What was the biggest Oscars shocker? There weren’t that many of them! Everything basically went according to script at moviedom’s top award. While we like to be right about our predictions at these things, a good surprise can keep the show exciting.
• Will Smith presenting Best Picture struck me as odd. While Smith is a two-time Oscar nominee, why is he presenting the biggest award of the evening? That honor is usually reserved for someone with a very high standing in the industry like Jack Nicholson, Steven Spielberg, Denzel Washington or Tom Hanks. I think it’s safe to say that Will Smith is not on that level.
• The victory by “Mr. Hublot” as Best Animated Short was the biggest jawdropper among winners. Only one of our experts saw it coming: Ed Douglas (Comingsoon). All others had predicted “Get a Horse!”
• OMG! The audience actually was quiet and respectful during the In Memoriam presentation. I have never seen that happen before when someone isn’t singing over the montage. Also, kudos for remembering film critic Roger Ebert in the montage.
• Even if the performance of a nominated song is good, the crowd does not usually respond in an enthusiastic way. But, damn, Pharrell changed all of that when he performed his Oscar-nominated tune “Happy.” Pharrell brought energy to the stage with his dancers of all ages and wasn’t afraid to get the audience involved. He brought out the spirit of the song with Lupita Nyong’o, Meryl Streep and Amy Adams.
• The win by “Helium” for Best Live Action Short Film was a surprise to me and would have been a bigger one had Tom O’Neil had not switched to it at the last minute. But I still thought the win was surprising considering that shorts about dying children haven’t won this honor in recent years.
• It wasn’t a surprise to me, but I guess the win for Best Original Screenplay by Spike Jonze for “Her.” Several of our experts had predicted “American Hustle” would take the honor instead. But those that did pick “Hustle” should have seen the wins “Her” at the Golden Globes and the WGA as a premonition of things to come.