Oscars 2014 Wrap Up

Posted by Billyjam, March 3, 2014 05:24am | Post a Comment

Every year I watch the condensed version of the Oscars the day after with just the highlights, but this year I decided to actually watch the Oscars in real time, live on TV, all three and a half hours. Overall it wasn't bad but, like the long (and overrated) The Wolf Of Wall Street, it could have been edited down to half the length to make for a much more snappy, flowing production. But I still watched and, for most part, enjoyed the proceedings of which I made the following observations.

Speech highlights of the night for me were Lupita Nyong'o (best supporting actress) who, after getting a big loving hug from her brother and "best friend" Peter Nyong'o, made the most moving speech of the night, that had some audience members tearing up and that ended with the encouraging words: "no matter where you are from, your dreams are valid."  Also moving and meaningful was the speech by the most deserving Oscar winner Jared Leto (best supporting actor for his brilliant role in Dallas Buyers Club) who dedicated his award, "for all the people of the world who have felt injustice I stand here for you and with you."

Meanwhile the 30 Seconds to Mars member and actor's co-star/best actor winner Matthew McConaughey (who I loved in both Dallas Buyers Club and in his too-short appearance in The Wolf of Wall Street) gave the most confusing rambling-on speech of the night, that seemed to have little to do with the movie he won the award for and sounded like maybe he had been at the Hollywood Weed Buyers Club beforehand stocking up on strong concentrates to smoke beforehand. Best (and only) acceptance speech done in song was by Darlene Love (for her part in the best documentary feature 20 Feet From Stardom) who was clearly very happy to be honored at the Oscars and who got the first standing ovation of the night for her entertaining song/speech. 
Speaking of music the big surprise to me was that U2 didn't win. Nor did Pharrell Williams! And after both did excellent performances during the big show - Bono and co. doing an acoustic version of "Ordinary Love" from Mandala, and Pharrell Williams doing "Happy" from Despicable Me 2 in which he was joined by a stage full of dancers in 50's style fashion doing some excellent dancing moves (including aerial shots). But then the Oscar for best song went to brother and sister team Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez for their song "Let It Go" from Disney's animated feature film, Frozen. Karen O was joined by Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig on guitar for a performance of "The Moon Song" from the movie Her but I found the performance non-engaging and boring. Better was Bette Midler's live rendition of "Wind Beneath My Wings" which followed the in memoriam segment and that had the artist in tears after her performance. As a giant screen showing silent clips of Judy Garland in scenes from The Wizard Of Oz  dwarfed her, Pink did a nice enough (but not great) version of "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" that had me scratching my head wondering why not have Liza Minnelli (Judy's talented Oscar winning daughter who was there with her half-brother and half-sister) sing it instead of Pink? But maybe it is about politics and perhaps she was invited to in the first place.

The personal disappointment for me was that Dame Judi Dench did not win best actress for Philomena - a movie I loved. Have not seen the Woody Allen film Blue Jasmin that winner Cate Blanchett won the Oscar for but from what I have read she was deserving of an Oscar. Among the interesting items of the night was that the titles of all five films nominated in the foreign film category were not in their native language but were all English titles. Equally interesting was the fact that Brad Pitt, after being nominated numerous times for an Oscar as an actor, would finally get one but not as an actor but as producer for his  Plan B Entertainment company's production of the (best picture) 12 Years A Slave for which he gave full credit to Steve McQueen for making. Host of the night Ellen DeGeneres did a great job, looking relaxed and having fun throughout the night with her many costume changes. I loved her idea of the selfie with Meryl Streep that soon turned into a large group shot with about a dozen actors including Sandra Bullock, Bradley Cooper, Jared Leto and….well you will have undoubtedly seen it re-Tweeted by now since it reportedly slowed down Twitter due to so many reTweets. It is also up at top of this page. Also cute was when Ellen borrowed Pharrell's hat to collect money for the pizzas she had delivered to share with those up front near the stage and how she made a fun jab at Brad Pitt for only putting in a $20 bill. "You were in two movies" she scolded him. Overall the Oscars was entertaining enough but I think that next year I will skip watching it live but wait until the following day to just watch the condensed highlights.

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