So, last night saw the 86th Annual Academy Awards, held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. All in all, this year's Oscars telecast was full of heart, soul and a whole lot of fun.
A large part of that came from Ellen DeGeneres, taking hosting duties for the second time. No ill-advised boob songs this year, just a (seemingly) effortless charm and wit which had the audience engaged. There aren't many award ceremony hosts who would make a crack about ordering pizza for the crowd- and actually follow up on it. I loved her hosting the first time round (back in 2007); this time she seemed more at ease and there were some great one-liners (even if her crack about Liza Minnelli looking like a female impersonator was a little cutting). There's also the small matter of this epic selfie which crashed Twitter:
The theme of this year's ceremony was 'cinematic heroes' and there were several nice montages showing animated heroes, everyday heroes and superheroes. There was also a tribute to honour 75 years of The Wizard Of Oz with an absolutely knockout performance of 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow' by Pink (which was one of the highlights of the night for me). Pharrell Williams brought the place to its feet with his performance of 'Happy' from Despicable Me 2 whilst Idina Menzel (take note, Mr Travolta) absolutely killed it in her solo performance of 'Let It Go'.
Some of the guest presenters were absolutely great- I thought Robert de Niro was fantastic with the spiel about how bad it is to be a writer before the Adapted Screenplay award, Bill Murray was just fabulous when presenting the Best Cinematography award and gave a heartfelt tribute to the late Harold Ramis, and Glenn Close gave a very dignified and heartfelt introduction to the In Memoriam section- but a lot of the hosts seemed to have a bit of an issue with the autocue, and the least said about Jamie Foxx, the better.
So, on to the awards themselves:
I have to be honest, I was surprised to find myself 6 for 6 again this year- but I was absolutely overjoyed when Lupita Nyong'o won. Her acceptance speech was very moving and heartfelt and was just lovely, as was Jared Leto's (who could kick back and chill for the rest of the night as his was the first award announced). I did cringe a little bit during Matthew McConaughey's acceptance speech (it's a purely personal thing but I do find any mention of God to be a little but much) but I liked the sentiment behind a lot of the rest of it. Cate Blanchett's speech was erudite and strong, simultaneously recognising the whole awards season hoopla for the insubstantial nonsense that it actually is but also celebrating the art of cinema. However, I have to say I think my favourite acceptance speech came from Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez after their win for Best Original Song (the epic 'Let It Go' from Frozen).
Gravity was the big winner of the evening, taking 7 of the 10 awards it was nominated for (including Best Director for Alfonso Cuaron). There were three awards apiece for 12 Years A Slave (including Best Picture) and Dallas Buyers Club and two each for The Great Gatsby and Frozen: interestingly, both films were only nominated for two Oscars (Gatsby for Production Design and Costume Design, and Frozen for Animated Film and Original Song) and won both!
Despite 10 nominations, American Hustle came away with nothing. Similarly, nothing for Captain Phillips, Philomena, Nebraska or The Wolf Of Wall Street.
Below is the full list of winners at the 86th Annual Academy Awards:
Best Motion Picture of the Year: 12 Years A Slave
Best Actor: Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)
Best Actress: Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)
Best Supporting Actress: Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years A Slave)
Best Director: Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity)
Best Original Screenplay: Spike Jonze (Her)
Best Adapted Screenplay: John Ridley (12 Years A Slave)
Best Animated Feature Film of the Year: Frozen
Best Foreign Language Film of the Year: The Great Beauty
Best Cinematography: Gravity
Best Editing: Gravity
Best Production Design: The Great Gatsby
Best Costume Design: The Great Gatsby
Best Makeup and Hairstyling: Dallas Buyers Club
Best Original Score: Gravity
Best Original Song: 'Let It Go' (Frozen)
Best Sound Mixing: Gravity
Best Sound Editing: Gravity
Best Visual Effects: Gravity
Best Documentary (Feature): 20 Feet From Stardom
Best Documentary (Short Subject): The Lady In Number 6
Best Animated Short Film: Mr Hublot
Best Live Action Short Film: Helium
Congratulations to all winners!