The Biggest Letdowns from the 2014 Oscars

© Photo by Ellen DeGeneres for @TheEllenShowThe Oscars: the most awaited event of the film world, the one that culminates the awards season. Millions of movie buffs look forward to this event, but as it happens, it tends to be met with disappointment when it doesn’t meet the expectations. Usually, it is the host to blame, or the dubious criteria of some awards. But no matter how bad they might be a year, people will still watch them the following one. Here are some of the biggest letdowns from last night’s show, from my perspective.


Ellen’s hosting

Last time DeGeneres hosted was back in 2007. She was fun, bold and memorable. This year, she had moments of wit, but her act was overall flat and with the lack of charm everyone knows she can deliver. There was nothing new there.

Selfie moment (except for Kevin Spacey’s face)

Maybe it’s because I hate the word ‘selfie’, but this moment was a bit unnecessary. I understand the Oscars, like everything, need to update themselves, but it was not that funny. Again, it is related to the previous point. The good part of it, though, was Kevin Spacey.

No surprising big winners

All the big awards (movie, director, acting, screenplays) were expected. The only surprise would have been American Hustle beating Her as original screenplay, but the Academy was smart enough to realise that Hustle is not that worthy of an award. The rest of the big Oscars were well deserved (more or less).

Too many awards for Gravity

Not that it is a bad film, because it has quality,. But most of its Oscars were for technical achievements that could have easily been won by the blockbuster nominees, such as The Hobbit (and film editing was a statuette that Captain Phillips deserved much more).

Too many montages

Usually, montages in the Oscars are evoking and come with a purpose. This year, the abundance of them felt too heavy. There is no need to have a ‘theme’ to repeat it throughout the already long gala, because the ‘In Memoriam’ and the Best Picture clips are more than enough. Stop it.

© Leila Murseljevic

© Leila Murseljevic

Brad Pitt winning as a producer before getting an award as an actor

Brad Pitt suffers what I like to call the ‘Paul Newman Syndrome’: it happens when a thespian is so good-looking that they are not taken seriously, thus only winning (if it ever happens) an Oscar when they are older. Newman, who was an established and talented actor, didn’t win the statuette until he was 61, for a film that wasn’t his best (The Color of Money). Same thing happened to his pal Robert Redford, who won, at the age of 46, his only Oscar for directing Ordinary People. It seems like this might be the path Pitt will follow.

Cuaron winning for something that is not really his style

Alfonso Cuaron is a filmmaker who deserves to get recognition for his work. He has directed movies such as Y Tu Mamá También or Children of Men and produced Pan’s Labyrinth. Gravity is not the type of film one would expect him to direct and yet, is the one that has earned him almost every possible accolade. As if only making a film this big he stood a chance.

12 Years getting only three awards

In a year of mostly mediocre movies, 12 Years a Slave was the one which stood out the most. The cast was the most talented and Steve McQueen deserved to take the Best Director trophy home. Yet, it only won Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress for Lupita Nyong’o and Best Picture. All major awards, but Gravity’s seven Oscars made Solomon Northup’s story shine less. In previous years, films like No Country for Old Men, Crash or The King’s Speech took home a similar number of awards (four, three and four, respectively), but no other film outnumbered them the way Gravity has this year. This difference will remain the great shock of the 86th Annual Academy Awards.

You can read all the winners here.


Originally published here.

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