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'12 Years a Slave' named best picture

Oscars 2014: Pizza, Travolta and the rest
By Lisa Respers France


(CNN) -- WTH John Travolta?

By most estimations, the Oscars show was somewhat staid this year. Some of Ellen DeGeneres' jokes fell flat, no one got bleeped, and at one point whatever was happening on Amy Adams' phone was way more interesting than the actual show.

But there were a few things that happened that the Internet has fallen in love with -- other than Ellen's selfie, we mean. Things like:

1) John Travolta, learn to pronounce Idina Menzel, please

Perhaps he is not a Broadway fan or missed all of the hubbub about "Frozen."

Whatever the reason, John Travolta butchered singer Idina Menzel's name while introducing her performance of the Oscar-winning song "Let It Go" from "Frozen." Suddenly "Uh-deen-a Men-zelle" became "the wickedly talented" "Adele Dazeem."

Umm, what?

Dude, that wasn't even close. We expected better from someone who started his intro with "There will always be a special place in my heart for the movie musical."

2) That pizza guy

Yep, that was an honest-to-goodness pizza delivery that happened during the show. Ellen joked about sending out for some pies, and sure enough, a deliveryman from Big Mama's & Papa's Pizzeria appeared. He didn't give his name, but word is his co-workers were cheering for him.

"Who's your favorite movie star? They're here," Ellen quipped to him.

Of course she passed the hat (Pharrell's, naturally) to take up a collection for his tip, though it looks like he left without collecting it. The chain, which has stores throughout Los Angeles, wasted no time in tweeting about the delivery, as did pregnant actress Kerry Washington, who DeGeneres wanted to make sure got a slice.

"Yes! @TheEllenShow - There IS gluten-free pizza!!!!" Washington tweeted.

3) '12 Years a Slave' beef?

Kudos to John Ridley for winning the Oscar for best adapted screenplay for "12 Years a Slave." But he noticeably did not thank the film's director, Steve McQueen. And McQueen's reaction in the audience to Ridley's win didn't look very joyous. Actually, it appeared that at some points McQueen's hands didn't even touch and instead there was a faux-clap.


Hollywood journalist Nikke Finke tweeted that her sources were "attributing John Ridley-Steve McQueen cold shoulder at Oscars tonight to dispute over screenplay credit."

4) No love for Leo

Once again Leonardo DiCaprio was passed over for an Academy Award, and once again fans roared.

DiCaprio lost the best actor award to Matthew McConaughey, and many were not pleased. It marks the fourth snub by the Oscars for Leo, who was nominated this year for "Wolf of Wall Street" but has previously lost with nominations for "What's Eating Gilbert Grape," "The Aviator" and "Blood Diamond."

"Poor Leo you could see he is trying to hold back the tears," tweeted one fan with a pic of what looked to be a dejected Leo responding to his name not being called.

And then there was the "And this is where I'd put my Oscar ... if I had one" illustration of the actor.

Better luck next year?

5) Pharrell comes up short(s)

Yes, it is Los Angeles, where it's sunny and warm, and maybe Pharrell was just overjoyed that the Oscars red carpet was spared the predicted rainstorm. Otherwise, we have no way of understanding why Pharrrell Williams showed up in shorts.

The singer-songwriter-producer and his wife appeared on the red carpet with her in a feminized version of a tux, and him in formal wear only from the waist up. He may have been "Happy" with his fashion choice, but many weren't.

"No, Pharrell. JUST NO. NEVER. #Oscars," said one tweet.

"Pharell is slowly turning into a park ranger," tweeted one viewer, who clearly was paying homage to our favorite Pharrell fashion item, his Smokey the Bear-like hat.

We would like to think Pharrell made up for it with his rousing performance of his song "Happy" from "Despicable Me 2," which got the crowd moving.

After all, anyone who can get Meryl Streep to shimmy can't be all bad, right?

