Clocking in longer than three and a half hours, not even host Ellen DeGeneres could save the 2014 Academy Awards from being – and seeming – too long. Here are some of the noteworthy moments from Sunday night.
Host Ellen – Hit and miss
Ellen DeGeneres played it safe Oscar night, making generic jokes about the nominees in a long opening monologue, and continually attracting attention to her many costume changes.
However, DeGeneres did take an all-star “selfie” with a posse of Hollywood’s most famous performers, which ended up getting more than one million retweets in an hour, briefly crashing Twitter.
She also committed to her jokes, having celebrities such as Brad Pitt and Kevin Spacey pay for pepperoni pizza she had delivered to the show.
So Ellen gets a pass on this one.
Kenneth Jurkiewicz, film study head and a BCA professor, didn’t think DeGeneres or the presenters brought too much to this year’s Oscars, which he called predictable and unsurprising.
“Ellen tried to do a laid-back, deadpan approach, which worked most of the time, but other times it didn’t,” Jurkewicz said. “The presenters also flubbed some of the lines, which was sometimes painful to watch, but I’m just surprised these things aren’t more carefully rehearsed.”
Excellent, intriguing musical performances
After the show began with a stagnant, nine-minute monologue from DeGeneres, and a touching, emotional speech from Best Supporting Actor winner Jared Leto, the energy in the room was down.
The first musical performer of the night, Pharrell Williams, burst onto the stage to perform his nominated song “Happy,” which got the energy going. He even went into the crowd and got nominees Lupita N’yongo, Amy Adams and even Meryl Streep to dance with him.
With all five Best Original Song nominees being beautifully performed on stage, including U2’s “Ordinary Love” from “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,” Karen O’s “The Moon Song” from “Her” and Best Original Song winner “Let It Go,” from “Frozen,” it was clear the musical performances were some of the best in years, and the highlight of the show.
Warren junior Jake Dikowski thought the musical performances were the only good part of an otherwise, dull Oscars.
“It started off so slow, but then Pharrell came on stage and got everybody dancing and made it fun,” Dikowski said. “If it wasn’t for the music acts, I probably would have been asleep because the show was so long.”
No love for the Wolf, Wall Street, or anyone else involved
“The Wolf of Wall Street,” director Martin Scorsese’s highest-grossing film, did not receive any wins out of its five nominations Sunday night. Fan-favorite Leonardo DiCaprio lost the Best Actor Oscar to Matthew McConaughey, making DiCaprio a five-time Oscar loser. In addition, Scorsese and co-star Jonah Hill both lost in their respective categories.
St. Clair Shores sophomore Donald Cherry was unhappy with “The Wolf of Wall Street” shutout.
“It’s unbelievable that Leo didn’t win, but it’s even crazier that the movie didn’t get any recognition, not even for Jonah Hill or Martin Scorsese,” Cherry said. “It was the best movie of last year, and one of my favorite movies of all time.”