Unless you have been living under a rock—or are just generally too important to care—you know that the 87th annual Academy Awards aired on Sunday, February 22. As with any award show, there were ups, downs and plenty of cringe worthy awkward moments that ended up trending on Twitter. The wonderful “suited up” Neil Patrick Harris hosted and—although he didn’t order the audience pizza as Ellen did last year— his natural charisma and composed personality carried the event on nicely, if not a bit blandly. Highlights of his hosting for me were his opening musical number with Anna Kendrick and Jack Black, his spot on Birdman impression in his tighty-whities and his dead pan puns that were seriously under-appreciated by Oscar critics. “The best and the whitest- I mean brightest.” Come on, that’s funny! Enough about Neil Patrick Harris, he was not the best Oscar’s host, but he is the man and he knows it. Now onto the winners:
Best Picture goes to: Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance).
(My pick for this category- The Imitation Game)
After pulling in Best Cinematography, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay, it wasn’t too shocking that Birdman secured the Best Picture slot. While I personally found Michael Keaton’s character, Riggan, to be frustrating and hard to sympathize with, I can see the merits of the film through the unique way it was shot and can understand how the story of Riggan’s continuous search for relevancy reflects something that is in all of us.
Best Actor in A Leading Role goes to: Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything.
(My pick for this category- Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything)
I am so glad Eddie Redmayne won best actor for his role of Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. Not just because I think Eddie Redmayne is composed of sunshine and I adore him, but also because his role was undeniably the hardest to play. He had to portray the true story of Stephen Hawking, one of the most ingenious minds of our time, as he lost his ability to walk, talk and effectively communicate his ideas. Redmayne was the youngest nominee going up against other amazing actors such as Steve Carrell, Benedict Cumberbatch, Bradley Cooper and Michael Keaton. His acceptance speech proved his sweet disposition when he claimed that he is “fully aware that I’m a lucky, lucky man” and went on to dedicate his Oscar to people around the world suffering from ALS.
Best Actress in A Leading Roll Goes to: Julianne Moore in Still Alice.
Although Still Alice wasn’t as big of a blockbuster as Gone Girl or Wild, I fully support Julianne Moore winning this award. In Still Alice we watch her character go from a sharp, capable, energetic linguistics professor at Columbia University to a defeated, saddened, shell of herself because of early onset Alzheimer’s disease. Her performance was so authentic and raw that I teared up during the film. I am not a crier. I didn’t cry at The Titanic, The Notebook or even in Toy Story 3 (call me heartless). But when Julianne Moore told her kids that her disease is genetic and they might have it—tears. She was just that good.
I won’t bore you with an exhaustive list of winners and my thoughts on each of them, but there are a few more highlights from the Oscars worth mentioning. First, John Legend and Common’s performance of “Glory” was phenomenal and brought the audience to tears. Second, Lady Gaga put herself back on “The Edge of Glory” with her Sound of Music performance. She proved once and for all that she is more than her crazy costumes and unrecognizable makeup—she can truly sing. Julie Andrews even said so, and we all know that automatically makes it true. Third, I’m so glad Lupita N’yong presented an award this year—she is one of the most dazzling humans I have ever seen. Finally, a few questions for you to ponder: Why was Joan Rivers not included in the memoriam montage? Why did the Guardians of the Galaxy makeup artists not win when they literally had to turn their actors into aliens? Furthermore, why did Maleficent not win Best Costume Design when the outfits were inspired by Gianni Versace and Alexander McQueen? Did anyone else feel like they were watching a Kid’s Choice Award show gone wrong when the “Everything is Awesome” musical number struck? No matter what you thought of this year’s Academy Awards I think we can all agree on two things: That some sensational films came out this past year, and Neil Patrick Harris needed some higher security on his gold studded prediction briefcase.
Complete list of this year’s winners for reference:
Achievement in Costume Design- Milena Canonero
Actor in Supporting Role- J.K Simmons (my pick- Ethan Hawke Boyhood)
Actress in Supporting Role- Patricia Arquette (My pick- Kiera Knightley)
Achievement in makeup and hairstyling-Frances Hannon, Mark Coulier
Best Foreign language film- Ida, Pawel Pawliko
Best live action short film- The Phone Call- Matt 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-Tom Cross
Best documentary feature- Citizenfour- Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy, Dirk Wilutzky
Best original song- Glory From Selma
Best original score- Alexandre Desplat- The Grand Budapest Hotel
Original screenplay- Birdman
Adapted screenplay- The Imitation Game
Best director- Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu for Birdman
Best actor- Eddie Redmayne for The Theory of Everything
Best actress- Julianne Moore for Still Alice
Best picture- Birdman
By CARRIE PINKARD / Contributing Writer