The event was hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, who did a phenomenal job of loosening up the crowd with bits ranging from ordering pizzas for the audience to taking a group selfie with some of the celebs in attendance. Her good-natured brand of humor was not only hilarious but seemed tailor-made for the occasion.
The acceptance speeches were uniformly gracious, with both Lupita Nyong'o and Jared Leto's proving to be particularly moving. Perhaps the only one with a glaring faux pas was Cate Blanchett, who inexplicably went out of her way to thank Woody Allen at a time when he's being shunned by polite society because of his daughter Dylan's recent allegations that he'd molested her as a child.
As far as this critic's Oscar handicapping, faithful readers who relied on my predictions in their office pools were richly rewarded since all 21 of my picks were correct. See:
Complete List of Academy Award Winners
Best Picture: "12 Years a Slave"
Best Actor: Matthew McConaughey, "Dallas Buyers Club"
Best Actress: Cate Blanchett, "Blue Jasmine"
Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto, "Dallas Buyers Club"
Best Supporting Actress: Lupita Nyong'o, "12 Years a Slave"
Best Director: Alfonso Cuaron, "Gravity"
Best Original Screenplay: Spike Jonze, "Her"
Best Adapted Screenplay: John Ridley, "12 Years a Slave"
Best Foreign Language film: "The Great Beauty" (Italy)
Best Documentary Feature: "20 Feet from Stardom"
Best Animated Feature: "Frozen"
Best Original Song: "Let It Go" from "Frozen," music and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
Best Original Score: Steven Price, "Gravity"
Best Visual Effects: "Gravity"
Best Film Editing: "Gravity"
Best Cinematography: "Gravity"
Best Sound Mixing: "Gravity"
Best Sound Editing: "Gravity"
Best Costume Design: "The Great Gatsby"
Best Production Design: "The Great Gatsby"
Best Makeup and Hairstyling: "Dallas Buyers Club"
Best Animated Short Film: "Mr. Hublot"
Best Live-Action Short Film: "Helium"
Best Documentary Short: "The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life"