The 2014 Oscars were a little long and a little predictable, but they were also a lot of fun. There wasn’t a lot of surprise to be found in the night’s winners, but my Oscar-predicting credibility is thankful for that fact. There also weren’t a lot of surprising or shocking moments within the ceremony itself, but sometimes even a relatively tame award show can still be a thoroughly entertaining one.
It may have been the fact that the Oscars gave me a wonderful evening of laughing and talking about movies with my sister and my best friend, or maybe it’s the lack of sleep (or high amounts of caffeine in my bloodstream) talking, but I think these were my favorite Oscars in terms of entertainment value in quite some time. It probably helps that I really love Ellen DeGeneres and her particular brand of comedy—and I also really love pizza.
Today I want to focus on some of the evening’s best moments—from the speeches that moved me to the fashions that made me green with envy.
Best Performance By an Ensemble in a Selfie:
Where else but the Oscars would you be able to take a photograph featuring three of Hollywood’s biggest heartthrobs, multiple living acting legends, and two of the biggest ingénues in the business? My favorite thing about the whole “selfie” bit was that it felt like everyone involved was having so much fun with it (my personal favorite being Jared Leto sprinting across the theater to be a part of it). I like seeing celebrities who genuinely seem to be enjoying themselves at big events and in each other’s company, so kudos to Ellen for taking that sense of enthusiasm and turning it into millions of re-tweets.
Best Way to Ignite the Internet: Mispronounce Idina Menzel
Not even the selfie that broke Twitter could compare to the Internet uproar caused by John Travolta’s disastrous introduction for Idina Menzel’s performance of “Let It Go.” Within minutes, “Adele Dazeem” became the breakout star of the 2014 Oscars, with multiple Twitter accounts created in her name. I’ll personally admit to watching that introduction more than a few times just to confirm that it actually happened; that’s how absurd it seemed in the moment. I would bet that moment was—by far—the most re-watched portion of this Oscar ceremony.
Best Editing: The cut to Kristen Bell after Menzel performed “Let It Go”
That may not have been Menzel’s best performance (I blame the remote orchestra, which rushed the entire song in a way that made her visibly uncomfortable), but even a less-than-perfect Menzel performance is still better than any other performance the Oscars could give us. Even better than her legendary vocals (and the gorgeous lighting behind her) was the cut to Bell—the Anna to Menzel’s Elsa—after the performance was done. Looking every bit the proud “little sister,” Bell was beaming. It was a lovely moment of support and joy captured by the camera crew.
Best Surprise of the Night: Her winning Best Original Screenplay
I know it didn’t come as a surprise to everyone, but many people—myself included—predicted that the flashier, more fast-paced script for American Hustle would win the Best Original Screenplay Oscar over the softer, more emotionally-driven script for Her. I have never been so happy to be wrong in predicting an Oscar. Her was the best movie I saw out of this year’s crop of Oscar-contenders, and I was so happy its truly original story and complex themes were rewarded with the Oscar I think it deserved the most.
Best Victory for Young Girls (and Young-at-Heart Girls) Everywhere: Frozen and “Let It Go” both take home Oscars
Frozen was Disney’s first Best Animated Feature Oscar winner (from the parent company and not Pixar), and it is beloved by little girls (and I’m sure plenty of little boys, too) around the world. The film’s victory was a huge moment for Disney, and it was also a huge moment for films—especially animated films—driven by female characters. And the Original Song win for “Let It Go” represents the first time in a while that the winner of this award actually feels like an iconic song that will be remembered among the greats in the category’s history. I also have to make special mention of Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez’s excellent acceptance speech, which reminded everyone why “Let It Go” isn’t just a popular song for little girls to sing along to but an important one. Speaking to their daughters, they said: “…this song is inspired by our love for you and the hope that you never let fear or shame keep you from celebrating the unique people that you are.” What a beautiful message wrapped up in a truly beautiful song.
Best Pizza Party Host: Ellen DeGeneres
Let’s be honest, who else watched the Oscars while eating copious amounts of junk food (and wearing sweatpants)? I know I felt much better about the multiple slices of pizza I inhaled last night while watching Ellen pass out pizza to the celebrities during the ceremony. I know a lot of people thought the pizza bit went on too long, but I loved it. It was another example of the more fun, relaxed tone of the ceremony. From Brad Pitt handing out plates to Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lawrence eating their fill, I would have watched another hour of the best actors and actresses in the world eating pizza together. And let’s not forget Kerry Washington, who wins my Oscar for best performance by a pregnant lady who just really wanted her damn pizza.
Best Dance Party Host: Pharrell
It’s not every day you see Lupita Nyong’o, Meryl Streep, and Amy Adams shake their groove things (at least not all at the same time), but that’s exactly what Pharrell’s performance of “Happy” gave us. That song just makes you want to get up and dance (or shimmy from your seat if you’re the Queen of Hollywood like Ms. Streep), and it’s nice to know some of the most prestigious actresses in Hollywood feel the same way about it.
Best Spokeswoman for Female-Driven Films: Cate Blanchett
“To the people clinging to the notion that female-led pictures are a niche genre, people see them! They make money! The world is round, people!” – With those words, I fell more in love with Blanchett than ever before. And looking at not only her Oscar-winning film but two other major winners proves her right: Both Gravity and Frozen—two films that could not be construed as anything but female-led—were huge winners last night and at the box office.
Best Mama’s Boy: Jared Leto
The believably adorable way Leto has spoken about his mother throughout this award season has been nothing short of completely endearing. To see him use so much of his big Oscar moment to talk about how special his mother is brought tears to my eyes. There’s nothing more charming than a man who loves his mom, so Leto may very well be the most charming man in Hollywood right now.
Best Couple: Brad Pitt and Angeline Jolie
From winning humanitarian awards and Best Picture Oscars to dishing out pizza and sharing the night’s cutest kiss, these two were the epitome of an Oscar power couple last night.
Best Way to Honor the Past and Inspire Future Generations: Lupita Nyong’o’s acceptance speech
“It does not escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is thanks to so much pain in someone else’s. So I want to salute the spirit of Patsey for her guidance. And for Solomon, thank you for telling her story and your own.” – Nyong’o’s eloquent acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actress paid tribute to the woman whose story she brought to life in such a respectful way, and the conclusion to her speech spoke to her own story. “When I look down at this golden statue, may it remind me and every little child that no matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid.” What a beautiful message to conclude a beautiful moment. Your dreams are valid, and if Oscar Princess Lupita says it, it has to be true.
Best Dressed (Male): Matthew McConaughey in Dolce and Gabbana
Best Dressed (Female): Kate Hudson in Versace