Todd Leopold


(CNN) -- The searing drama "12 Years a Slave" was named best picture at the 86th Academy Awards on Sunday night.

The story of Solomon Northup, a free African-American man who was kidnapped and sold into slavery, won just three awards, but they were all major: best picture, best supporting actress (Lupita Nyong'o) and best adapted screenplay (John Ridley).

Brad Pitt, one of the film's producers, accepted on behalf of the film before deferring to its director, a noticeably excited -- and tongue-tied -- Steve McQueen.

"Everyone deserves not just to survive, but to live. This is the most important legacy of Solomon Northup," McQueen said.

He added, "This is for all the people who have endured slavery, and the 21 million people who still endure slavery today."

Nyong'o, a newcomer, paid tribute to her character, Patsey, a slave in 1840s Louisiana. Her voice cracked as she spoke.

"It doesn't escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is because of so much pain in someone else's," she said.

The force of 'Gravity'

"Gravity" topped all films with seven Oscars, including an award for director Alfonso Cuaron.

The Mexican director devoted four years of his life to making the technically challenging film about a space mission gone wrong. He's the first Latin American to win the award.

"Gravity's" other Oscars are for original score, visual effects, sound mixing and sound editing, cinematography and film editing.

"Dallas Buyers Club" won three awards, including two in acting categories: best actor for Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto for best supporting actor. The film also won for makeup and hairstyling.

As expected, Cate Blanchett won best actress for her turn as a modern-day Blanche DuBois in the Woody Allen film "Blue Jasmine."

Blanchett praised films with female protagonists. Female-centric movies are "not niche -- they make money!" she exclaimed to an ovation.

"Let It Go," from the animated film "Frozen," won best song. Robert Lopez, one of its songwriters, became an EGOT with his Oscar win: He now has an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony. "Frozen" also for won best animated feature.

One of the evening's highlights was Darlene Love, one of the singers featured in documentary winner "20 Feet From Stardom." Love launched into an impromptu version of "His Eye Is on the Sparrow" upon the film's win, and her full-throated take brought down the house.

"The Great Gatsby" won two Oscars, for production design and costume design. Italy's "The Great Beauty" took home the Oscar for foreign-language film.

"American Hustle," which had tied "Gravity" for the most Oscar nominations (10), was completely shut out at the awards ceremony.

Ellen sets a record

Oscar host Ellen DeGeneres managed to set a social media record with a celebrity-filled selfie that was retweeted more times than any photograph in Twitter history.

She went into the audience and gathered a number of stars -- including Meryl Streep, Kevin Spacey and Bradley Cooper, who shot the image -- and encouraged people to send it around the world. She had a pretty good head start, given that she has more than 25 million followers on Twitter.

DeGeneres was generally loose and low-key throughout the broadcast, inspiring smiles more than laughs. In her opening monologue, she cracked the usual jokes about Hollywood and image. Later, she went into the audience to ask if anyone wanted a pizza -- and later borrowed Pharrell's famous hat to collect a few bucks for payment.

There were also some somber moments.

The "In Memoriam" segment, which has received scrutiny in recent years after certain omissions, included notables who recently died -- among them Sid Caesar, Harold Ramis and Shirley Temple Black -- and concluded with Philip Seymour Hoffman. And when he took the stage to present the award for best cinematography, Bill Murray worked in a shout-out for his old "Ghostbusters" and "Groundhog Day" friend Ramis.

Blues in the night

On the red carpet, blue was the color of choice for many stars.

Nyong'o was dressed in a striking sky-blue Prada gown. Liza Minnelli and best actress nominee Amy Adams ("American Hustle") also were in shades of blue.

Jennifer Lawrence was an exception: She was in a striking red dress.

But for "12 Years" actress Alfre Woodard, very little of the glitter mattered.

Asked by CNN's Piers Morgan what she was wearing, Woodard laughingly turned the question back toward the work that got all the nominees to the red carpet in the first place.

"I hope I'm wearing my talent tonight," she said.

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