Oscars prove stellar evening for McConaughey, 'Gravity'

The 86th Academy Awards may not have been the most entertaining Oscars of all time, but it had its moments. Not to mention winners and losers — Leo, we still think you’re a superstar — and great fashion.

The show was hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, who seemed a bit nervous though she had hosted the show seven years prior. Her jokes were disappointing, and her celebrity audience seemed to notice by laughing half-heartedly.

However, she did capture probably the coolest “selfie” ever, breaking a Twitter record and crashing the Twitter site entirely. DeGeneres called star-studded guests out by first name and poked fun. However, this didn’t seem to have much appeal to audiences at home. DeGeneres even ordered pizza which celebrities such as Harrison Ford and Julia Roberts were more than happy to accept.



Speaking of happy, Pharrell Williams performed his upbeat hit “Happy” featuring an ensemble of dancers, children included. He also got the whole audience, including Meryl Streep, to stand up and dance. As far as Williams choice to wear shorts on the red carpet: Isn’t there a dress code at these events? This is a black tie event. Please wear pants next time.

As the show continued the award for best supporting actor was first. The award went to 30 Seconds to Mars lead singer and “Dallas Buyers Club” star Jared Leto. Leto gave a heartfelt acceptance speech thanking his mother for allowing him be creative and to his brother for being his best friend. He also dedicated his win to all those lost to AIDS and those who have ever felt they were treated unjustly.

As the awards ceremony continued, “Gravity” was a big winner, taking almost every technical award type (film editing, sound editing, sound mixing, visual effects, cinematography) home — as well as best director and best original score. It comes as no surprise that the film won so many awards as it was technically brilliant and heavily lauded by critics.

Although Sandra Bullock pretty much acted in the film by herself, the award for best actress went to Cate Blanchett for her role in “Blue Jasmine.” Blanchett was more than deserving of the award. Her performance in “Blue Jasmine” was impeccable. The film follows the aftermath of a New York socialite woman who falls from her and her husband's wealth, returning to her sister in San Francisco as a complete mess. Later in the evening, Blanchett was chastised by some for thanking controversial director Woody Allen for casting her in the part. "Blue Jasmine" is a must-see if you appreciate great acting and a well-written screenplay.

The big suspense of the night was the award for best actor. Matthew McConaughey triumphed, his first nomination and his first win.A lthough he delivered a stellar performance in “Dallas Buyers Club,” it was a disappointment for Leonardo DiCaprio fans around the world yet again.

DiCaprio walked home empty handed and, despite looking a bit glum, congratulated McConaughy with a kiss on the cheek.

DiCaprio wasn't the only noteworthy actor to walk away without an Oscar. Harrison Ford, Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, Julianne Moore, Michelle Pfeiffer, Tom Cruise and Bill Murray were among the others.

It was no surprise that “12 Years a Slave” took home the Academy Award for best picture. The dramatic tale of slavery was extraordinary, as was the performance by newcomer Lupita Nyong'o, who made quite the impression on her fellow Hollywood colleagues. I’d say she had one of the greatest receptions of the night with roaring applause. She delivered a graceful speech and looked gorgeous in a powder blue Prada gown definitely a best dressed candidate for the night.

The best costume and set design went to “The Great Gatsby.” Another obvious win, as Gatsby’s costumes were unreal — the flapper dresses, the suits, the cashmere, the diamonds. The scene where Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) throws clothes down to Daisy in his massive closet ... who wouldn’t want a wardrobe like that?

Another great musical performance of the night was Karen O and Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig's duet “The Moon Song.” The original Oscar-nominated song was featured in the film “Her.” The film starred Scarlett Johansson as the voice of an operating system and Joaquin Phoenix as a man who falls in love with the inanimate system. The film, written by Spike Jonze, won for best original screenplay.

The 86th Academy Awards was another one for the books. The coming year will be another to look forward to as many new films approach us. Maybe, just maybe, Leonardo will finally get the Oscar he deserves next year. Until then catch up on the winning and nominated films you missed.

Reach the reporter at mercedes.santana@asu.edu or follow her on Twitter @MercedesMS17

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