The Academy Awards are the biggest night in Hollywood, where the best films and performances of the years are celebrated in a ceremony that always drags on a half hour too long. If you're a host or a nominee, you're going to be the talk of the town in the weeks surrounding Oscar night, but in the end, it's never the moments that you expect that steal the show, because when you gather the biggest stars in the world and put them in one room, something insane is bound to happen. Sure, Ellen Degeneres had a finely-honed monologue, but the real highlights of the evening came from an unfortunate flub or a weird, rambling presentation.
We're celebrating the biggest party in Hollywood by pulling together the best, worst and weirdest celebrity moments from the 2014 Academy Awards, so that you can catch up on or relive all of the awkward and hilarious moments from the show. They might not have won an Oscar, but they managed to steal the show from Brad Pitt's pizza party, and in some ways, that's even more deserving of an award.
World's Quickest Presentation: Channing Tatum By now, you'd think that Channing Tatum would have no problem reading a pre-written speech from a teleprompter. After all, he's one of the biggest movie stars in the world. Surely he knows how to deliver his lines by now. Unfortunately, it seemed as if his nerves got the best of him last night, and Tatum raced through his spiel about the Oscars college program so quickly it took everyone at home a minute to process what had just happened. We're not sure if he was just nervous, if he had a bet going with Jonah Hill to see how long he could speak without breathing, or if someone threatened to hold him personally responsible if the ceremony ran long, but whatever the case, we're glad to see someone at the Oscars wants to help us all get to bed at a reasonable hour.
Most Charming Speech: Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez"Let it Go," the song that everyone and their baby cousin has been singing incessantly for months, took home the Best Original Song Oscar last night, and the film's composers, Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez delivered the most adorable speech of the night. There were bits spoken in unison, long passages of rhymes, a quick song breakdown, and a tear-jerking message to their daughters watching at home. It was like a Disney movie itself: pure, heartwarming fluff that you will never admit actually made you cry into your ice cream.
Most McConaughey: Kim Novak It takes a great deal of skill and careful preparation to be more rambling and nonsensical than Matthew McConaughey, but Kim Novak managed to do just that when she presented the Animation Oscars alongside the man himself. It was almost impossible to tell which bits of their speech were written on the telepromtpter and which bits she decided to wing, but either way, she decided to take the moment to have a McConologue of her own, and managed to be weirder than a guy who routinely goes on tangents about Neptune, the forces of the universe, and being his own hero. Brava, Ms. Novak. You have officially out-McConaugheyed the master.
Best Depolyment of Awards Show Singing: Darlene Love Between Diane Keaton's weirdly terrifying tribute to Woody Allen at the Golden Globes and Rita Moreno's mini-concert as she accepted her SAG Lifetime Achievement Award, this season has included an uncomfortable amount of impromptu a capella singing. But Darlene Love blew both of them out of the water, and the roof off of the Dolby Theater, when she helped celebrate the Best Documentary Oscar for 20 Feet From Stardom by belting out "His Eye is on the Sparrow," and earned a standing ovation. So, future award winners, we beg you: before you decide to sing, ask yourself "Am I Darlene Love?" If the answer is no, just stick to speaking, lest Love herself show up to put you in your place with a powerhouse belt. (Sorry, Diane.)
Most Tone-Deaf Presentation: Goldie Hawn Remember way back at the Golden Globes, when 12 Years a Slave got an awkward introduction from Reese Witherspoon, presumably because she's Southern? Well, the Oscars continued the tradition of disjointed awards show introductions, as Goldie Hawn took to the stage to present clips from that film, as well as Philomena and Nebraska. Before you could attempt to come up with a reason as to why these three films were introduced together (they all... involve road trips?), Hawn decided to end her speech about 12 Years a Slave with a big grin and a cheery inflection to her voice, which was a jarring contrast to the serious, devastating subject matter of the film. Pro tip: try and save the smile for a film that doesn't involve slavery.
