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
This Year's Oscars Stunk
Ellen DeGeneres hosts the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday, March 2, 2014, in Los Angeles.   (Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP)

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."
(Read more Oscars stories.)

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