Has Ellen DeGeneres changed the Oscars, as we know them, forever? Emma Gunavardhana celebrates the the Academy Awards' reboot
Formal, frumpy and over-long is how the Oscars used to be described. Glossip Girl once interviewed an Oscar veteran who wouldn’t attend the ceremony without a lumbar pillow and a clutch stuffed with nibbles and snacks. But the 86th show had a shaking-off of the fussy, stiff vibe.
The ceremony has struggled with hosts over the years – James Franco and Anne Hathaway’s attempt has all but been expunged from living memory – but Ellen DeGeneres, on her second time helming the event hit a stride that’ll be hard to follow.
Fans of Ellen’s daytime talk show are used to her irreverent humour, but any doubts about whether this would translate to the Oscars were put at ease almost instantly. A huge social media fan [she has over 27m followers on Twitter] Ellen made history by crashing Twitter with the most star-studded selfie ever taken. The social media site came to a halt as nearly two million tweeters retweeted the picture featuring Jared Leto, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Bradley Cooper, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.
Ellen’s carefree vibe was clearly infectious as this year’s event took a funny turn. Benedict Cumberbatch photo-bombed U2 on the red carpet, Catherine Martin plucked her speech from her bra when accepting her award for The Great Gatsby and John Travolta fouled-up his introduction of Idina Menzel so monumentally that it was impossible not to smirk, smile and chuckle through the show.
Backstage antics showed Jennifer Lawrence pretending to wrestle the Best Supporting Actress Oscar from Lupita Nyong'o, First Wives Goldie Hawn and Meryl Streep joking around with Glenn Close, Kate Hudson joking with Channing Tatum and his wife Jenna and Bono being praised by super fan Brad Pitt after U2’s main stage performance.
Jennifer Lawrence wowed once again in Dior Couture, but proved that staying on two feet isn’t her strong point when she took a tumble on the red carpet. Last year it was Bradley Cooper who came to her rescue, but it was boyfriend Nicholas Hoult who got her back on an even keel after she lost her footing on her way into the auditorium. Clever girl that J.Law, we’d be stacking it at every chance too if we had that roster of hotties rushing to our aid…
Though the night belonged to Cate Blanchett, Lupita Nyong’o, Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto, the real winner was Ellen - because by handing out pizza slices, taking selfies, and keeping the evening fun and not too serious, she’s almost certainly bagged herself the Oscars gig for the foreseeable future. Ellen, we salute you.