Best Homage to Chariots of Fire: Jamie Foxx Jamie Foxx has never met an awards show moment he couldn't spice up. So, when it came time for him to present the award for Best Score with Jessica Biel, he decided to ignore the stuffy introduction that the Oscars had prepared for him, and instead went off-script with a few improvised jokes, before performing an a capella version of the Chariots of Fire theme, complete with slow-motion running, while Biel attempted to read off the nominees. Because nobody lives up to the old adage "anything can happen on live television" quite like Jamie Foxx. Maybe he should host next year.
Most Meme-Inspiring: John Travolta and Adella Dazeem Look, reading things is hard. At least, that's what we're assuming John Travolta's defense is after delivering the biggest flub of the night, when instead of introducing Idina Menzel, the Tony Award winner who voiced Elsa in Frozen, he instead introduced Adella Dazeem. Before Menzel even finished her song, the Internet had already pulled together dozens of memes, and a parody Twitter account had already started gaining followers. It was a year filled with difficult-to-pronounce names, but the one that got messed up was relatively straightforward. Good job, Jorn Tramolto.
Most Touching Tribute: Bill Murray In what was probably the best presenter pairing of the night, Bill Murray and Amy Adams took to the stage to reveal the winner of the Best Cinematography Oscar. After taking the time to compliment Adams the way only he can ("Baby, you look like $146 million domestic"), Murray added one last nominee to list: Harold Ramis, for Caddyshack, Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day. It was only a quick moment, and yet that tiny bit of sincerity in the midst of Murray's trademark goofiness managed to be more touching that the entirety of the official In Memoriam segment. Somewhere in the audience, Bette Midler was probably furious that someone had stolen her thunder.
The Meryl Streep Golden Shimmy Award: Meryl Streep (Ft. Pharrell, Lupita Nyong'o, and Amy Adams)Pharrell's nominated song "Happy" is infuriatingly catchy. It's the kind of song that you love and hate in equal measure, but can't help but dance to when it comes on, no matter where you are or what you're doing. Lucikly for all of us, Meryl Streep feels the same way, and when Pharrell hopped off the stage and headed into the audience during his Oscars performance, she couldn't help but join him for a little shimmy. Sure, Lupita Nyong'o and Amy Adams may have had the more enthusiastic moves, but everyone knows you haven't truly made it until you can get the most nominated actress in Oscars history to bust a move with you.
Most Jim Carrey: Jim Carrey At some point in the course of Oscars preparations, the producers probably turned to each other in frustration. "We've got this whole montage about heroes, but I can't figure out how to introduce it," one of them said. "Why don't we just stick Jim Carrey up there, and let him just fill the time however he wants. He can stick a word or two in there about heroes, and everyone will laugh because it's Jim Carrey, and we can get back to ordering all of those inflatable lawn-ornament Oscars." And that, ladies and gentlemen, is exactly what happened.
Universal Pictures via Everett Collection
Seventeen years ago, Harrison Ford grumbled four simple words that defined a genre, a demographic, and a country: "Get off my plane." In a pre-9/11 world, there was no shortage of jingoistic glee in a movie like Air Force One, in which a man's man American president doled out justice to a militia of Russian loyalist terrorists who made the silly mistake of attempting to hijack his flight home from Moscow. In 2014, we don't have the luxury of facing a plotline like this with reckless merriment. There's a damp gravity to the premise behind movies like Non-Stop, which in another time would have been nothing more than Taken on a Plane. But rigidly conscious of the connotations that attach to a story about a hijacking of a civilian international flight into John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City, Non-Stop doesn't play too fast and loose. It still plays, and has some good fun doing so, but carefully.
