The 86th Annual Academy Awards: A night to remember

Hannah Weisman

As the red carpet wrapped up, many stars rolled into the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles for the 86th Annual Academy Awards. Ellen DeGeneres prepared to host a night filled with laughter, victory, and occasional disappointment. DeGeneres started the night with some playful banter in her opening monologue with award nominees such as June Squib from “Nebraska,” Lupita Nyong’o from “12 Years a Slave,” and Barkhad Abdi from “Captain Phillips.” The night’s theme, Heroes in Hollywood, was nicely integrated into the ceremony. Although there were some mistakes made, the program was enjoyable and entertaining to watch.

DeGeneres did a wonderful job acknowledging all of the nominees while whimsically poking fun at the Academy. Degeneres jokingly brought up nominees for Best Picture commenting, “possibility number one: 12 Years a Slave wins best picture or possibility number two: You’re all racists.” The crowd chuckled in response.

Early in the program Jared Leto made a moving speech that not only touched the hearts of his fans, but of everyone watching all around the world. His speech began by mentioning his mother, “a high school dropout and a single mom,” who encouraged her children to follow their dreams. Through his speech Leto urged the “dreamers out there” to pursue their fantasies and follow their dreams, especially those currently in Venezuela and Ukraine. He finished his speech dedicating his Oscar to the 36 million people who lost the battle to AIDS and to those who felt injustice because of “who [they] are or who [they] love.” Leto’s speech was hard to follow up but Jim Carrey was used as a good transition between awards and the night’s theme, which eventually led into the first musical performance.

All of the musical performances, Pharrell Williams’s “Happy,” Karen O’s “Moon Song, ” U2’s “Ordinary Love,” P!nk’s “Over the Rainbow,” Bette Midler’s “Wind Beneath My Wings,” Idina Menzel’s “Let It Go,” and even Darlene Love’s “His Eye Is on the Sparrow,” were phenomenal and fit in very well with the tone and tempo of the night. Even though John Travolta mistakenly mispronounced Menzel’s name while introducing her, nothing he said could have trumped the performance she gave singing “Let It Go.”

Once again many were disappointed that Leonardo Dicaprio was not granted an Oscar, but as some of his fans have put it, “it is better that people are asking why he hasn’t received an Oscar yet than if they’re asking why he has received an Oscar.” On the other hand, some highlights of the show were most definitely DeGeneres ordering pizza, collecting money, and breaking twitter with a selfie. Big winners from the 86th Academy Awards included: “12 Years a Slave” for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay, Cate Blanchett for Best Actress in “Blue Jasmine,” Matthew McConaughey for Best Actor in “Dallas Buyers Club,” Leto for Best Supporting Actor again in “Dallas Buyers Club,” Nyong’o for Best Supporting Actress in “12 Years a Slave,” “Her” for Best Original Screenplay, Alfonso Cuaron for Best Director with “Gravity,” and“Frozen” for Best Animated Feature Film. All in all, it was a night to remember.

Photo courtesy of Ethos Magazine