The Academy Awards is my favorite event of the year, hands down. Like, my birthday doesn’t even compare. It’s because I love movies a ridiculous amount, more than some members of my family, probably. I’ve been rather disappointed by the Oscars ceremonies in the past few years. The hosts have been really meh since Anne Hathaway and James Franco a few years ago. Fortunately, Ellen DeGeneres was freaking awesome as host this year, and this show was one of the funniest, most enjoyable Oscars I’ve seen in my young life.
Let’s start by talking about how rad Ellen is. She’s known as being a little ditzy and very sweet, but Ellen brought the sass to the Oscars. She called out the pretentiousness of the event with snarky jokes in her opening monologue, proving that Seth MacFarlane isn’t the only one with claws. But her fabulousness didn’t end with the monologue: she brought spark and humor throughout the show. The highlight of the night (and probably my life) is when she ordered pizza for everyone there. When Ellen and the pizza man started handing out slices to celebrities, I nearly died of laughter. Also, Ellen succeeded in breaking Twitter with the most retweeted (and star-studded) selfie of all time. Bravo, Ellen. You are a goddess amongst mortals.
The greatest selfie in the history of ever. Photo courtesy of Ellen DeGeneres.
As for the winners, I couldn’t be happier. I’ve been raving to everyone I’ve ever met about how phenomenal 12 Years a Slave is, but I and many famous critics were convinced that Gravity would win Best Picture. When the suspiciously youthful Will Smith announced 12 Years a Slave to be the winner, I literally gasped from happiness. The film is stunning, heartbreaking, and incredibly impactful, and I’m so happy it got the recognition it deserves. Now you don’t have an excuse not to see it!
Matthew McConaughey won Best Actor, shocking no one, and proceeded to give the most complicated speech I’ve ever heard. It made me wish I had skipped out on an hour of the Oscars to watch “True Detective,” my current obsession. If I wanted to hear Matthew McConaughey say crazy crap, I’d watch that instead. All jokes aside, I’m happy for the guy, and hope that the McConaissance continues. Cate Blanchett, feminist queen, gave an excellent albeit long speech for winning Best Actress. Galadriel, I knew you had it in you.
Lupita Nyong’o made me cry in her accepting speech for Best Supporting Actress, especially when she said that “No matter where you’re from, you’re dreams are valid.” I want that tattooed on my forehead. Jared Leto remains prettier than I can ever hope to be.
All of the performances were very enjoyable as well. I was dancing to Pharell’s “Happy,” and was eternally jealous of his sparkly red sneakers. Idina Menzel—or as John Travolta called her, Adele Dazeem—crushed it with “Let It Go.” Pink even gave a beautiful homage to “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” in honor of The Wizard of Oz’s 75th anniversary. Pretty solid night for singing.
What else? Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez gave the cutest speech accepting the award for Best Song for “Let It Go.” The show was filled with super weird montages that I nevertheless enjoyed. (What are the Avengers and Footloose doing in a montage together?) Basically, it was an awesome night. Someday, children, I will be in the Dolby Theater, and you will see me on that screen. Until then, I’ll settle for laughing over Ellen in the comfort of my dorm room. Seriously, I’ll be watching clips of her for days. Now go watch 12 Years a Slave!
Tonight’s awards for excellence in film has gone by several different names over the years, and its famed golden statuettes have transformed with them, as well. But no matter the movies that were recognized or just how “subjective and random” they are, like Best Leading Actress winner Cate Blanchett said, the 86th Academy Awards ceremony was an experience to watch.
First, please join me in thanking God for creating Ellen DeGeneres, the hostess of this year’s awards. She roasted Hollywood’s favorites, handed out lotto tickets to Bradley Cooper, and took this year’s most important selfie to commemorate Meryl Streep’s 18th Oscar nomination with a few other stars (which forced Twitter to crash). Her comic genius and satirical pitchfork brought laughter to everyone in the Dolby Theatre and to millions of viewers watching from home. The hostess also ordered pizza and served it on paper plates. Making everyone feel at home?
The most important selfie of the year. Courtesy: Ellen.
While there were few, if any, shockers of the night, the biggest surprise was perhaps the social justice push by the night’s winners. Jared Leto, who won Best Supporting Actor for his (somewhat problematic) role in Dallas Buyers Club, gave a shout-out to Venezuela and Ukraine, and the Makeup and Hairstyling Designers from the same movie spoke out about AIDS in ‘85. Ellen also played her part when she slipped in a small swipe at the Oscars during her opener: “Possibility number one, 12 Years a Slave wins Best Picture. Possibility number two, you’re all racists.” Give Ellen a bit of credit for toeing the line of social justice warrior with panache and class. (Spoiler: it won Best Picture).
Tonight’s biggest and most deserved win went to Lupita Nyong’o of 12 Years a Slave for Best Supporting Actress, making her the seventh black woman to win an Oscar in its history. There’s no doubt in my mind that the Kenyan actress’s full-bodied, courageous, and tear-evoking performance as Patsey would win. On the awards trail, Lupita stole critics’ and audiences’ hearts alike with her iconic block print style and sincerity. Her acceptance speech, both modest and inspirational, reminds us that there are actually good people in Hollywood. With her outcry of “Yes!” the star received a most well deserved standing ovation.
