Just days before the February 22 Oscar telecast, the Best Picture category was a real horse race between Birdman and Boyhood. I would have liked a dark horse (just to keep the metaphor going) of The Theory of Everything, because that movie was really in my heart. But between the favored two, I was hugely disappointed in Boyhood. I absolutely wanted Birdman to be Best Picture.
The Oscars opened with a production number with host Neil Patrick Harris honoring “moving pictures.” He was joined by who-knew-she-was-a-great-singer Anna Kendrick, and Jack Black interrupted as a spoiler. It was great fun.
The earliest award, Supporting Actor, went to character actor J.K. Simmons for Whiplash. You also see him five times a day in Farmers Insurance commercials. This award, for this role in this movie, is his 38th. There are a lot of Film Critics and Journalists Associations Awards out there.
I’m not going to say a word about women’s fashion – just about men’s. I don’t care that you’re in California; it’s February. What’s with the white dinner jackets? Spring, summer and winter cruise wear for white jackets. (OK, OK, we’re breaking all the rules these days…) Kevin Hart looked awful. Jared Leto, please – light blue 70’s prom tuxedo with white shoes. But you’re Jared Leto. You can wear anything you want.
Patricia Arquette won Supporting Actress, as she had every previous award show. Patricia, you knew you’d win. Why not memorize something with feeling? Instead of reading names at top speed? Then you had a great effect demanding equality for every woman who ever gave birth and every taxpayer! A fantastic feminist moment! Build up to it with some feeling! (For instance, you could have listened to every speech Julianne Moore had given.)
In Memoriam is always a touching part of the evening. Meryl Streep started out with a quote from Joan Didion’s memoir: “A single person is missing from you, and the whole world is empty.” This time illustrated pictures were shown. Not all actors, all directors, all producers. There were two glaring problems. Joan Rivers and Elaine Stritch were left out. Twitter exploded. The Academy responded with a lame statement that they had room for only so many people, but that those two artists were included in Oscars.com. Not enough, Academy.
The nominated songs were all well performed and fairly moving, with the possible exception of “Everything Is Awesome” from The Lego Movie. That one was just for fun.
The last song performed was “Glory” from Selma. The performance, by John Legend and Common, received a standing ovation. Shortly afterwards, the winner of Best Song was announced. “Glory” written by John Stephens and Lonnie Lynn – also known as John Legend and Common. Needless to say, that decision was a hit.
Along with “Selma” marking 50 years after Martin Luther King’s march from Selma to Montgomery, “The Sound of Music” hit theaters 50 years ago.
The Oscars did a tribute to “The Sound of Music,” complete with kids, songs, and – Lady Gaga?????
It was the most refined, understated, prom-dressed appearance we’ve ever seen from Lady Gaga. It’s not easy hitting Julie Andrews’ notes, but Gaga carried it off beautifully. With long, wavy blonde hair and a wispy white dress, you could almost picture 1960’s Julie Andrews – except for the tattoos on both arms. It was a beautiful moment when Julie Andrews came out, hugged “My Darling” and announced the next award. Maybe some people who didn’t already love Lady Gaga the way I do – do now.
Best Original Screenplay went to Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. and Armando Bo for Birdman. It was just the first of three trips onstage for Alejandro González Iñárritu.
Best Adapted Screenplay went to Graham Moore for The Imitation Game. (Just an aside – this film also had my heart. In another year, this film could have swept. This year was exceptional, and it’s a crime that more awards didn’t go to this movie.) Young Graham Moore came up on stage and said, I’ll paraphrase – Here it is, I attempted suicide at 16 – I can’t believe I’m on this stage – this goes out to that kid who thinks she’s weird and different – stay weird and different – and when it’s your turn, and you’re on this stage, pass it on to the next person… Graham Moore brought down the house.
Best Director went to Alejandro González Iñárritu, having a fantastic time at the Oscars. He said he was wearing Michael Keaton’s tighty whities as a good luck charm.
Best Actress went to Julianne Moore for Still Alice. It was her masterpiece. She had read an article that winning an Oscar can make you live five years longer. She’s glad because her husband is younger than she is. She was eloquent about people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and thankful to those who worked with her on this movie.
Best Actor went to Eddie Redmayne for The Theory of Everything. (I wanted him to win this Oscar the day I saw the movie. And I knew he would.) He said the award belonged to those people around the world battling ALS and to the Hawking family. He thanked his wife and announced that there was a fellow who soon would be sharing their apartment.
Best Picture went to Birdman. Alejandro González Iñárritu once more went to the stage, along with everyone from the movie. He made another speech, thanked Michael Keaton, who came up and said “Who am I kidding, I’m just glad to be here.”
I’m happy about the 2015 Oscars. (Did anyone notice, not once were they referred to as the Academy Awards?) The voters loved the ones I loved. Please go back on this site and read about Still Alice, Birdman, The Imitation Game, and The Theory of Everything. It was a great year.
OK, Boyhood didn’t win Best Picture. Don’t be haters.
Let’s go to the movies.