Kevin Noonan | Monday, March 3, 2014
Now that the Oscars are over, we have to wait a whole year before Hollywood offers us another golden opportunity to be snarky about anything and everything imaginable surrounding films, celebrities and pop culture, but that doesn’t mean we can’t drag the parade out for another day or two. So begins the recap.
I really hope you didn’t actually take any of our bets seriously on Friday.
To anyone who read Friday’s column “Hollywood Bookie: The Oscars” and is also reading this recap (a demographic which includes myself and maybe my parents, if I’m lucky), I won’t apologize for causing any lost money, but I will admit that I was entirely wrong on almost all of my picks. Bet 1 – $20 on “Gravity” to win Best Picture. Loss. Bet 2 – $15 on Jennifer Lawrence and $5 on June Squibb to win Best Supporting Actress. Double loss. Bet 3 – $25 on “Ordinary Love” by U2 from “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” to win Best Original song. Loss. But wait, here we go, bet 4 – $35 on Pharrell to wear that weird hat to perform “Happy.” WIN. BIG WIN. So I wasn’t that far off.
The problem with picking the Oscars this year is that all the favorites won. There were no real surprises throughout the entire ceremony, minus the overwhelmed pizza boy that the show’s host, Ellen Degeneres, brought in to deliver pizzas to the stars in the audience and then whatever came out of John Travolta’s mouth when he tried to introduce Idina Menzel for “Let It Go.” Degeneres kept the whole thing from being a snooze fest, but only just barely.
Could they practice this thing a little more? Or at all?
Travolta’s “Adele Dazine” replacement for Idina Menzel wasn’t the only slip up of the show, or even of that song. The music behind Menzel’s performance seemed to move at a faster tempo than normal, or maybe she was just a little slower than normal, but whatever it was, the whole song was underwhelming. Harrison Ford introduced something while looking and sounding like he might die at that very moment – and that he might prefer that to being onstage at the Oscars. Matthew McConaughey took the stage to present the Best Animated Feature Film to “Frozen” with Kim Novak, star of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1958 classic “Vertigo,” and did his best acting job of the year pretending like the aging former star next to him wasn’t freaking him out. Who knows what it was, but it didn’t seem like Novak was all there.
Jared Leto, Lupita Nyong’o should teach acceptance speech classes in Hollywood
Leto, who won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role as a transgender woman in “Dallas Buyers Club,” and Nyong’o, who won Best Supporting Actress for her work as an abused slave in “12 Years a Slave,” both gave heartfelt, rousing and inspirational speeches, with Nyong’o especially blowing the crowd away. Leto thanked his mother and highlighted the struggles she went through to raise his brother and him, as well as praising those working for peace and progress in Venezuela and Ukraine before acknowledging AIDS victims and any in the world “who ever felt injustice for who you are and who you love.”
Nyong’o took the stage nearly in tears and thanked her film’s director for giving her a chance and speaking to the pain endured of people like the character she portrayed in “12 Years a Slave.” She closed her speech with genuine inspiration, saying, “When I look down at this golden statue, may it remind me and every little child that no matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid. Thank you.” She’s gone from relatively unknown to instant star in the matter of a few months and cemented that status in one minute. Isn’t that what the Oscars are all about? Well, that’s how it should be, and it’s what makes moments like Nyong’o’s speech so special.