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.
Actress Brittany Snow is joining her Pitch Perfect co-stars Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson for the highly-anticipated sequel to the a capella-centred comedy. Snow will reprise her role as Chloe in Pitch Perfect 2, which will mark actress Elizabeth Banks' directorial debut.
Members of Russia's Ministry of Internal Affairs choir scored a highlight at the Opening Ceremony for the Sochi Games on Friday night (07Feb14) by performing an a capella version of Daft Punk's 2013 hit Get Lucky.
Singer Willis Earl Beal's European tour has been cancelled under mysterious circumstances. The trek was set to kick off next month (14) in London, but the dates have now been axed.
Beal explains he does not know why the tour was called off, but insists he was not behind the decision.
In a post on Tumblr.com, he writes, "Greetings. This is Willis Earl Beal with a most unfortunate update. My upcoming European tour has been cancelled. I want to thank the folks who bought tickets and assure them that this was not my decision.
"At this point, the reason that I'm not touring is as mysterious to me as it is to you. Hell, if it were up to me, I'd go down there and sing a capella while standing on a milk crate on the sidewalk. Wouldn't be the first time. I even told them this, but, to no avail."
Beal has released a new album, A Place That Doesn't Exist, which fans can download for free as a "peace offering".
Universal via Everett Collection
Somewhere inside of Pitch Perfect there exists the movie it wants to be. Buried beneath the scathing send-ups of the dreamer genre, there are actual dreamers. Ones we're charged to root for — after all, we are hinged to their story about "making it to regionals," or whatever — but that we can't. Because the film itself refuses to do so. At once, it's a celebration of the socially disbarred and a satire of all the sugar-coated entertainment that has been devoted to it... okay, mostly Glee. And while this marriage isn't necessarily doomed, too often does Pitch Perfect find itself torn between asking us to root for its heroes and asking us to laugh at its victims (the same people). We can't say for sure whether something was lost in translation from script to screen, or of Kay Cannon's original screenplay was laden with the troubles we find on the screen, but we're hoping that the upcoming sequel's new director, actress Elizabeth Banks, can figure out her animal better than first installment helmer Jason Moore could.
In order to do so, she'll have to know when the movie need to stop laughing at these people. And here's a good indicator: if it is laughing at them for being fat or gay, you've probably taken a wrong turn.
The film offers glimpses of its potential — loner Anna Kendrick identifying Brittany Snow's shared familiarity with David Guetta's "Titanium" as awe-inspiring (one of the film's better attempts at tackling a genre staple) — but undoes its own mission when it turns the trope battering in on its characters. Pitch Perfect sets up its underdog a capella clique as a group of eccentrics with whom we're supposed to relate: genuine talents unappreciated due to weight, race, sexual orientation, and a laundry list of personality defects. But just when you think the movie is on their side, it jumps right on in, poking fun at Rebel Wilson's character for her size and Ester Dean's for her homosexuality. And one might spout the defense, "But these girls are making fun of themselves!" Well, that's the problem. They think they have to.
Wilson's breakout character goes by "Fat Amy," underlining her self-assigned moniker with the rationale, "So twig b**ches like you [she's talking to Anna Camp] don't do it behind my back." Therein lies the film's defeat. It thinks that these girls have no shot at dignity, so they have to succumb to self-parody. This is not simply embracing a sense of humor about yourself (a valuable characteristic) but becoming the joke that everybody says you are because you don't see any other choice. And Pitch Perfect doesn't just limit this fate to "Fat Amy," but to its excessively marginalized gay character, Cynthia Rose (Dean).
Universal via Everett Collection
The joke about Dean? The same joke that has been assigned to gay characters since before the days of Three's Company, and that still, by some grace of ungodly ignorance, works its way into network television and blockbuster cinema today. Her sexual orientation is her punchline. For the length of Pitch Perfect, we're offered "hints" that Cynthia Rose is attracted to women — the way she dresses and carries herself are brandished as lesbian stereotypes, and we even get a scene of her groping fellow a capella band member Stacie (Alexis Knapp) for good measure. And then, finally, concrete evidence: "When I broke up with my girlfriend..." followed by a de facto rimshot from Rebel Wilson.
Of course, Pitch Perfect was a hit, and this is owed to a very simple, very convenient allowance made by its story: the singing. Yes, these girls can sing. And when they get up on that stage at the end of the film and belt their heroic ballads, it's as if the film is saying, "See? We were behind them all along!" But giving stars like Wilson and Rose solos doesn't retroactively make Pitch Perfect's mean-spirited attitude about their identities "good natured ribbing." We were still asked to look at Fat Amy as a fat girl first, swelling with laughter at her inability to run, her propensity for falling down, and — most riotous of all — the inscrutable idea that she might consider herself sexy. You can endorse this material all you like with defenses that Fat Amy and Wilson herself were on board with the gags, but the simple fact that the one overweight young woman in this movie feels no other course than to dominate her screen time with fat jokes is unforgivable. Some would call it wise advice to garnish an embarrassing faux-pas with some self-effacing humor; this is not how heavy people should made to be felt about the way they look.
In earnest, there's optimism attached to Banks' ascension into the director's chair. Although she has never handled a feature on her own, her comic sensibilities as an actress, and as a woman, might be more conducive to a little bit of respect for the young ladies at the center of this story. We can hope, anyway — with a wealth of talent in stars like Kendrick, Wilson, Dean, Camp, Snow, and the rest, and in a writer like Cannon, there's too much good to let the end product wind up so misguided.
