Oscars 2014: Best and Worst Moments

Among the highlights of last night’s three-and-a-half-hour-long Academy Awards:

Brad Pitt helping hand out plates when Ellen brings pizza. Harrison Ford, Pitt, Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lawrence were among the people actually eating said pizza.

Darlene Love busts out the loudest version of “His Eye Is on the Sparrow” imaginable during the acceptance speech for the documentary 20 Feet from Stardom. Bill Murray is the first to jump to his feet for a standing ovation.

Pharrell Williams dances with Lupita Nyong’o, Meryl Streep and Amy Adams while he sings his Oscar-nominated song, “Happy.”

A bunch of celebrities stop to take a selfie.

Pink performs “Over the Rainbow” during the Wizard of Oz segment.

Lupita Nyong’o’s emotional acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actress.

Benedict Cumberbatch photobombs U2 on the red carpet and again during the show with Chiwetel Ejiofor.

Some of the worst moments:

Bette Midler performs what feels like an extra-long rendition of “Wind Beneath My Wings,” the sappiest song in human existence. Memorial segments are better when the show cuts the sound afterward and has silence until the commercial, rather than this year’s extended Midler performance and applause afterward. Midler’s mugging and talking to the crowd afterward, despite performing for a serious reason, didn’t help.

John Travolta totally mispronounces “Idina Menzel.” He gets a pass for having dyslexia, but why did he agree to read off the TelePrompter in the first place? He’s an actor; couldn’t he have memorized the name?

Kim Novak appears with Matthew McConaughey to present the Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film. I don’t really care how much plastic surgery she may have had; what I can’t figure out is why she was at the Oscars in the first place. I mean, didn’t it seem so random? Mostly it was just a sad moment because she didn’t get a standing ovation.

Another Low Point: In a year when so many notable names passed away, it would have been impossible to include everyone in the “In Memoriam,” but among those that I’m pretty sure were missing from the telecast were Jonathan Winters, Bryan Forbes and Dennis Farina. Also missing were Martha Eggerth, Patty Andrews, Wojciech Kilar, Helen Hanft, Otto Sander and Christopher Evan Welch, who had many decades of excellent work among them. I guess Marcia Wallace, another personality we’ll remember, only counts as a TV actor despite working in movies too.


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