Glory, Gaga And Staying Weird: 8 Reasons Why The Oscars Ruled
After last night's show, the Oscars once again proved that it is the biggest, craziest, longest and most unpredictable award show around.
During the broadcast, host Neil Patrick Harris sang about the very real sexual tension between Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick threw her Jimmy Choo shoe at Jack Black, Darth Vader made a cameo and multiple storm troopers danced.
And, that was only in the first five minutes!
Here are the best eight moments from the Oscars telecast:
1. The Jokes Were Punny
When Neil Patrick Harris wasn't singing, walking around in his underwear or doing a magic trick with Octavia Spencer, he was performing jokes.
While not all of his jokes landed, the ones that did were perfect.
He started the night off on a hilarious note by calling out the lack of diversity among the night's honorees.
“Tonight we honor Hollywood’s best and whitest — sorry, brightest.” The joke was very much appreciated, as this year's Oscar nods were primarily directed toward white actors.
He swiftly moved on to tackling Edward Snowden after a documentary about him won an award.
“The subject of 'Citizenfour,' Edward Snowden, could not be here tonight for some treason.”
The groans from the audience erupted into an uproar of laughter. It's just one of those jokes that's so bad, it's good.
Toward the end of the show, he took a jab at last year's pop culture sound bite, John Travolta (more on him later), who mispronounced Idina Menzel's name as Adele Dazeem.
“Benedict Cumberbatch is not only the most awesome name in show business, it’s also the sound you get when you ask John Travolta to pronounce Ben Affleck,” Harris said.
2. Jack Black As Oscar MVP
I don't know who realized that the only thing missing from the opening musical number was a cameo by Tenacious D front man, Jack Black, but, my god, that person is brilliant.
Just when Harris and guest singer Anna Kendrick's opening song became a bit too cheerful and long, a disgruntled groan emerged from the audience from the mouth of none other than Jack Black.
The actor brilliantly took on Harris singing, "Believe me, Neil, you're better off polishing your Tony," while perfectly predicting the future of the movie industry.
"All we get is superheroes and formulaic scripts. And, after 'Fifty Shades of Grey,' they'll all have leather whips."
Oh, and did I mention he did all this while singing along to the music from "Into The Woods," often regarded as one of the most difficult shows to perform?
All hail Jack Black. He can high JACK any musical number for the rest of his life.
3. The Passionate Acceptance Speeches Nailed It
While people fortunate enough to have DVR typical fast forward through these moments, this year, the acceptance speeches were more emotional, powerful and timely than any other ceremony.
Patricia Arquette, Best Supporting Actress winner, supported feminism and equal wages for women.
She said, "We have fought for everybody else's equal rights. It's our time to have wage equality once and for all and women's right for everyone in America."
Best Documentary Short Subject winner Dana Perry spoke out about suicide prevention by saying, "I lost my son.
He was 15 when he killed himself and since that happened, I said we need to talk about suicide out loud to try to work against the stigma and silence around suicide because the best prevention for suicide is awareness and discussion and not trying sweep it under the rug."
And screenwriter Graham Moore championed "being weird."
"When I was 16 years old, I tried to kill myself," he said. "I felt weird and different and felt like I didn't belong. Now I'm standing here. This is for any kid out there who doesn't feel like they belong, because you do. Stay weird, stay different.”
These speeches were moving, thought provoking and absolutely essential if the situations they described will ever change. In a year when the Oscars politics headlined for all the wrong reasons, it was refreshing to finally see the ceremony get it right.
4. Poland Will Not Be Played Off
When winners make their acceptance speeches, they have a strict time limit.
Trying to not let the awards ceremony become five hours long, winners will begin to hear music playing over their speeches, which tells them that they need to wrap up.
Normally, when nominees try to stretch their 15 minutes (more like seconds) of fame by screaming over it, it's just awful and boring.
However, last night, one man bravely attempted to take on the music and, boy, did he win.
Best Foreign Language Film winner, Paweł Pawlikowski (for the film "Ida"), took on the exit music like no man has ever before.