Like a true winner, Lupita said that her Oscar should, “…remind me and every little child, no matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid.”
“Like a supermodel’s vagina, let’s all give a warm welcome to Leonardo DiCaprio.” This was one of the best jokes Tina Fey made at the 2014 Golden Globes on January 12. The Globes, co-hosted by Fey and Amy Poehler for the second year in a row, are basically a giant cocktail party for the famous elite. They give mainstream America the opportunity to watch their favorite actors get completely smashed while accepting awards. But despite its booze-soaked excess, the Globes do hold some weight in determining who will win the Academy Awards. (You can find the list of Golden Globe winners here.)
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler provided the perfect amount of snark for the night’s festivities. Photo courtesy of EW/NBC.
A frontrunner in the awards race only a few months ago, 12 Years a Slave lost in every category that it was nominated for at the Globes, except Best Motion Picture—Drama. The cast of the film also missed out on the award for best Ensemble Cast at the Screen Actors Guild Awards on January 18. Will the Academy overlook 12 Years a Slave in favor of the current favorite, American Hustle? If the Globes and the SAG awards are any indication of success, 12 Years a Slave still has a strong possibility of winning Best Picture, but maybe nothing else.
Another surprise nominee on the road to Oscar success is Matthew McConaughey, who won Best Actor at both the Globes and the SAG Awards for his role in Dallas Buyers Club. The film, released with little fanfare on November 1, is certainly garnering more attention now that McConaughey and co-star Jared Leto have been honored at recent awards shows. I was only marginally interested in seeing a movie about AIDS rights activists in 1980s Texas when it came out, but now I have to see it.
Matthew McConaughey accepting his SAG Award. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him with a shirt on. Photo courtesy of Huffington Post/Kevin Mazur via Getty Images.
It’s more fun to make predictions now, because the list of nominees for the 86th Annual Academy Awards was announced on January 16. American Hustle and Gravity are the frontrunners with ten nominations each, with 12 Years a Slave close behind with nine nominations. The Winter Olympics pushed the Oscars broadcast a week back, so you have until March 2 to catch up on every film nominated.
I’m pretty surprised at some of the nominees, to be honest. I thought Christian Bale’s performance in American Hustle was brilliant and understated, but I wasn’t sure that it would be recognized by the Academy. While I was pleased that he was nominated, it was kind of unexpected. I was also pretty intrigued by Leonardo DiCaprio’s nomination for The Wolf of Wall Street, Martin Scorsese’s love letter to excess and profanity. This was only partially because DiCaprio’s lack of Oscar awards is a popular Internet meme. I just honestly thought that Tom Hanks would be honored for Captain Phillips, or Robert Redford for All Is Lost.
I don’t think that I’ll publish my predictions quite yet, but will say that I’m definitely rooting for actors in certain categories. Lupita N’yongo deserves to win Best Supporting Actress. The Kenyan actress’s performance in 12 Years a Slave was tragically beautiful. Plus, she has superior red carpet dress taste. I’d also like to see Amy Adams win for American Hustle. When I was twelve, I only knew Adams as the bubbly Princess Giselle in Enchanted, so her performance in David O. Russell’s newest film really gave me new respect for her skills as an actress.
Lupita N’yongo at the Golden Globes red carpet. Photo courtesy of deadline.com.
I’m very excited to see all of the movies nominated, as I’ve currently only watched a few. Unfortunately, I’m a broke college student with a life outside of movies, so this is easier said than done. But you will still find me on March 2, glued to the television, shouting out random facts of trivia about nominees to anyone who will listen. I’ve resigned myself to this life, and now I’m very excited for one of my favorite days of the year.
IN FEATURES: In an interview with President Monaco (with video to follow), the Daily was able to talk and inquire about the changes on campus, how it’s progressing or not, housing funding, and other relevant matters to students.
Posted by thetuftsdaily on March 25, 2013 under Arts & Living, Columns | Comments are off for this article
Seen The Shawshank Redemption, Erin Brockovich, Finding Nemo, The Help, WALL-E, The Green Mile, Cinderella Man, American Beauty or Skyfall? It’s likely you’ve been to the theatre for at least one of these, and if so, then you’ve heard Thomas Newman – you probably just haven’t heard of him.
Newman is both composer and conductor, but is best known for his work on numerous film scores…and his last name. He is a member of the Newman film-score dynasty, which includes his father Alfred, uncles Lionel and Emil, siblings David and Maria and cousin Randy (everyone’s favorite Pixar composer – “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” anyone?).
Although Tommy Newmz (as only his biggest fans refer to him) has been nominated for Best Original Score at the Oscars an astounding eleven times, with his first nominations in 1995 for The Shawshank Redemption and Little Women and his most recent this year for Skyfall, the man has never won. And while this may be one of the largest crimes committed in film awards history, there is no use in quietly going mad because of this injustice. Rather, it may be a better use of time to spread the love. The best way to spread the love? Spread the music, of course.
So instead of busting out your favorite Ke$ha album and pressing play, open up Spotify or iTunes and check out any of the hundreds of songs by this wonderful, wonderful man. However, a better way to indulge in the magnificence that is Thomas Newman would be to head over to Tisch and pick up one of the dozens of movies he has scored. That’s what the music is for, after all.
Want to bask in the glory of some Newmz tunes? Check out the examples: