2014 Oscars

The biggest night of the year in Hollywood is often not worth the time we put into it. The Oscar ceremony can be too long, too silly, and way too self-reverent. This year's ceremony was a breath of fresh air. Funny and filled with clip segments that truly showed the best of the best, I loved it. By the way, this is ChrisB. sunbunny will be along with the fashions in a bit.

Ellen DeGeneres was the host and she was brilliant! I mean, really good. Her opening monologue had me laughing out loud and she maintained this standard throughout. She spent a lot of time playing with the audience, all of whom were great sports and played along -- pizza and all. The producers are fools if they don't sign her up for the next decade.

The show was all about the heroes. We saw a clip of animated heroes and two of live action heroes. Not the heroes in capes and tights, the heroes like Atticus Finch. I was astonished at how many of the films I had seen, but even more astonished by how emotional I got watching them again. Hollywood does good heroes.

A tribute to The Wizard of Oz left me cold simply because I'm not a huge fan of the movie. Pink sang the song you would expect, but all I could think about was that she really needed a bra. Sorry. I'm sure the rest of the world loved it.

The annual In Memoriam tribute was refreshingly tasteful and was capped off by Bette Midler singing "Wing Beneath My Wings," a song that always makes me cry. She received a standing ovation that made her cry. The number of truly gifted people we lost this year was astonishing. The reminder is always tough.

Enough about the ceremony. Here are the best films of the past year:

Best Motion Picture of the Year: 12 Years A Slave
-- As this is always the last category named, I was surprised by this win. I was waiting for Gravity to win simply because of the other awards it won. Guess I need to see this one, finally.

Performance By An Actor in a Leading Role: Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
-- Not even a remotely surprising win, but his speech was. I expected him to be fumbling and nervous. He was wildly articulate and gracious. More to this man than just good looks.

Performance By An Actress in a Leading Role: Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
-- Not a surprising win as she has won pretty nearly every award out there this year. In her speech, she talked about the fact that films about women should not be niche. They do make money. Good for her. Unfortunately, I will never see this film as I refuse to support Woody Allen in any form.

Performance By An Actor in a Supporting Role: Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
-- While he was in desperate need of some shampoo, or at the very least a hair brush, Leto's acceptance speech was simply lovely. He spent his allotted time talking about his mom and those who have died of AIDS, but did so articulately and humbly. I am a fan.

Performance By An Actress in a Supporting Role: Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave
-- Another simply wonderful win. I love this woman and her acceptance speech was fun. She was so excited and moved, but humble and lovely. Not to mention, she looked gorgeous.

Achievement in Directing: Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity
-- Judging from the sheer number of technical awards this show won (see below), the man who coordinated it all certainly deserved to win. His speech was well done and bilingual. I love that stuff.

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year: Frozen
-- sunbunny was very happy with this win. I have yet to see it, but have added it to the list.

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year: The Great Beauty

Best Documentary Feature: Twenty Feet From Stardom
-- Well, my night was made. Not only did the film I want to win do so, but it was presented by Will Tippin Bradley Cooper. To top off my fangirl glee, Darlene Love, who is a huge part of the film, sang.

Original Screenplay: Her
Adapted Screenplay: 12 Years A Slave

Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Score): Gravity
Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Song): "Let It Go," Frozen
-- A great song and a witty acceptance speech. Even better, the winner Robert Lopez became one of those rare creatures who has achieved the EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony).

Achievement in Film Editing: Gravity
Achievement in Cinematography: Gravity
-- Bill Murray presented the award and gave a shout out to Harold Ramis that got a huge cheer. Murray was visibly moved.

Achievement in Production Design: The Great Gatsby
Achievement in Costume Design: The Great Gatsby
Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling: Dallas Buyers Club
Achievement in Sound Editing: Gravity
Achievement in Sound Mixing: Gravity
Achievement in Visual Effects: Gravity
Best Live-Action Short Film: Helium
Best Animated Short Film: Mr. Hublot
Best Documentary Short Subject: The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life

Before I go, honorary Oscars went to Steve Martin, Angela Lansbury, and Piero Tosi. A well deserved humanitarian award was given to Angelina Jolie.

Overall, I was very pleased with this year's show. It went by quickly, unlike some of the shows in the past. I also really liked the mix of films that won. For those of you who followed the tweetathon that sunbunny and I did, thank you and I hope we kept you entertained. Now, I turn you over to my partner in crime who will discuss the fashions wins and losses.

sunbunny speaks...

Worst Dressed

I haven’t seen Blue Jasmine and I hadn’t heard of nominee Sally Hawkins before tonight. My first glimpse of her was more than a little underwhelming. Swimming in a Valentino dress far too massive for her tiny frame and far too old for her non-octogenarian age, Hawkins failed to impress.

Most Disappointing

Everyone loved Amy Adams’ navy Gucci gown. And there’s no denying she looked absolutely beautiful. But I expect more from an actual Disney Princess. Adams, nominated tonight for American Hustle, is one of the relatively few celebrities completely capable of rocking a ball gown on the red carpet. I would have liked the look more if she had worn her hair down as planned. She had it put up in deference to the rainy weather.

Biggest Flashback

The usually chic Camila Alves stumped me in a 1980s flashback of a dress. Long sleeves, shoulder pads, pastel pink, and an inexplicable cape-like thing. Alves attended on the arm of husband Matthew McConaughey, who won for Dallas Buyers Club.


Anne Hathaway shone (in a good way) on the red carpet. She shone in a less good way on camera. The lights hitting the embellishment on her Gucci dress created extremely distracting flashing noticed by everyone and is undoubtedly soon to be mocked on the late night circuit. Hathaway, who presented tonight, really ought to have given the dress a try under some lights before making her decision.

