Do you remember when life was beautiful, when actors were overjoyed and shaken to their core? Those are the moments we look for when we tune into the Oscars. We want to see the vulnerabilities and breakdowns, the passions, to see people cry about the lessons their parents forced them to learn. Do you remember this Oscar moment (see video clip):
This year, #Oscars2014, the Academy Award show felt tepid and looked as if it had been dipped in a bath of self tanner—the lighting was all wrong, leaving everyone to look as if they’d overdosed on carrots (trust me, I’ve done it. You can turn orange). Speaking of overdoses, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention all the easy “Frozen” & “Gravity” plastic surgery facial injection addiction commentary aimed at Kim Novak and Goldie Hawn, a wince-worthy warning that has to make people think twice about having work done. As always, there was social media commentary on fashion, though I’ve seen very little on what’s troubled me most: boobs.
Best supporting actress, maybe. Best supporting bra, no. These were the Academy Awards, not the SAG Awards. I don’t blame nature or “Gravity.” I blame the stylist, the person or team responsible for allowing the personality to leave the limo and step before the cameras without the proper support. Liza Minneli thought she was invited to my pad for a pajama party. I was serving salmon tartare with creme fraiche and dill, and she was good enough to smuggle in some half-dollar buckwheat flour blini pancakes under her top. Of all the women in the audience to call a man, Ellen DeGeneres could’ve found one with a little less evidence to the contrary.
DeGeneres began with Liza Minnelli, who was sitting in the crowd, and called her “one of the most amazing Liza Minnelli impersonators I have seen in my entire life. Good job, sir.” And, it was delivered and received in a mean uncomfortable spirit, very unlike Ellen. I’ve always enjoyed Ellen because she does what’s so hard to do. She’s funny without having to be mean. Let’s face it. It’s so easy to be funny when you’re mean. It’s much harder to be funny without being wicked. I, for one, can’t do it. It’s why I’ve always admired it in Ellen. But it’s also why I was so bothered by it when I heard the delivery toward Minnelli. It was a disappointing start.
I was an ugly pregnant lady. I was pregnant everywhere, vomit was everywhere; I wanted to be nowhere. My breasts were unruly, so forgive this next sin. The striking Olivia Wilde’s bosom was indeed wild last night. Firstly, she looks breathtaking, as ever. But those darts! For the love of nipples, someone, somewhere, tame those seems and darts into submission! Her breast silhouette looks like a funnel.
Angelina Jolie. I cannot talk about Oscar boob without making mention of Angie Boob. Did those knockers look spectacular or what? Yes, the dress looked decidedly dowdy. She and Julia Roberts ought to have sent their dresses to play Mahjong together at the country club. But holy smokes did her reconstructed rack rock. Also, I thought she was most graceful last night.
Lastly, and this has nothing to do with boobs, there was Anna Kendrick (Cups Song from the film Pitch Perfect) whom indeed may have been “Pitch Perfect,” but she’d have been better off wearing a Dixie Cup to the Red Carpet Arrivals than the J. Mendel Mess she selected to wear.
There were of course some break-out moments of note: Lupita Nyong’o delivered a heartfelt acceptance speech for her Best Supporting Actress Oscar win for her role in “12 Years a Slave,” where she not only thanked the director for giving her the opportunity “It has been the joy of my life,” but she also beautifully expressed this: “When I look down at this golden statue, may it remind me and every child, no matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid.” It was the message that carried the weight, but mostly, it was her delivery.
I think what we expect, what we want of these award shows is to feel. We want the breakthrough, caught off guard, moments of magic, the overwhelming glee, the genuine heartfelt messy moments, the human, life is beautiful moments. We also want to be surprised, we want the underdog film to upset all the predictions, and we want justice. I, for example, wanted Spike Jonze to win Best Original Screenplay for “Her” (he did) because it was just that: the best, most original screenplay of the year. The screenplay took a very weird unexpected turn, but my goodness that was one original idea and likely very hard to pitch. It deserved to win. But his acceptance speech was a mess–not good life is beautiful mess, just “I didn’t need to see this. But I’m so glad he won.”
I’ll continue to watch because it’s the unscripted moments that move me most.