Oscars 2014 Recap

everythingisawesomeWe survived! With the telecast clocking in at just over 38 hours, it became a bit of a slog, but we’ve all come out the other side just fine, except maybe Idina Menzel’s face, which is surely starting to slough off from the acid secreted by John Travolta’s hands.

We’ll take things in sections, because order must be imposed in all things, even Oscar blogging.

The Telecast

Poor NPH. It wasn’t bad, certainly it was better than Seth MacFarlane, but the Oscar gig is apparently cursed. Commentary on twitter is never necessarily reflective of actual popular opinion, but boy, did the people I follow get bored with it. Especially the stupid case thing. Fewer things going back to it might have made it drag less, or not spending five minutes every time when a quick check-in could have been, you know, quick.

The performance of “Everything is Awesome” was indeed awesome and entirely representative of the aesthetic of the movie itself. I wish it had been two hours later, to liven up the reallly looong parts when nothing interesting at all happened.

Also, I think we can all agree now, once and for all, how creepy John Travolta is. Maybe if they stop inviting him, he won’t show up?

It was a particularly great night for speeches promoting serious, important causes. JK Simmons exhorted everyone to call their parents–on the phone, not texting–which is just great. Patricia Arquette made a great case for equal pay for men and women, and either Common or John Legend (apologies, it was late and my head hurt) pointed out that more black men are currently incarcerated than were enslaved in the mid-1800s. Graham Moore, who wrote the screenplay for The Imitation Game, told the entire world he attempted suicide when he was a teenager because he didn’t fit in, which was pretty damn powerful. It was all done remarkably tastefully. I like those kinds of acceptance speeches.

The Awards

Most of the evening went to chalk. I went 18-6 in my predictions (though I put up a remarkable 258 in Oscars Bowling, which is the best score I’ve seen yet for this year and crushed my direct competition).

The biggest Thing is the remarkable lack of love for Boyhood. I called Whiplash the frontrunner before the ceremony and picked Boyhood anyway; apparently I was right the first time. There was a lot of buzz going in that it was a two-picture race at the top, but with Birdman sweeping both Director and Picture, it felt a lot less equal than it could have been. It makes sense that the Academy would vote that way (it’s cynical, easy, and true to point out that Birdman is the one that portrays the struggle to Make Art and how important that is), but that doesn’t make it less disappointing.

Alexandre Desplat finally won for score, which is cool, and the closest thing to an actual upset for the night. Basically… everything went to chalk, which I already said, so I ought to stop saying things already.

And so ends 2014 Oscar coverage. But don’t fear, we’ve already had Sundance, and, you’ll find this hard to believe, even more movies will come out this year. Oscars coverage is never done.

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