Category Archives: The 86th Academy Awards

Intermissions: Oscars’ Commercials

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As with the televising the Golden Globes, the

Grammy’s and the Super Bowl 2014, the 86th Academy

Awards show had the best, most fun commercials I had

seen for at least a couple of weeks!

I think the most imaginative and creative commercial

used one of my own personal favorite “devices,” of

wordplay! The word was “garage” and the writers went

‘to town’ with that and the variations that we all

associate with the use of the word.

Do you know which product I am talking about?

Can you guess what the name brand is yet?

I like that the commercial, itself, doesn’t

reveal the product until they have fun playing

with word usage.

The advertisers start by listing inventors. Leading

your imagination to fill in the blanks.

“The Wright Brothers started out in a garage. The

companies of HP, Apple, and Amazon were created,

out in garages. Famous ‘garage bands,’ like the

Ramones, made music in a garage…

Some of the most remarkable innovations in the

world have rolled out of a garage. . .

Introducing the 2014 Cadillac.

It goes to show you, never underestimate the

power of a garage.”

(This is paraphrased, may have extra details

in the actual commercial!)

J.C. Penney has come up with a new advertising

campaign, capturing my attention. I find myself

studying and staring at the people out in the

world, enjoying the outdoors, some dressed up in

classily designed clothes. Watching others in

casual wear clothes on urban streets. I think

the CEO’s have some fabulous clothing designers

on ‘board’ at JCP!

I like the nostalgic device of using the song,

“Everybody’s Talking.” This great Harry Nilsson

song includes the lyrics of, “Only the echoes of

my mind.” I also love sweet, green and good ole’

Kermit the Frog, too. These memory-evoking ploys

are being utilized by the Lipton Tea Company.

I loved the new Google Play stories and movies

commercial. It has short clips of famous books

characters and movies. I think this is always

good product placement, during an award ceremony,

to have intermissions giving ‘homage’ to film and

the power of WORDS, too!

The montage of clips of international heroes,

including comic strip ones, like Captain America

and Superman, has a clever product attached.

One source on the internet (beliefnet) said:

“The Pepsi Mini had a better tribute to the magic

of movies than the Oscar’s broadcast clip reels.”

Here are 2 of the advertising slogan for Pepsi

Minis:

“Pepsi- Little cans with Epic Satisfaction.”

and,

“A movie quote can be as satisfying as a

Pepsi Mini.”

Whoever doesn’t laugh out loud or snort their

drink while watching Tina Fey’s newest two or

three commercials for the American Express

company, doesn’t have a sense of humor!

I was actually drinking an iced cappuccino, that

I have created and make my ‘week’s consumption’

on Sunday. I was in the middle of a sip when here

is Tina Fey, of Saturday Night Live fame, writer

and director of several movies, actress in the

movie I think is both hilarious and heart-warming,

“Admission” and the famous ‘impersonator’ of

Sarah Palin. She is in a black and white short

film, crouching down by her washer with piles of

laundry around her, avoiding her family. She is

saying something about trying to get work done

and then she has to head out to the store for

something needed. I am too busy laughing to

hear her narration, sorry! She ends up at a

store, using her Am Ex credit card.

Another one has her somehow feeding a baby?

Doing something where she has somehow ended

up with yogurt in her hair, does she care?

No! She is off to the store, getting something

and talking to a stranger in line, while she

is grabbing stuff. She has a bag of potpourri

in her hand, stuffing some in her mouth. She

says something wacky about it giving her good

breath. “It smells good in my mouth,” the line

she delivers to someone.

Each commercial is like a short precisely timed

and well delivered comedy sketch! Love all of

these, maybe they have been around longer than

this, but I paid attention to the commercials

on Sunday night.

Hope you enjoyed my trio of Oscar’s posts and

found something among them to chuckle at. I

was told by someone in one of my own recent

post comments’ section that I wrote so much

they had to go get a snack in between reading,

to be able to finish it!

***This made me think seriously about how

we write on our blogs, in our posts.

We may wish to entertain ourselves, pouring

out our thoughts and salving our wounds.

We may wish to bring something into another

person’s life and meet their needs with some

shared lessons, learned in our own lives.

We may want to meet our ‘audience,’ learn

from them and become better writers.

