Just like Christmas, the Oscars involve a lot of hype, huge let-downs and loads of shiny stuff. Within the first 30 seconds the 86th Academy Awards were off to a significantly better start than the past two years. Ellen DeGeneres was a regular WC Fields in comparison to previous years hosts. Besides, Who doesn't love Ellen?
The programming was slow, the musical numbers except for one were snores and the montages were only so-so. Ellen's pizza bit was moderately humorous, but she should have stuck to half the material. The a-list selfie that quite literally crashed Twitter was genius. And by genius I mean the genius of Samsung's marketing team. Ellen however pulled it off flawlessly. Even stoic Angelina Jolie hammed it up for the camera. Kevin Spacey out photo-bombed everyone. Whether he's referencing John Stamos and "Full House of Cards" or paying for pizza, the man is dignity, style and comedy personified.
Kevin Spacey is just so damn debonair and I think I'm safe in saying he was the evening’s best-dressed man (honorable mention: Christophe Waltz). Having said that, Jordan Catalano is however a beautiful looking human. So beautiful in fact, that he bears a striking resemblance to a un-collagened Courtney Cox (circa 1990-ish). I think Jared Leto got a lot of attention last night simply because everyone was thrilled to see that he wasn’t wearing a man-bun.
Laughing in the face of tradition, The Style Star of Oscar was Pharrell Williams. Whether in short pants standing next to his lengthy wife, in ruby sneakers or wearing his now signature paper bag hat, the ageless musician remains eternally cool. His song was hands down the best. Too bad Randy Newman won again for Disney. Wait . . . . what?
I apparently missed the subtlety of Pharell’s sparkly trainers and a corseted Whoopie Goldberg hobbling on stage in crimson, jewel-encrusted platforms. Turns out it was the 75th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz. It wasn't until Pink appeared in front of a tornado wearing a red sequinned gown that I clued into the fact. The theme was rather weak in comparison to last years Bond nod. All of a sudden Liza Minnelli’s presence made a lot more sense. “Good job Sir.”
Really, the less said about the musical performances the better. Apart from Happy and maybe the Moon Song (which was at least well sung) the performances were average at best. And the tributes by Bette Midler and Pink were downright awful.
Speaking of music. I’ve never been a fan of U2 and maybe now even less so. They kick of the Predictions and Predictability section of my Oscar re-cap. Under the heading “enough already” sit; yawn inducing strapless gowns, Jack Nicholson chewing gum and U2. If Samuel L Jackson can leave his Kangol hat at home, Bono can dispense with the tinted glasses and The Edge can expose his scalp.
Predictions and Predictability
- Ear cuffs - Emma Watson and Lupita Nyong’o - honestly I thought there would be more. Tune in to the 87th Academy Awards.
- Cape - Kate Hudson and Camilla Alvez - Once again, I thought there would be more. See above.
- Color Blocking - No one. I was dead wrong on this.
- Carryovers from 2013 - I was 98% right.
- Sternum - Lupita Nyong’o, Julia Roberts (the demure age-appropriate version) Charlize Theron, Kate Hudson, Pink, Julie Delpy and Karen O.
- Exposed leg - Rocsi Diaz, Anna Kendrick, Kerry Washington, Nancy O’Dell
- Emerald earrings - June Squibb, but she was the only one.
General Observations -The Good the Bad and the God Awful.
Anna Kendrick picked up where Zoe Saldana left off last year. Throwing all kinds of trends on at once: exposed leg, exposed midriff -ish, exposed back, sheer detailing, confused neckline. Separately these trends may have has a fighting chance.
There were MANY instances of Bordering on Bridal : Kristen Bell, Giuliana Rancic, and Tara Lipinski* to name a handful - There’s a way to do white at the Oscars and they should’ve asked Portia De Rossi what that way was. She was wearing an intricate Moorish inspired cut-out gown by Saint Laurent. Just lovely. Maybe the loveliest of the evening.
Overall there was a significant amount of nude and/or sheer enhanced by sparkly bits. Notably: Cate Blanchette, Not notably: Angelina Jolie (poor choice for one with broad shoulders + huge rack) As usual the red carpet proved that there was no shortage of unimaginative strapless gowns ie: Sandra Bullock, Amy Adams, Viola Davis and jennifer Lawrence - who incidentally wore a backwards necklace again and “endearingly” tripped over something for the second year in a row. I’m buying this dorky girl next door act less and less.
Lupita Nyong’o managed to be every bit as charming as 2013's Jennifer Lawrence and still managed to come off as genuine. Her acceptance speech was delightful - best of the night. And Benedict Cumberbatch agreed by way of bawling his eyes out in the audience.
I love old movies, mainly musicals and mainly from the 50’s and 60’s. There were A LOT of deaths this year. I prepared myself for the worst - Peter O’Toole, Shirley Temple AND Esther Williams. COME ON! Childhood favorites. Zilch. Not a tear. I don’t know if it was the montage or what? Some would say it was my cold little black heart, but the fact remains: I felt nothing when Lawrence of Arabia flashed across the screen. I suppose the producers felt the same nothing and called Bette Midler in at the 11th hour to warble through Wind Beneath my Wings. You have got to be kidding me? It was bloody awful and not-so shockingly, still not a tear in sight. A group of us were sitting quietly watching in disbelief. I wondered out loud, “Why is she flapping her arms?” Boyfriend answered: “Because people died Zenija.”
What was far sadder than the death montage was Kim Novak - whom I recognized immediately. But I didn’t know where from? There was something distinctly familiar about her (cheekbones, eyebrows)? Obviously there was an enormous amount of plastic surgery that wasn’t helping to jog my memory. But I narrowed it down to a 1960’s star and was on the right track when Twitter helpfully spilled the beans. There’s A LOT I want to say about this. But I’ll leave it at a melancholy sigh.
Until next year.
*side note: how is Tara Lipinski a fashion critic? What did I miss, besides the wedding?
- Kim Novak - Bell Book and candle trailer
- Peter O'Toole - Whats new Pussycat clip
- Esther Williams montage
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