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The 85th Academy Awards® will air live on Oscar® Sunday, February 24, 2013.

Well, we’re a day later than every other blog and news source on the Internet, but we still decided to follow up the last five weeks of Oscar reviews with a little Oscar recap.

One of the greatest things about host Ellen Degeneres is how she wields her humour. So many jokes by hosts at the helm of Award Show functions are at the expense of the people supposedly being celebrated. Sure, they flash their winning smiles whenever the cameras are near, but there’s no way that everyone walks away without feeling a little bit stung. Ellen teases and never bullies—and maybe that makes us soft, but in our opinion, her token positive spirit beats mean every single time.

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Who else could poke fun at JLaw’s infamous trip last year, an incident that has been utterly beaten over the head by the media, and make it funny and fresh? Moreover, who other than Ellen could say what we’ve all been thinking- “either 12 Years a Slave will win for Best Film, or we’re all racist”- and get away with it?? Ellen, you’re brilliant and we love you.

Major reviews of her hosting job seem to agree that the show was bland and safe, but have no real complaints about it. Personally, we liked it better that way. Instead of appearing at random intervals and throwing out biting jokes or eyebrow raising comments, Ellen kept control throughout, worked the room, and—perhaps for the first time in our memories anyway—effectively bridged the gap between those of us sitting at home in our PJs, and those wearing impossibly expensive gowns in red velvet seats.

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And by that, we certainly don’t mean that we were desperate for “Celebrities Are Just Like Us” segments—but rather, we loved the random pizza delivery and selfie session because they were relaxed, silly, and didn’t take themselves too seriously. Honestly, the Oscars are almost always unwatchably stuffy, and this was certainly a welcome change.

No matter what you thought of her hosting job, you’ve got to agree that it beats the troubling ‘highlight’ joke of last year’s hosting gig—Seth McFarlane’s “We Saw Your Boobs”.

Reason No.1 Why Ellen is the Best: She Broke Twitter.

Reason No.1 Why Ellen is the Best: She Broke Twitter.

As for the winners…

First of all, not to brag or anything, but all of our Oscar predications came true… And now we wish we had posted a prediction list here before Sunday night because—clearly—no one believes us.

Jared Leto and Matthew McConaughey took home the Actor awards in both Supporting and Leading categories for the amazing Dallas Buyer’s Club—and very deservedly so. Leto (who also won the coveted Ellen Degeneres’s award for Most Beautiful) gave a speech that could melt your heart. He devoted his performance to his mother and brother who were there with him that night.

jared leto

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And you can say what you want about McConaughey, but these are two things we know to be irrevocably true: his performance in Dallas Buyer’s Club was a game changer—he has one hundred and fifty present earned his ascend from sub par romantic comedies into the big leagues—and also, the man is the definition of cool. Sure, he tends to be a rambler, but in less confident, less genuine hands, his speech (entirely void of comment on the film that had gotten him there) would have been cheesy and excessive. Instead, he created one of the most poignant moments of the evening, his words encouraging everyone out there to make heroes out of their future selves and to consistently aspire to the possibilities of that future was inspiration in its purest form.

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Lupita Nyong’o not only won Best Supporting Actress for her stunning performance in 12 Years a Slave, but on Sunday she also won the award for most moving acceptance speech. “Always remember, your dreams are valid.” She is a shining example of grace and humility.

cateAnd Cate Blanchet (though we haven’t yet watched Blue Jasmine) gave an awesomely honest and witty acceptance speech that made us think we should probably be watching more of her movies.

12 Years a Slave predictably won for best picture; Gravity took home the gold for sound, cinematography, and directorial categories; and Her got its only honour of the night for the very deserved Best Original Screenplay.

And, of course, in a feat that surprises no one, Frozen won for Best Animated Picture and Best Original Song, despite the fact that the singer behind its success was puzzlingly introduced as Adel Mazeem. (You had one job Travolta, ONE JOB!)

A big props to Let It Go’s creators, Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez who gave an adorable duo acceptance speech. Robert Lopez is also responsible for The Book of Mormon music and after winning the Oscar on Sunday is now part of the prestigious EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony) club!

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All in all, it was an enjoyable show that, as always, eventually ran too long for anyone’s liking. But thanks to Ellen, (mostly) short and (mostly) eloquent acceptance speeches, pizza and selfies, and the fact that for the first time ever, we watched all of the nominated films beforehand—the 86th Academy Awards were pretty solid in our opinion. What did you think?

Thanks for following us through our Oscars extravaganza, artsies!

-A&K

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