This Year's Oscars Stank

Ellen DeGeneres hosts a boring Academy Awards: reviews

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 3, 2014 7:22 AM CST | Updated Mar 3, 2014 10:41 AM CST

(Newser) – The general feeling this morning? Last night's Academy Awards ceremony was way too long, and host Ellen DeGeneres didn't do nearly as good a job as anyone was hoping:

  • On the Huffington Post, David Macaray offers up three reasons this year's Oscars was "the worst." DeGeneres is one: "She ruined it" by treating the audience like "a daytime studio audience, a TV game show audience," constantly going out into the seats to banter and resorting to "props" like pizza and selfies. The interminable length is another: With five minutes left before the ceremony's scheduled end, six important categories still hadn't been handed out. The last reason? There are simply no surprises anymore: "If 12 Years a Slave hadn't won Best Picture, that would've been the Oscars' lead story. That's what it's come to. Our shock at who didn't win."
  • At the Hollywood Reporter, Tim Goodman is even harsher: The show was "turgid, badly directed, poorly produced," and "so boring, so long, so self-involved." And DeGeneres offered up an "endless string of tired or wince-inducing moments" that ultimately drove the whole thing "sideways into a ditch." Her jokes were "flat," the pizza stunt felt "forced." And the producers didn't help: They "seemed intent to stuff as many useless, time-killing montages into the early and middle sections as possible, making viewers at home continuously glance at that ticking clock."

  • But Brian Lowry thinks a boring ceremony may have been the intent, coming as it did on the heels of last year's song about boobs. This year "was a ho-hum evening, but not an embarrassing one," Lowry writes in Variety. "DeGeneres is in many ways one of the few talents suited to this sort of steadfastly middle-of-the-road take on the Oscars."
  • One of the few moments critics kinda liked? When cast member Darlene Love burst into song after 20 Feet From Stardom won best documentary, but even that wasn't great: At Deadline, Lisa de Moraes calls it the "Best Spontaneous Expression Of Joy That Starts Well And Ends Badly," noting that the song went on "just long enough off-key to demonstrate why she’s a backup singer not a headliner."

Ellen DeGeneres hosts the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday, March 2, 2014, in Los Angeles.
Ellen DeGeneres hosts the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday, March 2, 2014, in Los Angeles.   (Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP)
Ellen's selfie: Jared Leto, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Ellen DeGeneres, Bradley Cooper, Peter Nyong’o Jr., Channing Tatum, Julia Roberts, Kevin Spacey, Brad Pitt, Lupita Nyong’o, Angelina Jolie.
Ellen's selfie: Jared Leto, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Ellen DeGeneres, Bradley Cooper, Peter Nyong’o Jr., Channing Tatum, Julia Roberts, Kevin Spacey, Brad Pitt, Lupita Nyong’o, Angelina Jolie.   (AP Photo/Ellen DeGeneres)
Ellen DeGeneres speaks during the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday, March 2, 2014, in Los Angeles.
Ellen DeGeneres speaks during the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday, March 2, 2014, in Los Angeles.   (Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP)
Ellen DeGeneres hosts the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday, March 2, 2014, in Los Angeles.
Ellen DeGeneres hosts the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday, March 2, 2014, in Los Angeles.   (Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP)
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