Monday 23 February 2015

The 87th Academy Awards

After several weeks of anticipation, the winners of the 87th Academy Awards have been unveiled. The ceremony, which was held at the Dolby Theatre, was hosted by Neil Patrick Harris.The big winners are coincidentally the same movies leading the nominations count with 9 apiece, Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel. Both films took home 4 awards each, with the former taking home the two biggest awards of the ceremony, Best Director and Best Picture, at the expense of fellow awards season favorite, Boyhood.

This marks the second year in a row that the Best Director award is going to a Mexican director (Alejandro González Iñárritu), following Alfonso Cuarón's win for Gravity last year. Rounding out Birdman's wins were awards for Best Cinematography and Best Original Screenplay. The Grand Budapest Hotel's wins on the other hand were relegated to the technical categories, namely Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, and Best Original Score.

There were few surprises on the acting front: Eddie Redmanye won Best Actor and Julianne Moore won Best Actress, while J.K. Simmons and Patricia Arquette won Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress respectively, the latter being the only one of six nominations that the movie Boyhood was able to secure. Also taking home single awards were Interstellar (Best Visual Effects), American Sniper (Best Sound Editing), Big Hero 6 (Best Animated Feature Film), and Selma (Best Original Song).

Lady Gaga sang a medley of songs from The Sound of Music in honor of the movie's 50th anniversary, during which she showcased her singing chops like never before. The moment was made even more magical when she was joined by Julie Andrews herself, who was there to present the award for Best Original Score. The team behind The LEGO Movie soundtrack also gave an energetic performance of Everything is Awesome, during which they handed out several LEGO Oscars to people in the audience.

Overall, I was a bit disappointed that Boyhood didn't win Best Picture, and that Wes Anderson didn't win Best Original Screenplay for The Grand Budapest Hotel. But there is no denying the sheer brilliance of Birdman, which won in both categories. The last time a dark comedy cleaned out like that was with American Beauty in 1999, so it is nice to know that the academy still has love for such movies.


  1. Hey, so here's a non-spam comment! I thought the ceremony needlessly dragged after a certain point. Usually critics start complaining about all the add-in features. Personally, I would've been happy to acknowledge Sound of Music with a much shorter segment. Neil Patrick Harris, I think, was a little hung up on the minor film career he's had so far. (I would've brought in Harold & Kumar.) Still, very glad that Birdman won, though to see such an obvious snubbing of the hugely popular American Sniper will have to be another of those head-scratching moments the Academy apparently loves so much.

    1. LOL re: the spam comments. I should probably do something about those.

      Being a Lady Gaga fan, I didn't take too much of an issue with the length of her Sound of Music medley. But I must confess, I didn't actually sit down to watch the full telecast, so I can see why somebody who did might find it a little too extraneous for their liking.

      I wasn't too surprised to see American Sniper win only one (technical) award, given the obvious forerunners. Also, its relatively late entry into the Oscar race no doubt contributed to Jake Gyllenhaal's lack of a nomination in the Best Actor category. That said, I thoroughly enjoyed American Sniper and I think that Bradley Cooper did an awesome job.

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