The 437th post about the Oscars you won’t read

So there we go, it’s all done and dusted for another 12 months, and it was pretty good. It all went pretty much as expected but I don’t think there are many who can argue with most of The Academy’s choices. Here are some of my thoughts about the 86th Academy Awards…

Ellen was a decent host

Ellen DeGeneres at the Oscars

Ellen Degeneres is pretty well liked throughout the entertainment business, and I thought she did a great job of hosting. The actors like to have their ego stroked, whilst we at home like to see a bit of fun being poked, and Ellen did a fine job of balancing the two. Still not a patch on Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, though.

It was predictable, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing

Pretty much every award was reasonably easy to call, whether you thought it was the correct choice or not, and there have been the usual calls that the whole thing is too predictable. However, if we make predictions and The Academy also makes those choices, surely they’re worthy winners? Some people may have thought they got the odd award wrong, but I think most will concede they were generally on the money this year. It might be nice for them to choose a slightly leftfield choice once in a while, but predictable doesn’t mean undeserving. Maybe the huge number of other award shows dulling our appreciation of the Oscars.

The ‘heroes’ theme was rubbish

Every year the Oscars has a theme, and this year it was ‘heroes’. You didn’t notice a theme? Well that’s because it was such a token effort that it was totally pointless. All we got was a couple of montages about film heroes and that was it. Either go all out and have hosts dressed as superheroes or do away with the theme altogether.

Karen O is amazing

The songs worked well

I thought the live performances would be a bit naff but they actually worked really well. The performances were varied and really added something different to the show. I hope they do the same again next year.

Jared Leto’s, Matthew McConaughey’s and Lupita Nyong’o’s speeches were great

86th Annual Academy Awards - ShowLeto, McConaughey and Nyong’o were worthy winners for Best Supporting Actor, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress respectively, and their speeches were arguably the best of the night. Leto spoke passionately about his mother, who was there with him, whilst McConaughey spoke of what motivates him and keeps him trying to better himself. Nyong’o was absolutely over the moon with her win and that clearly showed in her heartfelt speech.

What’s gone on with Steve McQueen and John Ridley?

12 Years a Slave’s screenwriter John Ridley and its director Steve McQueen seemed to completely snub each other, neither thanking the other in their speeches. Also, when John Ridley won his Oscar, he wasn’t congratulated by a single member of the 12 Years a Slave cast or crew. McQueen was also caught on camera doing some kind of weird fake clap. What’s the deal fellas?

It’s time some of the categories were altered

It seems that a few of the award categories could do with being altered slightly. I might get shot down here but do we really need separate sound editing and sound mixing awards? Surely an achievement in sound award would suffice? I also feel that we change the name of the Best Foreign Language Film award to Best Film Not in the English Language, and that we should do away with the whole actor/actress thing, instead having male actor and female actor. Might sound a bit pointless but I’d prefer it.

A few other things jangling round my head:

  • Jennifer Lawrence was a bit of a tit, as was Jamie Foxx

  • Liza Minnelli jumping on Lupita Nyong’o was weird

  • Kim Novak’s plastic surgery is horrendous

  • U2 really are the most middle of the road band in the world

  • Why are there only 3 nominees for the hair & makeup award?

  • I can’t believe Jared Leto is 42

So those are some of my thoughts from this year’s Oscars. What did you think about the awards? Let me know below in the comments.

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50 thoughts on “The 437th post about the Oscars you won’t read

  1. Flashback/Backslide says:

    I thought Ellen did a good job and found a good place in the ceremonies. That weird clap by Steve McQueen was bizarre but I just assumed he did that for everyone and didn’t realize he was targeting Ridley. I didn’t think anything of their speeches but it does seem odd now that you point everything out.

    • I saw McQueen clapping some other people and he definitely wasn’t clapping properly for Ridley. Apparently it’s over a screenwriting credit. You’d have thought they could have worked it out.

      • Flashback/Backslide says:

        Yeah that is strange. I didn’t know there were any issues with the credits but I’ve been pretty unconnected to all that news. It’s a shame that there are still issues this far away from the movie’s release.

