Oscars 2014: Best and Worst Moments

The 2014 Academy Awards are in the books, and while the statuette wealth was spread pretty evenly among Gravity, 12 Years a Slave and Dallas Buyers Club, the other matter at hand was who won (and lost) buzz/credibility/public support through the three-and-a-half-hour telecast.

PHOTOS | Oscars 2014 Red Carpet: Best & Worst Moments

To that end, we watched the Oscars with a keen eye on everything from speeches to socks to dance moves — and concocted the following list of Best and Worst Moments.

RELATED | Oscars 2014: Complete Winners List

So click through the gallery below for our picks, then hit the comments and tell us who you loved, who made you throw a side-eye and who you think we egregiously snubbed!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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104 Comments
  1. Josh says:

    Ha when Jennifer and Benedict came out together, I’m like “Oh crap, Sydney and SHerlock are teaming up!”

  2. Mikaela says:

    Pink needs to release her performance stat! Was breathtaking.

  3. Tricia says:

    FYI I’m thinking JGL was wearing ONE turquoise sock, he mismatches in memory of his brother.

    And I loved the Frozen songwriters, it’s nice to see how excited people get to win.

    • Michael Slezak says:

      I didn’t know that about the socks — good catch! — but I think only one was visible during his time on stage. (Or maybe it was the only visible one because of the color?)

    • Erin says:

      Yes, JGL’s brother always wore mismatched socks, so he has continued the habit in tribute to him. He probably just went with turquoise because it looked fun.

  4. Dr. Bombay says:

    That pizza bit just wouldn’t end…

  5. Cori says:

    Adele Dazim was the highlight of the night. I’m still laughing!

    • The Beach says:

      I rewound and replayed that 3 times just to be sure I was hearing what I thought I was hearing. Maybe Travolta’s wig was on too tight.

    • Stacie says:

      Adele Dazim had me laughing more than all of the John Travolta comedies I’ve seen put together.

    • Hannah says:

      She has a twitter account. I think she’s Pakistani.
      But really, I thought Travolta was having a stroke.

  6. jimbo says:

    Also a “TV Lovers’ Fever-Dream Moment” was when Vince Howard and Veronica Mars took the stage!

    • twilight123 says:

      YES! And, though it was slightly different, I also got TV excited for Jessica Beal and Jamie Foxx (who both starred in WB television shows at the same time during the late 90s/early ’00s). I kept annoying those around be by drunk shouting, “What’s up, WB!”

  7. Colleen says:

    I do not see how anyone could have liked Pink’s absolutely horrendous performance. And I like Pink! That was just terrible. I felt embarrassed for her. “Some – breath- where – breath – o -breath – ver the rainbow”. It was like a bad American Idol rendition of the song. Ouch. She needed more rehearsal. And a voice teacher who could have taught her breath control.

    • Christy says:

      I didn’t watch, but I figured something was up when suddenly half my Twitter feed was talking about breath control and how gasp-y she sounded. They’re not even singers/theater people and it was all they could talk about.

    • Mary says:

      I’d say it was nerves. Sure she performs for large audiences around the world and at musical awards shows, but this was the Oscars.

    • The Beach says:

      I love Pink but I was thinking exactly the same thing about her breath control and breathing in the middle of words. If she can sing while suspended upside down above the audience with water pouring on her then surely she can sing the word “over” without taking a breath between syllables.

    • Nell on Wheels says:

      THIS!

    • Beth says:

      I disagree completely with this. Pink was amazing, and by far the best performance along with U2. Her breath control was just fine and her vocals were flawless.

    • Delirious says:

      Thanks… Reading everyone today made me think I was alone thinking her delivery ruined it. Yeah, her voice and pitch were great, as usual, but the whole “… dragging… every… single… word and line” thing got on my nerves pretty quickly. I can appreciate “playing behind the beat” when needed, but last night, it was ridiculous.

      • David says:

        I’m not a fan of “unnecessary-breaths” singing. What is the point of phrasing a song in this manner: “Some (inhale) where o (inhale) ver the rainbow”? It doesn’t enhance the song for me, it’s more of a big distraction. And I don’t believe it’s that she can’t control her breath; it’s that she or someone coaching her thinks it’s dramatic to sing in that style. Other singers do it too and it usually ruins what could have been a good performance.

