The 86th Annual Academy Awards

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Another Oscars telecast is in the books, and overall I felt it was a fine ceremony from start to finish. No, not everything went smoothly, and no, not every joke and skit worked as planned, but there isn’t a such thing as a great telecast. There are only ones that survive until the end where you’re not pissed off as the credits are rolling, and I was not pissed off by any means.

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Ellen did a fine job as a host, mostly staying within her comfort zone during her monologue and never really doing anything too whacky. Sure, the pizza skit got a bit old really quick, but it had Ellen written all over it. Who else would order three pizza pies and collect hundreds of dollars from Weinstein and Brad Pitt afterwards? Her finest moment was taking the star-studded selfie and actually crashing twitter by asking viewers to retweet. Her skits and improv certainly appealed to the younger viewers, but her class and general entertainment was fit for everyone.

Awards-wise, there really weren’t many, if any, surprises. Here are the things I was most happy about at the end of the night.

1. Spike Jonze wins Best Original Screenplay for Her.

This was the award I found myself rooting the hardest for. I absolutely loved Her and this was the best shot it had to win an Oscar. It was up against American Hustle, which many people had winning since The Academy seems to love David O. Russell, yet they don’t feel the need to reward him yet. That’s right, David O. Russell has now been nominated for 5 Oscars (just in the past three years!) and hasn’t won anything yet.

 

2. Gravity winning 7 Oscars

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My favorite film of the year truly displayed how dominant of a movie it was at the Oscars. With 10 nominations and 7 wins, there wasn’t a movie that could come close to the amount of golden statues leaving in Gravity’s limo. Sure, the film didn’t end up winning the big award, but it was clearly a dominant force throughout the entire ceremony.

3. American Hustle lays a goose egg

For the record, I did enjoy American Hustle very much… I just feel that it’s over-rated. The Academy seemed to be in love with American Hustle and I simply couldn’t understand why. There have been two movies on Oscar history to receive 11 nominations, but walked out empty-handed. American Hustle walked out empty-handed with 10 nominations. I guess the love wasn’t strong enough.

4. Catherine Martin and Alfonso Cuaron are big winners

The only individuals in the night to win two Oscars apiece were Martin and Cuaron. Martin is familiar with winning two Oscars in one night, as she did the same thing in 2002 by winning the same two categories for her work in Moulin Rouge! Meanwhile, Cuaron finally won his first and second Oscars for Best Director and Film Editing.

5. 12 Years a Slave wins Best Picture

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It was quite uncertain towards the end if 12 Years a Slave would be able to put an end to Gravity’s dominance, but when Will Smith opened the envelope and announced the Best Picture, the 12 Years a Slave camp jumped with joy. It was definitely deserving, and it also proves that The Academy still sides with emotionally driven films rather than visual masterpieces. So we’ll have to wait longer until the first 3-D film wins Best Picture, but history was still made with the win to 12 Years a Slave.

These are my other favorite moments from the night:

1. The Star-Studded Selfie

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Ellen asked for it and the viewers carried it through. The selfie with celebrities such as Bradley Cooper, Meryl Streep, Lupita Nyong’o, Julia Roberts, Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Lawrence, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, half of Jared Leto’s face and Lupita’s brother crashed Twitter, with over a million retweets in less than an hour. Only Ellen.

 

2. Pharrell Gets “Happy”

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Pharrell’s performance of “Happy” was a great choice towards the beginning of the ceremony while the celebrities were still enjoying themselves (for the most part). Dozens of actors got out of their seats to dance along with the catchy tune, including the lovely Lupita Nyong’o. Which reminds me…

 

3. Lupita Nyong’o

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We all know Jennifer Lawrence is beloved by everyone and is arguably the biggest female movie star at the moment, but March 2, 2014 was the night of Lupita Nyong’o. Beautifully dressed and taking in every moment at the Oscars, Nyong’o made the world smile especially when she accepted the award for Best Supporting Actress. Beginning with, “It doesn’t escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is thanks to so much pain in someone else’s,” and ending her speech with, “No matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid.” It was a touching and great moment.

Overall, it was a fine telecast. For those who are still complaining how long the Oscars were, it was ten minutes shorter than the Grammy’s, so deal with it. While there weren’t many surprises in an awards standpoint, the night was sure entertaining enough to make it through without falling asleep. Now the question is, who’s going to win next year’s Best Picture?

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