Media Courtesy of Ellen DeGeneres
Hollywood's biggest night was one to remember as Ellen Degeneres took to the stage to host the Academy Awards for a second time.The evening was filled with deserving winners and showstopping performances from several of our top entertainers.
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Ellen stepped out on stage and performed an opening monologue that was both hilarious and almost sardonic in humor. Such subjects she tackled included Jennifer Lawrence's history of falling
(both last year when she fell on the way to accepting her award for Best Actress, and earlier last evening when she fell on the red carpet). Ellen quipped "I think if you win tonight we should bring the Oscar to you."
The first award of the evening went to Jared Leto, who won for his fantastic performance in Dallas Buyers Club
as Rayon, a transgender drug addict dying of HIV/AIDS. In his speech, he thanked his mother (actually, he made the entire speech about praising his mother for working so hard as a single mother to raise him and his brother). This was Leto's first Academy Award nomination after two decades of work in cinema and television, and touring as part of his band 30 Seconds to Mars.
Lupita Nyong'o won Best Supporting Actress after a tight race with Jennifer Lawrence. This was Lupita's first film and first nomination and she is one of only a few performers to win Academy Awards for film debuts - that group includes legends such as Barbra Streisand (Best Actress, 1968), Eva Marie Saint (Best Supporting Actress, 1954), Julie Andrew (Best Actress, 1963), Anna Paquin (Best Supporting Actress, 1993) and Jennifer Hudson (Best Supporting Actress, 2006).
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Some musical moments of note include P!nk's haunting performance of "Over the Rainbow" from The Wizard of Oz
(as part of a tribute to the 75th anniversary of the landmark film) and Bette Midler's beautiful performance of "The Wind Beneath My Wings," which she sang as part of the In Memoriam segment.
All four nominees for Best Original Song were performed, and each was unique and dazzling in its own way. Pharrell kicked off first, performing the infectiously catchy "Happy" from Despicable Me 2
. Dancing with an ensemble of adults and kids alike, it was a bright and colorful performance and Lupita Nyong'o, Amy Adams and Meryl Streep joined in with the dancing as well (yes, Meryl Streep!).
U2 stripped down their larger-than-life image and opted to perform "Ordinary Love" from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
with a stripped down, acoustic performance. Karen O also beautifully sang the haunting "The Moon Song" from Her
, accompanied only with a guitar.
The final Best Original Song performance was Idina Menzel performing the showstopping "Let It Go" from Frozen
, which would eventually end up winning and put Robert Lopez in the elite EGOT club
. And of course we can't forget John Travolta's epic mispronunciation of Idina's name...we aren't actually sure what he said!
The biggest winner of the evening was Gravity
, which won a total of seven awards, including Best Director for Alfonso Cuaron, and Best Cinematography for the legendary Emmanuel Lubezki.
The two big acting awards of the evening went to two very talented performers. Cate Blanchett won for Blue Jasmine
, her second Academy Award. She joins Meryl Streep and Jessica Lange as actresses who won Supporting Actress and then went on to win Best Actress years later. Best Actor went to Matthew McConaughey, who has experienced quite a career-turnaround over the past few years. This is his first Academy Award nomination and win.
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Best Picture was a nail-biter, but in the end, it went to 12 Years a Slave
, which in addition to Lupita Nyong'o, also won Best Adapted Screenplay. It seemed as if Gravity
might pull of the win with the seven awards it had that night, but a eerily similar split happened in 1973, when The Godfather
also only won three awards - Best Picture, Best Actor for Marlon Brando and Best Adapted Screenplay, while their biggest competitor Cabaret
walked away with eight awards, including Best Director.
Let's not forget Ellen's record setting selfie with some of Hollywood's most elite! After saying on air she wanted to break a record, fans of the talk show host delivered and her star-studded selfie received hundreds of thousands of retweets in minutes which crashed Twitter! But it was so worth it!
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The 86th Academy Awards were fun and entertaining. Ellen DeGeneres was a great host as always, and the show was both classy and a really good time. Can we vote to have Ellen host every awards show?!
Until next year, that's a red-carpet wrap!
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