Ladies and gentlemen, we now live in a world where Matthew McConaughey is an Oscar winner.
Not that it should come as a surprise to anybody. At least not to anybody who has followed his career the past few years, because he has undergone a complete transformation like no other as far as acting is concerned. Still, it’s hard to believe that the man who starred in The Wedding Planner, Fool’s Gold and Surfer, Dude now has an Academy Award. I only linked to the last movie because I feel like it deserves added emphasis that it actually exists.
Anyway, another year, another Oscars ceremony. The gathering of the world’s elite celebrities in one room, observed and scrutinized by practically everyone in the world who owns a television.
First and foremost I must acknowledge Ellen DeGeneres. There’s a reason why she is the among the most beloved television personalities of our generation. She just gets it. Her ability to deliver humor matches anybody on the face of the Earth, yet she does it tastefully, and quite frankly doesn’t care about being different.
A problem I’ve always had with the Oscars is that sometimes it takes itself too seriously. Yes, it is the grandest of stages our nation — possibly our world — has to offer, but too often people treat it as this holy ceremony that must maintain its iconic, historic roots. And thus, nothing is ever different. It’s always safe, and sometimes that makes it boring.
But in stepped Ellen DeGeneres. Between making a gay joke at her own expense, taking the most famous selfie our world will ever see, and delivering pizza to celebrities in the middle of the show, I think it’s safe to say she pulled the Oscars out of its own little bubble and brought it into the 21st century.
And let’s just get the selfie out of the way.
The photo, featuring Ellen, Jennifer Lawrence, Jared Leto, Meryl Streep, Channing Tatum, Julia Roberts, Kevin Spacey, Brad Pitt, Bradley Cooper, Angelina Jolie, Lupito Nyong’o and Nyongo’s brother (a.k.a. hipster Urkel), will undoubtedly go down as one of the most iconic multi-celebrity pictures of all time. Although it still doesn’t top my favorite Oscars photo ever, which is Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly backstage at the 28th Annual Academy Awards in 1956.
Ellen took the photo with the goal of it setting a new retweet record — which it did. Within two hours, it was retweeted more than 2 million times, demolishing the previous record, which was a Tweet by Barack Obama immediately after he was re-elected to a second term in 2012. As of Monday evening, the photo has now surpassed the 3 million retweet plateau.
Indeed, people were in such a rush to retweet the image that Twitter actually crashed for about 20 minutes shortly after 10 p.m.
Let’s also acknowledge something else: this is the high point for selfies. There is no — absolutely no — beating this from here on out. There will never be another time in human existence when selfies are more greatly appreciated than they are right now, thanks to Ellen. So can we all savor this, and then agree to stop? No more selfies? Please?
It won’t work.
As for the actual awards portion of the show, there were really no surprises. Anybody who has been following the awards season this year knew that Jared Leto and Cate Blanchett were shoe-ins, and that 12 Years a Slave was the odds on favorite to take home the top prize. The one up-in-the-air battle was Best Supporting Actress between Lupita Nyong’o and Jennifer Lawrence, and I am extremely glad Nyong’o won, because she flat-out deserved it, and delivered a heartfelt, inspiring speech to boot.
It was also nice to see Spike Jonze get some acknowledgement for his original screenplay for Her, which was quite the gem of a movie.
If any of you missed my 2013 movie recap last month, by the way, feel free to check it out.
Since I couldn’t care less about what people actually wore to the Oscars, I’m not going to talk about that. There’s a million other fashion/pop culture blogs you can go to if that’s what your into.
The most humorous moment of the night — at least the ones that didn’t belong to Ellen — was delivered to us involuntarily by John Travolta. Slated to introduce the final musical number nominated for Best Original Song, he horrifically butchered the name of singer Idina Menzel before her performance of Frozen’s “Let it Go,” introducing her as “Adela Dazeem.”
However, the flub brought us a parody Twitter account, some funny Tweets, and as the New York Daily News points out, Menzel is now 100 times more famous today than she was yesterday.
In the end, what stood out to me most was how current the Oscars felt. At the end of the day, these are just people living in today’s era, who take selfies and order pizza, just like the rest of us. It only took Ellen DeGeneres to finally bring that reality into the mix.
Also, speaking of Oscars, double-amputee Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius pleaded not guilty to the murder of his former girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp today, as his trial began in his hometown South Africa.