The Great Bubble Oscar Blog 2014

’Tis the season of the Academy Awards – but who will be taking home a statue?

Good morning everyone, and welcome to the fourth edition of The Bubble’s all-singing, all-dancing, wonderfully witty Oscar blog! The action will be kicking off soon, so in the meantime we’re pondering the questions of the night, from the obvious – will Ellen DeGeneres be a less offensive host than Seth MacFarlane last year? (absolutely) – to the less obvious: who will win Best Picture? And as always, we’ll be on the lookout for fashion faux pas, fun speeches, odd moments, and Emma Stone (as regular readers of this blog know, Miss Stone will make her customary appearance every year, even if she has no role in the ceremony itself).


Alex: Less than ten minutes into the blog, we have our first awkward comment of the night, courtesy of Ruth, talking about 12 Years a Slave: “Aside from the flaying, I don’t think Patsey brought much to the film”. Controversial…. Meanwhile, back in LA, Cate Blanchett is wearing Armani, for those who want to know.


Alex: Still five minutes to go, and we’re reminiscing about the ghosts of Oscar blogs past – currently, we’re wondering if anyone has resurrected the standout Twitter account of last year’s awards: Anne Hathaway’s Nipples. No word on the Twittersphere as yet, but Miss Hathaway and her nipples will be back to present the award for Best Supporting Actor later this evening.


Ruth: As our wonderful host Alex does his tea run for us, we’re all settling in for Ms DeGeneres’ second go at the ceremony. She’s keeping it light so far, but let’s hope celebrities get enough of a rinsing tonight to break up the award announcement intervals!


Alex: Speaking of Miss Hathaway, here she is, to present the first award of the night. No nipples in sight, but her dress is so sparkly it’s distracting me from writing words………

……anyway, Jared Leto has won Supporting Actor for his role in Dallas Buyers Club, after being shunned at the BAFTAs. After declaring his love for Ellen, he goes on to thank his mother, and dedicates his award to those who have lost the battle with AIDS. It’s poignant, but due to a recently posted Twitter picture, we’re struggling to get over the fact that he looks like exactly like Jesus tonight.


Alex: The first musical performance of the night is upon us, and it’s Pharrell Williams and THAT hat again. Surely you know the hat I mean by now? It’s even on the screen behind him in animation form! If ever a hat could take over the world, surely it will be this one. Readers, you have been warned!


Alex: Two more statues have been handed out, to The Great Gatsby for Costume Design, and another award to Dallas Buyers Club for Makeup and Hairstyling. And just so there is no confusion whatsoever, it was definitely Samuel L. Jackson presenting those awards, and not Laurence Fishburne. Definitely.


Hannah: How was American Hustle not even nominated for Makeup and Hairstyling! Between Christian Bale’s comb-over and Bradley Cooper’s perm, this was the hairiest film since Hair (or possibly Hairspray!) A travesty!


Thom: My first contribution. I thought Kim Novak was dead, but here she is, presenting Best Animated Short with an incredibly sexy husky voice.


Ruth: So Mr Hublot wins. No one here has seen it, but the snippet looked cute… I find it very endearing that the French winner has a crumpled piece of paper prepared for a speech, and his hand is shaking as he declares his gratitude.


Jack: It’s not even halfway through the night and the questionable jokes are flowing freely!


Hannah: And Gravity wins for best Visual Effects! A well deserved win I feel! I have a feeling this won’t be Gravity’s only win of the night!


Alex: Our second musical performance of the night is from Her, and whilst it’s pretty, it doesn’t really have the fun and verve of ‘Happy’ from earlier. It certainly doesn’t have Meryl Streep and Amy Adams up and dancing like Pharrell managed. Our host feed is Sky Movies, and we’re unleashing some hate on Alex Zane; whilst he’s good in Balls of Steel, he’s not the best host for this coverage. Back in rainy California, Helium has won the Oscar for Best Live Action Short, pipping That Wasn’t Me, which we were supporting in the vague hope that there might be a cameo from Shaggy. Sadly, it’s not to be.


