The 86th Academy Awards Excel with a Remarkable Show

A Magnificent Evening Showcasing Achievement and Recognition
Joe Lees

What an evening for the movies! Oscar Night is always one of my favorite nights of the year, and this year was a huge step up for the annual awards show. The 86th Academy Awards were held on March 2nd in the Dolby Theatre in Los Angles, and all the big names were present to honor the year’s achievement in Cinema. Ellen DeGeneres took on hosting duties this time around. Gravity and American Hustle led with 10 nominations each coming into the ceremony, with 12 Years a Slave having 9. Although it wasn’t perfect, it was still a very rewarding evening (no pun intended). Here’s what I thought were great and not so great about the show:


GRAVITY! Gravity, one of my favorite films of the year, took home 7 Gold Statues throughout the ceremony. Winning the most out of any film. Including prestigious honors such as Best Director for the wonderful Alfonso Cuarón, Best Cinematography for Emmanuel Lubezki, and Best Original Score for Steve Price, it was lovely to see such a fantastic film gain such remarkable recognition.
Ellen DeGeneres. Ellen was a HUGE step up from the unfit for hosting Seth MacFarlane from last year’s show. With only one notable hiccup, Ellen moved the ceremony along with ease and hilarious entertainment.
P!nk. I was very curious when I heard that P!nk was going to be performing at Academy Awards this year, but after performing a show-stopping rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” during a tribute to The Wizard of Oz, my curiosity quickly changed to enormous appreciation.
12 Years a Slave taking home Best Picture. 12 Years a Slave was without a doubt one of the most powerful films to be released in recent years. It absolutely deserved the biggest award of the night, and watching the production team receive the award with all the happiness and excitement that they had was beautiful and very inspiring. Also seeing Lupita Nyong’o win Best Supporting Actress for her role in 12 Years a Slave was wonderful.
The Biggest Selfie Ever! During the show, Ellen managed to take a selfie that included some of the biggest names in the room such as Bradley Cooper, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Kevin Spacey, and Meryl Streep. The selfie got over 2 and half million retweets on Twitter.
No claps present during the In Memoriam. I always thought it was odd to have attendees clap during the In Memoriam sequence. It just never felt right, and to not have that this year was wonderful. Also having Bette Milder sing afterwards was very moving.


John Travolta. Come on! Mr. Travolta provided the intro for Idina Menzel’s performance of Best Original Song Nominee “Let it Go” from Frozen. Except he butchered the woman’s name by presenting her as “Adela Dazeem”. Do your homework next time, Zuko!
Ellen’s Pizza bit. The only bit I really just didn’t like was a reoccurring bit that including Ellen trying to provide pizza to the award attendees. The joke just went on for too long and it was a bit awkward. Although it was nice watching Brad Pitt help hand out plates and napkins.
Maybe next year Leo. I was really vouching for Leonardo DiCaprio to take home the gold this year. His performance in Wolf of Wall Street was so versatile and bold but unfortunately Leo was in very talented company this year in the Best Actor category. But to be fair, Matthew McConaughey’s performance in Dallas Buyers Club was unprecedented and undoubtedly deserving of the Oscar for Best Actor.

I didn’t want to put this in either the Pros or Cons section, but the In Memoriam sequence this year was truly moving and heartbreaking. We lost way too much great talent before their time, and it really is a testament to the fact that the legacy they’ve brought to our culture will never die.

All in all, the pros certainly outweighed the cons, unlike shows previous. The Academy may stick with Ellen for a while much like the Golden Globes are holding on tight to Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, and I’d certainly welcome that as I’m sure countless others would. It was nice to see the Oscar Bait films land flat and the actual good films walk out with the statues and recognition for all the hard work that was put into their work. It was an inspiring evening thanks to those who made it special, and I can’t wait to see what 2014 brings with new achievement in Film.

Full list of Oscar Winners and Nominees

Montclair State | New Jersey

Joe Lees

Joe is a senior studying Television and Digital Media at Montclair State University. Joe enjoys long walks on the beach and heavy heavy metal.