Most Uncomfortable Looking

There was just something about Sandra Bullock tonight. The Gravity nominee’s Alexander McQueen gown was ultra-glamourous, as were her luscious curls, but there just wasn’t getting around the fact she didn’t look particularly like Sandra Bullock. She kept fidgeting with her hair and just didn’t look comfortable in her gown. There’s something to be said for dressing with your type.

Most Comfortable Looking

And that thing is: Cate Blanchett. The red carpet queen of couture lived up to her title in this Armani gown. A winner for Blue Jasmine, Blanchett shone and sparkled in classic Blanchett fashion.

Most Glamourous

Charlize Theron is always gorgeous, but she was absolutely jaw-dropping tonight. The presenter wore a Dior gown and $15 million worth of Harry Winston diamonds. Her hair, her makeup, everything about her was flawless.

The Jennifer Lawrence Award

Jennifer Lawrence always gets a place in my best dressed list. Because she’s Jennifer Lawrence. Lawrence was nominated tonight for American Hustle. She wore Dior, which should surprise no one who’s been following her red carpet appearances. The dress looked similar to what we’ve seen her wear before, but when you look this good, it really doesn’t make a difference.

Best Dressed

Lupita Nyong’o, who won tonight for her performance in 12 Years A Slave wowed the crowd in a baby blue Prada gown that made her look every bit the goddess she is. The first-time winner kept her accessories simple and let her beautiful face and gorgeous smile take center stage.

Special Mention

Pharrell, whose song “Happy” was nominated tonight, wore shorts. Chris and I both felt that the bold choice merited a mention.

What did you think of the show? Of the winners? Of the fashions? Let us know in the comments! I’m off to continue fuming about John Travolta and his horrific mispronunciation of poor Idina Menzel’s name.


LaureMack said...

Oh Sunbunny, I have to disagree for best dressed. Kate Hudson knocked it out of the park. She rocked the classic timeless beauty that so many people strive for. I loooooved her dress and styling. I still can't stop thinking about it.

I want to dress like Kate Hudson when I grow up!

Billie Doux said...

I didn't watch it, but I was rooting for Gravity for best picture, because I wanted a sci-fi movie to win. Oh, well. As usual, they gave it a lot of everything else to make it look like there isn't a bias against sci-fi.

Chris, I also boycott Woody Allen and won't be watching Blue Jasmine.

Wonderful wrap-up, you guys.

Freeman said...

I'll admit, I don't put much stock in the Oscars and I'm generally rather disinterested in the whole affair, but I do like to poke my head in to at least see what you guys thought.

I have to say I'm quite disappointed but obviously not surprised that Frozen won. My grievances with the film are many and while it was a fun Disney movie, I don't think it's nearly as deserving of all the praise it gets. I don't quite get it, but I also feel like Idina Menzel's voice loses a certain something when it gets put through a studio so I also found "Let It Go" lacking as well. I dunno, maybe the theater I was in had a bum speaker or something. And I feel like some kind of infidel for saying this, but I enjoyed The Croods a whole lot more.

sunbunny said...

LaureMack - Kate Hudson looked fabulous too! Love metallics on her.

sunbunny said...

LaureMack - Kate Hudson looked fabulous too! Love metallics on her.

sunbunny said...

LaureMack - Kate Hudson looked fabulous too! Love metallics on her.

memz_ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
memz_ said...

I thought Ellen was not funny at all. The pizza bit was funny but then went on too long. I liked what she did with the selfie, the Jonah penis jokes and a few more bits and while I usually find her hilarious, I thought she was not on top form.

About the wins, there were really no surprises. The only category that was pulled an upset was Animated Short. I was really happy for Spike Jonze, Alfonso Cuarón, "La Grande Bellezza" (please watch this film, it is painfully and breathtakingly beautiful), and "12 Years a Slave," which is the first movie since "The Hurt Locker" that really deserved the award. I was pulling for "The Wolf of Wall Street" but it was a longshot. Almost everyone gave a great speech and they were entertaining, but my favorite would have to be Cate Blanchett's speech.

Speaking of Cate, it really is a shame that you refuse to watch "Blue Jasmine." Both Sally Hawkins and Cate Blanchett are amazing in it. And Cate's performance might be in the top 3 lead Actress performances ever along Vivien Leigh for "A Streetcar Named Desire" and my favorite: Elizabeth Taylor for "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"

drnanamom said...

@Freeman. I'm a grandma so I've seen both "Frozen" and "The Croods" several times and while I love "The Croods" it is a bit silly and it's lack of scientific accuracy annoys me even as I'm laughing ("Release the baby!") At least "Frozen" passes the Bechdel test even though it certainly has faults. "Brave" and "Mulan" are still my favourite Disney movies and my grandson's as well. @sunbunny since I only watch the Oscars for the fashion - many thanks for your round-up. These amazing dresses look so different on television vs. pictures vs. in person. I really would love to see them all in person. If I ever have to dress for the Oscars I will remember your advice. Great review team!

Freeman said...

I don't think I understand how that test works. Don't the sisters talk about Hans? Or does the test simply mean two women have a conversation at any time when they're not talking about a man?

sunbunny said...

Yep. The Bechdel test requires two female characters that have at least one conversation about something besides a man. It sounds really basic, but a shocking number of movies and TV episodes fail it.

Freeman said...

Oh, that's kinda sad, heh.

sunbunny said...

There's also the sexy lamp test. Which is basically would the film still make sense if the female character was replaced by a sexy lamp.

Billie Doux said...

I have never heard of the sexy lamp test, but I absolutely love it.

sunbunny said...


The mention is halfway through the interview. :)