Last year’s Oscars celebration was a memorable one. Ellen Degeneres was the host and she did a fantastic job with working the crowd, while throwing in some pretty crazy surprises along the way. 12 Years A Slave was the big winner of the night, taking home the big award for Best Picture. Overall, it was a strong night for the Academy.
What about the 87th Annual Academy Awards you ask? Well, let me just say this. There were a lot of locks for the award categories. No one broke the internet. The host was average at best. Plus, the show seemed to feel even longer than last year, running past the 12:00 mark. Does this give you a good idea of how the night went?
The Oscars, held at the famous Dolby Theatre as usual, were hosted by the charismatic Neil Patrick Harris, who has done a fair share of hosting gigs himself; probably best known for his Tony Awards performance. He started in the same fashion with an exciting musical number chronicling the history of the “moving picture.” The talented Anna Kendrick even joined him on stage halfway through and Jack Black, by surprise, crashed the number in classic Jack Black fashion. If the musical number was any indication, the night was only going to get better. However, this wasn’t so much the case.
Neil was an alright host. He got the job done. He had some big shoes to fill though after what Ellen did last year with the hosting job. Most of his jokes did a fair share of bashing and roasting of the crowd, but most of them seemed to fall flat. He would just sit there with a charming smile, waiting for people to pity laugh at his jokes. There was a running bit during the show about a locked briefcase that supposedly was holding his predictions for the show. There was such a buildup to the final moment, but the joke fell drastically flat when the contents of the box were revealed. It just contained a slightly comedic summary of the nights happenings. About halfway through the show, Neil delivered probably his most talked about moment, where he walked out on stage in nothing but his tiny underwear. However by that point, it just seemed like a desperate attempt to keep people paying attention to a show that just dragged on and on.
There were also a lot of performances, paying tribute to some of the best soundtracks of the year. Out of the sampling of songs, there were only about three performances that really stuck out. The first was the thrilling and crazy performance of “Everything is Awesome”, the theme song for the snubbed Lego Movie. Tegan and Sara, as well as The Lonely Island, wowed the crowed with the energetic performance, probably leaving most confused. They even handed out Lego Oscars to the crowd, producing some great reactions. More specifically Oprah who probably had the reaction of the night.
Then there was the powerful and uplifting performance of “Glory” by John Legend and Common from the movie Selma, which was presented the Oscar for Best Original Song. Set against the backdrop of the Edmund Pettus Bridge and accompanied by a full choir, John Legend and Common managed to make the crowd emotional, with not a dry eye in the house. Lastly, Lady Gaga performed a tribute to the Sound of Music and Julie Andrews. It was surprisingly pretty good and she nailed all of the songs with graceful bliss. It was made even better when Julie Andrews herself came out on stage afterwards to present the Oscar for Best Original Score, which ended up going to The Grand Budapest Hotel.
As for the actual awards themselves, there wasn’t too much drama this year. The big award for Best Picture was pretty much decided to be between Boyhood and Birdman. Birdman, to my surprise, ended up taking the award. Birdman was one of the big winners of the night. Birdman and Emmanuel Lubezki won for Achievement in Cinemetography and Best Original Screenplay was also awarded to Birdman. The movie’s director, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, also won for Best Director.
The other big winner of the night was The Grand Budapest Hotel, which pretty much cleaned up in the technical categories. The movie took home the awards for Achievement in Costume Design, Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Production Design, and Best Original Score. It was good to see the film gain some recognition, considering it was not projected to win any of the big awards of the night.
The first award of the night was given to J.K. Simmons for Best Supporting Actor for his role as the instructor in the 3rd biggest winner of the night, Whiplash. The most impact speech award was probably given to Patricia Arquette, who won Best Supporting Actress. She used the time on stage to promote wage equality for women and men everywhere. She got a big crowd applause. It’s also worth mentioning that Graham Moore also had a memorable speech, for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Imitation Game, when he talked about his attempted suicide, and how he wanted all of us to “Stay Weird” and “Stay Different.”
Best Actor went to Eddie Redmayne for his performance as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. An emotional Eddie went up there and professed the honor that was bestowed upon him for portraying the famous figure. On the other side, Julianne Moore won the award for Best Actress, for her role as Alice in Still Alice. This was one of the least surprising announcements, considering the amount of buzz that was surrounding the award.
It has already been revealed this morning that the ratings for the telecast were down when compared to past years, but this wasn’t too much of a surprise. The drama just didn’t seem to be there since a majority of the categories were already considered to be predicted to a T. There also wasn’t a plethora of moments for us to rave about in the morning, with Neil Patrick Harris bringing a dose of average to the gig. The show needs to revise it’s structure if it wants to move forward with success. It was a well produced program, but it just didn’t seem to work too well in the current climate. Does this mean a radical change in format? Maybe not. Does this mean no show at all? Definitely not. With that being said, something needs to change because the best word I can use to sum up last night’s production was: boring.
Here’s the full list of the winners that took home the golden man last night…
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
J.K. Simmons for Whiplash
ACHIEVEMENT IN COSTUME DESIGN
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Milena Canonero
ACHIEVEMENT IN MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Frances Hannon & Mark Coulier
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Ida – Pawel Pawlikowski
BEST LIVE-ACTION SHORT FILM
The Phone Call – Mat Kirkby & James Lucas
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1 – Ellen Goosenberg Kent & Dana Perry
ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND MIXING
Whiplash – Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins & Thomas Curley
ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND EDITING
American Sniper – Alan Robert Murray & Bub Asman
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Patricia Arquette for Boyhood
ACHIEVEMENT IN VISUAL EFFECTS
Interstellar – Paul J Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter & Scott R Fisher
BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM
Feast – Patrick Osborne & Kristina Reed
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
Big Hero 6
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Adam Stockhausen & Anna Pinnock
ACHIEVEMENT IN CINEMATOGRAPHY
Birdman – Emmanuel Lubezki
ACHIEVEMENT IN FILM EDITING
Whiplash – Tom Cross
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Citizenfour – Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy & Dirk Wilutzky
BEST ORIGINAL SONG
“Glory” from Selma – Lonnie Lynn (Common) & John Stephens (John Legend)
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Alexandre Desplat – The Grand Budapest Hotel
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris & Armando Bo – Birdman
Graham Moore – The Imitation Game
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu – Birdman
Eddie Redmayne for The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore for Still Alice