Remember 10 years ago or so, when every Oscars telecast dragged on forever, and you tried hard not to fall asleep?
Yeah, that’s how Sunday night was sometimes. After years of the Academy Awards getting crisper and more time-conscious, Sunday’s Oscars were long. Really, really long.
Like, they made “Wolf of Wall Street” seem like a quick documentary short.
Still, they were much better than last year’s, I thought. Some scattered thoughts from my brain, which Sunday night was buried under a giant wig of Greg Brady Johnny Bravo hair (we went to an Oscars theme party, where we all had to dress up in 1970s garb. My first time in bell bottoms was fun!)
Please read to the end, since my much-funnier and savvier friend Diana D’abruzzo, who did my Oscars blog last year, checks in with her thoughts;
— Ellen DeGeneres was pretty solid as host. The monologue was fairly tame and really safe, which is OK, and some of her bits were really funny. I thought the pizza delivery thing was hilarious, though the Meryl Streep selfie Twitter thing felt forced and silly. Best joke, I thought, was when she said “there are 2 options tonight: Either “12 Years a Slave wins Best Picture,” or you’re all racists.”
— The big awards were predictable, but that’s not always a bad thing. Thrilled to see Jared Leto win, his speech was terrific. Happy for Matthew McConaughey, who was excellent in “Dallas Buyers Club” but his speech was pompous, self-important, and remarkably free of any mention of Ron Woodruff, the real-life character and AIDS activist hero who he played.
— With all the awards “Gravity” was winning, I was really fearing it would win “Best Picture.” But happily, “12 Years a Slave,” the most important and best film I saw last year, grabbed the win. That film should be showed in schools all over America as part of history class.
— LOVED Lupita Nyong’o’s speech, so beautiful and touching. Newcomers always have the most emotional speeches, it seems.
— Here’s how to cut a half-hour out of the show: Too many montages about things that have nothing to do with that night’s show. Heroes? Who cares! Although it was good that no one’s speech really got cut off too badly.
— “American Hustle” deserved better than getting shut out. And Amy Adams, five times a nominee, never a winner: Your day will come. You are way too talented to never win an Oscar.
— Hey John Travolta, her name is Idina Menzel. She’s pretty famous. And has an awesome voice. Learn to pronounce it.
— Lot of sparkly dresses this year, more than usual. It was also, according to a female guest at the party I was at, “the year of the side-boob.” Which was fine with me.
I thought Charlize Theron and Kate Hudson looked particularly stunning.
— I always feel bad when two people win and one of them does all the talking, and the other one only gets five seconds of mic time at the end.
— So pleasantly surprised to see Spike Jonze win for his screenplay for “Her,” and for “20 Feet From Stardom” to win for best doc. If you don’t know much about the film, I reviewed it after seeing it here.
–The death montage was, as usual, terrific, but no Dennis Farina mention? He was Jimmy Serrano in “Midnight Run” for God’s sakes! Big omission there.
— Cate Blanchett’s speech just kept going and going and going. Notice how mentioning Woody Allen’s name brought tepid applause.
— Anne Hathaway’s dress blinded at least half the audience. Seriously, there just may be a thing as TOO sparkly.
— I hope the trend of celebrities bringing their Moms to the Oscars continues. Jared Leto’s mother beamed while her son talked about her influence. Very, very cool.
And now, some thoughts from my friend Diana on the show; she kept a “running diary” of sorts:
— I’ve always been “meh” about Brad Pitt. But I am so grateful for him getting “12 Years a Slave” made.
— OK, so pink is a BIG color tonight, but I don’t love many of the dresses. But Penelope Cruz — hers is great. That hint of black in the belt makes it perfect.