2014 Oscar Recap

By on March 3, 2014
The Oscar Selfie that shut down Twitter for a spell...

Well, the Oscars are done, but let the recapping begin! Here’s a look at some of the best- and worst- moments of the ceremony. Let’s start, fittingly, with the red carpet festivities…

Courtesy of imdb.com

Courtesy of imdb.com

Best Dressed

Looking every inch the African princess she is, Lupita Nyong’o has been killing it on the red carpet this season, and this night was no exception. This girl brings the right kind of color to the Oscars for a change, and I’m not just talking about race. Her bright, fashion-forward, colorful ensembles have stolen the show in every awards show red carpet in recent memory, and it’s only right that she did the same on Hollywood’s biggest night- especially with her subsequent Oscar later on, making this a true double win all around.

On the guys’ end, “Dallas Buyers Club” winners Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto showed that white was pretty alright, alright, alright, too- although Leto’s red bow tie was a bit much.

Honorable mentions: Jennifer Lawrence, Cate Blanchett, Jessica Biel, Kate Hudson, Sandra Bullock and Emma Watson.

Worst Dressed

Courtesy of imdb.com

Courtesy of imdb.com

Liza Minnelli tried- and failed- to get her hipster on with a flash of blue in her hair to match her dubious dress choice. Meanwhile, Sally Hawkins, when standing next to co-star Cate Blanchett, looked like the “before” picture to her “after,” and definitely in a bad way. That dress looked like it was working overtime to engulf Hawkins’ head- and winning.

I usually adore Anna Kendrick, but her pseudo-Goth mish-mash looked like she was trying to emulate the lesser part of her career: the “Twilight” years. On the guys’ end, Pharrell Williams managed to top the hat-tastrophe of the Grammy’s with shortened dress pants. Um, no. I just…I can’t.

However, the grand prize goes to Anne Hathaway, who looked like she lost a battle with an exploding disco ball. Some women and their dresses have the ability to stop traffic dead in its tracks- it’s a wonder this one didn’t cause a few wrecks, what with the reflective materials and all. Ugh.

Best Red Carpet Accessory

Gotta be the baby bump. Olivia Wilde and Kerry Washington in particular showed that being pregnant need not mean one couldn’t be fashionable as all get out. These women more than held their own on the red carpet, with the best kind of assist: baby back-up! You go, ladies.

Best Bits from Ellen’s Opening Monologue

I chuckled when Ellen cracked wise about California’s excessive-by-their-standards rain fall quotient (“Thanks for your prayers”), giggled when she called Liza Minnelli the best Liza impersonator (“Good job, sir”), and laughed when she referenced Jonah Hill’s, um, shall we say, revealing turn in “Wolf of Wall Street” at her own expense (“You showed me something I had not seen in a very, very long time”).

But for me, the funniest bit was when she called out Jennifer Lawrence for her infamous spill at last year’s Oscars. The look on J-Law’s face when Ellen threatened to show a clip was priceless, but even more so was Ellen’s line about how “If you win, we should just bring you the Oscar.” Well played, Ellen.

Courtesy of imdb.com

Courtesy of imdb.com

Best Oscar Ceremony Accessory

Definitely Pharrell’s now-infamous hat, which may have been a laughingstock at the Grammy’s but made me smile like nobody’s business in his incredibly fun performance, not the least in its animated form. As if that weren’t enough- and it would have been, in my book- later on Ellen used it to collect “tips” from the audience for her pizza stunt. Speaking of which…

The Jeff Spicoli Memorial Award

This one goes out to Ellen, who did indeed order pizza at the most unlikely place since Sean Penn had it delivered to his classroom in the teen classic “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.” I’m not sure what was more priceless: the fact that she did it, or the subsequent shots of celebrities munching down en masse after the fact. Let’s call it a tie FTW.

The Boogie Down Productions Award

This one goes out to Pharrell himself, who got everyone from Jamie Foxx and his daughter to select celebrities in the audience like Amy Adams, Lupita Nyong’o and- be still my heart- Meryl Streep to shake what their mamas gave them. Who knew Adams had those moves at her disposal? She may not have won an Oscar, but she won the most unexpected dope moves of the evening award, which means we all won, if you think about it. AA in da hizzle!

The Literal Best Shaker Award

The French guy who won for Best Animated Short, who looked like he was about ready to keel over and faint at any moment, he was so nervous. Poor guy!

