The 2014 Oscars: a recap

Mother nature may have had plans for LA but as they say, the show must go on. Despite the rain, the 86th Annual Academy Awards were held in the center of Hollywood, in Los Angeles, California.


This year’s Academy Awards took on a different tone from last year’s spectacle. This year’s show took on a more fun and laid back vibe. Serving as second time hostess was Ellen DeGeneres, which turned out to be one of the best decisions the Academy could have made. Ellen kept true to her signature comedic style and was both funny and entertaining without being offensive and tacky like last year’s host Seth Macfarland.


The first award of the night was given to Jared Leto for Actor in a supporting role for his portrayal of a transgender plagued by AIDS in Dallas Buyers Club. Leto’s moving performance was matched by his equally moving acceptance speech. While donning a ruby red bow tie and ombre hair, Leto told the story of a high school drop out and single mother who taught her kids “…to be creative, work hard and be special.” Leto’s tribute to his mom was inspiring and hit home to many who also grew up with amazing mothers and other positive female figures.


Alongside his tribute to his mom, Leto also addressed more serious issues and offered support, telling those who are in crisis whether it be in Ukraine and Venezuela or those who are persecuted for being who they are or for who they love. Leto’s win was later on followed by Dallas Buyer’s Club costar, Mathew McConaughey for leading actor.


DeGeneres offered a very fun and entertaining atmosphere without trying too hard for both attendants and viewers at home. DeGeneres ordered pizza and handed it out with napkins to A-list audience members.. But DeGeneres did not stop there, she took a selfie featuring herself, Bradley Cooper, Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence, Lupita Nyong’o and her brother, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, and Kevin Spacey that broke a record, becoming the most retweeted tweet with over 2.2 million retweets on Twitter. The mass hysteria for the picture even caused twitter to temporarily crash.


Another showcase of the night were the performances. The first of the performances was by Pharrell Williams of his song “Happy.” This infectious tune was first danced to by actresses Lupita Nyong’o, Meryl Streep, and Amy Adams, followed later on by most of the audience getting up to dance to the song. Other musical performances included Idina Manzel, who sang “Let It Go,” from Frozen, U2, Bette Midler, Pink, and Karen O. The audience was also granted a surprise performance of “His Eye is on the Sparrow” by Darlene Love during her acceptance speech.


Although nominated for a total of ten awards, the David O. Russell film American Hustle walked away with zero wins. Other notable winners included Gravity’s Alfonso Cuaron as best director, Her’s Spike Jonze for best original screenplay, Blue Jasmine’s Cate Blanchett for lead actress, 12 years a slave’s Lupita Nyong’o for supporting actress, and 12 years a slave for best picture.