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Written By: Luke Mythen
Another year, another Academy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles. This year, the 87th awards show was hosted by the very enthusiastic and talented Neil Patrick Harris, taking over from last year’s host Ellen DeGeneres. Before the awards, everyone had their own opinions and favourites, ranging from Birdman to The Theory Of Everything; everyone had their own views on who should win. And whether you love these awards or you hate them, they are the peak of an actor’s or a film maker’s career, they can open doors, and they can allow the unrecognisable to become recognisable. They have also provided us with some of the most famous television moments, from Ellen DeGeneres’ selfie with the audience in 2014 to Marlon Brando’s Oscar snub in 1973 when a young American Indian girl named Sacheen Littlefather took to the stage to meet the crowd. If you would like to see this in full, click here.
As with every ceremony, the opening is vitally important. There was an immense pressure on the shoulders of the diverse host, who has previously worked on stage and was most recently in Gone Girl and the television series How I Met Your Mother. The opening was very tasteful, which is a rarity for the Oscars: the song was quick and easy to bob along with, and it was performed well by both Neil Patrick Harris and Jack Black. The Birdman sequence was really something to behold; another historic moment in the history of the Oscars.
The live performances on the night kept the show moving, and provided the audience with a grateful gap between awards. The stand-out performance, however, was the song by the Oscar winners on the night for their original number Glory for the film Selma. It moved a lot of the audience to tears with its message of hope and freedom, the message that Martin Luther King was spreading at this time.
Still, we are not watching the Oscars because we want to see the host all night. We want to see the awards, the victory speeches and the losers’ sour expressions. Back in January, we were given the shortlist of the nominations within each category, and a lot of them had already been predicted and expected, but there were some unusual absentees. For example, The Lego Movie, which was a personal favourite of mine last year, was not considered for Best Animation category, although the song Everything Is Awesome from the movie was nominated and performed at the ceremony, with a surprise guest known as Batman. Another strange absentee was Jake Gyllenhaal for his powerful and gritty performance in Nightcrawler. But now is not the time to concentrate on who should and who shouldn’t have been there; all we need to concentrate on now is who won and who didn’t this past Sunday evening.
We shall begin with the most prestigious category, and that is Best Picture. The films nominated were Birdman, The Theory Of Everything, Whiplash, Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Selma and The Imitation Game. All fantastic films in their own right; however, it was Birdman that came out victorious on the night. The field was strong, so it shows how good this year’s winner had to be to triumph. You can read a review of Birdman by my colleague Mark Armstrong by clicking here.
The next big category is Best Actor In A Leading Role. Now, this had a lot of speculation before the nomination announcement because the calibre of the past year had been so high. The nominated actors included Eddie Redmayne, Michael Keaton, Steve Carrell, Bradley Cooper and Benedict Cumberbatch. I expected Redmayne to win, and he did. He provided a complete performance in The Theory Of Everything, as we accompanied him on a fascinating journey as Professor Steven Hawking from his time in University to the present day. I remember leaving the theatre that day knowing then that he would win the Oscar for Best Actor. You can read my full review of this particular film by clicking here. As you’ll see, my foresight was exceptional!
The last category I am going to divulge into is Best Actress In A Leading Role. The nominations were again fierce and the competition was intense. Those up for the award included Marion Cotillard, Felicity Jones, Reese Witherspoon, Roseamund Pike and Julian Moore. The winner, of course, was the ever-talented Julian Moore for her performance in Still Alice. This is a long overdue Oscar for the actress who in the past has been nominated but was unsuccessful for films including Boogie Nights (1997) and Far From Heaven (2002).
Overall, this year’s Oscars didn’t stand out like many have in the past, as the films up for contention were not big box office smashes, such as in 2010 when the overall income for all the nominated films were over $1 billion. This time around, it was a much lower key event, but the winners were on the whole logical, the host was very entertaining, and the show ran very smoothly. And so I look forward to next year’s event with bated breath.
I conclude with a list of the winners in all categories at the 2015 Oscars. See you on the red carpet in 2016!
Best Picture: Birdman
Best Actress In A Leading Role: Julianne Moore (Still Alice)
Best Actor In A Leading Role: Eddie Redmayne (The Theory Of Everything)
Best Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu (Birdman)
Best Adapted Screenplay: The Imitation Game (Graham Moore)
Best Original Screenplay: Birdman (Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris Jr. and Armando Bo)
Best Original Score: The Grand Budapest Hotel (Alexandre Desplat0
Best Original Song: Glory (Selma; Music and lyrics by John Stephens and Lonnie Lynn)
Best Documentary Feature: Citizenfour (Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy and Dirk Wilutzky)
Film Editing: Whiplash (Tom Cross)
Cinematography: Birdman (Emmanuel Lubezki)
Production Design: The Grand Budapest Hotel (Adam Stockhausen and Anna Pinnock)
Best Animated Feature: Big Hero 6 (Don Hall, Chris Williams and Roy Conli)
Best Animated Short: Feast (Patrick Osborne and Kristina Reed)
Achievements In Visual Effects: Interstellar (Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter and Scott Fisher)
Best Actress In A Supporting Role: Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)
Sound Editing: American Sniper (Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman)
Sound Mixing: Whiplash (Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins and Thomas Curley)
Best Documentary Short Subject: Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1 (Ellen Goosenberg Kent and Dana Perry)
Best Live Action Short Film: The Phone Call (Mat Kirkby and James Lucas)
Best Foreign Language Film: Ida (Poland)
Makeup and Hairstyling: Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
Costume Design: Milena Canonero (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
Best Actor In A Supporting Role: J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)
Disagree with any of the choices? Leave your comments below!