For better or worse, the Oscar telecast is something we both look forward to each year. At least if the telecast itself isn’t that great, we can always count on a melange of insights from critics the morning after. After the last few years of interesting experiments (we still quite haven’t figured out the Franco-Hathaway thing), this was a very traditional, by-the-numbers telecast, with Ellen DeGeneres walking the fine line between unbridled enthusiasm and wry commentary. What did leave us a little perplexed was the lackluster production of the telecast. Weird camera angles, unpolished transitions, and lazy cuts took away some of the slickness of past broadcasts.
Full of decent, but not memorable musical performances of a solid Best Original Song class, forgettable montages about “heroes,” and Bette Midler’s “Wing Beneath My Wings,” in dire need of a moratorium (we muted the TV), the few truly memorable moments included a star-studded selfie (above), and Travolta’s mumbling. The highlight of the evening for us was Robert Lopez completing his EGOT with his win for “Let it Go” from Frozen.
The entire night was perhaps best encapsulated not by an Ellen selfie, but by Brad Pitt eating a slice of cheese pizza. The entire broadcast was like a delivery cheese pizza, a little plain, exactly as expected, and welcome nonetheless. Ellen’s humor was surprisingly sharp-witted for someone known for a daytime talk show, but it was appreciated as a contrast to the rest of the evening’s saccharine feel.
We can’t help but think that this feeling was reinforced by the giving of the awards themselves, and while we went a decent 19 for 24 in our predictions, none of the major awards came as any surprise. We were very happy with the awards for Spike Jonze (Best Original Screenplay for Her), and Alfonso Cuarón (Best Director for Gravity), but a little disappointed that Amy Adams and Leonardo DiCaprio aren’t Academy Award winners this morning. Overall, we were happy with the outcomes, and more disappointed by what wasn’t nominated than by what won.
Our Oscar Menu
We did end up being quite literal, basing our choices on foods that actually appeared in the nominees, including a cheese pizza for Her, cannoli for American Hustle and fruit for Captain Phillips. Our cocktail this year was a “vodka sunrise” for Gravity using Clementine vodka, blood orange and grapefruit juice (we wanted to use Tang, but it does not mix well with vodka). The favorite course was definitely weenies rolling in dough for Wolf of Wall Street, since we love food puns and cocktail weenies.
Love it or hate it, another Oscar season is behind us. See you next year!