  8. Noelle says:

    It was “Happy OSCARS to you, let’s do ‘Frozen 2′” – much funnier, especially sung to John Lasseter!

    • S. says:

      I’m sure the Oscar producers were thinking “oh dear God, stop singing or we’re gonna have to pay for the use of the music for Happy Birthday on tv” and yes unfortunately, you do. They didn’t sing it long enough to count though, I don’t think unless it went past 3 seconds. Loved seeing Frozen win for original song and loved that I got to see an EGOT. Great job to the Lopezes (who were so darn cute) and congratulations to Robert on the big overall achievement of joining the EGOT club.

      • Allyson says:

        Wait, what? You can’t sing Happy Birthday on tv? You have to pay for that?! I have never heard of such a thing. That is silliest thing I have ever heard of!

        • Britt says:

          The song was copyrighted awhile ago. If you sing it on tv, you pay!!!

        • GrumpyOl'Lady says:

          It’s true–you have to pay if you sing this song publicly. That’s also why wait-staff don’t (or are not supposed to) sing it in restaurants.

        • rockgolf says:

          There’s actually a court case going on about the copyright on “Happy Birthday”. It was written well over 100 years ago, and should by most definitions, have entered the public domain decades ago. But the publishers are using some arcane logic to claim it is still under copyright.

  9. Playhouse says:

    Turquoise SOCK. JGL is known for wearing mismatched socks. That, on top of the color.

  10. Olga says:

    A hundred times better than last year’s. The winners were all deserving, Ellen was great (I actually laughed out loud several times). A great job to the crew of the Oscars!

  11. Brigid says:

    What about poor Kim Novak? That was PAINFUL!

  12. andy j says:

    The sight of Kim Novak’s and Goldie Hawn’s botched Botox disasters are something that is seared in my corneas forever. Once seen it cannot be unseen. And its such a shame Judy Garland doesn’t have any children who could have sung “Over The Rainbow”. Ellen was nicely bland and inoffensive but I missed Seth MacFarlane. He was crass, offensive, and inappropriate-and I loved every minute of it.

    • The Beach says:

      Actually, I barely recognized Goldie. They both had a lot more than just botox going on.

      • Tarc says:

        Actually, it’s that they STOPPED doing the BOTOX, and about half the nerves in their faces survived. I’ll take that over the immobile plastic face any day, but it was wild to see Goldie’s still right cheek and her normal left one.

      • Elizabeth says:

        I agree wotj the Beach — I couldn’t recognize Goldie Hawn by her face, but recognized her voice. what did she do??? I’ve always thougjt she had the cutest face – why mess with it that much?

    • BTM says:

      Well there was that really good Liza Minelli impersonator….. 😜

  13. Kevin says:

    How about the mess that was Matthew McConaughey’s acceptance speech? Not a single mention about AIDS/HIV and the millions who have died. He should take notes from Jared Leto.

    • danin says:

      hear hear!

    • Tarc says:

      He started jabbering inanely about his religious beliefs (like anyone wants to hear that), and he lost me. We just muted the talked until he was done. It was embarrassing and pretty much killed the moment.

      • enuff said says:

        The award is for best actor. It is HIS accomplishment being awarded not the material. He spoke with humility about his dreams, the poeple & the Power that motivated him to achieve. Who wants to hear that? I WANT TO HEAR THAT.

        • bgs says:

          I agree. I thought it was the best acceptance speech of the night. He can thank whomever he wants. He won for actor–not for a cause. Obviously, all the non-believers are going to hate on him because he mentioned, dare I say it, God. Good for him. Hollyweird hasn’t ruined him. He is still focused.

        • Lee says:

          enuff said-perfectly put.it was my favorite acceptance speech of the night.

  14. Angela says:

    I was smiling during Lupita’s speech. She looked so happy, and sounded so genuinely thrilled and thankful.
    Pink’s performance was lovely, and the whole thing with Ellen and the pizzas was fun. Also, Sally Field is seriously 67?! Damn. I won’t complain one iota if I look like that when I get to that age, that’s for sure (and that dress of hers is indeed beautiful).
    And finally, Ezra Koenig in that tux. Mmmmm… I like :D.

