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Everything Worth Knowing About The 2014 Oscars

The best moments from the Oscars

Forget the winners and the red carpet. Let’s talk about the best chemistry and humour (and the best accessories too!)

Now that we are done with the small matter of dispensing awards at this year’s Oscars, let’s get down to the real stuff, shall we? For let’s be honest – the only reason anyone bothers to watch the ceremony on TV is to pass judgment on the dresses & accessories, grade the speeches, rate the live performances and, most important, discuss and debate the emcee’s performance for the next 364 days.

Here, then, is a short and sweet summary of the real action at the 86th Academy Awards ceremony, a.k.a. Oscars 2014. (For the grammar nerds, please treat our usage of Best as a metaphor for great, greater and greatest)

Best Accessories:

There was so much to gush over at the 2014 Oscars – from Jennifer Lawrence’s back necklace to Amy Adam’s red Tiffany earrings, Nupita Nyong’o’s glittering tiara and Jessica Biel’s stunning Tiffany aquamarine earrings with matching necklace and bracelets. But if we were allowed to steal just one of each – it would be Charlize Theron’s Harry Winston necklace and Cate Blanchett’s giant Chopard drop earrings!

Amongst the men, we loved Jim Carey’s thick-rimmed glasses, but it was Pharell Willams who stole the show with his sparkling ruby shoes and signature bowler hat (We’re quite certain Aamir Khan is already making enquiries).

Best Hair:

Jared Leto (we love the carefully groomed wild look), Jennifer Garner (naturally well-coiffed), Goldie Hawn (she’s certainly insured her hair for a preposterous amount), Nupita Nyong’o (Halo), Daniel Day-Lewis (salt n pepper never looked better – watch out George Clooney!) and finally, Ezra Koenig (his hair somehow reminded us of Rajesh Khanna).

Best Live Performance:

We thought it couldn’t get any better when Pharell Willams cheered up the guests with Happy – the sight of Meryl Streep and Amy Adams dancing was enough to last the rest of the evening. But then along came Pink with her tribute to Judy Garland , and we forgot everything. Her powerful rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow was the best live act at the 2014 Oscars.

Best Chemistry:

Bringing together Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Emma Watson was the master stroke of the evening – will someone please cast them in together in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Part 2? We also loved seeing Penelope Cruze and Robert DeNiro together, but the best pairing of the night was Angelina Jolie and Sidney Poitier – Angie was all grace as she gently guided Poitier, and the genuine warmth between them could even melt a really tiny part of Putin’s heart.

Best Emcee Moments:

We’ve got mixed feelings about Mistress of Ceremony Ellen DeGeneres – we liked how she kept things light and appreciated her subtle humour, but we have to admit that sometimes she was a tad too deadpan and, dare we say it, boring. Ok let’s admit it – anyone not named Billy Crystal is going to get a C+ at the Oscars, and that’s if they put on the best show of their life!

Ellen certainly had her moments, and we’re not talking about handing out pizzas and the twitter-crashing selfie. We enjoyed her dig at Jonah Hill and her jab at political correctness (“Possibility number one – 12 Years a Slave wins best picture. Possibility number two – you’re all racists.”). We know she drew a lot of flak for her jibe at Liza Minnelli – “Hello to the best Liza Minnelli impersonator I’ve ever seen…Good job, sir” – but hey, whatever happened to “sense of humor” and “pinch of salt”. (We confess that the remark sounded fairly accurate to us. We also believe that the real problem wasn’t the remark per se, but the fact that it was aimed at someone who was present to commemorate her  mother).

Ellen’s best moment of the day came when she introduced Brad Pitt:

Here’s a man, he needs no introduction. But if I don’t, he’ll never know when to come out

Best Speech:

This is the Philosopher’s Stone of the Oscars – we are quite certain that someone somewhere is secretly handing out awards for the best Oscar speeches in history. Who can forget Joe Pesci’s shortest speech in history : “It’s my privilege, Thank You” (Goodfellas); Ben Affleck & Matt Damon’s bubbling exuberance (Good Will Hunting); Meryl Streep’s “Why? Her again? But whatever” (The Iron Lady) and Sandra Bullock’s ode to her mother and Meryl Streep : “You know what I think of you…and you’re such a good kisser.” (Blind Side)

Despite our well cultivated cynicism, it was difficult not to get pearly eyed watching Lupita Nyong’o’s heartfelt acceptance speech. How many 30 year olds, upon winning an Oscar for their debut film, would have the grace to say : “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 for reminding us that:

No matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid. Thank you.

For sheer entertainment, you have to give it to the spirited Robert Lopez & Kristen Anderson-Lopez (winners for Let It Go, best original song) who decided that the best way to thank a long list of people is to make a song out of it! The EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscars, Tony) winners perked up the ceremony, amen to “Happy Oscar to you, let’s do Frozen 2″!

Special mention: Kate Blanchett’s call-out to her co-nominees, especially “Julia hashtag ‘Suck it,’ you know what I mean?”

Biggest Dud of the Night:

We have to make a mention here of Matthew McConaughey’s Best Actor acceptance speech. Like everyone else, we’ve been in awe of his rebirth over the last 15 months, and marvelled at his nerve in refusing movies and staying jobless as he waited for the right role. Some of the gloss wore off after we heard him ramble about “something to look up to, something to look forward to and someone to chase” and “my hero – myself 10 years from now” . It’s not just what he said that lost us, it’s how he said it – it seemed that he was delivering the lines for another of his McConaissance roles. A speck of genuine spontaneity would have been enough to make us bow in devotion during the next episode of True Detective, but he failed to deliver.

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