Academy Awards Ceremony: Not short, but sweet
Against a tower of crimson roses flanked by golden lights, the 86th Academy Awards were held in the Dolby Theatre on Sunday night. The ceremony was a vanilla experience. Jennifer Lawrence tripped before the ceremony even started, in case you were wondering.
Ellen DeGeneres reprised her role from 2007 as host for the ceremony. Her opening monologue saw her outfitted in some sort of suit and ascot combination that looked as if she were vying for a role in an off-Broadway production of a very fashion-forward “A Christmas Carol.”
DeGeneres, as per her typical style, gently poked fun at the nominees and wasn’t afraid to roll out the occasional pun. However, whether this was the fault of DeGeneres, the writers or both, there was an incredible amount of dead time and filler. Yes, I know there is a lot of filler for the Oscars, but this was on another level. Ellen found herself amongst the audience a lot, just chatting with people here and there. She even delivered pizza, and in the pièce de résistance of marketing and social media, spent several minutes taking a celebrity-filled selfie with her Samsung Galaxy phone that quickly became one of the most retweeted tweets ever. If I interrupted this article to name-drop the Samsung Galaxy a few more times, it would only be in keeping with the spirit of the Oscars.
The duo of Jared Leto and Matthew McConaughey, hailing from “Dallas Buyers Club,” claimed Best Actor in a Supporting Role and Best Actor in a Leading Role. Leto looked dapper in a white tuxedo and red bow tie, and McConaughey delivered one of the best speeches of the night.
“There are three things that I need in each day,” McConaughey said. “Something to look up to, something to look forward to and someone to chase.” The something to look up to is God, the something to look forward to is his family and the someone to chase is himself in 10 years. He is aiming to always better himself.
Lupita Nyong’o rightfully claimed Best Actress in a Supporting Role over Jennifer Lawrence and the rest of the nominees. Her performance in “12 Years a Slave” was raw and honest, and Jennifer Lawrence really doesn’t need a second statue at an age where she can barely legally rent a car.
Cate Blanchett, in the most unsurprising win of an unsurprising Oscars, took home Best Actress in a Leading Role for her role in the Woody Allen-directed “Blue Jasmine.”
Halfway through the ceremony, “Gravity” went home with a whopping seven awards — a good portion of them being technical awards.
“12 Years A Slave,” however, won the night’s top honor for Best Picture, along with Nyong’o’s award and Best Adapted Screenplay.
A staggering number of familiar names and faces graced the stage for “In Memoriam.” Shirley Temple Black, James Gandolfini, Paul Walker, Harold Ramis, Roger Ebert and Philip Seymour Hoffman were among the dearly departed. Sarah Jones, a 27-year-old crew member that was tragically killed on a film set in February, was also acknowledged.
True to form, the ceremony went ludicrously over-schedule. The schedule on my DVR had the awards slated for 6:30-9:30 p.m., and at 9:20 p.m., there were still six awards left to go. At a few minutes to 10 p.m., Steve McQueen concluded his acceptance speech for “12 Years a Slave” and was literally jumping up and down, fist-pumping and hugging whoever he could.
Not a single person’s award speech had to be bleeped out, there were no controversial or surprising winners and there was not one moment that will have people talking. The ceremony was nice and sweet, but a touch of controversy could liven up the affair next year.