  15. Stacie says:

    The funny thing was that I was waiting for Idina Menzel to come out and sing, because I love her voice, so when he said that for a second I thought they were going to have another singer perform the song, so when it turned out to be her it was the scariest/funniest thing ever. I’m glad she sang well, but I’d say 90% of the people at home were talking about what Travolta just said, or rewinding, who really saw Idina perform that song uninterrupted. You can’t just let something like Adele Dazim go. It must be talked about.

  16. Eliza says:

    Jared Leto is an Academy Award winner…wow. Remembering him as Jordan Catalano and so happy to see him up there (and giving such a great acceptance speech).
    Yup, Lupita Nyong’o is gorgeous and gracious. I wish her a long career.

    Agree that Hemsworth and Charlize were a pretty stunning pair.
    And Bill Murray paying a little tribute to Harold Ramis was sweet. For me, it’s [still] especially sad seeing the likes of James Gandolfini and Paul Walker on a tribute segment.

    Lastly, Cate Blanchett = Boss. Love her.

  17. The Beach says:

    Spike Jonze is adorable!

  18. Kalee says:

    Adele Dazim is rolling over in her grave.

  19. Brendan says:

    Not sure why but it kinda bugged me that they put Philip Seymour Hoffman as the final person in the tribute… so many people that could have been last and they picked the one that died of a drug overdose? Why make that death the most important one by honoring him last and for the longest amount of screen time?

    • I am so glad there is at least one other person out there who agrees with me on this! I understand that he was a big deal to the movie industry but so were Harold Ramis and James Gandolfini, why weren’t they given that slot? Paul Walker was an amazing humanitarian and all around nice guy from what I can find on him and his tribute was one of the quickest! I barely saw him. I just thought that it was inappropriate of them to put the guy who died of a drug overdose on there for the longest.

    • nodak says:

      Perhaps it was because he was an academy award winner.

    • JaneP says:

      He was the most recently deceased, that’s all. Really, find something else to have a tantrum over.

  20. S. says:

    How about for a worst moment something that didn’t even happen: completely ignoring the 75th anniversary of Gone With The Wind? Um, it won Best Picture that year and 1939 was a huge year for movies–historically thought of as the single strongest year. Not just the movies nominated for Best Picture. There were so many classics they couldn’t even fit in the top category. They shouldn’t have just had a montage of Wizard of Oz images and waves to Liza, Lorna, and Joey. The heroes montages ignored so many women and killed so much time. It would’ve been better to skip that arbitrary theme and just honor the movies of 1939 which the Oscars’ own website calls “Hollywood’s Greatest Year.” I wonder if they didn’t want to bring up GWTW because it would’ve been all kinds of curious to have it highlighted in the same ceremony that 12 Years a Slave was being honored. The thing is, the first Oscar awarded to an African American was for supporting actress (Hattie McDaniel) for that movie, and Lupita won tonight. It’s poetic and deserved acknowledgment.

    • AT says:

      I loved that they paid tribute to The Wizard of Oz, but yeah I think it would have been nice to showcase more of the movies from 1939. Also, if they really wanted to stick with the heroes theme, it would have been nice to see more of a tribute for Shirley Temple as well! She was a symbol of hope in the Great Depression. Just a picture of her in the In Memoriam didn’t feel like enough.

      • Melissa says:

        I said the same thing! They should have done a tribute to Shirley Temple. I don’t know why we needed Bette Middler to sing that song AFTER we just sat through minutes of watching the in memorium, they should have been at the same time and fit in a tribute to Shirley!

    • mighty Steve says:

      Totally agree with you. They really missed the mark.

    • JaneP says:

      Um…do you really think it would have been appropriate to glorify Gone With the Wind on a night a movie about slavery was up for Best Picture? Think about it.

  21. Cate Blanchett told Julia to #Suckit was amazing. Also because Julia is probably going.. WTF I wasn’t even nominated for Best Actresses with you, Cate. HAHAHAH

    Most Loving Couple at the Oscars appeared to be Brad and Angelina. You can see how much he adores her. Their little PDA moments… so sweet. He stood up so fast when she was presenting.

