As an avid moviegoer and lover of the film industry, I greatly look forward to watching the Oscars every year – after all, it's Hollywood's most important event. My excitement for Sunday night's 86th annual Academy Awards was immense, and the night, as a whole, did not disappoint.
Host Ellen DeGeneres displayed her typical, loveable humor poking fun at the various nominated actors and actresses without going over-the-top. This contrast with Seth MacFarlane's controversial hosting at last year's awards was exactly what the Academy needed to regain its credibility in that aspect.
DeGeneres' superstar "selfie" with actors including Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Brad Pitt added a relatable element to the awards, as it portrayed these actors as ordinary, fun people. Her quick change into a full Glinda get-up was hysterical, and serving pizza to the crowd was completely unanticipated.
The most notable musical performances included P!nk's rendition of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," Bette Midler's "Wind Beneath My Wings" and the much-anticipated performance of "Let it Go" by Idina Menzel.
Many people were disappointed with the decision to have P!nk perform the tribute to Judy Garland and "The Wizard of Oz;" however, I was impressed with her wide vocal range and the overall power behind her voice. Menzel's Broadway training was evident in her impressive performance of the Oscar-winning song from "Frozen."
The film "Gravity" swept the technical awards, including best cinematography, sound editing and visual effects. This came as no surprise as the visually extraordinary outer space setting was extremely pleasing to the eye. Personally, I enjoyed the film and appreciate the high level of difficulty this type of film presents to its editors. The film was awarded seven Oscars in total, including best directing by Alfonso Cuarón.
I was correct in assuming Lupita Nyong'o would take home the award for best supporting actress for her tear-jerking performance in "12 Years a Slave;" however, I was not anticipating Cate Blanchett winning best leading actress. When put in a category with Meryl Streep, Sandra Bullock and the underrated Amy Adams, it is difficult to be content with that decision.
The biggest "snub" of the Oscars would have to be "The Wolf of Wall Street." The film was both captivating and hilarious, and it expressed important lessons in regards to high-living, drugs and greed. I hoped it would be awarded for best adapted screenplay, director, leading actor and picture. A large number of people joke about the fact that Leonardo DiCaprio has never won an Oscar, with countless memes and GIFs on the Internet poking fun at it. However, it severely disappointed me when he did not receive the award Sunday night.
I assumed Matthew McConaughey would win for "Dallas Buyers Club," so it was not a complete shock when the best leading actor award was announced. I am not denying the fact that McConaughey is an amazing actor, but I believe DiCaprio has consistently given Oscar-worthy performances throughout his career and has yet to be recognized for his accomplishments in the film industry.
Overall, the Academy Awards held intense competition this year, with compelling films and performances by some of Hollywood's greatest actors and actresses. This past year has been remarkable for the film industry, including some of the most entertaining films I have ever seen.
In the end, I correctly guessed 17 out of 24 categories on my Oscar ballot, so I view that as my personal, minuscule victory of the evening.
Jessica Karsten is a junior in public relations. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.