I Finally Watched The Entire Oscars Ceremony

When I was working, I never stayed up to watch the entire Oscar awards ceremony.  Since I live in Florida and the ceremony is in California, that three hour time zone difference meant that when the last award (usually Best Picture) was handed out at nine it was midnight for me.  I  didn’t want to call in “sick” or drag myself in to work with only six hours sleep.

Now that I’m retired I can stay up as late as I want and so last Sunday, I watched the entire ceremony.  I tuned in at 7:30 Eastern time to catch some of the “red carpet” chat / fashion show and stayed all the way to midnight.  I can’t remember the last time I watched TV for that long.  But it was well worth it!

Ellen DeGeneres was indeed the hostess with the mostest.  That “selfie” which began with one star (Meryl Streep I think it was) soon became a group effort to break a Twitter retweet record and was a success. Early last week, there had been over 3 million retweets of that photo.  In case you missed it…

A new Twitter record

A new Twitter record

And Ellen’s ordering pizza for the nominees, and then hitting up the audience for money to pay, was also “not your father’s Oscar.”  The pizza delivery guy was no doubt thrilled to be in front of a world-wide audience of hundreds of millions and be that close to big name movie stars.  He also received a nice tip… $1,000.  If you missed the pizza, here it is:

As for the awards themselves, I was happy to see two awards go my way.  First, Best Supporting Actress, awarded fairly early in the ceremony, went to Lupita Nyong’o for her performance in “12 years a Slave.”  That broke a “tie” she had with Jennifer Lawrence for that award category.

Jennifer shocked me (and probably herself, judging from her flustered acceptance speech) by winning at the Golden Globes.  But Lupita came back with the award from the Screen Actors Guild, which suggested to me that the “professionals” recognized what she brought to the role and that portended well for the Oscars.

Lupita’s acceptance speech was one of the most authentic and emotional ones I’ve seen (at least the beginning and the end).  But maybe it’s that way when you win that first Oscar.  Check it out:

Then there was Best Picture, which was awarded just before midnight as the ceremony came to an end.  I favored “12 years a Slave” but did not think it would win. “American Hustle” won the category at the Golden Globes.  And that film had a lot going for it, including…

Healthy ticket sales with over $147 million (U.S.) as of March 5, whereas “12 Years A Slave” was in the bottom third of the nine nominees, with under $51 million as of the same date.  Tough to award “Best Picture” to a film not many folks have seen.

“American Hustle” also boasted a great ensemble cast with five strong actors, whereas “12 years a Slave” was mostly “newcomers.”  And “American Hustle” was just an entertaining, and somewhat “over the top” romp which I doubt that any 2013 film can come close to matching.  (It will be one of the few film DVDs that I buy, the last one being “Kill Bill 1” which is from 2003.)

But I perked up at Ellen’s opening monologue comment about the “possibilities” that evening: “Possibility 1: 12 Years a Slave wins Best Picture. Possibility 2: You’re all racists!” That drew a big laugh.  But I did mentally note that February was Black History month.

I was also heartened that “Slave” won the Oscar for best screenplay adaptation. It was among a number of other “Best Picture” nominees that were based on true events, including “Philomena” and “Captain Phillips” (both of whom were in the audience as special guests).  Even “American Hustle” is loosely based on the Abscam sting.

As a poker player, I’m always on the lookout for a “tell” to guide my play, especially in a tight hand.  So when Will Smith strode out to present the “Best Picture’ award, for me that was a tell…”Slave” was going to win!

I was both surprised that “American Hustle” did not win but pleased that the award went to a serious, “in your face” film.  Until it was announced by the commentators, I was unaware that it is the first film by a black director (Steve McQueen) to win an Oscar for “Best Picture.”

If you weren’t up at midnight to see his reaction, which included jumping a good foot in the air, here it is:

The only other award I was interested in was “Best Actress.”  A friend used to say “The best surprise is no surprise”  so I was pleased that there wasn’t a surprise with someone other than Cate Blanchett receiving it.  She’d already won Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild awards for that role, so the Oscar was a no brainer.

As for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor, there was little doubt in my mind that those would go to Matthew  McConaughey and Jared Leto, respectively, for their performances in Dallas Buyers Club.  No surprise there…

I found it remarkable that besides winning for Best Director there were many “technical” awards for Gravity.  These included cinematography, visual effects, film editing, sound editing, and sound mixing.

I’m looking forward to next year’s ceremony!

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4 responses to “I Finally Watched The Entire Oscars Ceremony

  1. Lupita’s speech makes me cry. I remember when another film with newcomers won, to everyone’s surprise…Slumdog Millionaire. I read somewhere that that apparently spontaneous selfie was actually a clever product placement ad for the…Samsung Galaxy, I think.
    It seems like this was a very rich year for movies and that almost any of them could have won had they not been in competition with the others. One year, I was seriously rooting for the animated film “Bolt” to win (it was nominated) but it had the misfortune to come out in the same year as “Wall-E”.

  2. Well once again we have vastly different experiences with an American icon. I have been a movie addict since I was 7 (I think). When I was 4 I was scared shitless by a drive-in experience at Abbot and Costello Meet The Wolfman, made Mom leave the car full of family and walk me home. But after that I became hooked.

    I remember watching the Oscars in entirety since the early sixties and rarely have I missed much of them. In the sixties big screen extravagances reached their zenith and the Oscars reflected that.

    I try to disregard the political flavor of the decade and just enjoy the Oscar experience….lol I suspend disbelief in the social commentary just as I do in Movies.

    I like Ellen because she is funny. I didn’t like her accusatory commentary on 12 years a slave and I don’t believe in giving an award to some based on the color of their skin. I say that knowing full well that race has always played a part in movie making as it has with all of American society. Perhaps the award was earned and deserved, I hope so, and look forward to seeing the movie.

    • >Ellen…her accusatory commentary

      I saw that as a joke.

      And I feel the award was justified IF the basis for “best picture” is the “impact” of the film and not just the “most entertaining.” Because if the latter, and that is a basis as good as any other, American Hustle should have won.

      As for the “extravagances”, I don’t think the studios can afford them anymore, for one thing. Then, there’s the special effects which computers can bring.

  3. “I saw that as a joke.”

    When is a joke not a joke? ……When it’s not! It’s often in the eye of the beholder right………except for the blind.

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