Best Speech

On the female side, I’m gonna go with Lupita Nyong’o, whose speech was charming, honest, and veered from touching to tear-inducing over the course of a few minutes flat. Yale FTW.

On the guys’ end, Jared Leto finally perfected the speech he’d been doing various versions of on the awards trail, thanking his mom and dedicating the win to those that were lost to the AIDS virus over the years. It was so sweet you could practically hear the panties drop in the audience. He might have come with his mom as a date, but I’m guessing he cleaned up at the after-party. It have been a hair bit long, but it was exceedingly well-crafted, so he gets a pass, plus a get-into-MILF-free card with single moms everywhere. Definitely makes up for the red bowtie!

Most Unexpected but Welcome Speech

Definitely Darlene Love’s show-stopping bit of singing when her movie “20 Feet from Stardom” won the Oscar for Best Documentary feature. Um, wow.

Runners-up: the “Frozen” team’s rhyme-heavy thank you list.

Best Song Performance

Courtesy of imdb.com

Courtesy of imdb.com

Yes, Pharrell was loads of fun, and U2, P!nk and Karen O. were all great, but you have to give it to Idina Menzel, who brought down the house with her rendition of the excellent “Frozen” song, “Let It Go,” which also went on to win Best Song. Nailed it.

Best Selfie Ever

Ellen single-handedly crashed Twitter when her phone pic of a cavalcade of stars including perpetual photo-bomber J-Law, Brad Pitt, Kevin Spacey and others went live and instantly became the most re-tweeted selfie EVER. Take that, Kardashians!

Best Presenter

Bill Murray, who shouted-out the late Harold Ramis, called the category of cinematography “Best Shooter” and referred to Amy Adams as “baby.” Nicely done all around, Mr. Murray. Also fun was Jamie Foxx’s silly banter during the presentation for Best Score, which included an impromptu performance of the “Chariots of Fire” theme, and the immortal line: “Back me up, Biel” to co-presenter Jessica Biel, whose back was made to back that thang up. Word.

Worst Presenter

John Travolta, who massacred Idina Menzel’s name, calling her something to the effect of “Adele Dazi.” Um, what the what? Don’t they have teleprompters for this sort of thing? Epic fail. Fortunately, Menzel can take comfort in the fact that she won the award later on.

Best Shoes

To Whoopi Goldberg, who was sporting some mean ruby red slippers/stripper shoes as she presented a tribute to “The Wizard of Oz.” Bonus points for the striped stockings.

Best of Both Worlds Award

To “Gravity,” which took home all manners of technical awards before bringing out the big guns for Best Director Alfonso Cuaron. It may not have won most of the big awards, but it won them where it most counted, and in a movie that dependent on vision and believability, that seems about right.

Best Call-Back

To Ellen, for mentioning that writer/director Spike Jonze, who won for Best Original Screenplay, used to be a skateboarder in his pre-movie days. Nicely recalled, Ellen!

Worst Showing

A tie between “American Hustle” and “The Wolf of Wall Street,” which both went home empty-handed, despite a multitude of

nominations. Oh well. Better luck next time, everyone.

Courtesy of imdb.com

Courtesy of imdb.com

The “Oh! That’s Why That Sounded So Familiar” Award

To Matthew McConaughey, who acknowledged that his famed catch-phrase, “Alright, alright, alright” was actually nicked from Jim Morrison, who also used the phrase repeatedly in various concert recordings.

The “No Matter How Many Awards His Movies Win, It Won’t Make up for the General Ickiness of Woody Allen” Award

To Cate Blanchett, who got a decidedly cool response to her mention of writer/director Woody Allen, likely in light of the recent accusations against him lately. Blanchett is amazing, and deserves credit where credit is due, but Allen…not so much.

Well, that about does it for my recap! Feel free to list your own fave moments below in the comments section, and see you for the next Oscar go-round!

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About Mark Trammell

Mark Trammell is the resident entertainment critic at UAB, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he is also a Graduate Student and does a vid-cast movie review show. He is a life-long fan of films and has a pretty whacked-out, all-over-the-place movie collection that would give most sane people pause. He loves horror movies and Disney flicks and isn't entirely sure there is a difference. He one day hopes to put his money where his mouth is and inflict his own perverse vision on society, entirely so that he can tell people who ask: "If you think you can do better, why don't you make a movie yourself?" to shut up.
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