Oscars 2014 Recap: Death to Montages

2014 Oscar winners

Academy Award winners Matthew McConaughey, Cate Blanchett, Lupita Nyong’o and Jared Leto

Look, I love Pink. And I love The Wizard of Oz. But I know I’m not alone in saying Pink singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” at last night’s Oscar ceremony was a complete waste of my time. We were treated to not one, not two, but THREE generic montages, all of which were tied vaguely to the evening’s gag-worthy theme, “Heroes in Film,” and all of which featured mostly white male characters. John Travolta’s painful introduction of Idina Menzel as “Adele Dazeem” – while hilarious by internet standards – was one of many instances that made me wonder, hey, couldn’t these actors maybe memorize their teleprompter lines? And I adore Ellen DeGeneres, duh, but her milling around the audience the whole time, apparently endorsing Samsung Galaxy, didn’t work as material.

The Oscars are, and probably always will be, a magical night for me and all those who love movies, fashion, and mainstream pop culture in general. But how does the award ceremony featuring some of the world’s most entertaining and beautiful people end up being so tedious?

Maybe it’s a sign of a-changin’ times. When Kevin Spacey appeared briefly as Frank Underwood, his character in “House of Cards,” I imagined Netflix executives rubbing their hands with maniacal glee. You could argue television has really overtaken movies as today’s entertainment media of choice, and Netflix has changed the way we are all entertained. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who wanted to fast-forward large chunks of the ceremony, my already-short attention span suffering with each unnecessary presentation. Instant gratification has been sewn into the fabric of our culture today, so even Ellen cracking wise about the length of the ceremony irked.

It didn’t help that this year’s results were, for whatever reason, quite predictable. Maybe in particularly strong years for film, the cards fall where they fall and there’s little chance of an upset. Not to throw shade on Great Blanchett, but I would’ve killed to see Amy Adams unexpectedly get the prize, if only to shake things up. (And let’s face it, Amy looked like gangbusters, while Cate’s dress consisted of pretty and forgettable fishing tackle.) There were some genuinely touching moments in the actual handing out of awards – Lupita’s heartfelt “No matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid” felt like a flawless Oscar acceptance speech – and nothing in the history of everything can take away from the sheer perfection that was Pharrell Williams shimmying with Meryl Streep:

Meryl Pharrell

“Happy” indeed

To be clear, I am happy for the winners and the nominees, and happy for the chance to bask in their fabulousness. I just think there’s a way to shift the focus more onto these charismatic stars and the work they do, and off of the producers and their ideas for drawing out the telecast. The clips of each of the acting performances absolutely thrilled, and captured the magnitude of Hollywood’s achievements in the past year. The montage about “heroes” that featured the guy from Jaws sticking a nitrogen tank into a shark? Not so much.

And now, let’s get to the important stuff. My best dressed:

Kerry Washington

Kerry Washington in Jason Wu

It’s just jaw-dropping. What is it like to have lips like that? She was only there because she’s on an ABC show, right? Whatever. She’ll have an Oscar within five years anyway.

Charlize Theron

Charlize Theron in Christian Dior

Charlize Theron looked astonishingly beautiful, but that’s usually what happens when she wears a relatively simple dress like this one. Kate Hudson, on the other hand, looked like a work of art:

Kate Hudson

Kate Hudson in Versace

Total knockout. Where’s her award?

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