The OSCARs 2014: What Did We Learn?

In Commentary, FILM, THEATRE & TV, HOME by Hannah Oliver

> on October 19, 2009 in Santa Clarita, California.Sunday 2nd March saw the greatly anticipated 86th Academy Awards return to our screens. Yes folks – the Oscars! Love them or hate them, this is arguably the biggest night of stardom in the calendar year. The Oscars are, essentially, a celebration of film with as many famous faces as possible compressed into the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, televised for all to enjoy. If you missed the show (who is actually committed enough to stay up to 4am U.K. time, anyway?) and were wondering what the greatest and strangest moments of the (slightly lengthy) night were then fear no longer. Here lies an exhaustive set of lessons the Oscars taught us.

1. If you’re a woman on the red carpet, the likelihood is any given presenter doesn’t care about you but instead about what you’re wearing.

In a somewhat unsurprising turn of events it seems the interviews of women on the red carpet focussed primarily on outfits but where men were concerned there was a definite shift to questions which, you know, are actually meaningful and relevant to them as a PERSON, such as ‘How did you get into this role?’, not ‘How did you choose this dress?’. Okay, feminist rant over but seriously boo for gender inequality.

2. The unfathomably rich and famous actually consume carbs and indulge in selfies too.

In a slightly surreal but oddly reassuring moment, the whole world watched as Ellen Degeneres ordered take-out pizza and distributed amongst A-listers in the front row. So these people do eat carbs! HOORAY – that makes us feel so much better. It was improvised, comedy gold. Brad Pitt played the role of napkin boy and there were stealthy swipes to steal slices from Harrison Ford and Chiwetel Ejiofor. Brilliant. Oh and you must have heard of THAT selife?! A frantic moment of madness, taken by the gorgeous Bradley Cooper: that millisecond moment got launched into the online stratosphere and is now the most retweeted picture of all time. Pretty cool, huh?

Bh1uS1VCcAAp_hU3. It was a triumphant evening for Britain.

British films Gravity and 12 Years a Slave came out on top, collecting the greatest number, and most prestigious award respectively. Suck on that America.

4. Lupita Nyong’o is everybody’s new idol and deservedly so.

The 12 Years a Slave actress picked up Best Supporting Female. Her performance was utterly captivating and amazingly, her first EVER appearance in film. Her acceptance speech was the epitome of eloquence and grace; she looked a million dollars and genuinely seems like a wonderful person. The whole world got behind this girl and I for one am so proud of her achievements. *sob, sob*.

5. If your name is Leonardo Di Caprio you did not receive an Oscar.

Nominated four times and four times this beautiful man has lost. In a collective mourning, twitter was full of hashtags #poorleo and #betterlucknexttime. It seems Leo missing out is a inherent quirk of the Oscars but that doesn’t provide any comfort for his beloved fans. I truly believe his performance in Wolf of Wall Street was Oscar worthy, but hey, who am I? One day Leo…

6. Talking fast and stumbling through your acceptance speech is forgiven if you’ve just won Best Picture.

Steve McQueen, director of 12 Years a Slave managed to thank everybody in the universe and then some in his acceptance speech. We knew it was bad when he whipped out a piece of paper. We all saw it coming. But somehow, his bumbling, slightly awkward, infinite list of names and thank-yous was acquitted by his big smile and deserved success.

7. Everybody wants to be Jennifer Lawrence.

Unashamedly, everyone loves a bit of J-Law. Her down to earth, not afraid to laugh at herself or be completely silly signature style reminds us all a little of ourselves. There were too many fabulous moments of her to relay, but I think managing to fall over for the second consecutive year, laugh it off, then laugh it off again when Ellen DeGeneres brought it up is significantly laudable. Jennifer, I salute you.

conk8. Matthew McConaughey’s speech was so far off the mark it hurt.

I didn’t see this one coming. Matthew McConahey won Best Actor for his performance in Dallas Buyer’s Club. Not only did he manage to sound incredibly conceited, confessing that his hero was in fact himself. OUCH. He also, missed a huge opportunity. The film centres on a sufferer of AIDs and wouldn’t it have been most apt to speak about that, given the humongous platform of an Oscar acceptance speech he was granted? But no, let’s focus on me instead. Think of the bigger picture dammit.

9. If you’re John Travolta, chances are you will mispronounce somebody’s name.

When introducing Idina Menzel, due to perform the Oscar winning original song Let It Go, John Travolta managed to, quite spectacularly, mispronounce her name so badly that what we heard was ‘Adele Dazeem’… AND he attended the rehearsal! Poor form John. Although, maybe we ought to ‘let it go’ ourselves. (Ha, ha, ha).

10. A film about talking Snowmen and blizzards was a resounding success.

Disney melted the hearts of young and old alike through a film, ironically, about the powers of snow and ice. Frozen picked up best animation and best original song (see above). Disney have come leaps and bounds in their recent films and Frozen in particular is a wonder to watch. Complete with strong female protagonist, flawless moral messages, beautiful visuals and a stonking soundtrack this film is most definitely a victory. AND it is the first Disney film directed by a woman! Even better! Well done Frozen!

BhxWutnCEAAtEQ6So all in all, the night of tears, laughs and a whole lot of awkwardness has taught us all how to nail an acceptance speech, how to dress to impress, how to be a graceful loser, but most importantly how we should never shy away from free pizza.

Sinéad Buckingham

Sinéad Buckingham is an English student at the University of Exeter. When not writing poetry about the woes of essay crises, she enjoys baking/eating and prides herself in her eclectic music taste. Her attempts to enrol at Hogwarts have so far proved unsuccessful, but she remains hopeful that magic will one day transform her into Miley Cyrus.

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