From the getgo, we're anchored into the grim narrative of Liam Neeson's U.S. Air Marshall Bill Marks, who settles his demons with a healthy spoonful of whiskey. A dutiful officer even when liquored up, Marks eyeballs every nameless face in London's Heathrow Airport, silently introducing the bevvy of characters who'll come into play later on. After takeoff, Marks finds himself on the unwitting prowl for the anonymous party who's attempting to take down the red-eye through a series of manipulative text messages, well-timed threats, and clandestine killings. Chatty passenger Julianne Moore and flight attendant Michelle Dockery join Marks in his efforts to identify the mysterious criminal before the entire aircraft falls to his or her whims. So less Taken, more Murder, She Wrote.
Our roundup of suspects challenges our (and their) preconceived notions, and quite laughably — most vocal among Neeson's fellow passengers are a white beta-male school teacher (Scoot McNairy), a black computer engineer with an attitude of entitlement (Nate Parker), a softspoken Middle Eastern surgeon whose headwear gets more than a few focal shots (Omar Metwally), a middle-aged white businessman whose latest account landed him more than your house is worth (Frank Deal), an irate black youngster draped in irreverence (Corey Hawkins), and a white, bald, machismo-howling New York cop who secretly accepts his gay brother (Corey Stoll). Just a few talking heads short of Do the Right Thing, Non-Stop manages to goof on each man's (notice that they're all men — Moore, Dockery, and a barely-in-the-movie Lupita Nyong’o are kept shy of the action for most of the film) distaste for and distrust of one another as they each try to sidle up to, or undermine the harried Marks.
Non-Stop plays an interesting game with its characters and its audience, simultaneously painting the ignorance of its characters with a thick coat of comedy while pointing its finger straight out at us with accusations that we, too, thought it was whoever we just learned it wasn't, and for all the wrong reasons. "Shame on you!" Non-Stop chides, adding, "But let's keep going, this is fun!"
The best player in the World for movie trailers, Hollywood interviews and movie clips.
It is fun — that's the miraculous thing. Without any "Get off my plane"s or "Yippee ki yay"s, Non-Stop keeps its action genre silliness in check (okay, there is a moment involving an airborne gun that'll institute some serious laugh-cheers), investing all of its good time in the game of claustrophobic Clue that we can't help but enjoy. It sacrifices some of its charm in a heavy-handed third act, tipping to one side of what was a pretty impressive balancing act up until that point. But its falter is not one that drags down the movie entirely. Fun and excitement are restored, sincerity is maintained, and even a few moments of sensitivity creep their way through. We might not live in a world of President Harrison Fords any longer, but Air Marshall Liam Neesons could actually be a step up.
Follow @Michael Arbeiter
| Follow @Hollywood_com
The genesis of Universal's 47 Ronin is almost as tragic as the actual history that the movie is culling from. As the story goes, Universal saw the sprigs of talent sprouting from fresh faced director Carl Rinsch, whose previous experience was limited to just a couple of commercials and a nifty short film. The studio decided to ease the new director into feature filmmaking by cutting him what amounts to virtually a blank check, and giving him charge over a multi-national samurai fantasy epic. Almost impossibly, the film isn't a complete disaster. It's just a minor one.
47 Ronin follows the classic story of the titular team of warriors, a group of disgraced samurai who band together to seek revenge against a merciless warlord that betrayed and killed their master. But this isn't your grandfather's version of the story. 47 Ronin is an international affair, and it's covered with a veneer of Japanese mysticism and a thick coating of Hollywood lacquer, but east meets west rather uncomfortably, and it's mostly due to Keanu Reeves. Reeves' character is clearly crowbarred into the story that has no room for him, and it's plainly obvious where the seams of the story were stretched in order to patch him into the narrative. Reeves plays Kai, a half Japanese, half English orphan who is adopted by the samurai clan. His character serves no real purpose beyond being white, slicing things until they die, and playing the male lead of the most superfluous love story of the year. Rinsch simply can't make the inclusion of the character feel organic in any way, and "Kai" ends up feeling like a calculated studio move. It's a shame that the film spends so much time on Reeves when the real star is clearly Hiroyuki Sanada, who plays off the stoic samurai most believably among the rest of the cast.
