The Spectacle Blog

My Oscar Observations

By on 3.3.14 | 12:53AM

Here are my observations of the 86th Academy Awards.

Why? I didn’t see any of the films that were nominated. Well, I had nothing better to do.

Host Ellen DeGeneres’ joke about the rain already makes her an improvement over last year’s host Seth MacFarlane.

Maybe I’ll have to take that back. Her joke about Liza Minnelli being played by a male impersonator didn’t go over so well.

Now she’s suggesting that if Jennifer Lawrence wins another Academy Award that it should it be brought to her rather than her go up to the stage. I had completely forgotten she had tripped up the stairs when she won Best Actress last year and apparently so had the rest of the world.

In introducing Bruce Dern, Ellen noted, “Your grandfather was the Governor of Utah; your uncle was a Pullitzer Prize winning poet and Eleanor Roosevelt was your godmother. What went wrong?”

Ellen’s best joke of the night wasn’t actually a joke. “Possibility #1 — 12 Years a Slave wins Best Picture. Possibility #2 — You’re all racists.”

Jared Leto wins Best Supporting Actor for Dallas Buyers Club. Leto managed to make a heartfelt speech to his mother and brother, stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and Venezuela and mourned the 36 million people who have died of AIDS.

Ellen’s best joke of the night that was actually a joke. “Citizen Kane, Lawrence of Arabia, Ace Ventura. Our next presenter was in one of those movies. Ladies and gentlemen, Jim Carrey.” Carrey responded, “Don’t patronize me.” He then did a great impersonation of Bruce Dern. Unfortunately, half the audience has no idea who Bruce Dern is.

But everyone in the audience knows who Pharell Williams is. This is not a bad thing though. He left everyone in the audience, well, happy.

Harrison Ford introduces the first three films nominated for Best Picture — American Hustle, Dallas Buyers Club,and The Wolf of Wall Street. Not exactly a way to spend a relaxing evening out on the town. I think Harrison Ford should take teleprompter lessons from President Obama.

It was nice of Ellen to give Bradley Cooper lottery scratch tickets as a consolation prize for not winning Best Supporting Actor.

It was even nicer to see Kim Novak present an Academy Award with Matthew McConaughey.

Yes, we still really, really like Sally Field. My sister really, really likes Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

I liked the Muppets commercial featuring “Everybody’s Talkin’” by Nilsson in homage to Midnight Cowboy. I didn’t like the following commercial with Tina Fey. Of course, I don’t like anything that involves Tina Fey.

Why is Ellen holding a guitar?

It’s too bad that Alice Herz-Sommer did not live long enough to see The Lady in Number 6 win for Best Short Subject Documentary. Then again she did survive the Holocaust and played Beethoven until she died a week ago at the age of 110.

Did Ellen offer to order everyone pizza? Well, it’s not Andy Kaufman taking everyone at Carnegie Hall out for milk and cookies.

Now Darlene Love knows how to accept an Academy Award!!!

Tyler Perry introduced the next three films nominated for Best Picture — Nebraska, Her and Gravity. I guess I wouldn’t mind seeing Nebraska. It is nice to see Bruce Dern in a lead role. I don’t think he’s had a lead role since Silent Running and that was more than 40 years ago. I remember watching re-runs of The Fugitive and it seemed like he was in every other possible as part of a biker gang.

I like the concept of Her, but would Joaquin Phoenix have fallen in love with his operating system if it had Nancy Pelosi’s voice instead of Scarlett Johansson’s? As a matter of general principle, I don’t watch movies with George Clooney — even if he is only in it for five minutes.

Ellen looks better wearing a white suit. Now she is trying to take the world’s most retweeted photo. Instead, she (with a little help of Bradley Cooper) took the world’s largest selfie.

Lupita Nyong’o wins Best Supporting Actress for 12 Years a Slave. The Academy isn’t racist — so far. I must say though that she has a beautiful sounding voice.

So only the big stars get pizza. Ellen only ordered three boxes of pizza and didn’t have any money to pay for it. She would later pass around the hat — Pharell Williams’ hat to be exact.

I liked Bill Murray’s impromptu tribute to the late Harold Ramis.

In honor of the 75th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz, Pink performed “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” while wearing a ruby red dress. Whoopi Goldberg took care of the ruby red slippers. Excuse me as I while way the hours and confer with the flowers.

How many Tina Fey commercials must we see tonight? Well, at least she’s not hosting the Oscars.

Ellen is now dressed up as The Good Witch. I agree with Ellen that Benedict Cumberbatch has the best name ever. Elementary!!!

Bette Midler sang “Wind Beneath My Wings” following the In Memoriam segment. Allow me to leave the following instructions. Under no circumstances will “Wind Beneath My Wings” or any other Bette Midler song be permitted to played at my funeral.

Goldie Hawn introduced the final three films nominated for Best Picture — Philomena, Captain Phillips,and 12 Years a Slave. Please see my previous comments on American Hustle, Dallas Buyers Club and The Wolf of Wall Street.

Ellen revealed that the orchestra is playing remotely from Capitol Records. No need for an orchestra pit then.

Broadway star Idina Menzel belted out “Let it Go” from the animated film Frozen. It went on to win Best Original Song. The songwriters, the husband and wife team of Robert Lopez and Kristin Anderson-Lopez, accepted the award in rhyme. Robert Lopez is one of the few people who have won an Oscar, an Emmy, a Grammy and a Tony.

John Ridley won Best Adapted Screenplay for 12 Years a Slave. The Academy isn’t racist — so far.

Sidney Poitier received a warm standing ovation when he presented the Best Director Award with Angelina Jolie. He looks and sounds frail. Then again I must remind myself he is 87. Everyday above ground is a good one.

After winning for directing Gravity, Alfonso Cuaron thanked the “wise guys at Warner Brothers,” but then drew laughter when he amended it to “wise people.”

Cate Blanchett won Best Actress in the Woody Allen film Blue Jasmine. I noticed that when Blanchett mentioned Allen the applause was rather light. My goodness, Gravity actually didn’t win an award for which it was nominated. She told her fellow nominee Sandra Bullock that she “could have watched your performance to the end of time and almost did.” She should talk. Her acceptance speech went on and on.

Matthew McConaughey won Best Actor for Dallas Buyers Club. He managed to top Darlene Love’s acceptance speech. He spoke of having the need to have “someone to look up to, something to look forward to and someone to chase.” Although when McConaughey said he looked up to God, he received lighter applause than Woody Allen. But he spoke eloquently when he said that his hero was himself ten years from now and when ten years passed he said his hero was still ten years away and would always be. It was the highlight of the night.

Although Gravity won seven Academy Awards, 12 Years a Slave won Best Picture. The Academy can breathe a sigh of relief. It isn’t racist.

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