Thoughts following the 86th Academy Awards (Oscars recap)

oscar-statueThe 86th Academy Awards has come and gone, and it went about as expected – no surprises save one, and it wasn’t a big deal.

I did expect Gravity to win a bunch of technical and the directing Oscar, but I certainly didn’t expect it to win best score. I haven’t seen the movie in months, but I remember it being musically sparse – I recall the score playing at the very end, but that’s about it. It’s a nice theme, but I only remember the movie having just that one theme. It seems to me that the Academy wanted to find a way to recognize the movie artistically, but weren’t interested in giving it a screenplay Oscar – or even a nomination. It’s like they wanted to give it as many awards as possible, as long as it didn’t involve any praise of the story. I’m not going to go into my “Gravity is visceral yet by the numbers” routine again, so let’s move on.

Other than that, it was all favorites, all the time. No surprises in the male categories: the Dallas Buyers Club boys swept the category, as predicted by everyone in the universe, and deservedly so. Lupita Nyong’o was a heavy favorite to win Best Supporting Actress, and she also took home the statue… and so on.

As for the show itself… well, it was better than last year. Obviously, Ellen Degeneres is superior to Seth Mcfarlane, who I scold for never knowing when to let a joke end, but Ellen wasn’t exactly flawless. I enjoyed her “Glenda, the Good Witch of the North” bit, but for the most part, it seemed that she had some directive to either refer to or stand next to as many actors as possible. The pizza was a funny idea, but it didn’t really pan out into a workable joke – at least not for anyone at our house. The Twitter thing felt like a paid product placement (she said “Twitter” and “tweet” an unnecessarily number of times), but maybe it was exactly what it appeared to be – Ellen just being goofy. Ultimately, I felt that Ellen was constantly doing the same thing, and after the second hour, it got old.

And then there’s the real problem: the Academy Awards program director’s never-ending quest to waste my time.

Look, it’s Sunday night – we have to go to work in the morning! Let’s trim the nonsense! I bet I can cut 20 minutes out of the show right off the top of my head:

  1. What was that thing Jim Carrey introduced? I have no idea.
  2. The President’s address was just a shameless commercial for something no one can’t even go to yet because the construction won’t be finished for what, three years? Weak. Sauce.
  3. Why was Pink singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow?” I have no idea what that was about – good performance, though.
  4. Bette. Midler. It’s important to acknowledge those we’ve lost, but that had already been done before Midler came out and gave us that half-hearted rendition of “Wind Beneath My Wings.” Did you see she was flapping her arm at the end, to illustrate “wings?” That was embarrassing.
  5. That montauge that was introduced by Chris Evans. What was that?

Kill all that stuff and that’s probably twenty minutes right there. Didn’t they axe the performances of best song one year to make the show shorter? This year, they gave us two extra songs! Crazy!

Anyway, that’s all she wrote. Tune in again next year when great movies like Nebraska will get nominated for several awards, but win nothing at all.

About Jamie Insalaco

Jamie Insalaco is the author of, and editor in chief of

Posted on March 3, 2014, in movie review and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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