I look forward to our friend Karissa’s Oscar party every year. Good friends, yummy food, fun trivia, and unfiltered commentary. Plus swag bags. And this year, I was kidless, which is an automatic PARTAY and de-stressing moment. (No offense to my wonderful kids.)
I didn’t know if I was just my mindset that evening, but I found the proceedings in L.A. to be kind of lacklustre. I thought maybe I’m just getting jaded, but then my sister Em was feeling the same thing at a different Oscar party across town, so it wasn’t just me.
Perhaps it was the accumulation of awkward moments. Not just John Travolta introducing Idina Menzel with an unheard-of name, or Kim Novak appearing as the poster woman for the Not-Allowed-To-Age-In-Hollywood syndrome. There was also Jim Carrey pulling the rubberface (I love Jim Carrey, and I’ve loved his hilariousness over the years, but this throwback felt forced and out-of-place); Bette Midler singing “Wind Beneath My Wings” after the memorial slide show (again, I love her and that song, but the timing made it feel surplus); and Pink singing “Over the Rainbow” whilst sporting décolleté that completely distracted from the point of the song (AND breathing in the middle of a word at least three times, which drives me bananas).
Plus, the recited descriptions of the Best Picture nominees reminded me of high school book reports. I think montages are a much better way to titillate the audience.
Wow, I sound like a grump. I swear I wasn’t grumpy that night – I was totally stoked to be there.
I have to admit that this year, I only saw two of the Oscar-nominated movies. Well – three, if you count The Great Gatsby, which was nominated for Costumes and Production Design. (Didn’t that used to be Art Direction?) I haven’t even seen Frozen yet. Having taken in only Captain Phillips and The Wolf of Wall Street, I didn’t have much of a feeling for the odds in any category… but I am looking forward to seeing a bunch more nominees – someday. They all sound pretty awesome.
So! How ’bout those Extra Oscars?
Best Dressed: Sandra Bullock. Gah, SO GORGEOUS.
Next Best Dressed: Kerry Washington (go maternity stylists!) and Jennifer Garner (as a belly dancer, I have a total soft spot for sparkly fringe).
Worst Dressed: Whoopi Goldberg. Hated the dress but enjoyed seeing her up there – and the witchy feet were cute.
Best Musical Performance: Pharrell Williams and manic backup dancers with “Happy” – he even got some keen nominees in the front row dancing with him (although nothing beats the original video).
Best Joke (by host Ellen Degeneres, to Jennifer Lawrence): “If you win tonight, I think we should just bring you the Oscar.” (Made more funny by Jennifer’s excellent sense of humour about her own tripping incident last year.)
Best Presenter Gag: Jamie Foxx doing a Chariots of Fire impression (vocal theme song and slo-mo run) against Jessica Biel’s teleprompts.
Best Acceptance Speech: Lupita Nyong’o for Best Supporting Actress. So sincere, so humble, so filled with the weight of history and the role she played. And she might also just win Best Smile Ever.
Runner-Up: Jared Leto for Best Supporting Actor – for thanking his Mama properly, and daring to mention Venezuela and the Ukraine at a time when most mention only those in the celebratory bubble.
Best Host: Ellen Degeneres. Yes, she was the only host, but honestly, I just love her. She teases without being mean, she jokes without making you cringe, and she just seems to want folks to relax and have fun, as if they were in their living rooms with their yoga pants on (like we were). She will go down in history for those three large pizzas and the Selfie that Broke Twitter.
And on the personal side…
Best Snack Name: “Spinach and ‘I will (arti) choke if Leo gets an Oscar tonight’ Dip.”
Yummiest Snack: WHO CAN DECIDE? (I made cheese wontons – The Wontons of Wall Street. Recipe to follow.)
Best Surprise: As is tradition, pregnancy was announced… by not one, but TWO of our friends! GO OSCAR. I don’t know how you do it.