March 3, 2014


This year’s Oscars was an out and out entertainment extravaganza, but not without heartwarming speeches and moving tributes. Here’s a look at the 86th edition of the biggest night in Hollywood

To See all the results of the 86th Oscars, click here.

Photo Courtesy: AMPAS 

ELLEN DEGENERES was the best thing that happened to the Oscars this year. Her bringing the show into the crowd was a simple, yet genius idea. From outrageously hilarious moments like ordering pizza (and then collecting cash for it, in Pharrell’s hat) to sitting in Zac Efron’s seat to say that he was the next presenter, Ellen knocked it out of the park this year. There were moments when we were laughing simply at the ridiculousness of what was going on, but it was inclusive, with so many of the big names in the front few rows participating in the mirth, so it didn’t matter. Not many can work a crowd like Ellen can. 

The selfie that Ellen made Bradley Cooper take, which has gone down as the most retweeted photo ever

Her selfie moment with Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie Channing Tatum, Lupita Nyong’o, Jared Leto, Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Lawrence, Lupita’s brother and the photographer Bradley Cooper was priceless. History was made, as Twitter was out of service for a bit after the photo was retweeted a record number of times (the current count is over 1.1 million retweets). Even Ellen’s jibes and ribbing were tasteful and innocent, but still received roars of laughter, even from us watching at home. I especially enjoyed how she made fun of Jennifer Lawrence having a fall again this year, following her trip while climbing up the stairs last year to accept her Oscar.JLaw took it very sportingly, and then the best part: Ellen tells Jennifer that if she wins the Oscar this year, they should bring it to her and not make her climb up to the stage. Priceless!

Presenters Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron
Bringing the entertainment and humor to the crowd was not just Ellen’s doing. Even Pharrell Williams’ performance of the Oscar-nominated song ‘Happy’, early in the show, brought Lupita Nyong’o, Meryl Streep and Amy Adams to their feet as they danced along. And that was not all. The organizers seem to have kept in mind that the Oscars have been losing viewers, because of how the Oscar-nominated movies don’t always appeal to the moviegoers. This is probably why the tributes this year were those made to movies that the moviegoers love, including animation films, superhero movies and other blockbuster types. PRESENTERS also kept things fresh and entertaining. With moments such as Jim Carrey’s animated tribute to animation and Jamie Foxx’s background score to Jessica Biel presenting the Oscar for Best Original Score, there was hardly a boring moment during the entire show. Among other FUNNY MOMENTS not orchestrated by Ellen was Kevin Spacey briefly getting into character as Frank Underwood from HOUSE OF CARDS. There were other unintentionally funny moments also, like John Travolta’s ridiculous mispronunciation of Idina Menzel’s name, calling her ‘Adele Dazim’, and Charlize Theron (who was best dressed, according to me) not realizing it was her turn to speak, when presenting with Chris Hemsworth.

Pharrell Williams performing 'Happy' from Despicable Me 2

I thought that even the PERFORMANCES added value to the show, especially those by Pharrell, Pink, Idina Menzel and Bette Midler. Nothing seemed to be overdone. The 'In Memoriam' segment didn’t draw out too long and even the presentations of the Best Picture nominees were done in sets of three, avoiding nine presentations and clips.

(Left-Right) Oscar winners Matthew McConaughey, Cate Blanchett, Lupita Nyong'o and Jared Leto

Steve McQueen making his speech while 
accepting the Best Picture Oscar for 12 Years A Slave
The AWARDS were paced out well, with a good mix of less popular categories with the big film categories throughout the show. Most of the results weren’t all that hard to predict, with Gravity winning almost in all the expected categories. So much so, most people seemed to have been expecting it to win Best Picture also, but 12 Years A Slave took away the top prize, much to the delight of Brad Pitt and his entire 12 Years… team. The film won three Oscars, as did Dallas Buyers Club, the pride of Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto. All the acting results—McConaughey, Leto, Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine) and Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years A Slave)were predictable, but extremely deserving. It was good to see that The Great Gatsby won where it deserved to. Unfortunately American Hustle didn’t win anything, but the competition was pretty stiff. Frozen, Her and Blue Jasmine were the other big winners of the evening.

Jared Leto making his speech while accepting the 
Supporting Actor Oscar for Dallas Buyers Club

Most of the ACCEPTANCE SPEECHES were quite endearing and funny. I loved Lupita Nyong’o’s, because of how she started, saying that it didn’t escape her how so much joy in her life was due to so much pain in someone else’s. Jared Leto talking about his mother, with such admiration for her story, and then dedicating his statuette to the people who lost the battle to AIDS and faced injustice for who they are and who they love, was pure gold. Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez’s recital of their speech (on winning Best Original Song for Frozen’s ‘Let It Go’) was funny and touching, with the closing message to their daughters.

Alfonso Cuarón making his speech while accepting the Best Direction Oscar for Gravity

With moments to remember from all aspects of the show, and hardly any boring moments that I can point out, I would say that the Oscars were quite a success this year. The largely satisfactory results also made it good for me.

What are your thoughts on how things went down at the Oscars this year? Did the show live up to expectations?

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