THE OSCARS. So many memorable/cringeworthy/hilarious/morally fraught moments! Let’s recap, shall we?
The big question in the lead-up to the ceremony was whether Cate Blanchett would thank Woody Allen if she won Best Actress for her performance in Blue Jasmine—as PR expert Howard Bragman pointed out in Slate, Blanchett was going to be “playing for history,” whether she liked it or not.
And play she did, in a speech equal parts sincere and savvy: first she praised her fellow nominees, then she graciously thanked Allen for casting her (cue brief applause), and then she segued into a rousing cry in support of films with female protagonists: “Audiences want to see them, and in fact, they earn money. The world is round, people!”
How could anyone take umbrage with Blanchett’s brief Woody Allen shout-out when she was using the most public platform in the world to advance the visibility of women? Exactly. It was the lean-in to end all lean-ins, and it succeeded brilliantly because it was was strategic, heartfelt, and true.
John Travolta famously fluffed his introduction of Broadway star Idina Menzel, and in half a second the internet was all over it like rash, with a parody account set up for “Adele Dazeem”:
THANK YOU, JORN TROMOLTO!
— Adela Dazeem (@AdelaDazeem) March 3, 2014
Menzel’s performance of “Let It Go” was still amazing, because as Shakespeare presciently noted, a Broadway star by any other name is still as sweet. (Side note: Travolta claims Scientology helped cure his dyslexia. Science!)
Bette Midler, looking stunning in Alaïa, performed “Wind Beneath My Wings” as part of the Academy’s tribute to members who died in the past year. (We don’t have video of the performance, but for old times’ sake, here’s the montage from Beaches.)
And in one of the best gags of the night, host Ellen DeGeneres ordered pizzas for everybody and hit up Harvey Weinstein for the bill: “No pressure, only a billion people watching. Whatever you feel is right,” she deadpanned. She took up a $300 collection in Pharrell’s hat, but no-one knows if the delivery guy actually got the tip. (TMZ is on it, though.)
Best documentary short went to The Lady in Number 6, which tells the remarkable story of the late Alice Herz-Sommer, a Holocaust survivor and virtuoso pianist.
There was The Selfie That Broke The Internet.
Bill Murray improvised a lovely tribute to Harold Ramis.
Matthew McConaughey delivered one of the most narcissistic and entertaining acceptance speeches of all time, thanking God, and—in a you-can’t-make-this-stuff-up moment—himself, ten years into the future, for being his hero. (Time is an accordion, amirite or amirite, Detective Cohle?!) But in the paper-scissors-rock hierarchy of Hollywood, Weinstein still trumps the Almighty, so HALLELUJAH for that.
Until the next awards season: just keep living, everybody. Amen.