The Oscars this year were hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, who is the comedic equivalent of a hug, she delivers the warm fuzzies without any inappropriate touching. Apparently after Seth MacFarlane’s Ode to Boobies, the Oscars wanted to play it more safe and asked Ellen to babysit this year’s most star-studded slumber party.
Liza Minnelli just showed up in her satin jammies. She must have nodded off in the limo on the way over because someone put a Smurf blue streak in her hair. I’m assuming it had to be a classic slumber party prank done while Liza was catching some zzzzzz’s, since there’s no pharmacological combination of which I am aware that would make the Smurf Streak seem like an okay idea.
Liza didn’t just wander in by mistake, she was invited because she’s Judy Garland’s daughter and the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences wanted to acknowledge the 75th Anniversary of The Wizard of Oz. I’m not sure why they took a nostalgic detour and got Pink to sing “Over the Rainbow”, after all they could have just slipped a special 75th Anniversary DVD into the gift bags if they wanted to remind Hollywood what great movies look like, but maybe it was the only way to get Ellen in a dress.
The slumber party theme was continued during a bit in which Ellen ordered twenty pizzas for the A-listers up front. Real pizza from a real pizza delivery guy named Edgar Martirosyan from Big Mama’s and Papa’s Pizzeria. I’m assuming during commercial breaks, everyone braided each other’s hair and told ghost stories.
Despite being the responsible adult for the evening, a few winners still appeared to have gotten into the liquor cabinet during Ellen’s watch. Darlene Love sang the award show awkward while accepting the Best Documentary Oscar and Matthew McConaughey’s acceptance speech should have come with a map because he took the long way when thanking himself for the person he’ll never be.
Fashion for film’s biggest award show was safe, just like the jokes. Pastels and muted metallics were predicted and the red carpet was a sea of hushed tones. Very few stand-outs but no one was so bad it got them grounded.
I think Charlize Theron is required by law to show up to all major award shows so fashion bloggers will have someone to crown Best Dressed. Sometimes black on a red carpet can be risky because the detailing on a black dress doesn’t read well when photographed but of course no fabric on Charlize would ever dare be anything less than spectacular. Dazzling in Dior.
Fortunately there was Lupita Nyong’o to take a little pressure off of Charlize, arriving in a frothy blue Prada gown that only she could wear so exquisitely, it was a moment of fashion nirvana.
Jennifer Lawrence fell again for Oscar Fashion, this time while exiting the limo. This Dior red peplum dress looks gorgeous on her and her best accessory is her sense of humor.
Anne Hathaway went with the same silhouette as last year’s pink Angry Nipple Dress and still missed the mark with this Gucci futuristic breastplate. How angry can nipples get that they need to be covered in armor?
Penelope Cruz is so beautiful, everyone has always said she could just tie a bed sheet around her waist and look fabulous. Well, we were wrong. Sorry, Penelope, our bad.
This year’s red carpet attempted to evoke old Hollywood glamour, but it left some starlets just looking old.
Fashionistas fawned all over Kate Hudson’s Versace dress but to me it looked a little too Dynasty and not in a good way.
Sally Hawkins was the victim of a Valentino dress trying to suffocate her. She is too covered up even by Victorian era standards, I’m assuming this frock came with a matching chastity belt.
Julie Delpy looked like a sugar glider in her Jenny Packham gown.
And as much as it pains me to say this, Angelina Jolie looked a bit matronly in Elie Saab. Sob.
This was like the Casual Friday of Oscars. I believe the hosting tone was intended to make the audience feel like we were all just hanging out with Ellen and Hollywood’s most recognized faces enjoying the evening. Really, actors are just people with jobs others happen to find interesting, so maybe if society could understand those whose airbrushed images adorn the covers of magazines are just flesh and blood like everyone else, our culture would be less celebrity-obssessed.
But the Oscars aren’t just about actors, it’s a celebration of filmmaking. Films are a collaborative effort that transport an audience to a crafted realm. When executed properly, films can be transformative experiences that inspire us, move us, enlighten us, or simply provide a temporary escape from our own problems. Unlike other forms of artistic expression which are often solo endeavors, film requires the talents of a multitude of skilled artists, from pre-production all the way through the end of post-production, all of whom must unite in creative vision for a singular purpose: to tell a story. The telling of that story requires a lot of sacrifice by everyone involved, they are made for the love of filmmaking.
This year’s Oscars recognized more than just individual contributions to the collaborative efforts of film, the industry collectively cried out against the tragic loss of a crew member, 27-year-old assistant camera operator Sarah Jones who was struck by a train on February 20th while on the set of a Gregg Allman biopic called Midnight Rider. While it’s unclear at this time if the production team knew they only had permission to film on the privately owned land and not on the train tracks themselves, the film industry became united by grief that a crew member’s life had been lost because of unsafe set conditions. There was an online petition, Slates for Sarah, to include Sarah Jones in the “In Memoriam” segment of the Oscars and crews from around the world sent in pictures of slates with RIP Sarah Jones. While it seemed the more than 55,000 signatures collected weren’t enough to meet the controversial criteria for inclusion, right before the commercial break, a bar ran across the bottom of the screen with her picture.
That chyron is what I will remember from this year’s Oscars. When I woke up Monday morning, I thought of Sarah whom I’ve never met and how, with that outpouring of love and support from the industry to which she was so passionately dedicated, she could be at peace. Slates for Sarah sends the message that despite its grandeur, the value of a human life far surpasses the entire history of cinema. Maybe Ellen’s relaxed approach to Oscar hosting was just what the world needed to see. Brad Pitt, one of the world’s biggest celebrities handing out plates is a reminder to all of us that no matter who we are, we are all human and should be helping each other out.
Maybe next year, we should try pushing the human angle even further and the Oscars could be held at Meryl Streep’s house. Everyone nominated should show up in their flannel jammies, Charlize Theron would still obviously look stunning, Cate Blanchett could bring the Rice Krispy Treats, Matthew McConaughey probably has a great recipe for brownies, after some of Sandra Bullock’s margaritas, everyone could start dishing on their horrible set experiences with Julia Roberts, forgetting she’s in the room. Maybe George Clooney could challenge Jennifer Lawrence to a game of Twister and everyone would pretend not to notice Liza was still wearing her satin Smurf pajamas. Anyone who attempted to sing would automatically have to go into the closet to play Seven Minutes in Heaven with Gary Busey and everyone would have to drink a shot every time Helen Mirren said, “That’s so fetch”. Think about it, Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. There’s not a single dance number that could begin to compete with the visual of Jack Nicholson in footed pajamas.