    I liked Pink’s performance. It was beautiful. Her gasps were nice pauses to build up. It wasn’t meant to be vocally OMG but presented in a way that made your heart weep from hearing it.

  22. JS says:

    John Travolta needs to get glasses! He owes Idina Menzel an appology.

    • Tarc says:

      And then TPTB need to stop asking him to talk in public. He’s so bad now.

    • dan says:

      But Idina knowkced that performance out of the park! She was awesome!

      • Melissa says:

        Sorry I love her but I don’t agree. The whole thing seemed rushed and out of tune and and the big note at the end was awful. She looked scared, nervous and terrified the entire time.

      • Meredith says:

        I adore Idina, but that whole scene was an abomination from start to finish. She was clearly flustered in the beginning (probably because Travolta botched her intro), and then fell terribly flat on the glory note at the end of the song. They edited the song and then rushed it, so it lost the fantastic build the song actually has. I think she was trying not to cry when she was done. I felt so bad for her, and it was by far my least favorite moment of the night. I’m glad, though, that “Let it Go” won right afterwards so the award winners could find her backstage and give her a big hug.

  23. Dave says:

    Why do Hollywood still keep repeating that made up line about a billion people watching the Oscars?

    I know its a lot to ask for Hollywood to stop believing there own fantasy.

  24. trf says:

    The In Memorial section seemed to be more well rounded and complete this year. I thought ellen was filling time with the pizza skit. Did anyone get ‘played off’ by the orchestra this year?? And the telecast still wasn’t done after 3 (4?) hours allocated by the tv guide/dvr!

    • Kaycee says:

      Yes there were a few who were played off by the orchestra but NOT nearly enough….I was really miffed that they selectively chose a few not so known ones to play off and others who got to babble on and on and on. I kept thinking WHY aren’t these people getting played off. To mention a few that rambled on far beyond their time, Kate, Matthew, Jared and the list goes on. Yes, I do like those actors but fair is fair…if you’re going to play off some and not others that is just not right and quiet offensive. I thought Ellen did a good job until the Pizza bit. That dragged on longer that it should have. The Divine Ms M was my favorite singer of the night with the most emotion. Some were commenting in another area that her singing was not up to par like the original. She’s 68 so of course her singing is not going to sound like it did 30 years ago. Her voice is much lower now but she did a fabulous job of controlling her voice.

  25. Lorraine Tatsch says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed the Good Morning America live show this morning with Derek Hough leading a dance presentation. He is my idol and there should be more of him shown at these presentations.

    Comment by lct – March 3, 2014 08:40 am.

  26. clc says:

    I would have enjoyed Jared Leto’s “moving” acceptance speech more if there weren’t so many accounts of him sexually assaulting groupies.

    • TL says:

      If you can prove this comment, than by all means stick to your word. If not, apologize now before you get sued.

      • piers moron says:

        Jared Leto’s photo shoot with Terry Richardson tells it all.

        He loved shooting Little People Porn.

  27. Delirious says:

    Is it me, or there must’ve been some kind of issue with the monitoring? Most, if not all, of the musical performances suffered greatly, in the pitch department, when I totally wouldn’t expect it. I mean, Idina not being on point was quite surprising for me.

    Also, what was the point of having Midler sing after the In Memoriam vid? Just let people applaud the piece (ie. those remembered) freely, don’t ruin the moment with a performance immediately afterwards.

    And finally… Despite the issues, Pharrell killed it with his performance. And going against popular feeling, his song should’ve been the winner. And, one of the moments of the gala for me, Amy Adams apparently killed him – loved how he chuckled for a sec when she danced with him by surprise, and couldn’t sing the first part of the next phrase.

  28. ArchieLeach says:

    Including pretty much every major hero except for Christopher Reeve’s Superman in that montage was one of the worst moments for me.

  29. Meredith says:

    Cate Blanchett’s acceptance speech was the worst for me, learn what exacerbate means and don’t regurgitate the acceptance speech you gave the previous night at the Film Independent Spirit Awards almost verbatim.

