Oscars 2014: The 11 Moments That Actually Mattered

Catch up on the most significant bits of tonight's Academy Awards telecast.

An A-list pizza party, the glorious height of the ongoing McConaughssance, and the tweet that broke the internet: the 2014 Academy Awards was replete with magic moments.

But if you happened to take an inopportune bathroom break while they were handing out the statuettes (or if you missed the ceremony and don’t have nearly four hours available for a re-watch), we’ve got a roundup of the best,
biggest, and most remarkable moments from the Oscar telecast in an easily digestible format. Here they are, from start to finish, beginning with…

1. Another Adorably Human Moment For Everyone’s Favorite A-Lister
Jennifer Lawrence didn’t take home a golden statuette, but still provided one of the evening’s most memorable moments well before the ceremony even started. After famously falling on the stage staircase when she went to collect her Oscar last year, America’s Sweetheart took a spill outside the theater this time, tripping over a traffic cone in her first steps onto the red carpet — and giving Ellen DeGeneres a great last-minute edit to her opening speech.

2. A Twitter-Happy Host
Speaking of Ellen: After a few years’ worth of disappointing Oscar host performances which culminated in the spectacle of Seth McFarlane singing “We Saw Your Boobs,” Ellen was a lovely reminder at first of how good a good emcee can be. Her opening monologue was good-natured but incisive, poking just enough fun at Hollywood to be funny without crossing the line into meanness. (The Academy themselves got the pointiest jab, as Ellen discussed two possible outcomes for the Best Picture race: either “12 Years a Slave” would win, or: “Possibility #2: You’re all racist!”)

But despite a strong start (and a record-breaking tweet that actually crashed Twitter in its entirety) her performance ended up getting mired in awkward pacing, a ridiculously prolonged joke about ordering pizza, and time-consuming
selfies with all the highest-profile celebs in attendance which just weren’t all that funny.

3. Except When They Were That Funny, Thanks to Kevin Spacey Making THAT FACE
He wasn’t up for a statuette, but the meme of the evening goes to the star of “House of Cards.” You can giggle over href="https://twitter.com/TheEllenShow/status/440322224407314432/photo/1" target=_"blank">Spacey’s face in its original, individual incarnation, but we suggest you go big or go home with TOTAL SPACEYFICATION.

4. Lupita Nyong’o WAS The Oscars
Lupita’s dress. Lupita’s headband. Lupita’s speech. Lupita’s so-very-gif-able dance break with Pharrell during the performance of “Happy.” The only thing more amazing than her moves? That she danced like this before she knew she’d won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, and made a speech which, on a night full of very
serviceable speeches, will be the only one that absolutely everyone is talking about tomorrow.

5. Gravity
Had a Very Big Night

The terrifying and groundbreaking film swept in six of seven categories including Cinematography, Film Editing and Original Score, then pulled off an enormous upset when Alfonso Cuaron took the Oscar for Best Director.

6. That Awkward Moment When…
Every Oscars has one: the agonizing moment when time seems to grind to a halt as something extraordinarily, horribly uncomfortable plays out on stage. This time, it happened during the presentation for Best Animated Short and Best Animated Feature Film, as Matthew McConaughey looked like an uncomfortable senior babysitter next to one-time
Hitchcock femme fatale Kim Novak, whose physical appearance and off-kilter bearing caused an instantaneous Internet feeding frenzy the likes of which has not been seen since Justin Bieber’s DUI.

7. That Redeeming Moment When…
Fortunately, the pain was washed away and then some by the adorable speech from Best Animated Short winner Laurent Witz, who pulled a cheat sheet from his jacket with hands that shook with excitement while apologizing, in broken English and a thick French accent: “I have to take a paper.”

8. Followed By That Other Awkward Moment When…
Idina Menzel, about to sing Best Original Song nominee “Let It Go,” was introduced by John Travolta as “Adele Dazim.” (Menzel crushed it nonetheless, but that had to be off-putting.)

9. John Travolta.

10. The McConaughssance Has Only Just Begun
There was no question that Matthew
McConaughey
was one of the most buzzed-about Oscar contenders for his role in “Dallas Buyers Club,” but tonight’s big Best Actor win made it official. The man who was once a shirtless rom-com punchline is, in fact, one of the most gifted actors of his generation… as anyone who had to miss “True Detective” in order to watch tonight’s
festivities would have told you, most likely from beneath the rock where they are hiding in order to avoid spoilers about the identity of the Yellow King.

11. And When it Came Time For the Final Award, Nobody Was Upset
In the end, it was the epic drama and heavy favorite “12 Years
a Slave
” that won the coveted Best Picture honors. Phew! Now that would have been awkward, all things considered. And whatever the Academy thinks about their 86th annual hootenany, at least they can go to bed tonight feeling good about how not-racist they are according to Ellen DeGeneres. Hooray.


Stick with us for complete Oscars coverage including all the Oscar winners, show moments and fashion highlights.