My armchair musings of the Academy Awards

As I usually do, I love to share my Oscars musings. There are always great lessons to learn from this big event.

One of my favorite parts of the show is the red carpet footage. It’s so much fun seeing the women dressed in beautiful gowns and the men looking dapper in their tuxedos. I’m always impressed by how poised many of the actors are when they are accosted by the show hosts asking them rather inane questions like “What does this evening mean to you?” Oh brother! But, those who shine are the ones who have a good attitude and are prepared to have a little fun with these silly questions.

Many of the actors showed great poise as they made their way down the red carpet talking to the media, waving to the fans. Poise comes from being prepared and not being easily ruffled by the unexpected or the nerve wracking.

It’s easy to be an armchair critic when we’re sitting in front of the TV in yoga pants sans makeup. So, I particularly loved the pre-show skit where Jimmy Kimmel climbed into the living room of a TV watching couple who were tweeting rude things about the Academy Award attendees. Jimmy asks the couple if they sent the tweets. After admitting they did, he pointed out their downscale outfits and said, “Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones, because you’ll ruin your house.” Good advice for anyone.

That said; let me launch into my critique of the show. I love Ellen DeGeneres, she had a few funny lines – the one about the rain in California, Jennifer Lawrence’s Oscar trips this year and last – but I was disappointed she wasn’t funnier. What was the whole pizza thing? I didn’t see the humor in that at all. I liked that she shook it up by being out in the audience interacting with the attendees, but I was hoping for more humor. Yes, I know, it can’t be easy hosting one of the most watched shows where the expectation for humor is quite high.

I was impressed by some of the award winners’ acceptance speeches. Jared Leto, who won best supporting actor for his role in the Dallas Buyers Club, gave a heartfelt speech until he promoted his brother’s band. But, he was obviously prepared to give the speech. It was smart and delivered beautifully.

I also loved Lupita Nyong’o’s acceptance speech for best supporting actress in 12 Years a Slave. She had great energy, her words were poetic and she was so poised. She ended her speech with a beautiful quote, “…no matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid.”

Something that is always a shame is when there are two or more winners of an award and only one person gets to speak. You always feel badly for the second person who doesn’t get to share his thoughts. However, the winners of best animated feature film –Frozen Directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee – had it figured out. They coordinated their speeches so that they each thanked different people, and kept it short and sweet so that they both could speak. I saw a couple other winners do that as well. Nicely done! It’s always better to share the limelight.

You can see all of the acceptance speeches here.

A couple of negatives; presenter Kim Novak seemed out of it, perhaps drunk or drugged because she couldn’t get her lines right. Perhaps it was just an overwhelming moment for her. Many people negatively commented on her appearance, I won’t go there.

Another regular faux pas I see at the show is people bending over the microphone. Do you really think the Oscars producers would make it so that you have to bend over the microphone to be heard? That would be a big “no!”

A word of advice for us regular folks who won’t have the pleasure of speaking at the Academy Awards, but who may have to speak into a microphone; if the microphone is not adjustable, as in a lectern mic, it is meant to pick up your voice without you having to bend over it. If the microphone is adjustable, take the time to adjust it so that your voice is heard. Just please, never bend over a microphone. It looks terrible!

Unfortunately, my DVR stopped recording the show just as the Best Actress winner was announced, so I can’t comment on the last part of the goings on. I was rather bummed to miss the big award winners’ speeches.

Oh well, those are my rants and raves for this year’s gala event. I always love hearing what others thought of the show. Feel free to share your comments below.


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Arden Clise is founder and president of Clise Etiquette. Her love for business etiquette began in previous jobs when she was frequently asked for etiquette, public speaking and business attire advice by executives and board members. The passion for etiquette took hold and compelled Arden to start a consulting business to help others. Read more >>

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