Or all of the above!***

(reocochran. 3/4/14)

The Opening Act: Oscar’s Red Carpet

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The first thing I would like to say about the Red

Carpet is that this summary was broken into three

parts, so there may be more ‘palatable’ chunks and

easier to read. This part is about style, charisma

and other details noted during pre-Oscar interviews.

Mainly, my comments are reflecting my own personal

thoughts, although I may mention something that

was a fact or opinion of someone else, also.

When I had gathered up my snacks and iced coffee

in preparation for what I knew would be a long

night, I was very excited to sit down to watch

the 86th Academy Awards Show. I turned on to watch

the preliminary Red Carpet event.

The first person I saw was the handsome, quirky

(remember he liked to play his bongos in the nude?)

and very honest Matthew McConaughey. I always felt he

had ‘deserved an Oscar,’ for his early career, lawyer

character he played in “A Time to Kill.” This was an

outstanding movie version of John Grisham’s book of

the same name.

Here Matthew’s character was in the South, trying

to defend a man who was accused of killing two men

who had raped and killed his 10 year old daughter.

Race comes into play, as the man Samuel L. Jackson’s

portraying is black, while the men who raped and

discarded the child are white. Sandra Bullock portrays

the lawyer’s wife. There are fascinating characters

including ones portrayed by Donald Sutherland and

Kevin Spacey portray. It is an intense drama, made

in 1996, Matthew was able to ‘sink his acting chops’

into this role and did a fine job, too!

Matthew McConaughey has never been nominated for an

Oscar, which is shocking in itself. That movie was

like a variation of “To Kill A Mockingbird,” for

which I am pretty sure won Gregory Peck an Academy

Award!

Matthew had his beautiful wife and mother of his

three children, Camilla, on one arm and his now

famous mother, who has accompanied him to prior

award shows, on the other arm.

Naomi Watts looked outstanding in a glittering white

dress which had cap sleeves. She wore accents of a

silver necklace and held a black and white small

clutch, it sported a zigzag pattern on it.

I really loved Kerry Washington’s lavender dress,

which was made of satin, off her shoulder and

not trying to cover her pregnancy. She is on a

television show that I don’t watch, “Scandals.”

Viola Davis looked very fashionable in a green,

almost aquamarine, colored dress, while showing her

natural ‘down to earth’ beauty. Her husband, of

over ten years, accompanied Viola. When she was

asked, “Who is your date tonight?” by interviewer,

Lara (rhymes with Sarah) Spencer, I thought to

myself,

“You didn’t do your homework!”

There will be an even more major ‘faux pas’ by this

Ms. Spencer, in my mind, later…

I like the relationship Jason Sudeikis has with his

wife, Olivia Wilde, who looked lovely in black.

Jason is a comedian, with his roots in Saturday

Night Live, branching out into many comedy roles.

(In such comedies as “We Are the Millers,” “Hall

Pass,” and “Horrible Bosses,” mainly R rated and

not ones to watch for plot or character growth,

but funny!) While his wife, Olivia, has played

conniving, yet beautiful and intriguing characters.

They were smiling and it seemed there were a few

private jokes in their glances at each other. She

is expecting and the black silky dress showed her

‘baby bump.’

Cate Blanchett, in a gorgeous Armani dress which

was sheer with a vine pattern of golden sequins,

just shimmered! Her hair style resembled the 50’s

like the way famous actress, Lauren Bacall, wore

her hair about shoulder length, curled under and one

side pulled back.

I would say Cate looked ‘bejeweled’ and ‘enchanting.’

Sandra Bullock wore a fabulous dress of a deep blue

with purple tones, it was designed by Alexander

McQueen, for her. I liked that interviewer Robin

Roberts, a more serious newscaster, asked her about

Sandra’s role in the movie, “Gravity.”

The way Ms. Roberts asked, it helped draw Sandra out.

She gave a revealing expression of her feelings while

in her role as an astronaut, floating in space and

dangerously disconnected from the spacecraft, left

her a “changed woman.”

She further told Robin that she is quite emotional

about her experience “and hasn’t quite sorted all

of it out yet.”

This is the kind of candid remarks I like to have

the interviewers, in their brief moments, make their

time worthwhile. By asking a serious and thoughtful

question, this makes the Red Carpet a great feature.

