Academy Awards 2014


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Academy Awards were very much the epitome of what the ceremony has become, with all the celebrity, humor, and pomp and circumstance one could want.

Though there were no major surprises when it came to the winners, it was generally a great night to celebrate one of the greatest years in film in recent memory.

The star of the show was, of course, the host, Ellen Degeneres. She was well received by her fellow celebrities and her jokes and ridiculous antics (such as ordering a pizza in the middle of the ceremony) kept everyone entertained. Personally, I thought her skits went on a bit too long, but fans of hers appreciated her brand of humor.

She is also to be congratulated on taking the most retweeted photo of all time during the ceremony.

Though the skits and speeches went on a little long, the meat of the ceremony wereas still the awards themeselves. The first award of the evening was one of the most memorable moments of the night – Lupitia Nyong’o won Best Supporting Actress for her role in 12 Years a Slave. Usually I hate long acceptance speeches, but hers was one of the most heartwarming I have ever heard. Lupitia’s heartfelt speech won her the most memorable of the night.

I don’t think anything more needs to be said about John Travolta. Lets just say that if you can transform “Idina Menzel” into “Adele Dazeem”, you should not be in the business.

The news that had everyone talking would be, to my eye, that DiCaprio again got “snubbed”. While Matthew McConaughey gave an embarrassingly long-winded and pointless acceptance speech for Best Actor, where he talked endlessly about his faith and his narcissistic self-admiration. I wouldn’t have minded if he had at least touched on his time with Dallas Buyer’s Club, but ultimately the speech comes second to the performance.

Disney fans were pleased to find that Frozen walked away with two Oscars (Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song). Well deserved, but I can’t help but feel sad that Hayao Miyazaki’s final film The Wind Rises didn’t get any love, considering that he is the only foreign director to win the award (for Spirited Away in 2002).

For most of the minor awards, Gravity was an absolute juggernaut, taking away four awards, the most of any one film that night. American Hustle, Wolf of Wall Street, and Captain Phillips got absolutely no love from the Academy. If that isn’t evidence of how strong a year this was, I don’t know what is.

Finally, to wrap up the night, Gravity was ultimately trumped by gravitas when the heavy favorite 12 Years a Slave took home the grand prize. No shame in losing to that film.

Overall, it was a good night where the achievements of the year were well-honored. I hope we see Lupitia Nyong’o at the ceremony in the future, and I hope that this coming year can live up to the standard of 2013.