Well, the Oscars have been handed out, and–thanks to the show’s wacky and whimsical host, Ellen DeGeneres–pizza slices, too.

Some random thoughts on Sunday night’s telecast…

Congrats, of course, to Steve McQueen and his crew for copping Best Picture honors for “12 years a Slave”, and to Lupita Nyong’o for winning Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the film; I would have voted for Paul Greengrass’s nailbiter “Captain Phillips”–there might not have been a more tension-filled movie released all year–and Jennifer Lawrence, a favorite of mine, for her work in “American Hustle” (frankly, I thought Nyong’o was a bit one-dimensional), but…  Cheers, as well, to Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto for their double win as those unlikeliest of business partners in “Dallas Buyers Club”, a movie that I would have ranked higher if only it were as gripping and heartbreaking as I thought it would be–and by the way, has there ever been a pair of better, more moving, more eloquent acceptance speeches than McConaughey’s and Leto’s? (Nyong’o’s was touching, too.)… Getting back to “Hustle”, I was a little surprised–but not disappointed; in my estimation, the movie was handsome, but hollow–that it received no love from the voters, at all… I WAS disappointed that the vastly superior–and funnier–“Wolf of Wall Street” didn’t earn more votes, either for Leonardo DiCaprio as the lead, or Martin Scorcese as its director.  I would have voted for them both (although, truth be told, if Paul Greengrass had been up for Best Director for “Captain Phillips”, he probably would have earned my vote)…  As it is, Alfonso Cuaron won Best Director for the night’s biggest winner, “Gravity”, which (justifiably) pretty much cleaned up in the design and technical categories, and even went home with a trophy for Best Score… (And that’s precisely why I wouldn’t have voted for Cuaron; “Gravity” was a special effects showcase, after all)…

Otherwise: DeGeneres was just as funny as Seth McFarlane (whom I liked) last year, but not nearly as “edgy” (though he didn’t offend ME)… the pizza bit was clever (did anyone REALLY think the celebs in the crowd would have REFUSED to play along with her? On a worldwide broadcast like the OSCARS?)… Same with that group selfie that DeGeneres persuaded a bunch of them to join in on… Onstage, the presenter pairings were a little odd: McConaughey and Kim Novak? Jolie and Poitier? Hmm… I wasn’t nearly as dismayed as some at Bette Midler’s rendition of “Wind Beneath My Wings”; sure, it would have made more sense if the Divine Miss M. had sung it DURING the In Memoriam montage, but come on–she did a good job, didn’t she?… And finally, speaking of singers–this is directed at you, Mr. Travolta–it’s IDINA Menzel, not…whatever it was that you said.  I’m a fan of yours, and I know it must be hard to get up there on stage after sitting in the audience for three hours, but heck–it was just ONE NAME, for heaven’s sake!

Well, there’ll be more laughs and gaffes next year, I’m sure.  Till then…go out and see some movies!

FILM REVIEW by Stuart R. Brynien