her best for last, albeit unintentionally. Though pitted against fierce competition in the Best Actress category, it was Jennifer Lawrence’s gritty performance in Silver Linings Playbook that came out on top. At age 22, she is the second youngest woman to win an Oscar for Best Actress (the youngest was Marlee Matlin at age 21). Shocked, nervous, and visibly excited, Jennifer approached the stage stairs in her tiered Dior Haute Couture gown, where she gracefully bit the dust in front of Hollywood’s elite and millions of viewers worldwide.
The crowd gave her a standing ovation, to which Lawrence humbly responded, “You guys are just standing up ’cause you feel bad that I fell and that’s really embarrassing.”
Afterwards, in the pressroom backstage, Lawrence was captured giving a triumphant middle finger to photographers, offending a few but mostly just making America fall even more in love with her. “I’m sorry, I took a shot before…” Lawrence bashfully admitted to reporters. A shot well deserved for the best actress in the world.
Other notable moments of badassery from the evening:
- 9-year-old Best Actress nominee Quvenzhané Wallis (the youngest ever) rocked the red carpet with a puppy purse.
- A celebration of the best movie musicals of the past decade. Catherine Zeta-Jones proved she’s still got “All That Jazz” with the opening number from 2002’s Chicago. Jennifer Hudson brought down the house and brought the crowd to its feet with “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going” from 2006’s Dreamgirls. Finally, the cast of Les Misérables solidified their musical talents with an emotional medley of songs from the hit musical.
- Michelle Obama’s surprise (and boy do I mean SURPRISE, as in my body was trembling) appearance from the White House, where she looked fresh to death and announced the Best Picture of the year.
- Ben Affleck sticks it to the Academy. After being shut out of the Best Director category, Affleck’s Argo won Best Picture of the year. In his acceptance speech, he tenderly thanked his wife, actress Jennifer Garner, and ended with a line from the heart:
“And it doesn’t matter how you get knocked down in life, ’cause that’s gonna happen. All that matters is that you gotta get up.”
To which I imagine Jennifer Lawrence raised her shot glass and threw one back like a champ.