86th Academy Awards Winners

 86th Academy Awards Winners

Jennifer Lawrence imagesThe Academy Awards have been accused of being stuffy and boring but Ellen DeGeneres was determined to bring them up to date on Sunday. The chat show host and prolific tweeter took what is being described as the ‘best selfie ever’ during her hosting duties, a picture which started off as just her and Meryl Streep but soon expanded to include Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, Jennifer Lawrence and Kevin Spacey in a picture taken by Bradley Cooper. Multi-tasking Ellen then shared the snap on her Twitter page, where it broke the record for most retweets, with 1,076,971 in less than an hour as social media fans went wild for the snap, while continuing to host the show.

Jennifer LawrenceHowever, it did appear as if the picture was part of a promotional stunt for Samsung, which is a big sponsor of the show, as the selfie was taken with her Samsung Galaxy Note 3, a device which she whipped out at various stages during the proceedings. It was just one in a series of fun moments as Ellen won over the celebrity crowd at the Academy Awards with some gentle teasing but one person was less than impressed. While Jennifer took jokes about falling over on the red carpet in her stride and Jared Leto laughed as Ellen dubbed him ‘the prettiest of them all’, Liza Minnelli looked less than impressed when Ellen quipped she thought she was a male impersonator. Taking to the stage at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre, seven years after she last presented, Ellen joked:

Jennifer Lawrence pitchure‘The real Captain Philips is here tonight and the real Philomena and one of the most impressive Liza Minnelli impersonators I’ve ever seen in my entire life. Good job sir. That is seriously impressive.’ While the audience and Liza’s sister Lorna Luft howled with laughter, Liza looked less than amused and merely cracked a small smile. Apart from a less than warm reception from Minnelli, DeGeneres won over the A-list crowd with her gentle opening monologue. She opened with a quip about the recent rain in Hollywood and the inability of everyone to cope with it: ‘For those of you watching around the world, it has been a tough couple of  days for us, it’s been raining. We’re fine. Thank you for your prayers.’

Jennifer LawrenceShe also gently ribbed the academy for not deviating very much in their voting patterns. Ellen joked: ‘Things are so different now. For example last time I was here Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, Meryl Streep and Martin Scorsese were nominated. Soooo different.’ She teased 84-year-old nominee June Squibb about her age, saying: ‘There are some first time nominees here – June Squibb is nominated for Nebraska. At 84 years old she is the oldest nominee. [To June] I’m telling everyone that you were in Nebraska.’ And Hollywood’s obsession with youth was also called out, with the tuxedo clad host saying: ‘Tonight’s theme is Heroes in Hollywood and we need heroes more than ever. ‘I’m not saying movies are the most important thing in the world but we all know that the most important thing is youth.

Ellen DeGeneres images‘I’m kidding, the most important thing is love, family and friendship and if people don’t have that they get into showbiz.’ Ellen then suggested that maybe she was the biggest winner of the night. You should think of yourself as winners,’ she said. ‘Not all of you but those who have won before. And I know what you’re thinking. “Ellen you’ve been chosen as host and that’s the highest award there is”. Thank you.’ While the nominees are all successful in their field, the host pointed out the lack of education among them: Between all of the nominees here you’ve made 1,400 films and attended six years of college.’ She then picked one nominee out of of the crowd: ‘Amy Adams you went to college right? What no? OK. Well you’re amazing actress and you’re in not one but two nominated films tonight and that is so, what is the word for this, selfish.’

Ellen DeGeneresShe also pleaded with the academy to stop nominating Meryl Streep, saying the star could no longer afford all of the gowns and make-up which are needed for awards season. It’s been an exceptional year for movies, one of the nominees is Her, and by Her I mean Meryl Streep,’ Ellen joked. ‘Meryl has been nominated for an Oscar a total of 18 times. ‘It sounds good but if you do the math between dresses, hair and make-up, that’s hundreds of thousands of dollars. Simply put Meryl cannot afford to be nominated again.’She compared the Oscars to the Hunger Games and brought up Jennifer Lawrence falling on her way to the stage last year to accept her award. ‘Who are we kidding? It’s The Hunger Games. There are cameras everywhere, you’re starving, Jennifer Lawrence won last year…Jennifer I am not going to bring up what happened last year when you fell…’ Ellen began.

Ellen DeGeneres picLater, Ellen had the entire auditorium in fits of laughter as she ordered pizza for everyone. Brad Pitt, Jared Leto and Martin Scorsese all reached for a slice, delivered by a pizza man from Big Mamas pizza place on Sunset Boulevard. Ellen tried to get well known faces including Harvey Weinstein to chip in for the food, joking that there was no pressure but the show was being beamed live to a huge audience who would judge him for not giving money. So far the reviews of Degeneres’ hosting have been good with Variety’s TV columnist Brian Lowry saying her opening monologue ‘screamed of a desire to dial back the show to safer terrain.’

Ellen DeGeneresThis refers to last year’s host, Family Guy creator Seth McFarlane’s risque approach to the show, which included jokes about gays, Jews and a song aimed actresses who have gone nude in movies called ‘We Saw Your Boobs’. The Washington Post continued the praise for Ellen, stating that the comedienne ‘told jokes that were easy on the ears, gentle on the mind and, for the most part, sparingly nice.’ The Interview With A Vampire author, Anne Rice, said: ‘Well, it’s over.  And I think Ellen did a superb job as the host for the Oscars.’One person who certainly wasn’t enjoying the show was Donald Tump, who spent the evening mocking Ellen and the production: ‘I should host the #Oscars just to shake things up – this is not good!’  Dailymail

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