By Charly SHELTON
Well that’s it. It’s official. The Oscars were presented last Sunday, and it left all of us with just two thoughts: Ellen DeGeneres should host from now on, and John Travolta needs glasses.
Ellen was great. She didn’t insult anyone, she ordered pizza, she was funny – everything you would want in a good host and more. Even Bob Hope never crashed Twitter with retweets. After last year’s debacle with host Seth Macfarlane, people were angry and disappointed. This year, they seem to be fully pleased with Ellen. Let’s hope she gets the nod to host again in the future. With longtime mainstays like Bob Hope, Johnny Carson, and Billy Crystal remembered fondly for their years of hosting duties, it makes sense that if the powers that be find a host they like in Ellen, she will become the next longtime emcee. We shall see.
As far as the winners go, most speculators knew going in that “Gravity” would take all the technical awards (which it did), and everything else would be fairly split between “12 Years a Slave” and “Dallas Buyers Club.” The big shock came towards the end when Sandra Bullock lost the best actress award to Cate Blanchett, who won many other awards this season for her role in Woody Allen’s “Blue Jasmine.” Some experts were still holding out hope that, despite most of the other award shows going with Blanchett, the Oscar would go to Bullock for her amazing work in “Gravity” who carried the movie by herself for the majority of the picture. I was hoping the same, but it was not to be.
Alfonso Cuarón won best director for “Gravity” and, in another odd turn, not best picture. Usually best director and best picture go to the same film, but on occasion they are split, as it was this year. Best picture went to the incredible “12 Years a Slave” with producer Brad Pitt taking the stage for an acceptance speech, as did director Steve McQueen, along with the cast of the film. I’m just glad it wasn’t “American Hustle.”
Best actor was an incredibly close race this year, with three standouts who were all chosen by one expert or another.
Chiwetel Ejiofor was nominated for his role as Solomon Northrup in “12 Years,” Matthew McConaughey nominated for Ron Woodroof in “Dallas Buyers Club” and Bruce Dern for Woody Grant in “Nebraska.” In the end, McConaughey took home the statue, thanking God and his family in his acceptance speech. And then God again.
“Frozen” took best animated picture (little shock there), and “Let It Go,” the show stopping transformative number from the picture, took best original song. What was a bit of a shock was Idina Menzel’s performance. I have seen her perform the song live in front of an audience before and she was better than that. Granted, the film version is better as well because it’s studio produced, but it’s her voice. I get that she was nervous in front of the crowd of stars there and in front of the world on TV. But for someone who is used to being on stage and performing live, she kinda dropped the ball. Her voice was cracking, she sped up the tempo of her singing while the music stayed the same, she didn’t hold notes long enough – it was a mess. Perhaps it had something to do with John Travolta’s introduction, where he completely butchered her name. Idina Menzel became Adele D’Azim. I get it, though; Times New Roman is a hard font to read on a teleprompter. And I’m sure he just heard it wrong when they called and asked, “Hey John, will you introduce the star of ‘Wicked,’ Adele D’Azim, at the Oscars? She is going to sing her song ‘Lam Arget’ from the animated movie ‘Franzo.’”
Immediately after the Oscars, the term “Travoltify” went viral through a web widget released by Slate.com where you can have your name Travoltified. Charly Shelton became Christy Seempzon. Sabrina Walentynowicz became ‘Sebastian Warshington.’ And Robin Goldsworthy, publisher of the CV Weekly, becomes ‘Roman Gonzeeles.’ Scan the QR code attached to this story to get your name Travoltified.
Overall, the Oscars were great this year and, with so many spectacular movies up for awards, I only wish there were more awards to give. Because Leonardo DiCaprio needs to win for something. And Tom Hanks. Doesn’t matter what, just give them each an Oscar. Costumes? Fine. They have done enough good work to deserve it for something. Just give them both Oscars and it will all be okay.