  30. FierceRobert says:

    Meryl Streep’s “I’ve never tweeted before” was so cute

  31. FierceRobert says:

    And Cate Blanchett’s speech about woman-centric films. YES

  32. Nancy Hewlett says:

    It was a pay back to the Blacks, not saying they aren’t good actors it was just so ingratiating.

  33. Brian says:

    While I thought “12 Years a Slave” was a phenomenal film, I do not believe it was the BEST PICTURE of the 2013…

    • dude says:

      Neither did the people who voted for it.

      • Lisa smith says:

        I do not believe that it was the Best picture but is anyone else thinking what happened to the Butler I think when it comes to slavery it seems that the more degrading it is to show what has happened to Black Americans during that era the more nominations a film will get in order to receive oscar nomination for Best picture but when it comes to Black Americans in film showing that they spoke up for themselves those films are left behind when it comes to a Oscar because I feel that they both sure have received an Oscar.

    • ddutchie88 says:

      I do believe it was the best picture of 2013. Very happy it won.

  34. bonesfan says:

    Just wanted to put this out there..but John Travolta is dyslexic..that’s why it came out the way it did..e
    because he was reading off of a teleprompter. I know he’s an actor and should have known the name he was presenting..but I still don’t feel right making fun of him.

  35. Miki says:

    Loved Matthew McConaughey’s acceptance speech.

  36. kirads09 says:

    For my money – best Oscar moment was Benedict photobombing U2! This is why I adore BC! (you can find the pic if you google it) I can’t stop looking, smiling and giggling.

  37. gdv says:

    Was anyone else super confused about why they included a To Kill a Mockingbird clip in the “Celebrating real-life heroes” montage? Um, it’s fiction!

    • Simon Jester says:

      Errr… as opposed to Spider-Man, Batman, Ripley from Alien, and a host of other fictional people that made up that montage? The theme was “movie heroes,” not “real-life heroes.”

      • gdv says:

        No, actually, you’re thinking of the other montage. There was one “real-life heroes” montage, that featured clips from Silkwood, Norma Rae, All the President’s Men, etc. (and To Kill a Mockingbird, for whatever reason), and then another montage that featured Spider-Man, Superman, Harry Potter, etc., which is the one you’re talking about. But thanks for the snooty reply!

    • Liz says:

      Yes!! No one else has been talking about it. We were watching it and I said out loud “Atticus F

      • Liz says:

        Finch isn’t a real person”. There was a second one in that montage too that wasn’t based on a true story. Who the heck did the research over there at Team Oscar?!

  38. tara17 says:

    Very disappointed by the Oscars this year. I felt like I was attending a corporate meeting about film achievement. Not Ellen’s fault, she did great as host, but there should have been more songs, skits, clips and “wow” moments. Felt like it was produced by someone who never saw an Oscar telecast in their life.

  39. dude says:

    Amy’s dancing to Pharrell was amazing.

  40. Lorie says:

    Favorite dress – Sandra Bullock
    Favorite speech – Jared Leto
    Favorite presenters – Jennifer Garner & Benedict Cumberbatch…OMG indeed! Beautiful couple. Even their hair color matched.
    Favorite Ellen moment – wearing the Glinda the Good Witch gown

    I liked Liza’s blue hair streak. I loved Sally Field’s and Pink’s gowns. Her ruby red dress was beautiful. I assume she was paying homage to Dorothy’s ruby slippers. I could’ve done without the pizza stunt. Other than that, I think Ellen did a great job.

  41. proud&over40 says:

    Poor Goldie Hawn and Kim Novak…its a shame that women in Hollywood have to distort and tweek their faces trying to look young. When will they learn that normal aging is sexier…look at sally Field and Meryl Streep. Since when is a bloated overly injected alien look sexy or youthful. They really lose touch with reality in Hollywood.

  42. grey says:

    “No matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid.”

    That has to be the quote of the night if not the year. It really is “t-shirt worthy” in the best way.

  43. piers moron says:

    Bette Midler was stunning.
    She must have had flashbacks, like an audience at the Gay Baths.

    She and Goldie should get a refund, forget about the discount at the Surgeons !

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