Jennifer Lawrence has been sporting a nice, short

young-looking hair style this whole season of awards.

Her portrayal in “American Hustle” was a whole

different look, matching the seventies movie. Her

short blonde hair and red satin dress, made her look

like a classic beauty. I did not mind her flat waist

with red ruffles on the side continuing onto her

back. The dress flattered her, emphasizing her curves.

Now, here goes the problem with Lara Spencer, when

Sidney Poitier approached her, being told to head

that way, (off camera) she recognizes him, or maybe

there are big cards with his name, hidden from our

view? But really, who doesn’t know how to pronounce

his last name? She mangled it, not sure if anyone

else will notice, but he did! He did not seem too

pleased, very quiet and not answering her questions

too frankly, either. He deserved respect. Surely she

knew who he was, 87 years old, presenting later, during

the Oscars’ show. On the Red Carpet, this is something

that really bothered me about this woman and other

interviewers in the past. I would have loved a chance

to ask.

“Mr. Poitier, which was your favorite role?”

I liked him in many movies and he played different

kinds of men. Educated, in “To Sir With Love” and a

handyman stranded amongst nuns in “Lilies of the Field.”

He won an Academy Award in 1963, for this role, as the

first male black actor, winning “Best Actor.”

(I did a post about this movie, actor, director and

diplomat.)

Then proving himself a major star, drawing large

audiences to the box office, Poitier played a great

police detective, in “The Heat of the Night,”

followed by two other sequels, “They Call Me MISTER

Tibbs” and “The Organization.”

Jonah Hill, nominated for his role in “Wolf on Wall

Street” has ventured into dramatic roles, growing from

his comic roots. He looked like he is trimmer, nicely

dressed in a tuxedo, having brought his mother as his

‘date.’ His first Oscar was for an interesting movie,

I had not expected to like him, in “Moneyball.”

Chiwetel Ejiofor was the only man in my forecasts and

posts for the Academy Awards, 2014. I predicted he

would win “Best Actor,” for his role in the intense

movie, “12 Years a Slave.” He has acted for years,

contributed to a lot of fantastic movies, an edgy

character role of a transvestite, included.

Ejiofor comes across, in interviews and on the Red

Carpet, as a very dignified and articulate man. The

interviewer labeled him, “Dapper,” and I agreed.

Lupita Nyong’O looked very beautiful in her light

blue, airy like the lightest turquoise colored

sky dress with a low cut v-neckline. She was very

attractive, beaming and spinning for the cameras.

She portrays a young slave woman in “12 Years a

Slave.”

I have yet to find an “ugly” dress or someone who

didn’t look ravishing or handsome. I do wish to say

that Julia Roberts’s black dress was very pretty,

but upon closer look I found the ruffle around her

waist made her look ‘thicker’

than her sleek body usually looks. I remember this

style, had a jacket that had the ruffle, my mother

had pointed it out as ‘not very flattering.’ I hate

to say much about Julia because her hair, makeup and

jewelry were ‘just right.’ She looked glamorous,

except for the odd weave to the black lace on her

bodice and ruffled waistline.

Julia looks great in what is called a “mermaid style”

dress.

We will hear during the different follow up shows on

“E!” channel, “Entertainment Tonight” and the “Billy

Bush” show, who the ‘worst dressed’ were…

soon enough!

Another unattractive look was that Bill Murray had

no makeup or cover up over his age spots. I thought

his whole appearance looked like a disheveled, absent-

minded professor. He is a very humble man, when asked

by an interviewer what makes you laugh? Murray said,

“The two sportscasters on ESPN, my kids and good

humor in comedies.” (Paraphrased, I started to

not get things down as quickly at this point!)

The last glamorous couple who look like they fit

together and show an easy going relationship,

were Will and wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. She looked

effervescent in pink. Her Versace dress had a

stylish twisted halter top with another twist of

fabric on one side of her waist. It suited her

well. Will Smith’s tuxedo looked very handsome

with a black vest and tie.

Later, during the Oscars, there was some concern

about Kim Novak’s plastic surgery and her outward

appearance. She seemed distracted or flighty, but

she may have been nervous. It has been a long time

since she was the beautiful actress in “Vertigo.”

After all, that was 1958 and she is now 81 years old!

On to the Main Event…

Please join me in the next post!