  2. Tom says:

    Great points, particularly at the bottom there Chris. I thought Jamie Foxx was a little irritating. hahah. Poor J Lawrence can’t help but get called out for her. . .well, just being her. You have an interesting point about combining the sound categories, I would have to agree. It’s part of what I call the pretense factor with these awards things — all sound editing/production should be lumped together. Umm…let’s see what else. . . oh! Yeah Kim Novak was REALLY tough to look at! Arguably harder than the whipping scene at the end of 12 Years a Slave! (Oh no he didn’t!!!!)

    • Hahaha, it would have been even harder to look at if it was Kim Novak in 12 Years a Slave! 🙂 I’m actually a big fan of Jennifer Lawrence but that thing she did before she presented was just really weird and awkward.

  3. thycriticman says:

    I was wondering the same thing with the director and screenwriter of 12 Years a Slave seeming like they were avoiding each-other. I’d imagine they had some kind of confrontation or disagreement, but I wonder what it could have been for. Regardless, they created something fantastic together, so it is a shame if they do not get along. Nice title haha.

  4. Hunter says:

    Nice title, man. Would have actually been true had you named it something else.
    Didn’t notice the thing with Ridley and McQueen! I bet there’s a story full of drama in there somewhere….
    The heroes theme was terrible, why did they even bother? Even though I only watched half of last year’s, I remember thinking the theme for that was messed up too. Like originally it was Bond themed and then they changed it to musical themed… either way they messed up on the themes.
    I don’t think being predictable is a bad thing per se, but I don’t think it’s necessarily because the winners were deserving (not that they weren’t, that’s a whole ‘nother argument), I think it’s because the Academy is predictable. I got most of my predictions right with a minimal amount of research; those I got wrong I was prepared to get wrong, mostly because I picked who I wanted to win rather then who I thought (and others were predicting) to win. Everyone has different opinions on who should win, but the “will win” categories on everyone’s predictions were pretty much the same. The Academy generally picks the safe choice that everyone has already went with, and I think they should try to mix it up a little.
    Also, cut out the extra stuff. Really, every year I go in excited to watch the Oscars, and that excitement always wanes at about the first half hour. If they just kept it to like 2 hours I would be way happier with the whole thing.

    • Thanks! A little bit of reverse psychology with my title of this post 🙂
      Yeah I think they should just do away with the themes, it doesn’t really add anything to the awards at all. The heroes theme just went nowhere whatsoever.
      I agree the academy is very predictable but I don’t think they should pick something a little leftfield just for the sake of it. They should pick who they genuinely think is the best. Maybe they are just being safe rather than being honest, but just as long as those who decide the winners picks who they genuinely think should win then I’m happy!

  5. This is a really great summary. I didn’t see the ceremony but most people say it was quite good. And I love Karen O!

  6. Abbi says:

    Didn’t watch it because I was doing sleeping but your round up means that I didn’t have to. Thank-you. Also U2 are so lame they should just quietly disappear for all of our benefit.

  7. Ha ha; now *that* is a great title for a post mate. Jesus, I’m glad it’s all over for another year! Let’s get on with 2014! Great post by the way!

  8. Funny post! I agree with your opinions especially the speeches. Predictable and safe. I thought Ellen this time round was rather lame. Did you notice she stuttered and seemed like she was a half-step behind her own jokes? I did like the tweet picture and the pizza was fine, but I just felt like there was a lot missing from the evening. I agree on the hero theme. They could have raised the bar on that. If I graded it the show, I would have given it a B- just slightly better than mediocre.

    • Thanks Cindy! The show certainly was nothing special but I still quite enjoyed it. I think a B- is fair. I thought Ellen was pretty good. Not all of her jokes hit the mark but I think she got the tone just about right considering the event. A lot of people didn’t like Seth McFarlane last year, so I think this was a pretty safe bet.

  9. ruth says:

    Awesome post Chris, glad you saw the ceremony as well. OH I didn’t notice about Ridley and McQueen snubbing each other. Heh, that’s so odd considering the subject matter of their film, I mean shouldn’t they set whatever petty differences aside and work together??

    Yeah, I didn’t get the point of the ‘heroes’ theme even tho I’m a fan of superhero flicks. At the same time I love seeing Chris Evans there and he looked so gorgeous that I didn’t mind it so much 😉

    • Thanks Ruth! The Ridley and McQueen thing is a funny one as we discussed on Twitter. Seems it’s down to a screenplay credit, but it would have been nice to see them be happy for each other.

      Chris Evans is a handsome chap, ain’t he? Still didn’t really see the point of the theme, I think they should just do without one to be honest.