It's also shame that with all the mysticism pumped into the story, there's no magic in the actual center of the film, the ronin themselves. The only personality trait a samurai is allowed to possess seems to be unerring stoicism, and between all 47 ronin, there are probably only three distinct samurai with any discernible character traits beyond an intense need to brood, and you'll probably only remember those three by the time the credits roll, only to promptly forget about them only a few hours later. Thankfully, Rinko Kikuchi's slinky and treacherous witch adds some much needed camp and personality to the mostly forgettable human characters.
And that's the issue with 47 Ronin. It's largely forgettable. When your film takes on a historical legend like the tale of the 47 ronin, a story that has been told and told again ad nauseum over the years, you really need to justify your own version. There are reels and reels of film dedicated to this story, and 47 Ronin doesn't manage to add anything significant to the canon. It promises to weld myth and history together, but does so clumsily, and while some of the action scenes are exciting, especially a particularly inspired set piece that involves the ronin noiselessly breaking into a heavily guarded fortress, the film is a bore when it's not clanking swords together.
The best player in the World for movie trailers, Hollywood interviews and movie clips.
47 Ronin is a film with many stories. As much as it is a tale about the revenge of four dozen masterless samurai, it's also the tale of an inexperienced filmmaker swallowed up by the enormity of blockbuster filmmaking. Most of all though, It's proof that you shouldn't cram Keanu Reeves into a movie that doesn't really need Keanu Reeves. What you're left with is a dull and bloated samurai epic that has its moments, but feels largely unnecessary.
WHAT IT’S ABOUT?
A mysterious loner with a murky criminal past arrives in Spain ostensibly to carry out a mission though it’s not quite clear exactly what that might be. He walks (and walks and walks and walks) through various city streets towns and fields across the country on a journey that may be partially a dream or may be something else.
WHO’S IN IT?
Jarmusch veteran Isaach De Bankole (Night on Earth Ghost Dog Coffee and Cigarettes) is saddled with the role identified only as the Lone Man. Mainly he keeps returning to the same places and having the same conversations with people who remind him that “those who know they’re bigger than the rest should go to the cemetery.” Others ask him questions in Spanish (whether he understands any Spanish is unclear) to which he always replies in the negative. It’s an oddly silent deadpan performance written and played in one dimension. Other Jarmusch regulars also turn up including Bill Murray (for five minutes near the end) John Hurt Youki Kudoh Alex Descas and Tilda Swinton. If there was one reason to see this drivel it’s for Swinton’s trippy performance in blonde wig and big dark glasses — a lively cameo filled with filmic references from Rita Hayworth to Michelangelo Antonioni. The cast is rounded out with other fine actors whose talents are completely wasted including Gael Garcia Bernal Hiam Abbass and Paz de la Huerta.
Spain looks like a nice place to visit.
The Limits of Control is the kind of indulgence some filmmakers fall into when they feel they want to “stretch.” Unfortunately Jarmusch who has done some very interesting and distinctive film work including Down by Law Stranger Than Paradise and Broken Flowers just doesn’t have a story worth telling here. Experimental is fine but there should be some semblance of a coherent theme or point of view. Instead we mainly watch this guy walk in a dreamlike state for about two hours trying to figure out the meaning of a matchbox and repeatedly returning to the same waiter at an outdoor café to order two espressos in separate cups.
MOST MEMORABLE LINE OF DIALOGUE:
It’s a three-way tie:
”Wait three days until you see the bread. The guitar will find you.”
“Among us there are those who are not among us.”
And finally …
“Sometimes there are films where people just sit there.” (You got that one right!)
NETFLIX OR MULTIPLEX:
Netflix. At least if you snore through most of this you won’t be disturbing anyone else.
"I wish!" That's what pop crooner Enrique Iglesias told The Mail on Sunday's Popworld magazine about his so-called romantic relationship with bawdy tennis player Anna Kournikova. Iglesias insists that they had a great time shooting the video for his new single "Escape," but that's where it ended. "She's crazy, but in a cool way. I heard rumors that I would not kiss her because she had a cold sore," he told the magazine, "but that's not true."