Ruth: The Lady in Number Six: Music Saved My Life takes Best Documentary Short. We all loved the three-second snippet of footage, so clearly we have excellent taste in nominees and a good sense for a winner. Is the guy accepting in a corduroy suit too?? Brave. But when you’re competing with Jesus (AKA Jared Leto), I guess you’ve gotta go all out.


Alex: There’s a slight upset in the Best Documentary category – admittedly it was a very strong one, but to see Twenty Feet From Stardom snatch the award from The Act of Killing is a bit of a shock. Kevin Spacey has appeared in character as his House of Cards alter-ego to update us on the results of the Governors Awards, where statues have been handed out to Steve Martin, Angela Lansbury, and Angelina Jolie. Well done you three!


Alex: No awards in the last twenty minutes, but U2 have performed their nominee for Original Song – ‘Ordinary Love’ from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. I have literally nothing nice to say about U2, so we’ll move on to Ellen’s attempt to achieve the most retweeted photo of all time, by recruiting J-Law, Meryl Streep, Bradley Cooper, Jesus Leto, Julia Roberts, and a handful of others for a candid selfie. Meryl excitedly exclaims that she’s never tweeted before – so clearly, despite her 18 Oscar nominations, there are still firsts for the veteran actress. We’ve just seen it on Twitter, and Kevin Spacey has won the Internet by virtue of his wonderful photobomb at the back of that photo!


Alex: Onto the sound awards now, for mixing and editing. Four years, and we’ve only just figured out the difference between the two: Sound Editing is sourcing and creating the sound, whilst Sound Mixing is putting it all together. No difference in the films which won these awards though, as Gravity adds two more to its tally.


Ruth: Since the boys are too distracted by Jennifer Lawrence, I’ll take this one. Indeed, Thom is “no longer interested in the ceremony because Jennifer didn’t win”. Bias, boooo! Instead, Lupita Nyong’o gets the award for Best Supporting Actress. Now, as I’ve already stated, I wasn’t massively impressed with her contribution to 12 Years a Slave. However, I do like her and would be prepared to give the film another watch. Everyone else seems very rave-y about it all, so maybe I missed something? She’s very sweet accepting her Oscar, though I think playing ‘Imagination’ is a little patronising. It’s all very well giving it a bit of a Cinderella spin as it’s her first proper acting role, but that’s probably going too far.


Jack: Ellen continues with her own brand of audience distraction through the medium of pizza and paper plates… Apparently an epic selfie wasn’t enough to win us over!


Alex: Chiwetel Ejiofor is slightly confused by the offer of pizza, and tries to snare an entire one to himself. It also transpires that Ellen has no money to pay for these slices, so she tries to shake Sandra Bullock down for tips, before turning to Harvey Weinstein for some dollar.


Alex: Gravity has its fourth award of the evening, this one for Best Cinematography awarded to Emmanuel ‘Chivo’ Lubezki. Make that five, as Alfonso Cuaron picks up his first Oscar for Film Editing. This is immediately overshadowed by Whoopi Goldberg and her ruby slippers, in tribute to the 75th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz, and we move from red to Pink, as the best-selling artist performs a soulful rendition of ‘Over The Rainbow’.


Jack: Unsurprisingly, Best Production Design is won by The Great Gatsby, which excites us almost as much as seeing Benedict Cumberbatch present the award. It’s a shame neither Smaug nor Sherlock made an appearance though… On the plus side, this award brings The Great Gatsby’s tally up to two!


Alex: Bette Midler brings a close to the In Memoriam segment with ‘Wind Beneath My Wings’, as we hold a moment of silence for Harold Ramis, Richard Griffiths, Robert Ebert, Shirley Temple, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and numerous others.


Alex: On an entirely different note, Ellen’s selfie has crossed the 1 million retweets mark, overtaking the Obama hug after his 2012 re-election to become the most retweeted photo of all time! Congratulations Ellen, although we at The Bubble are personally enjoying the re-edited version which puts Kevin Spacey’s face on everyone – it’s simply incredible! UPDATE: Ellen tells us that she has received an email from Twitter informing her that the photo has broken the website.


