Monday, March 3, 2014

Oscars 2014: My 7 Favorite Moments

The Oscars.  They came, we saw, and now I break it down for you.  Here are my seven favorite moment's from the 86th Academy Awards.  It conspicuously avoids a "Best Of" fashion feature primarily because I think the Oscars play it safe: pretty girl in a pretty dress.  How inspiring!  Wait for the Met Gala for all of the couture-inspired fashion risks to elicit any sort of emotional response from me.  So without further ado...

1. Cate Blanchett’s Acceptance Speech
If you haven’t seen Blue Jasmine, you’re doing yourself a disservice.  Cate Blanchett delivers an awe-inspiring performance of an Upper East Side socialite’s fall from graces into Xanax-fueled mental instability.  On Sunday, Blanchett won the Academy Award for Best Actress and did so in a stunning fashion.  First off, she stunned in a sheer nude Armani Privé gown with silver beaded detailing and gorgeous Chopard drop earrings.  Secondly, her acceptance speech was spot on in addressing the “random and subjective” nature of the Academy Awards, she congratulated her fellow nominees in a non-Macklemore-at-the-Grammy’s type of way and shattered the idea that “female films with women at the center are niche experiences –they are not. Audiences want to see them, and in fact, they earn money.”  Blanchett FTW.

2. Ellen’s Inside Joke to Jonah Hill
In probably her best joke of the night, Ellen Degeneres said, "Jonah Hill is nominated for his amazing performance in Wolf of Wall Street. Honestly, I have to say, you showed us something in that film that I have not seen for a very, very long time. You get it?"  The thing about a joke is that it becomes exponentially less funny when you have to explain it, so here’s the back-story: In Wolf of Wall Street, Jonah Hill publicly masturbates at a pool party.  Ellen is a lesbian.  Think about it. 

3. The Selfie that Crashed Twitter
The Oscars are a breeding ground for live Tweeting for attendees and viewers alike.  Where else would you find out Kerry Washington couldn’t eat the pizza Ellen ordered because she’s gluten-free #SnacksInMyPurse or see your timeline collectively go really when hearing Matthew McConaughey admit that his hero is his future self?  So, when Ellen literally crashed Twitter’s servers by posting the biggest celebrity selfie in –ever, you knew it was a momentous occasion.  It’s not everyday you have Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Angelina Jolie, Julia Roberts, Kevin Spacey, Brad Pitt, Meryl Streep, Lupita Nyong’o and her brother in one photo.

4. Steve McQueen’s Reaction to Receiving Best Picture
There’s something delightful about witnessing pure, unadulterated happiness.  And that’s how I’d classify McQueen’s jumping up and down after delivering his acceptance speech for Best Picture.  12 Years a Slave delivered an unflinching portrayal of slavery with stellar performances by a star-studded cast that included Lupita Nyong’o, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano and Michael Fassbender, so it was only fitting that the Academy Awards ended with the entire cast on stage celebrating.

5. Darlene Love Singing During Her Acceptance
Another shameless plug for one of my favorite movies of last year: 20 Feet from Stardom, which took home the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.  It chronicles the lives of some of the most well known voices but most obscure faces in musical history.  Try to imagine the Rolling Stone’s “Gimme Shelter” without the piercing scream of “Rape, Murder!” and you begin to understand the importance of the backup singers who have brought shape and style to popular music.  So, Darlene Love’s singing her way through her acceptance speech was just the cherry on top of her incredible struggle from obscurity to Grammy winner documented in the film.

6. Lupita’s Acceptance Speech
The awards season has catapulted Lupita Nyong’o from unknown to “it” girl.  A fresh face in an otherwise established industry (18 Oscar noms, Meryl Streep, really?), Lupita has perfected the role of the grateful, gracious nominee.  She has made a name for herself not only with her powerful performance in 12 Years a Slave but also her colorful red carpet appearances.  It seems the girl can do no wrong, which she made even clearer in her astute acceptance speech: “It doesn’t escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is thanks to so much pain in someone else’s, and so I want to salute the spirit of Patsey for her guidance.  And for Solomon, thanks for telling her story and your own.”  No matter where you are from, your dreams are valid.

Let's look at Lupita Nyong'o's Oscars win reac... on Twitpic 

7. Jared Leto’s Hommebré

This wouldn’t be an Oscars post if I didn’t mention the gloriousness that is Jared Leto’s hair.  He rivals The Bachelor’s Andi for best ombré.  Call it the hommebré (I wish I came up with that on my own.  Thanks, NYMag).  Oh, and congrats on the Award for Best Supporting Actor in Dallas Buyer’s Club.


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