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Oscars 2014: Three Big Winners and Not Enough Pizza to Go Around

Oscars host Ellen DeGeneres

“Possibility #1: 12 Years a Slave wins Best Picture. Possibility #2: you’re all racists.”

Thus did host Ellen DeGeneres conclude her ten-minute opening monologue for the 86th Academy Awards — possibly not as safe and innocuous as the producers might’ve hoped, but not likely to inspire internet firestorms on Monday morning, either. Of all the nominees, three films walked away with the most awards, most of them unsurprising to anyone who kept up with the discussions to any degree. I’d guess Best Original Screenplay probably ruined the most Oscar pools this time around.

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“Gravity”: Connect or Perish

Sandra Bullock, Gravity

Zero-g leaves zero margin for error.

If movie theaters were allowed to set individual rules before watching certain films, the first rule of a Gravity showing would be no snacking during the first ten minutes. After the title and text intro (“Life in space is impossible”), the movie doesn’t begin so much as it emerges from the darkness and silence of space. As a distant pinpoint expands and metamorphoses into a Space Shuttle bearing Academy Award Winners Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, the noiseless vacuum slowly parts for a trickle of radio chatter that steadily builds from volume 0 as its source nears our position.

While we eavesdropped on the cast’s interplay during their distant grand entrance, the ambiance of their stage-setting was slightly disrupted by the sounds of the peckish viewers seated around me, rustling plastic wrappers and scarfing whatever snacks they couldn’t be bothered to finish during the preceding 25-minute trailer marathon. This sort of aural dissonance isn’t an issue when you’re watching the average summer action blockbuster that kicks off with a twenty-minute 200-decibel set piece that eradicates all sound and vibration in its path.

More about this weekend’s #1 film, which presently sits at 98% on the Tomatometer…

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