Oscars 2014 – Well, it was fun while it lasted…

Last night, as I’m sure the entire universe is aware, the 86th Annual Academy Awards took place. This year the show was hosted by the amazing Ellen DeGeneres, and as usual I decided to watch the whole thing in full. Was it worth it? Hmm. I think this year was the first time I was really doubtful about whether it was.

While Ellen DeGeneres was a good host and she gave a funny opening speech, the rest of the show was pretty joke free. There was one great joke about a giant selfie she took (which apparently temporarily broke Twitter as that many people retweeted it). However then there was the gag about ordering pizza for the whole audience and sharing it out when it came, a gag which was a little bit chucklesome at the start but then became ridiculous. Especially when it was repeated about three times. In my opinion Seth MacFarlane did a much better job last year – it felt like more of a show then, with more performances throughout the night, and (more importantly) more jokes that were actually laugh-out-loud. Yes, he can be stupidly offensive for no reason sometimes, but maybe that’s what the Oscars needs, rather than this year when it just felt like they were playing it safe.

But on to who won the awards themselves… 12 Years a Slave won Best Picture and director Steve McQueen gave a beautiful, heartbreaking acceptance speech. Although it wasn’t great that McQueen didn’t win for Best Director as well, I think Alfonso Cuarón’s win was the Academy’s way of giving out awards to both films so one or the other wasn’t missed out completely. And at least Gravity didn’t win for Best Picture. Imagine the uproar if that had happened. As good a film as it is, as well as a technical marvel and a stunning watch, imagine the controversy if it had won over a film dealing with slavery. Was never going to happen. Plus Alfonso Cuarón does deserve an award for his direction for Gravity – to spend that many years developing something like that is a real feat. And he’s been snubbed for the Best Director Oscar before – the Academy do love to make amends for a mistake. There’s hope for you yet Steve McQueen.

The biggest controversy of the night was probably Leonardo DiCaprio not winning the award for Best Actor. AGAIN. Seriously what does this guy have to do to get an award from you Academy? Matthew McConaughey more than deserved it for his performance in Dallas Buyers Club though (however I really think that film is lacking in other areas, such as having a strong plot for the whole of its running time). And although both Leo and Matthew play characters based on real people, who was really going to win? – the guy playing a real-life hero who had AIDS? Or the guy playing a real-life arsehole? Maybe another year Leo…

The least shocking award of the night though went to Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine, which pretty much everyone has been predicting since it came out. And why not? – Blanchett more than earned it with that stunning performance. Lupita Nyong’o also won for Best Supporting Actress for 12 Years a Slave and pretty much cemented herself in everyones’ hearts as the sweetest person on the planet. And Jared Leto also gave a beautiful speech with his win for Dallas Buyers Club – again, well-deserved as he was one of the only things that kept me watching that film (along with Matthew McConaughey of course).

However the two shockers of the night for me were the awards for screenwriting. Best Adapted Screenplay went to John Ridley for his adaptation of 12 Years a Slave, which is great and well-earned, but I would have thought Terence Winter was a shoe-in for his adaptation of the amazing The Wolf of Wall Street. So in the end Wolf won FLIP ALL. Guess the Academy weren’t so fond of a film about money, drugs and sex as I was hoping (I’m being sarcastic by the way, it was never going to win). Also a surprise was the award for Best Original Screenplay which I predicted would go to Woody Allen for Blue Jasmine…but which went to Spike Jonze for Her!!! I adore that film and it was quite a shock to see the Academy go for something quite so original and strange as Her. But I’m very thankful that they did.

All in all last nights Oscars was a weirdly subdued ordeal with few surprises. It was also a night of Pharrell Williams dancing with Lupita Nyong’o, Meryl Streep and Amy Adams, John Travolta getting Idina Menzel’s name wrong (“Adele Dazim” indeed – HOW DARE YOU SIR) and expert photobombing on the red carpet from many celebs including Jared Leto and the overall winner Benedict Cumberbatch for spectacularly photobombing U2 (seriously check out the pic if you’ve not seen it yet, it’s like he’s a professional or something…). And that’s it for another year. Roll on 2015 when there will be someone else getting snubbed, no surprises and even fewer jokes (from me or next year’s host – you decide…). Yay!!!

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~ by square-eyed-geek on March 3, 2014.

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