  10. Great post Chris! (not Terry, i see, haha)
    Agree about Ellen, thought she was really charming and brisk. The awards were just about on the money, even though i wanted Leo to pick up his first Oscar (McConaughey fully deserving though). Didn’t notice the 12 Years a Slave internal snubbing, that’s certainly a weird one. As was Jennifer Lawrence’s “Is this funny?” line. I adore JLaw, but i’ve no idea what was going on there. Only three nominees in hair and makeup, yet nothing for American Hustle in that category? Bonkers. Ah well, here’s to another mental year of film!

    • Thanks Adam! Always takes people a while to catch on the fact my name isn’t actually Terry 🙂
      It would have been nice to see Leo pick up an Oscar but i’m sure his time will come. I love J-Law too but wasn’t overly impressed with her this year, that whole thing when she came out just wasn’t funny and she clearly intended it to be.
      Yeah I thought American Hustle would have been a shoe-in for hair and make-up, really odd category to be honest.

  11. Brittani says:

    Damn it, now you’ve made me want to head to Google to see if they’re feuding or something! Jared Leto being 42 blows my mind.

  12. dirkmalcolm says:

    I’ve just watched the highlights. I agree with your entertaining comments. Whenever I watch it, I’m always struck by something that Alan Parker once said about how it is odd – film people who are making a stage event that is being watched on television. None of it ever seems to work quite right!

  13. Great post. Yeah, the “heroes” theme was pretty flimsy. I loved Ellen as host. I think this year’s winners were more easily predictable than others, but I agreed with the Academy’s choices, mostly. Loved Leto and Nyong’o’s speeches. Loved the musical numbers. Didn’t notice the feud between McQueen and Ridley. I’m starting to get tired of Jennifer Lawrence, to tell you the truth. She’s really getting on my nerves and she fell AGAIN. Come on! Nobody is that clumsy. Kim Novak looks awful now and I can’t believe Jared is 42 either.

  14. keith7198 says:

    I loved reading your take on it Chris. I agree with most of what you said. I’m not completely opposed to altering some of the categories but I do think editing should be different than either of the sound categories. Perhaps putting the sound categories together would be okay but I think editing is extremely important and therefore warrants its own Oscar category.

    I also think that having four acting categories is a good thing. If they’re combined into just mail or female actor then you will get into the debate of lesser screen time versus more screen time and bigger roles with more responsibility versus smaller roles. I’m afraid a lot of the great supporting work would get lost and left out.

    Then again I could be completely wrong. Just jumping in on the conversation. Really intriguing ideas.

    • Thanks man. Think you’v got the wrong end of the stick a little with the categories I’d change. I think the editing should be separate from the sound categories, but I just wasn’t sure we need both sound editing and sound mixing awards. One award for sound would be enough I reckon.

      And I agree with having four acting categories, but just change what they’re called. Basically just change the names of the awards to male actors and female actors rather than actors and actresses. Not a massive issue admittedly!

      • keith7198 says:

        Oooooh! I see. I thought you said do away with the Editing category (not sound editing). I would totally be onboard for a combination of the sound category. It doesn’t really bother me but it is a bit odd that those two awards hold such a prevalent spot on Oscar night.

  15. Great post. Probably one of the most predictable Oscar ceremonies we’ve had but completely agree with you that predictable doesn’t mean undeserving. Really pleased for McConaughey, Leto and Nyong’o.

  16. thomasjford says:

    I didn’t see the awards unfortunately, but I’m pleased for McConaughey and Nyong’o. Still think Fassbender deserved it more than Leto though, who I don’t really ‘get’. To me he is just the guy who crops up in the occasional movie and fronts a truly terrible American ‘rock’ band!

    • Haha I’m not a big fan of 30 Seconds to Mars either. He was great in Dallas Buyers Club though and fully deserved the Oscar in my opinion I wouldn’t have complained if Fassbender had won though. Would have made up for Shame so terribly!

  17. beckybeckyb says:

    just jumping in to offer some info about the whole McQueen/Ridley thing: … Nice article, by the way!

  18. JustMeMike says:

    Hi –

    How about a category/award for voice over/narrations/voice roles – like ScarJo in Her. Maybe Scarjo could show up at the recording studio in sweats and sneaks, but I am sure, she and any other voice roles require much preparation, study, and work – and for sure there are countless takes. Let’s reward the people who do these kind of things with a category and Oscar.