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Jay Z has offered a 19-year-old fan a shot at stardom following the teenager's performance at a gig in Chicago, Illinois on Thursday night (09Jan14). Earlier this month (05Jan14), the 99 Problems hitmaker invited another 12 year old from the audience to join him onstage, but his latest raw recruit could find herself on her hero's label.
Aspiring rapper Monique Burrell held up a sign during Jay's Magna Carta Holy Grail concert that read, "I was 16 when I rapped on stage with you for BP3. I'm 19 and READY!"
Jay Z had previously invited the young MC to join him during his Blueprint 3 tour, and he decided to give her a second chance at stardom.
Instead of trying to imitate her idol, Burrell opted to impress him with an a capella freestyle, noting she was trying to score a record deal with Jay's Roc-a-Fella Records.
Jay praised Burrell's courage and said, "I would've done the same s**t," before giving her a hug and sending her off stage.
According to TMZ.com, the rapper's head of security asked for her information.
Rapper Drake had to work up "the nerve" to ask Jay Z if he could keep their new collaboration Pound Cake for himself after the hip-hop mogul almost included it on his latest album Magna Carta... Holy Grail. The Started From the Bottom hitmaker reveals he heard Jay Z's raw lyrics while working in the studio with his superstar wife Beyonce, and he immediately came up with beat ideas for the track.
Drake says, "I had the nerve to ask Jay if I could not only get that song from him, but if I could get the a capella because I had an idea for it. He sent me the two verses a capella - he told me, 'I never do this.'"
The 26 year old initially took the verses to his producer pal Noah '40' Shebib, but it was another beatmaker, Boi-1da, who came up with the winning sound - and it was then that Jay Z almost laid claim to the finished song.
Drake adds, "The beat brought the Jay verses to life. I sent the song back to Jay - and that was when it almost became a Jay Z song. But he's such a good guy, he was like, 'I gave you my word.' I don't know what I'd do without that guy sometimes, he's just full of gems and advice."
The track now features as part of the closing outro on Drake's new release, Nothing Was the Same.
Nick Pickles/ WENN.com
From an indie-rock royalty comeback to an unlikely star-studded EDM collaboration, here's a look at five of the best tracks to have been unveiled over the last seven days.
Blood Orange – "Chamakay"After giving the likes of Sky Ferreira, Solange and MKS a hipster sheen, producer extraordinaire Dev Hynes teams up with Chairlift's Carolina Polachek for the latest release under his Blood Orange moniker. Accompanied by a touching video which reunites him with his long-lost Guyanese family, "Chamakay" is another effortlessly cool piece of hazy R&B pop which features a slight resemblance to Michael Jackson's "Liberian Girl."
Arcade Fire – "Reflektor"Produced by LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy, featuring backing vocals from David Bowie and clocking in at just under eight minutes, Arcade Fire have certainly pulled out all the stops for this triumphant comeback single, a loping Talking Heads-esque indie-disco curveball which more than justifies all its initial hype.
Avicii feat. Adam Lambert & Nile Rodgers – "Lay Me Down"Following on from the foot-stomping country house of "Wake Me Up," the latest cut from Avicii's long-awaited debut album sees the Swede once again eschew the bombast favoured by his EDM peers and instead head towards funky disco territory with a little help from Chic legend Nile Rodgers and a typically gutsy powerhouse turn from Adam Lambert.
Lorde – "Team"Proving that current US Top 10 single "Royals" is no fluke, the ridiculously talented 16-year-old serves up another wise-beyond-her-years baroque pop number that builds from an entirely a capella intro into a soaring fusion of emphatic kick-snares and glistening synths.
Goldroom - "Embrace"Joined by the enchanting vocals of Melbourne-based singer-songwriter Ariela Jacobs, Los Angeles producer Josh Legg delivers another lush slice of sun-kissed house-pop which might just help to stave off those post-summer blues for a little while longer.Follow @Hollywood_com
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Matthew Morrison paid a touching tribute to his Glee co-star Cory Monteith during a Sunday afternoon (14Jul13) concert in New York. The actor/singer, who played tragic Monteith's mentor-turned-love rival on the show, was still coming to terms with his castmate's death when he hit the stage at 54 Below and took a moment to honour the actor, who was found dead in a Vancouver hotel room on Saturday (13Jun13).
Calling the 31 year old his "brother", Morrison told fans, "You guys came to see a show. I came to perform a show, so that's what we'll do. And we'll do it in Cory's honor."
He then kicked off the emotional concert with an a capella version of What I Did for Love from stage musical A Chorus Line, which he dedicated to his late Glee pal.
The grandson of Malcolm X has been laid to rest. Malcolm Shabazz was beaten to death in Mexico in the early hours of 9 May (13) following an alleged dispute with employees at The Palace Club over an excessive bill.
The 28 year old was buried at the Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York, on Tuesday (21May13) - just two days after what would have been civil rights leader Malcolm X's 88th birthday.
The sombre ceremony was attended by his mother Qubilah, close friends and relatives, as well as R&B singer Jaheim, who met Shabazz at a youth rally and performed an a capella rendition of his song I Miss You (For Moms) in his pal's memory.
Two suspects have been arrested in connection with his death, and two other men are currently being sought for questioning by police. An investigation is ongoing.