Who knew comedian Bill Murray was such a baseball aficionado? Murray has apparently taken an interest in the new minor league baseball team in Brockton, Mass., and showed up unannounced at the team's offices last month to tour its new $17 million stadium. The Brockton Rox's principal owner, Van Schley, told The Associated Press that Murray might become an owner in the future.
Former Miss America Pageant CEO Robert L. Beck, who was fired in the wake of a rules-change scandal that would have let women who had been divorced or had abortions compete for the Miss America title, is taking the organization to court. Blake is suing the Miss America Organization for several issues, including wrongful termination and severance pay, according to the AP.
Franz Reuther, the man behind the 1989 Milli Vanilli lip-synching debacle, is in hot water again. According to the AP, Reuther's company demolished a 1928 mansion in Miami Beach, Fla., despite being denied permission by city officials. His company could be fined as much as $120,000.
It looks as though Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling might have a case of writer's block. The popular children's author is late on delivering her fifth installment, entitled Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. The book was originally scheduled for publication for July 2002, but Scholastic, the book's publisher, told stockholders it now expects to publish before June 2003, The New York Times reports.
Four weeks into the filming of Arnold Schwarzenegger's Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, director Jonathan Mostow has replaced newcomer Sophia Bush with Claire Danes. According to Variety, Mostow felt Bush looked too young for the part.
In the Biz
Jennifer Lopez will star in and produce a film based on a modern version of Prosper Merimee's 19th-century short story Carmen for Universal Pictures, according to Variety. Craig Pearce, who co-wrote Moulin Rouge, will revamp the story, and Lopez will star as the Gypsy temptress.
The estate of late actor Walter Matthau has sued Columbia Pictures for breach of contract over profits on the films Cactus Flower and California Suite. The suit alleges Matthau was entitled to gross participation on the two films and claims Columbia reported only 20 percent of home video receipts, failed to report full cable receipts and obtained secret profits, according to Variety. The suit seeks at least $1 million in damages. Matthau died at age 79 in July 2000.
Emilio Estevez has written the script for and will likely star in a project tentatively entitled Bobby about the 1968 assassination of Robert Kennedy, Variety reports. Shooting is scheduled to begin in August.
More on the Kennedy front: CBS has commissioned a TV movie based on Richard Blow's biography of John F. Kennedy Jr., American Son. According to Variety, the network is currently looking for a writer to adapt the book, which hits bookstores this month.
The Price Is Right veteran Bob Barker will host the 29th annual Daytime Emmy Awards live from New York on May 17, Variety reports. Barker, whose Price Is Right is now in its 30th season, will also be competing in the game-show host category against Alex Trebek, Ben Stein and Nancy Pimental, and Pat Sajak. The Daytime Emmys will air from 9-11 p.m. on CBS.
Compensation, a film about black culture in Chicago, Ill., is one of four winners of the 2002 Paul Robeson Awards at the 28th annual Newark Black Film Festival in Newark, N.J., the AP reports. Other winners included the short narrative Monster, the documentary Keep on Walking and the experimental film In Check. The festival begins June 26 at the Newark Museum, and the award-winning films--chosen from 41 entries--will be screened Aug. 7.
George Sidney, who directed dozens of musicals, including Annie Get Your Gun, Show Boat and Kiss Me Kate, died at his home Sunday of complications from lymphoma. He was 85. The former child actor presided over the Screen Directors Guild for 16 years, founded Hanna-Barbera productions and worked with many legends--including Frank Sinatra, Rita Hayworth and Elvis Presley.
Roy Schatt, the photographer known for his photographs of actor James Dean, died Saturday at his Manhattan home of congestive heart failure. He was 92. Schatt photographed a multitude of celebrities, including Marilyn Monroe, Paul Newman, Grace Kelly, Elia Kazan and Joanne Woodward. His photos are exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., and the Chicago Art Institute.