ByAmritt Rukhaiyaar, writer at
I am a movie critic, I write at
Amritt Rukhaiyaar

I am sure you loved how Ellen DeGeneres hosted last year’s Academy Awards. She was hilarious and made a lot of relevant jokes on the movies that were nominated. On the other hand, no matter how much we love Neil Patrick Harris, we have to admit, he was kind of “Meh” when compared to previous hosts like Billy Crystal and Ellen DeGeneres. Yes you don’t need to remind me that Seth Macfarlane sucked as an Oscar Host. However, we loved last year’s Oscar Ceremony, not only for the wonderful host but for a number of things.

Here are 4 things you may have missed at this year's Academy Awards:

4. Audience Engagement

I loved how Ellen engaged her audience and made them an integral part of the whole event. First there was that Pizza thing, it was funny, Ellen asked people for Pizza and then came later for the money for that. You must have loved how Kevin Spacey gave away some tip as well. After the Pizza and its bill, there was that infamous Selfie episode which broke all the records of retweets. Moreover, time and again, we saw Ellen involving some or the other celebrities in one of her jokes or teases, where Neil Patrick Harris did that with Octavia Spencer and that looked monotonous after a while.

3. The Tributes

Academy Awards are a different and special event than other movie awards; it doesn't just celebrate the current year’s films but celebrate Cinema as a whole. Last year, we saw many such beautiful tributes. Jim Carrey presented a tribute on Animation film making and made us realize our love for the genre. Sally field spoke of everyday heroes and it followed by a beautiful AV, showcasing Peter O’Toole’s Lawrence of Arabia to Daniel Day Lewis’ Lincoln to McConaughey’s Dallas Buyers Club. Another one was when Whoopi Goldberg talked about “The wizard of Oz” and then the AV which Chris Evans presented for celebrating the journey of “Most Popular heroes”. One of the reason we all love Oscars is because the way it celebrates Cinema and we did miss these tributes this year.

2. Great Speeches

Except for a few good speeches, most of the speeches by the Oscar winners were pretty underwhelming when compared to last year’s. Some of our favourite speeches from the 86th Academy Award were by Matthew McConaughey who spoke of “someone to look up to, someone to look after and someone to chase”, Jared Leto, who told us about the inspiring story of his mother and Lupita Nyong’o whose heartfelt speech made our eyes wet plus there were many other great speeches. On the Other hand, this year, only JK Simmons and Patricia Arquette gave a speech worth remembering.

1. Ellen DeGeneres

If you compare the frequency of laughs people had during the time Ellen hosted the Oscars and this time around, you will get the answer. However, without quantifying the humour, Neil Patrick Harris never really succeeded in engaging people with his jokes.

She had a back up joke for almost every serious thing she said, for example: “Possibility no. 1, 12 years a slave wins Best Picture, Possibility no. 2, you are all racists” OR "You all look beautiful, I'm not going to say who looks the most beautiful, but it's clear. It's Jared Leto. I mean, he's the prettiest. Boy is he pretty." OR “Dallas Buyers Club is a very important movie, it deals with the serious issue of people who have sex at Rodeos”.

The Racist Jokes Ellen made was actually funny, like the one at Anne Hathaway’s entry as “And now please welcome our first White Presenter Anne Hathaway". There is no denying that Ellen DeGeneres was the funniest Oscar host in a long time.

Last year, when Ellen was taking a dig on nominated actors, you just wanted her to go on and on. Ellen’s Jokes on Jennifer Lawrence’ tripping at the red carpet, Jonah Hill’s prosthetic Penis, repeating lines for June Squibb and making fun of Dallas Buyer’s club’s sex at Rodeos were hilariously funny and we were left asking for more. On the other hand, Neil Patrick Harris couldn't really tease any of these stars and you missed Ellen like anything.


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