The Oscars were golden in more ways than one


Darren Decker

Ellen Degeneres hosts the live ABC Telecast of The Oscars® from the Dolby® Theatre in Hollywood, CA Sunday, March 2, 2014.

There’s just something about the Oscars that makes people want to disregard everything else in their lives and just watch them, regardless of whether the winners were deserving. And as was the case with Sunday night’s broadcast of the 86th Academy Awards, 43 million Americans tuned in to watch.

The much-coveted award for Best Picture went to “12 Years a Slave,” which documented one African-American man’s struggles of being torn from freedom and tricked and forced into slavery. Though that type of slavery in America no longer exists, the movie was as heart-wrenching as it was heart-warming, and definitely was deserving of an Oscar.

That’s not to say that the other eight nominees didn’t deserve an Oscar, though. I was particularly fond of “Philomena,” “Nebraska,” and “Dallas Buyers Club,” because they told stories and brought to light real problems in today’s world, from forced adoption, to HIV and AIDS.

“Gravity,” which took home awards for Visual Effects, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, Original Score, Film Editing, Directing, and Cinematography was a pleasant surprise, considering the fact I originally went into the theatre expecting to fall asleep, but left with a renewed sense of wonder about the world and space.

Not everyone nominated for an award gets to hold that golden man, though many try. Among the nominees for Actor in a Leading Role were Leonardo DiCaprio for “Wolf of Wall Street,” and Christian Bale for “American Hustle,” though the honor went to Matthew McConaughey for his work in “Dallas Buyers Club.” I thought McConaughey was absolutely brilliant in his role, which was beyond deserving of an Oscar.

For the leading ladies, the nominees included Amy Adams for “American Hustle,” Judi Dench for “Philomena,” and Sandra Bullock for “Gravity,” though it was ultimately Cate Blanchett who took home the Oscar, for her acting in “Blue Jasmine,” which I have yet to see. In her acceptance speech, Blanchett said that audiences wanted more films with a leading lady, to which I couldn’t agree more. What today’s society needs is more strong female roles that aren’t subjected to simply being something pretty to look at. You go, Cate Blanchett.

Disney’s “Frozen” won multiple awards, including best Animated Feature Film, as well as Original Song for “Let it Go,” which was performed live by Idina Menzel (though John Travolta couldn’t pronounce her name for the life of him — see the mess up here).

Much controversy surrounded (and continues to surround) Jared Leto’s depiction of a transexual in “Dallas Buyers Club,” and many people were up in arms after he won for Actor in a Supporting Role. The reason it angers me that so many people are against his win is quite simple. Some say he shouldn’t have won because he’s a white male, not an actual transgendered person. Following that logic, I’d assume these people would have a problem with Lupita Nyong’o winning an award for “12 Years a Slave,” even though she wasn’t an actual slave? That’s complete crap. I don’t understand why people can’t just let live and let live. Some people are just too infatuated with other people’s lives that they’re rather ignore theirs to comment on someone elses’.

This year’s Academy Awards were the most watched in the past ten years of the show, bringing in millions of viewers. Ellen DeGeneres, talk show host and comedian, hosted the awards, and took it upon herself to order pizza live (and, as it turns out, took it upon herself to interview the pizza delivery guy), dress in an outrageous fairy costume, and take a selfie with Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Meryl Streep, and countless other widely-admired celebrities (see the selfie that literally broke Twitter — with over 3.2 million retweets). Unlike last year’s Oscars, with host Seth MacFarlane poking fun at celebrities and telling jokes at their expense, Ellen made everyone feel at ease with jokes that didn’t make anyone feel uncomfortable, unlike most of what Seth MacFarlane said while hosting the Oscars last year. Ellen was funny not because she was afraid of making fun of celebrities, but because she made jokes that didn’t out any single person. Can we get her back for next year, too?

The Oscars were easily the most amusing, most unprecedented awards ceremony in the history of, well, ever. I’ll definitely be tuning in next year to see if it’s even possible to outdo this year’s Oscars.

See the rest of the winners and nominations here, and if you want to catch up on this year’s big winners, buy tickets here.