When his music started, he acknowledged it and continued his speech. As the music got increasingly louder, so did he. It suddenly became an epic battle, as he became more desperate to get his speech in.
And, what a speech! He thanked his Polish pals, his film crew, his late wife, his deceased parents and his children, "who are hopefully watching, who are still alive!"
And with that triumphant end, the music stopped and he was allowed to keep talking — a very rare feat.
The crowd broke out into a thunderous applause and whoops. Pawlikowski took on the Academy, seized his moment and refused to be silenced in the most endearing way possible.
No one else can ever do it again because it's obnoxious, but it truly worked for him.
5. Lego Oscars Were Awesome
During the performance of Best Original Song nominee "Everything Is Awesome," everything truly became awesome for those in the crowd.
Performers from the song jumped off stage into the audience to hand out Lego Oscars.
They were so cute and clearly a crowd pleaser, as Emma Stone gleefully held on to hers. Nothing will beat the reaction shot of Oprah holding hers because, of course, Orpah got one.
6. My Eyes Have Seen The Glory
By now everyone, has heard of the controversy surrounding the lack of diversity within this year's nominations.
Though "Selma" was nominated for Best Picture and Best Original Song, it was inexplicably left out of every other race. With no real shot at winning Best Picture, the only place it could shine was in the Best Original Song, which it did.
Common and John Legend performed their gorgeous song, "Glory" and they brought the house down.
The received a standing ovation from the crowd with Oprah and fellow "Selma" stars David Oyelowo and Chris Pine even crying.
When Common took the stage for the acceptance speech, he said, "Recently John and I got to go to Selma and perform on the bridge that Dr. King marched on 50 years ago.
It was once a landmark of a divided nation, now a symbol for change. The spirit of this bridge was built on hope."
It was a — pardon the pun — glorious speech and performance, and one of the most important moments of the entire Oscars event.
7. John Travolta Would Not Let Idina Menzel Go
Last year's black sheep John Travolta was back this year to rehabilitate his image and, once again, apologize for the Adele Dazeem incident.
And, after this year's ceremony, he's going to need to come back yet again.
For starters, on the red carpet before the ceremony, Travolta awkwardly hugged Scarlett Johansson from behind as she posed for photos. He then tried to kiss her and she was just not having it, giving him some serious side eye, much to the delight of the Internet.
When he finally came onstage with Idina Menzel, all he had to do was correctly pronounce her name and announce the winner in the category they were presenting.
However, Travolta took it one step further by continuing his pattern of awkward face touching.
He grabbed Menzel's face and said started calling her his darling, beautiful and wickedly talented and then, finally correctly pronounced her name.
Even after Menzel awkwardly pulled away, JOHN TRAVOLTA STILL CLUTCHED HER FACE.
I thought he was going to lean in and kiss her. Suddenly, their was sexual tension was palpable. Travolta then leaned in and I thought: Will they or won't they.
Harris even commented on the moment later on in the show saying, "Travolta will be back next year apologizing to Menzel again for all the face touching."
Yes, John Travolta's touching problem was a bit awkward, but it also provided for one of the most hilarious and exciting moments of the night.
The night was beginning to run long and Travolta's time with Menzel easily provided one of the biggest and most talked bits.
8. Julie Andrews Uttered The Words, "Dear Lady Gaga"
My life will never be the same as last night I heard Julie Andrews say "Dear Lady Gaga."
She was at the awards to perform a medley of songs from the classic musical, "The Sound of Music," which was celebrating it's 50th anniversary of winning Best Picture.
Gaga came out and just killed it. She performed the most difficult songs with grace and ease and received a standing ovation from the audience.
When it seemed like they were about to cut to commercial, all of a sudden, Julie Andrews walked onstage like the divine goddess she is, and embraced Lady Gaga in a very emotional moment for the two of them.
After their hug, Andrews uttered in her perfect British accent, "Dear Lady Gaga, thank you for that wonderful tribute.
It's hard to believe 50 years have gone by since that joyous film was released. I blinked and here I am."
Gaga's tribute was touching and well done and Julie Andrews' genuine thanks and admiration for the honor was truly one of the highlights of the event.