underwhelming oscars 2014, overwhelming breasts

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.
Liza Minnelli's breasts nominated for the SAG Awards

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.
Olivia Wilde's Wild Breasts

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.

Anna Kendrick Oscars 2014
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.

Oscartini’s & Cry Babies



  1. I thought the same thing – blah. And then I wondered what it would have taken for me to go ‘wow! that was the best ever!’. Have we gotten so used to it being excellent, to everyone being so beautiful, to the speeches being so whatever, that we need more to sit up and take notice?

    Sort of like the Olympics. No longer is a double jumpy thingie on ice skates enough – now it is quadruple this and that. Same with snow boarding. Same with my cell phone. Now, if I have to wait 1 second – literally – to download something, I’m impatient. If Siri doesn’t understand me, I immediately go to it’s her fault, instead of marveling that in such a few short years, we have gotten to the point that we can talk to our devices and for the most part they understand us.

    Can we stop the madness? Can we slow it down? I doubt it, but it does give me pause.

    Oh – and for the most beautifully gowned woman? Charlize Theron – hands down. Wowza.

  2. Oh my goodness! I felt the exact same way this year. Despite what all the haters say, I *always* watch the Oscars and enjoy all of the excitement and anticipation. When this year’s show ended, it just felt … different. I concluded that it had been the most boring Oscar show in my memory.

    I also do agree with you about Liza Minelli. Although I laughed at the time, the pained look on her face should just remind Ellen (and all of us) of the exact mantra that has made her so well-loved: be kind to one another. For a quick, cheap laugh, it’s not worth it.

    Thanks for this post, I thoroughly enjoyed it!! Here’s hoping next year is a bit more exciting.

  3. I agree Stephanie. What I walked away with though, was the sad, sad realization that women in Hollywood, particularly those over the age of 50 are haunted by their age. They must be right? Too distort their once beautiful faces the way they have done? Goldie Hawn and Kim Novac are cases in pint, and what happened to Liza Mannelli? Why is no one telling them how ridiculous they look? Their daughters, sisters or even their stylists? Ellen jokingly kidded that the most valued thing in Hollywood was youth and from her vantage point on that night it definetely rang true. Why can’t women be encouraged to age gracefully and naturally? It was so very refreshing to see every well deserved line and wrinkle on Sally Fields face. Thoughts everyone?

  4. First time ever, I went to bed before the Oscars finished. And Liza? I actually thought she WAS an impersonator. I had no idea what was going on when the camera shot to her after that mean-spirited comment from Ellen.

    I know that the Academy will be heartbroken to hear that I will probably not bother tuning in next year.

  5. Sorry for the late comment, but since you write less, I like to “binge-read” you.

    I like your award show commentary- ever since you caught a ton of crap for saying Tilda Swinton’s eyes looked like vaginas. It still makes me laugh.

    I didn’t find it as boring. I did like Ellen. I also was surprised and kind of uncomfortable with the Liza joke. It was like “Evil Ellen” came out. Although, while it wasn’t the best outfit, I kind of give a pass to old people that seem kind of out of it to begin with. I did like the color.

    As far as the boobs- I don’t get it. Every time I have to go to an event and I’m looking for a dress, my first concern is my boobs and what is going to hold them up/in place/etc. These are the OSCARS. How do you NOT make sure your boobs look fantastic? It’s baffling to me.

    I fast-forwarded through all the Gravity wins except maybe the first. You couldn’t pay me to sit through that. I like Sandy just fine, I just don’t want to see a one-woman show in space. Even with Clooney’s voice as a scene partner. Snooze-fest to me. So with all my FF’ing since Gravity won like everything, it didn’t seem like that long and boring. I also was in a pool for money so that helped keep my interest.

    I also don’t start it till at least an hour in so I don’t have to watch commercials. That’s the key. We slipped a Parenthood in prior getting to the main event.

    Fashion I loved: KERRI WASHINGTON!- she redeemed herself to me because every pregnant dress she’s worn so far, to me, has been terrible, Lupita, Naomi Watts, Kate Hudson, and that’s all I can think of. Hated: Julia Roberts, Kim Novak (and her FACE! WTF?!), and I’m one of the few that wasn’t into the Cate Blanchett dress.

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