Neil Patrick Harris hosted the 87th Academy Awards last night and, believe me, watching the awards show was a much better time than homework ever could have been. There are so many components that make up this night, which is used to celebrate the achievements of filmmakers. These are the highlights of last night’s show, from who won the most Oscars to awkward moments courtesy of John Travolta.
The first thing we see on the Red Carpet are the glamorous outfits of all the celebrities, so it seems fair to acknowledge the best dressed of the night. Emma Stone, nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, rocked a yellow, sequined dress, possibly making her the best dressed of the night. The ever-chic Meryl Streep combined aspects of a suit and a dress, looking flawless as always. Lady Gaga wore an over-the-top foiled and structured gown with red with elbow-length gloves, an outfit far from typical, but something only Lady Gaga could pull off. In general, there were a lot of light colored (read: nude, sheer, white, yellow) dresses; it wasn’t a particularly revolutionary year for Oscars fashion. Almost all men donned some variation on a suit, all looking great. David Oyelowo, who played Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, took a risk with a maroon colored suit, which paid off. As usual, there were plenty of navy suits, black suits, and Jared Leto in a white one.
Neil Patrick Harris, as expected, was a great, energetic host, starting off the show with a musical number featuring Anna Kendrick and Jack Black. He welcomes the audience to the “whitest Oscars” ever, alluding to the fact that the vast majority of the nominees this year were white and/or male (even more so than usual). Selma, which received incredible reviews (98% on Rotten Tomatoes) was snubbed for Oscar nominations, only receiving two for Best Picture and Best Original Song. It won the latter of the two for “Glory” by John Stephens and Lonnie Lynn, performed live last night by John Legend and Common.
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) won four Oscars, including Best Picture, for which it beat out Boyhood, its main competition. The Grand Budapest Hotel, my personal favorite, took home four Oscars, making it the other big winner of the night in addition to Birdman. Eddie Redmayne won Best Actor for playing Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, giving an adorably emotional acceptance speech. Julianne Moore snagged Best Actress for her leading role in Still Alice. Patricia Aquette, from “Boyhood”, and J.K. Simmons, from “Whiplash”, won Best Support Actress and Actor, respectively. Despite being nominated for six Oscars and being the highest-grossing movie represented at the Oscars this year, American Sniper only won one for Sound Editing. Similarly, The Imitation Game was nominated for eight and won for just Adapted Screenplay.
Aside from the number of awards each movie won, there were plenty of exciting moments that made this year’s Academy Awards ceremony stand out. Lady Gaga simply nails an incredible The Sound of Music tribute medley in honor of the film’s 50th anniversary. John Legend and Common’s performance of “Glory” brought the cast of Selma, and nearly everyone else, to tears.
This was a particularly emotional year for acceptance speeches. Patricia Arquette brought up women’s rights in her inspiring speech, “We have fought for everybody else’s equal rights. It’s time to have wage equality…And equal rights for women in United States of America.” Graham Moore, who won Best Adapted Screenplay for The Imitation Game, told us that he attempted suicide early on in his life and that, “[he] would like this moment to be for that kid out there who feels like she doesn’t fit in anywhere. You do. Stay weird. Stay different, and then when it’s your turn and you are standing on this stage, please pass the same message along.” JK Simmons reminded us to call our parents (not text them), while thanking his parents during his acceptance speech.
Of course, no Oscar would be complete without an awkward moment or two. Idina Menzel introduced John Travolta as “Glom Gazingo”, alluding to his brutal mispronunciation of her name at last year’s Oscars (Adele Dazeem, anyone?). He then proceeded to somewhat aggressively grab her chin while talking to her, making the entire audience mildly uncomfortable.
Well, that’s it for this year’s Oscars – entertaining as ever. See you next year, and watch some good movies in the meantime!