Glitz, glamour, and drama, all come head to head in film’s biggest night of the year: the Oscars. The first ever Academy Awards were held in 1929 at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, Hollywood, California. However, the first televised Oscars was not until 1953, and now is broadcasted to over 200 countries worldwide. This is the oldest form of media awards, outdating the Grammys (music), the Emmys (television), and the Tonys (theatre). Each of these awards is structured after the Academy Awards.
This year the 86th Academy Awards commenced, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres. There were featured performances from P!nk, Idina Menzel, Pharrell, and many other stars. It is the tradition of the Academy Awards to honor a selection of “Best Song” and “Best Picture” nominees, and throughout the broadcast there were live performances of these songs, as well as mini featurettes of the “Best Picture” nominees.
As well as the Oscars being a huge night in film, it is also a large night for fashion as well. Stars show up in their most elegant and snazzy outfits, hoping to make it on the best dressed list. Dazzling the viewers, stars such as Lupita Nyong’o (nominated for “Best Supporting Actress”), Cate Blanchett (nominated for “Best Actress”), Amy Adams (also nominated for “Best Actress”), and Matthew McConaughey (nominated for “Best Actor”) amazed the viewers with their stylish choices. Lupita Nyong’o showed up wearing Prada, and once again stole the show. Since her breakout role in 12 Years a Slave she has again and again proven her fashion value by consistently showing up on best dressed lists. Other stars who have a larger repertoire of awards shows stunned viewers with their new and extraordinary choices.
However, this night is about film, and the nominees this year were incredible. The biggest names in this years awards were 12 Years a Slave,Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity, American Hustle, and The Wolf of Wall Street. Each of these were up for best picture, as well as multiple other awards. Gravity swept the awards winning seven Oscars, including “Best Director” for Alfonso Cuaron. Even though Gravity received the most awards, the highest honor went to 12 Years a Slave for “Best Picture.” Director Steve McQueen and producer Brad Pitt thanked everyone and dedicated their award to the 21 million people still enduring slavery today. They are not the only ones to mention a current social issue in their acceptance speech, Jared Leto, who received the award for “Best Supporting Actor” for his role as the transexual Rayon in Dallas Buyers Club, mentioned the struggles in Ukraine and Venezuela during his speech. The ever gorgeous Lupita Nyong’o received the award for “Best Supporting Actress” in 12 Years a Slave beating out Jennifer Lawrence. Matthew McConaughey received the award for “Best Actor” for Dallas Buyers Club while Cate Blanchett won the award for “Best Actress” for her role in Woody Allen’s newest drama, Blue Jasmine.
Amongst these high honors, there were some hilarious points. Ellen returned to stage in a Glinda costume after P!nk’s rendition of “Somewhere over the Rainbow” in honor of The Wizard of Oz’s 75th anniversary. Ellen ordered pizza for a few of the stars, including Meryl Streep, Angelina Jolie, and Julia Roberts. She also broke the record for most retweets ever on a tweet, formerly held by President Obama; she posted a selfie with Bradley Cooper, Meryl Streep, Angelina Jolie, Lupita Nyong’o, Jennifer Lawrence, and Lupita Nyong’o’s younger brother. The tweet reached a peak of 2.7 million retweets, as well as crashing twitter in the process.
It was an Oscars night never to forget. Ellen DeGeneres once again proved that she can successfully and efficiently host, and it also was of course a night where many different people were honored with some of the highest film honors of the year. Look out next year because this was one Oscars that would be hard to follow up.
By: Sam Van Pykeren