Mixed reviews for Oscar host Ellen DeGeneres

SIOBHAN DOWNES
Last updated 09:44 04/03/2014
Oscar host Ellen DeGeneres
BORING? Oscar host Ellen DeGeneres
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Turgid, badly directed, poorly produced

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Talk show star and comedienne Ellen DeGeneres has received mixed reviews for her selfie-taking, pizza-ordering stint hosting the 86th Academy Awards.

Her "super-selfie"  featuring Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper might have been a social-media success, but DeGeneres' performance was a flop, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The Oscars was "turgid, badly directed, poorly produced" and featured "an endless string of tired or wince-inducing moments from host Ellen DeGeneres", it wrote.

She appeared in the audience too many times, and the gag where she ordered pizza for the celebrity attendees was deemed "forced".

The Los Angeles Times  said that as the three-and-a-half hour show went on, DeGeneres' bits "increasingly became just another part of the tedium".

Her performance was "low-key-to-the-point-of-flatlining", it assessed.

The Telegraph was more complimentary, describing DeGeneres as doing a "competent job, without ever being an overpowering presence: instead she played her part in a clearly signalled mission to make the ceremony look more lively and interactive, with its audience spending more time on its feet."

For the most part, she was there to orchestrate stunts, it said.

TIME Entertainment came to a similar conclusion, and said DeGeneres' most distinctive acts were "less about making jokes than creating moments".

There were some uncharacteristic barbs, however - her opening monologue contained a jibe at Liza Minnelli, when she described her as "One of the best Liza Minnelli impersonators that I have seen in my entire life ... Good job, sir!"

Her best joke, according to TIME, was when she said: "Possibility number one: Twelve Years a Slave wins Best Picture. Possibility number two: You're all racists. And now welcome our first white presenter, Anne Hathaway!"

But for the most part, the normally affable host acted as a "go-between for the viewers at home and the celebrities in the room".

"Ellen DeGeneres did not show up at the Oscars to deliver blistering comedy. But at least she delivered a pizza."

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- Fairfax Media

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