    I read that the Ridley McQueen thing was about the screenwriting credit – McQueen wanted to be listed as co-writer and Ridley refused. I also read that Ridley had a similar problem with David O. Russell over Three Kings.

    I liked the Heroes montage. But then again, I am a sucker as I generally like any montages that show film clips.

    I felt that Ellen DeG should not have spent as much time in the orchestra seating aisles as she did. I even called her out for it in my blog. But is was safe and it wasn’t offensive.

    But she was offensive to Liza.

    But as you say, it is an event that we wait for, and wouldn’t miss. I even watched the O’s straight through to the end – and didn’t care that they ran long. True Detective had to wait until Monday morning.

    • Hi Mike,

      I think there definitely needs to be something done to include voice acting or voice over. Johansson was brilliant in Her and it’s a shame she got no recognition for it. I don’t know whether they’d have to make a new award (which could become redundant a year later) or include her in the best actress category.

      Yeah it does seem the McQueen/Ridley spat was over a screenwriting credit. It was interesting that the only person Ridley hugged on his way up to the stage was David O Russell.

      I think Ellen was a fine host, but i can understand you saying she spent too much time down by the seating. I think Liza took it in good spirits, I don’t think it was intended to be offensive, just a bit of fun.

  19. I was surprised with how much I enjoyed the Oscars this year. My favorite moment was Lupita’s win and heartfelt speech. I really hope she has a long and successful career.

  20. sati says:

    Love the dig and Lawrence and the fact you liked Mathew’s speech, I’m really starting to think people hating on it lack basic comprehension.

    • I really like Jennifer Lawrence but thought whatever she was going for when she came out to present her award fell completely flat and she looked stupid. She should have just come out and presented the award without trying to be all quirky.
      I thought Matthew’s speech was great, I really don’t understand why he’s getting so much negativity.

  21. Ha! I really enjoyed reading this. Though I thought Ellen did a terrible job hosting. I watched her host the Oscars before (was it last year? two years ago?) and she was amazing then, so this year she just fell flat for me. I thought the whole ceremony was really boring and tedious.
    Agree that Lawrence’s attempt to be funny just… did not work. It was embarrassing to watch.
    Did you notice that Blanchett neglected to even mention the *ahem* director of the film she won the Oscar for? Heh.
    And something else that has been bugging me about the awards recently – actors/actresses seem to win Oscars for the ROLES they win, not their actual acting.
    And Leto is 42?!?

    • I didn’t see Ellen host last time so I can’t compare what she was like last time, but I thought she was alright this time! A lot of people didn’t like Seth McFarlane lat year so she may have been told to just play it a bit safer this year.
      I didn’t notice that Blanchett didn’t thank the director! Ha! I’m sure that was just an oversight, but it’s quite embarrassing!
      I think that’s an interesting point about actors and actresses winning awards for their roles, not their acting. I definitely think the role does help. I mean, Leo was much less likely to win the award this year purely because of the role and the film he was in. Having said that, I think all the winners were very deserving.

      • Ah, I didn’t watch the Oscars last year. I hated the movie “Ted,” so I bet Seth McFarlane was indeed terrible in comparison to Ellen this year! Maybe I was a little harsh calling her terrible. She was really just lackluster.
        I doubt Blanchett didn’t mention Woody Allen as an oversight! I am quite sure it was intentional. Probably to distance herself from controversy!
        Right, it’s not that the winners aren’t deserving. But I feel like many of the top actors and actresses are probably considered for the handful of juicy, worthwhile, Oscar-bait roles that come out each year. So in my mind, a lot of the awards are decided in the casting round, before film shooting even begins.
        If Leo wants to win an Oscar, he needs to do something apart from a Scorsese flick!

      • I had no idea about the Woody Allen controversy! Just looked it up and I don’t know how that one escaped me! Just watched Blanchett’s speech again and she did actually thank him, although it was very brief and the applause was very muted.
        I totally agree with you that the top actors seem to have a monopoly over the awards. You can definitely get a good idea of who’s going to be nominated just from looking at the films, their story, director, etc.

  22. le0pard13 says:

    “Jared Leto is 42”

    Leto has a painting hidden away in some attic. Wonderful write-up, Chris.

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