Monday, March 03, 2014

oscar congrats all around

Some may have found last night's Oscar telecast a little tame or subdued. Or even boring. But I think it was more a reflection of a desire (and need) for Hollywood to lighten up, and that the nominees were all pretty deserving. Honestly, anyone could have won and it wouldn't have been considered an upset.

Ellen Degeneres was the perfect host  for such a laid-back, upbeat vibe. She only made a few real digs, in her opening monologue, at Jonah Hill and Liza Minnelli, and while those might have been a bit more acidic than her usual shtick, they were also understood to be good-natured ribbing. The rest of the time she tried to get a rise out of the usually stiff celebrities, by corralling A-listers in a goofy record-breaking selfie, and ordering pizza for the first two rows of the tuxedo and bejeweled crowd.

The selfie tweeted 'round the world
Favorite moments:

Pharrell Williams's opening number, "Happy." The multi-talented Pharrell got the audience on their feet in the theater, and (at least here) at home, too. Pharrell also helped showcase another of Meryl Streep's hidden talents (around the one-minute mark of the video below).

There were quite  few more-entertaining-than-usual acceptance speeches, from Best Actress Winner Cate Blanchett, Best Supporting Actor Winner Jared Leto, Best Supporting Actress Winner Lupita N'yongo, and Best Actor Winner Matthew McConnaughey.

There has to be one completely weird and inexplicable moment, and John Travolta obliged, with his strange introduction of "Adele Dazeem" singing "Let It Go" from Frozen. The crowd watched in confusion as Broadway veteran Idina Menzel, who performed the song in the movie as well took the stage. Travolta introduced himself as a big fan of musicals, which made the gaffe even more bizarre. The song was the Oscar winner, too.

Bill Murray's sly, slipped-in tribute to the fabulous Harold Ramis was also a high point. Ellen's celebrity-pack selfie was fun (and it's already generated a web page where one can insert oneslef into the mob), but this image from the red carpet is my favorite of the night.
Cumberbatch photobomb — say that three times quickly
Congratulations to all.


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