Rain began the evening for the 86th annual Academy Awards, but as the Boston Globe stated, Ellen DeGeneres brought along sunshine. It was one of many hilarious moments carried last night by the stand-up comedienne, who's first announcement was to inform viewers around the world that “it's been a tough couple of days for us. We're fine. Thank you for your prayers,” in jest toward the consistent snow fall burdening most of the nation.
Part of Ellen's determination for the evening was to break the record for most retweets of a “selfie” (taken, in fact, by Bradley Cooper). What she had not counted on, however, was the massive response that broke Twitter's servers, locking out thousands of users.
Ellen's second performance as the Oscars host proved itself both entertaining and a theme for the ceremonious night, as New Orleans-filmed productions took home Academy Awards in six categories. Indeed, the Metairie-born host commented early on that the awards night had only two possible outcomes: either 12 Years A Slave would win Best Picture, or they were all racists.
After the revelation that Dallas Buyers Club survived their 23-day production with a mere $250 budget for make-up, artists Robin Mathews' and Adruitha Lee's win comes as little surprise, but richly deserved. In a business where stories are told so out-of-sequence, actors Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto often encountered the diseased-transformations of their characters up to five times each day.
The overall production itself was so low-budget, the producer at times used her personal credit card to feed the crew. Mathews stated that it was “the most under-budgeted movie I've ever been part of shooting.”
Mathews' and Lee's hard work paid off, of course. The make-up transformations of McConaughey and Leto surely played a role in their fantastic performances. Both men took home Oscars for Best Actor, supporting and lead, giving Dallas Buyers Club a total of three wins out of their six nominations.
12 Years A Slave was also a tough contender, with nine nominations. Scoring Oscars for Best Supporting Actress (Lupita Nyong'o), Best Adapted Screenplay (John Ridley), and Best Picture resulted in director Steve McQueen jumping for joy after his acceptance speech. Based on the 1853 memoir, 12 Years A Slave captures the story of real-life Solomon Northup, a free African American man born in New York state, who was kidnapped and sold into slavery.
Not too surprising, Gravity went home with the most awards of the night, totalling seven Oscars:
- Best Visual Effects – Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk, and Neil Corbould
- Best Sound Mixing – Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead, and Chris Munro
- Best Sound Editing – Glenn Freemantle
- Best Original Score – Steven Price
- Best Film Editing – Alfonso Cuarón and Mark Sanger
- Best Cinematography – Emmanuel Lubezki
- Best Director – Alfonso Cuarón
Frozen received Best Animated Film and Best Original Song. The Great Gatsby took home Best Costume Design and Best Production Design. Spike Jonze took Best Original Screenplay for Her, and Cate Blanchett received Best Actress for her role in Blue Jasmine.
Best Live Action Short went to Helium.
Best Animated Short went to Mr. Hublot.
Best Foreign Language went to Italy's The Great Beauty.
Best Documentary Short went to The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life.
Best Documentary Feature went to 20 Feet From Stardom.