Feb 232015


So, the Oscars are over for another year. While this was one of the longest ceremonies in recent memory, the fact that it was an unpredictable Oscar race kept it interesting throughout. Birdman took out four big awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Cinematography (the second time in a row for Chivo). The Grand Budapest Hotel won four technical awards, including Best Costume Design for Anderson’s long-time collaborator Milena Canonero, and Best Original Score to dual-nominated Alexandre Desplat. Whiplash took home three, including Best Supporting Actor to JK Simmons and Best Film Editing.

Check out my recap of some of the ceremony highlights and the full list of winners after the jump:

Neil Patrick Harris hosted for the first time, nailing a lot of his jokes. He did a decent job. There were pretty negative comments on social media throughout the ceremony, but I thought a lot of his jabs hit the mark. The epic musical opening enlisted the help of Anna Kendrick and Jack Black. It was clear early on that NPH was having a lot of fun but the presenters couldn’t care less. Sean Penn, who presented Best Picture, looked like he could kill someone. Others fumbled through their teleprompter cues. The infamous Travolta mispronunciation from last year was cleverly twisted with Travolta and Idina Menzel co-presenting. Travolta took it like a good sport. Terrence Howard got awkwardly emotional as he introduced Best Picture nominees Whiplash, The Imitation Game and Selma, but no one was really sure which film affected him. It seemed to be The Imitation Game?

Most of the speeches were pretty great, though. Rare. Patricia Arquette’s ended with a rousing cry for equality for women, while Graham Moore (The Imitation Game) showed great confidence in revealing that he has struggled with depression, and encouraged young people to believe in themselves and how they fit in to the world. Pawel Pawlikowski (Ida) delivered a speech that was so good he shut down the send-off music.

Julianne Moore was all class, as usual, while Eddie Redmayne managed to just contain his excitement to say some lovely things about his co-star Felicity Jones, one of the MVP’s of the night. All of the nominated songs for Best Original Song were performed with the eventual winner the undoubted highlight. Common and John Legend had the audience (Chris Pine) in tears not just while performing ‘Glory’, but during their acceptance speeches.

While a bit long – Lady Gaga’s tribute to The Sound of Music and the song to accompany the ‘Dearly Departed’ section weren’t really necessary – it was another entertaining ceremony.

From memory, some of the top moments included:

– Jack Black. Hilarious.

– Everyone loves Wes [Anderson]

– NPH coming on-stage his tighty whities a la Keaton in Birdman.

– NPH kept his ‘predictions’,  presumably predicted winners, kept under lock and key throughout (and watched with an eagle-eye by Octavia Spencer), which ended up being a hilarious recap of some of the night’s more bizarre moments. No Derren Brown move, but clever.

– “Hi Steve [Carell], is this your first time to the Oscars?”

– Meryl Streep’s reaction to Arquette. GIF saved.

– Margot Robbie

– ‘Glory’

– “Chiiiivvooo” – Jessica Chastain

– Alexandre Desplat finally winning, and for the right film.

– Matthew McConaughey’s unkempt beard.

– Michael Keaton and his gum.

I ended up with 17/24 in my predictions. After starting out strongly, my percentage plummeted in the latter half after getting the editing, score, screenplay (both) and director categories incorrect.  Here is the full list of winners:

Best Picture – Birdman

Best Director – Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Birdman

Best Actress – Julianne Moore, Still Alice

Best Actor – Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

Best Supporting Actress – Patricia Arquette, Boyhood

Best Supporting Actor – JK Simmons, Whiplash

Best Original Screenplay – Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. & Armando Bo, Birdman

Best Adapted Screenplay – Graham Moore, The Imitation Game

Best Animated Feature – Big Hero 6

Best Foreign Language Film – Ida

Best Documentary – CitizenFour 

Best Cinematography – Emmanuel Lubezi, Birdman

Best Film Editing – Tom Cross, Whiplash

Best Original Score – Alexandre Desplat, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Original Song – ‘Glory’; Common and John Legend, Selma

Best Production Design – Production Design: Adam Stockhausen; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Costume Design – Milena Canonero, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Hair and Makeup – Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Visual Effects –  Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter and Scott Fisher, Interstellar

Best Sound Editing – Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman, American Sniper

Best Sound Mixing – Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins and Thomas Curley, Whiplash

Best Documentary Short Subject – Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1

Best Animated Short Film – Feast

Best Live Action Short Film – The Phone Call