Another year, another Oscars night, and this one was as mixed a bag as all the rest. The unplanned parts? Better than the planned parts. The speeches hit the best notes, Neil Patrick Harris as host was an unfortunate low, Birdman, Whiplash, and The Grand Budapest Hotel cleaned up and Chris Pine had the most emotional night of all. Here are the highs and lows of the 2015 Oscars..
– The opening musical sequence. Neil Patrick Harris led a large set piece that spanned the history of cinema, incorporating both a gigantic rear projector on stage and a montage of Harris hanging out in other films. This classified as both a high and a low of the night, being Harris’ peak moment of his hosting stint, but still didn’t showcase all of his ability. The magic just wasn’t there, in his voice, in his face…until the always delightful Anna Kendrick stepped in to save it. Even Jack Black had more enthusiasm in his brief cameo. But The Goonies was featured in the montage so it’s already up there in my book.
– Ida winner Pawel Pawlikowski ignoring the early play off music that rudely interrupted his acceptance speech and talking over it through to the end. You wouldn’t see that happen to any of the ‘best 6’ categories [head shake]
– Octavia Spencer’s complete disinterest in participating in Neil Patrick Harris’ snore-worthy long running Oscar predictions joke.
– The Lonely Island teaming up with Tegan and Sara (with a side of Will Arnett as Batman and The Roots’ drummer Questlove) to perform The Lego Movie‘s ‘Everything Is Awesome’. And awesome it was:
– Also Oprah and Emma Stone’s faces upon receiving their Lego Oscars during the performance
– Patricia Arquette making complete use of her Best Supporting Actress acceptance speech (for Boyhood) to urge equal pay for women, in a room full of male Hollywood execs, no less. Also Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lopez aggressively cheering on from the front row. LADIES, ALWAYS.
– The Imitation Game screenplay writer Graham Moore sharing his experience with suicide and giving people struggling a little glimmer of hope with his words, “stay weird. stay different.”
– Also the wealth of other powerful acceptance speeches bringing light to important social issues
– John Legend and Common’s incredibly powerful and chilling performance of Selma‘s Glory, which brought the audience to its feet and left some in tears. This was without a doubt the biggest highlight of the night, particularly when partnered with their acceptance speech immediately thereafter for Original Song. “Selma is now because the struggle for justice is right now.”
– Julie Andrews making a surprise appearance after Lady Gaga’s Sound of Music tribute performance, and her impeccable pronunciation of Lady Gaga’s name. Also just Julie Andrews in general. Queen!
– Eddie Redmayne being just about the most adorable human on the planet, especially when accepting the award for Best Actor for his role as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. And also in the press room.
– Benedict Cumberbatch’s cute faces to the camera throughout the night
– American Sniper only receiving one award. Birdman and Whiplash getting a tonne.
– Feast winning Best Animated Short and Big Hero 6 taking Best Animated Feature. Although I would’ve loved seeing How To Train Your Dragon finally getting some award love. It’s okay, we’ve got one more film to make it right!
– Neil Patrick Harris as host, disappointing as it is to say. Especially considering the hype around his hosting skills, it was a real shame to see his potential crash and burn. I’m pretty bummed about it.
– The jokes. NPH started off strong with “Tonight we honour Hollywood’s best and whitest — sorry — brightest”, a commentary on the lack of diversity within the Academy, and then it all went downhill from there. In particular, the totally unfunny and completely unnecessarily long running Oscar predictions briefcase joke. Even the audience wanted it to be over.
– Neil Patrick Harris’ Birdman bit. It was unnecessary and unimaginative, and made us see more of NPH that was appropriate for the setting. However, the quick transition into a Whiplash bit meant that we briefly saw the delightful and talented Miles Teller (which I’m always here for), so I’ll forgive it. Maybe.
– The Adele Nazeem callback and John Travolta’s general creepiness. Okay so, John got to make light of his flub from the previous year and Idina Menzel got her revenge by mispronouncing his name. But what followed was four minutes of that one joke repeated. Also poor Idina’s moment was short lived, having to endure him touching her face over and over.
– Sean Penn’s distasteful (more like gross) green card joke when presenting Best Picture to Birdman, referring to director Alejandro González Iñárritu. Just no.
– Emma Stone in Elie Saab
– Reese Witherspoon in Tom Ford
– Margot Robbie in Saint Laurent
– Rosamund Pike in Givenchy
– Eddie Redmayne in Alexander McQueen
– Chris Evans in Gucci (but come on, when DOESN’T he look good?)
Best live twitter coverage:
With a running time of 3 hours and 40 minutes, the moving speeches and compelling musical performances (not counting Adam Levine or Rita Ora though, let’s be honest) were a saviour in what otherwise would have been a ceremony so boring it’d be worth turning off. You know, unless you’re like me and a slave to the Oscars, regardless of any and all disappointments. But overall, David Oyelowo pretty much sums up the entire night..