A miracle happened Sunday night. I watched the Oscars without throwing up a little in my mouth.
For several years, I have successfully avoided the Oscars, either out of disgust or indifference. But mostly because I feel there is something absurd and even disturbing about botox-inflated, gluten starved A-list celebrities who strut around in couture duds, dripping diamonds, and congratulate themselves for work they consider far more important than it really is. I’m sorry, but people who throw lavish parties for themselves then wax philosophical for 10 seconds of an award acceptance speech about the importance of social consciousness, etc., are either totally lacking in self-awareness or are actually trying to be phony. Yeh, like, SUPER BIG eye roll.
Of course, I indulge my own brand of hypocrisy, curled up on my couch in loose-fitting pajamas and eating cookies while I allow all those beautiful people who cause said eye-rolling to also simultaneously provide me hours of mindless entertainment. And maybe it’s because their lives are so lavish and they are so beautiful, and I just finished mopping my floor and haven’t shaved my legs in a week (okay maybe two) that I feel, in a small way, entitled to be entertained by them.
Thankfully, Sunday’s Oscars were predominantly free of self-aggrandizing remarks or political rants (well, okay, free of political rants anyway), making it bearable, even enjoyable for this pajama-clad girl. At home. With her hairy legs. Remarking to her husband through bites of cookie, “Can you believe she’s wearing that?” and, ironically, “Someone get that woman a cookie!”
So here are the 2014 Oscar highs and lows (IMO). If I am missing any obvious ones, it’s because I took a potty break or went to get more cookies:
Highlight #1) Ellen (who was perhaps the number one reason I allowed myself to watch the Oscars this year). I knew she would make me laugh, and she did. No, she wasn’t outlandish. She didn’t perform ridiculous musical numbers between award announcements. She was relaxed in that slightly awkward, self-deprecating way that is her trademark. It’s a comedic style that feels less shiny and more, well, normal (like me). By ordering greasy pizza for Meryl Streep and taking selfies with Brangelina, Ellen made the Oscars feel almost relatable, at least in how truly out of touch and un-relatable they actually are for most of us.
Highlight #2) The gorgeous Lupita Nyong’o, winner of Best Supporting Actress, who was the picture of class and elegance. She wore one of my favorite dresses of the evening. Her skin was radiant. And her acceptance speech was fresh and inspired and free of the token false humility offered, albeit poorly, by so many movie stars.
Highlight #3) Sidney Portier. What a class act! Now, there’s a man who has spent less time talking about challenging social and cultural norms and more time just doing it…and when it was far less popular and career-boosting.
Highlight #4) The husband and wife songwriting team, Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, who wrote Frozen’s “Let It Go.” Besides the fact that they were absolutely adorable together, their speech was both fun and memorable. My favorite part? When they encouraged their daughters to “never let fear or shame keep you from celebrating the unique people you are.” Uhm, pass the Kleenex!
Highlight #5) Bono. Who remains incredibly cool and wildly talented. His voice is superb. And, man, can he work the microphone.
Highlight #6) Tina Fey’s American Express commercials, which provided laugh-out-loud chuckles for mommies everywhere with a yogurt facial and lines like, “You owe me this because I clean your tushie” and “a lawyer that’s a monkey! Heh-Heh!”
Lowlight #1 and #2) Harrison Ford and John Travolta. Both were weird. And Travolta could have taken five minutes to practice the two sentences he had to deliver, including pronunciation of Idina Menzel’s name. Poor girl. I really thought her name was Adela Mazina *mumble, mumble*…or something like that.
Lowlight #3) Is there any good reason, other than Bette Midler, to break out Wind Beneath Our Wings in the year 2014? I mean I know Bette is legendary, and she looked dynamite. But of all the songs to memorialize those in the industry who passed away this year…that was the best they could do? Besides, it doesn’t really work. I mean, who in Hollywood REALLY wants to be memorialized as being the wind beneath someone else’s wings? That’s right. Nobody. Which makes that choice of song insulting, as well as being total cheese.
Lowlight #4) Pink’s awkward red sequined gown. I love a good head-to-toe sequined gown inspired by Dorothy’s ruby red slippers just as much as the next person. But that red dress wasn’t right for Pink. It just seemed, well, off. Thankfully her performance was not. But I am wondering why they picked Pink at all for that number?
Lowlight #5) Karen O.’s weird baby voice in the performance of the “Moon Song” from HER. I know someone somewhere will disagree with me (including MTV who hailed her performance). But her barely-there voice, though great for the recording studio or singing lullabies to newborns, just felt awkward on-stage at the Oscars.
In closing, here are my favorite fashion statements of the night. Not because I care, but because I am still rolling my eyes and eating cookies, so I might as well also comment on the fashion:
- Lupita’s beautiful pale blue frock. Goddess-like, but still appearing fresh and effortless.
- Camila Alves’ pink dress, proving a dress can be both sexy and modest. Of course, it was worn by Camila Alves’, so I don’t think “sexy” was ever a question.
- Kevin Spacey’s blue tux. Because it was sharp and interesting.
- Jared Leno’s red bow tie. (I am a sucker for bold bow tie statements.) Not his WWJD hairstyle. 😉
Here is the full list of Oscar 2014 winners
Also I have since shaved my legs (or I will…today…yet…)