Captivating Performers Attend 66th Academy Awards

By Siena Deck

On March 2, 2014, The Academy Awards hosted their 66th Annual Oscars. With Ellen DeGeneres as a host, Brad Pitt handing out pizza, and a record-breaking selfie, the show was a slamming success.

Ellen DeGeneres started off the show cracking a joke about the rain in LA,  saying, “Thanks for your prayers.” Her witty comments throughout the night captivated the audience, which included celebrities and undiscovered actors alike.

The first presenter, Anne Hathaway, read out a list of qualified supporting actor nominees, but the Oscar went to Jared Leto in Dallas Buyers Club. According to an Archer survey, Leto had a 23 percent chance of winning.

Leto thanked his mother in his heartfelt speech and gracefully added that “this is for the 36 million who lost the battle to AIDS, and [also] to those of you out there that have ever felt injustice because of who you are or who you love. Tonight I stand here in front of the world with you and for you.”

Later that night, Lupita Nyong’o won best supporting actress for her performance in 12 Years a Slave. She elegantly made her way up stage while her co-designed dress flowed behind her. In her speech, she passionately expressed, “Every little child, no matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid.” As she walked off stage, “Somewhere over the Rainbow” played.

Best Animated Feature went to Frozen, just as 84 percent of Archer Girls had predicted.

Later in the night, DeGeneres came out of the red curtains with a pizza man behind her. Brad Pitt helped hand out plates while stars in expensive and lavish attire devoured the cheesy pizza.

Ellen’s epic Twitter selfie, featuring Jennifer Lawrence, Channing Tatum, Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts,  Kevin Spacey, Bradley Cooper, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Lupita Nyong’o, broke the record for the most retweeted photo on Twitter ever, with nearly 3.5 million retweets. The caption stated: “If only Bradley’s arm was longer. Best photo ever. #oscars”

Despite the Twitter uproar, Leonardo DiCaprio did not win for Best Actor.

Instead, Matthew McConaughey won for his role in Dallas Buyers Club. In his speech, he thanked his “mother who demanded that we respect ourselves.” The Oscar winner ended his speech saying, “just keep living.”

Best Actress went to Cate Blanchett for her performance in Blue Jasmine. In her speech, she specifically thanked an Australian film company, stating that “not only has working with you for the last six years been an enormous privilege for my career, but it has made me a better actress.”

Best Director went to Alfonso Cuarónfor for Gravity.  His speech calls “making a film a transformative experience” and that Sandra Bullock, the lead actress, was the “soul of Gravity.” Helena Heslov ’16 says she “loved the film and thought the directing was mesmerizing.”

However, the ultimate category, Best Picture, caused the most stress and anxiety for anticipating nominees. Although critics agree that the films were all qualified, the 12 Years as a Slave cast and crew were the ones that left with the golden Oscar in hand. Producer Brad Pitt, Director Steve McQueen, and the rest of the cast and crew graciously accepted the award for Best Picture.

Brad Pitt explained “what an absolute privilege it was to work on Solomon’s story.” Pitt then introduced  McQueen, who explained Solomon Northrup’s message and legacy: “Everyone deserves to not just survive, but to live.”