Alex: The final musical interlude arrives in the form of Broadway’s finest, Idina Menzel and ‘Let It Go’, widely considered to be the favourite for the statue. Ellen tells us that the Musical Director is directing from Capitol Records, and that “he must have a long baton”. We of course immediately turn this into an innuendo. Don’t judge, what else did you expect us to do?


Ruth: Everyone’s feeling a little sleepy now, so I’ll briefly mention the Original Score winner: Steven Price for Gravity. Hannah and I think he deserves it, music was of huge import to the tension and atmosphere in that film. AND, as predicted, ‘Let It Go’ has won Best Original Song. Can’t really get over that the singer is Rachel’s mum in Glee but yay anyway. The celebratory siblings have a brilliantly choreographed speech, and we can hardly judge them for being well-prepared.


Ruth: Original Screenplay is taken by Her, a personal favourite of mine. I found it extremely moving. A beautiful, believable world was created, and it was a interesting portrait of man’s ever-increasing intimacy with technology. It was also nice to hear Scarlett Johansson voice-act, as I think her natural beauty predisposes me to be wary of her being cast in anything…


Hannah: And as American Hustle misses out on the Original Screenplay, its fate is sealed. Russell must be disappointed not to have converted any of his 10 nominations into a single golden statue. And we move towards the big awards of the night. Alfonso Cuaron sweeps up the best director Oscar for Gravity, fully deserved and not a massive surprise. He gets my vote for the most adorable acceptance speech of the night!


Alex: Into the final three awards, and whereas last year we had the Anne Hathaway Award for Anne Hathaway, this time we have the Cate Blanchett Oscar Party about to unfold before us. Surprising no-one at all, it goes to Cate, who mixes her speech with some thanks, some compliments, and one barb at Julia Roberts – “Julia: #suckit!” I certainly didn’t see that coming! Don’t think Julia Roberts did either….


Thom: Yes, I’m still here. I’ve been doing important work researching Bacon numbers and actors’ ages. Plus this article which suggests the votes may not be all that legitimate… Matthew McConaughey wins Best Actor, completing the McConaughaissance, albeit with a slightly weird speech that suggests to me that he’s possibly just gone mad and that’s why he’s suddenly acting so well. Never mind, a deserving win even if DiCaprio or Dern would definitely have deserved it too.


Ruth: As much as I appreciate Steve McQueen’s wonderful voice, I am far from pleased here. This film was over-hyped and perhaps this is the main reason I have not been able to appreciate it. I promise faithfully that I will re-watch soon, and try to uncover the Oscar-worthy elements which have just gotten 12 Years a Slave Best Picture. It may be that watching in two halves has ruined the supposed ‘epicness’ which it is famous for, but apparently an Oscar judge turned it off halfway through for being too boring. Identifying with an Oscar judge may not be a good thing, but I’m gunna cling to it!


Once again, we’ve braved the weight of tiredness and the less-than-stellar Sky Movies commentary to round up another year of Oscar fun, and it’s been a night of some minor surprises but no major shockers. Gravity was the big winner with seven awards, a Best Director nod for Alfonso Cuaron topping off a litany of technical triumphs, whilst 12 Years a Slave scored 3 major awards (Picture, Supporting Actress, and Adapted Screenplay), and there were a couple of awards for Disney’s Frozen and The Great Gatsby. So let’s summarise everything we’ve learned from the evening:

– Ruth has some major problems with 12 Years a Slave which don’t look like disappearing soon.

– The son of God has returned to live amongst us in the form of 30 Seconds to Mars frontman Jesus Leto.

– Ellen DeGeneres can accomplish wondrous things with a selfie and some celebrity friends.

– Pharrell Williams’ hat is poised for world domination any minute (don’t say we didn’t warn you).

Thanks to everyone who has been following along, or catching up at a more reasonable hour! We’ll be back next year to catalogue the tears, the triumphs, the pratfalls, and the pictures which define 2014/15, hopefully with 100% more Emma Stone (I couldn’t resist one last mention…). Thank you and goodnight!

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