1. Good evening and welcome to the 86th annual Academy Awards. The competition is fierce. The outfits are over the top. And everyone wants to know if Jennifer Lawrence is going to win again. It’s like “The Hunger Games” but nobody’s acting.
2. I’m your host for the evening, Ellen DeGeneres. Or as many people like to call me – “Her.”
3. “Her” is one of tonight’s nine nominees for Best Picture. Joaquin Phoenix plays a man who falls in love with his computer yet can’t relate to actual human beings. He’s not up for Best Actor, because these days the role isn’t that much of a stretch.
4. One of the most talked-about films of the year has got to be “Gravity,” up for 10 awards tonight. Sandra Bullock is a woman trapped in outer space with almost no chance of survival. The only time she’s overcome longer odds is when she beat out Meryl Streep for an Oscar.
5. There’s Leonardo DiCaprio, star of Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street.” Three hours of non-stop debauchery, greed, hedonism and profanity. It’s kind of the like of the Oscar ceremony, only shorter and less humiliating.
6. Another of this year’s acclaimed Best Picture nominees is the powerful “12 Years a Slave.” Some Academy members had a hard time sitting through the film, due to the graphic scenes of physical torture. It’s the most difficult thing that Hollywood has been forced to watch since the George W. Bush presidency.
7. What wasn’t difficult to watch was the sensational “American Hustle.” It has nominees in all four acting categories. Christian Bale. Amy Adams. Bradley Cooper. Jennifer Lawrence. Don’t worry if none of them win. Having bone structure like that should be reward enough.
8. As usual, there were some unfortunate omissions in the nominations. Several deserving people just couldn’t get in due to the fierce competition. That’s why they asked me to host instead of David Letterman. He wanted to come on stage and introduce Oprah to Emma and then Emma to Oprah, and the joke just wouldn’t have worked without them here.
9. Someone who did get nominated is the great Bruce Dern, up for Best Actor in “Nebraska.” He plays a man who travels to the state to claim the million dollars that he thinks he’s won. It’s what Hollywood calls an independent film. That’s because it would take a lot more than a million dollars to get anyone in Hollywood to ever set foot in Nebraska.
10. There are also some newcomers here this evening. Best Supporting Actor nominee Barkhad Abdi made his film debut in “Captain Phillips.” In the movie, he just takes control, orders everyone around and demands ridiculous sums of money for doing absolutely nothing. If he keeps acting like that, he’ll be just like any other major Hollywood star.
11. In the Best Make-up and Hairstyling category is “Bad Grandpa.” It’s the first “Jackass” movie to ever receive an Oscar nomination. If it wins, it will be one of many jackasses that you’ll be seeing up on stage tonight.
12. It wouldn’t be the Academy Awards without controversy. The academy actually rescinded the nomination of one of the Best Original Song contenders, due to improper campaigning. They should have known better. You don’t engage in improper campaigning until after you get the nomination and you’re going for the win.
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