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What the 86th Academy Awards Tell Us About 2014

Facebook is still reeling with posts about the 86th Academy Awards on Sunday night, but ultimately, we can say this about the 2014 Oscars…

JGL and Emma

It felt like more than ever this years Oscars was a representation of where our society is heading as a whole. There were high moments, there were low moments, but all in all, they were Oscar moments, and as 2014 is still in it’s youth, it looks like this year’s Academy Awards is a good basis to predict what the rest what this year has to offer.

Ellen’s opening monologue was a good start to the evening. There was a lot of talk that her hosting was “safe”. It was nothing like Seth MacFarland’s “We Saw Your Boobs” song last year, which, while I was laughing, not everyone was, and I think that deserves some finger pointing in regards to Ellen’s cool approach to the evening. Overall, it felt like she was a little on a leash, which looks like a precursor for the rest of the year.  2014 might be a year that everyone will be watching their back and reeling in some of the outlandishness or else suffer consequences.

Flawless beauty and gorgeous gowns are what it’s all about, this year and every year. However, the distribution of wealth hasn’t seemed quite so obvious before, or else I have just become way over sensitive to money and how to spend it. Typical Millennial, I suppose.

This year was most certainly the year of the selfie with everyone jumping in on everyone else’s camera time. We’re in a very ‘me’ centered universe, and there are no signs of it slowing down. It’s so much of a ‘me’ universe that we don’t even restrict it to selfies, though: we photobomb other people’s shots. Not that photobombs don’t tend to turn out hilarious, but now they’re becoming common place. It looks like 2014, the selfie, and the photobomb will continue to follow the Renaissance notion of individualism with a twenty-first century twist.

Of course, it will only focus on certain individuals. This year mortality was noted more than usual: Ellen said “I’m not saying movies are the most important thing in the world, I’m not saying that—because the most important thing in the world is youth.” Once again the age of Hollywood stars is raising (Jennifer Lawrence was the only nominee under the age of 30) and it’s not going unnoticed. But that’s not a bad thing at all. Just look at this viral image of Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio.

Kate and Leo

Age has done well for these two. They actually look better now than they did as heart throbs in the nineties. But society doesn’t accept aging. Not only was it noticeable at the Oscars last night, among women with flawless faces but aged arms and necks, but also in the movies. Take, for instance, the movie postsers from 2014 The Counselor.

The Counselor

The men are aged and rugged, however the women who are the same age are air brushed to smoother than a baby’s bottom. We can’t, as a society, continue to adore age, and yet try so hard to defy it. People in their middle years are so incredibly attractive because of the wisdom gained from life, but the ‘powers that be’ try so hard to euthanize that standard. It shouldn’t be stood for. As long as we allow our self worth to be driven by others’ definition of beauty, we lose what we are. We become fake. We become this:

Kim Novak

Kim Novak is 81 years old. She is a classic Hollywood beauty and she let society bring her to this. It’s cruel, it’s unacceptable, and 2014 is shaping up to serve us more of it.

Unless we do something about it.



But it’s not all bad or selfish or gloom and doom.

The Oscars shone some hope on 2014 too.

86th-academy-awards-show brad pitt

Pizza was ordered and Ellen brought it out. Sure, it was a prank. Sure, it was hilarious. But that is Brad Pitt, the living legend himself, who got up and helped Ellen hand out plates and napkins for those who took pizza. There are very few names bigger than his, and he’s playing server to his fellow actors and actresses! Can we just pause for one moment and say what a great guy? There are people I work with who aren’t even considerate enough to go around asking people if they want plates or napkins with their pizza and we’re average Americans. All we can say is someone’s mama raised their little boy right, and she should be proud.

Not only was there pizza for everyone, but then Ellen went around collecting money for the pizza.

So what happened to that money? Harvey Weinstein put in $200! Well, it actually did go to the pizza delivery man. That’s what you can call a good day at work.

And all those selfish selfies? Ellen played the game right. It was clearly obvious that was a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 she took all those selfies on. Apparently Samsung thought all that product placement she worked in was worth $3 million, and so that entire amount is going to charity for this writer’s personal favorite causes: those who can’t defend themselves, children and animals.

Best Supporting Actress Lupito Nyong’o might have given one of the best, most heart felt speeches we’ve heard in a while. Undoubtedly, her quote that night will go far and wide.


Best Supporting Actor Jared Leto was the only one to talk about the events going on in the world. I’m certain the Ukraine and Venezuela couldn’t care less about what was going on the other night in Hollywood, but the mere fact that someone was aware of it rather than only the night of extravagant luxury does give a little merit to the younger shining stars of the evening. Leto also thanked his mother for everything she did for him and his brother growing up. It was a beautiful and noteworthy speech on Jared Leto’s behalf.

And there we have it. A preview of 2014. We’re going to be conceited, but we’re going to be polite about it. We might be on a leash, but that will force us to be clever. We’ll be snarky for a force of good. We’ll be beautiful so people will pay attention to us so we may speak on behalf of those who aren’t. We’ll use our popularity for those ignored.

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