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Adele Dazeem? Greatest selfie ever? In Memoriam memory loss? Lingering thoughts from the Oscars

John Travolta, backstage at the Oscars with new pal (or not) Idina "Adele Dazeem" Menzel.

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John Travolta, backstage at the Oscars with new pal (or not) Idina "Adele Dazeem" Menzel.



Is Jennifer Lawrence’s goofy-gal schtick growing thin? How many retweets did Ellen’s selfie-with-the-stars actually get? And what in the heck happened with John Travolta and his imaginary pal Adele Dazeem? Herewith, a few lingering questions, thoughts, riffs from Sunday’s 86th annual Academy Awards:

OOPS, THERE GOES ANOTHER J.LAW PRATFALL There was a time, sometime circa The Devil Wears Prada, when Anne Hathaway was America’s Sweetheart: silly, lanky, capable of both owning the silver screen and soft-shoeing with Hugh Jackman. But then, around the time she took best supporting actress for Les Miserables, her schtick started playing like, well, schtick: an actress buying into her own adorableness. Call us party poopers, but Jennifer Lawrence is starting to veer that (Hatha)way. On the Oscars red carpet, J.Law ate pavement yet again, although it wasn’t nearly as cute or, um, natural as when she tripped up the steps last year to accept her best actress statuette for Silver Linings Playbook. At this year’s show’s end, she tried to steal spotlight when presenting best actor trophy, asking why everyone was laughing at her (um, were they?) Finally, an after-party snap of her trying to steal Lupita Nyong’o’s best supporting actress hardware was a teeth-gritter. Are we the only ones starting to root for the bad guys in the Hunger Games flicks?

TURNS OUT TRAVOLTA IS ITALIAN FOR “NOT EVEN CLOSE” One of the most bizarre Oscars moments ever came courtesy of John Travolta, when the actor and his hairpiece egregiously mispronounced Idina Menzel’s name, calling her something that sounded like “Adele Dazeem.” (Yep, there are already at least two Twitter accounts for the name. Good job, Internet!) Couple things about this scenario: First, how does John not know who he’s introducing until he sees it on the prompter? Sure, her name looks tricky, we’ll give you that one. But you were introducing her performance of Let It Go, a.k.a. the most popular song from one of the most popular movies on the planet right now, Frozen. You should really know who Menzel is, John. And second, and most hilariously, Travolta looks BEYOND delighted with himself during the intro, when he says, "Please welcome the wickedly talented, the one and only...Adele Dazeem!" Taking bets now as to how long it’ll be before we can think about this moment without bursting into laughter.

210 MINUTES That was the running time of Sunday’s Oscars telecast. That’s a serious haul, but at least it wasn’t 2002’s marathon, which clocked in at 263 minutes! Part of the reason this year’s event — which, save for a flabby midsection, was pretty entertaining — tested the clock is that the in-house orchestra refused to play any of the winners off the stage. Remember last year? When the victors were chased offstage by the ominous Jaws theme? We liked that, but apparently someone didn’t.

IN MEMORIAM (OR, YOU KNOW, WHOMEVER WE HAVE TIME FOR) It seems like every year the Academy has an oops (or oopses) in its In Memoriam segment. In 2013, Andy Griffith, Alex Karras, Larry Hagman and Richard Dawson missed out on the dearly departed tribute. This year, the powers-that-be again erred on the side of ignoring those most notable for TV work. Thus, Glee’s Cory Monteith, All in the Family’s Jean Stapleton and The Fresh Prince of Bel Air’s James Avery didn’t get mentioned. Most egregious, however, was Dennis Farina, the mob-movie man who co-starred in the film That Old Feeling with Bette Midler — who sang right after the memorial tribute! Leaving out Tom Clancy, the author of the Jack Ryan spy thrillers-turned-blockbusters, is debatable; then again, critic Roger Ebert made the cut. And finally, what about comedy legend Jonathan Winters, who, despite notable TV work, made such flicks as The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming and It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World? Alas, the Academy tried to cover itself this year by putting 111 of the fallen online, including many of the high-profile snubs, at

“IF ONLY BRADLEY’S ARM WAS LONGER” Ellen’s all-star selfie started with just her and Meryl Streep...then Julia Roberts, who wanted to merely flash bunny ears behind them...then Channing Tatum...before including a mosh of Bradley Cooper, the Pitt-Jolies and, most adorably, Lupita Nyong’o’s brother Peter. Ellen wanted to set a new record for retweets, and boy did she: more than 2,769,497 and counting. You can call the moment staged; you could say it was a shameless plug for a smartphone company. But hey, it sure look like loose, wicked good fun to us mere mortals.

[Last modified: Monday, March 3, 2014 1:53pm]


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