Last night, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) soared. The film about the redemption of a Hollywood has-been won Best Picture, Best Director (Alejandro González Iñárritu), Best Original Screenplay, and Best Cinematography. Over the last few weeks, Birdman has gained momentum by picking up the top prize from Screen Actors Guild, Directors Guild of America, and Producers Guild of America, to name a few. It was probably this last minute push that allowed Birdman to win Best Picture over the early front-runner, Boyhood.
Boyhood only won Best Supporting Actress for Patricia Arquette’s performance as a struggling single mother. Her speech was one of the most talked about of the night. Arquette took the time to point out the disparity in wages between women and men. The audience whole heartedly agreed, especially Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lopez. When Meryl Streep starts cheering for you that enthusiastically, you know you said something right.
J.K. Simmons won Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of a tyrannical music teacher in Whiplash. Whiplash surprised many by walking away with three of the five awards it was nominated for, including Best Sound Mixing and Best Editing.
The leading actor categories each went to a depiction of physical or mental decline. Eddie Redmayne won Best Actor for his performance as physicist Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. Hawking was diagnosed with ALS in the early 1960s, and has been unable to speak with his own voice since 1985. Julianne Moore took home the Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal of a linguistic professor diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease in Still Alice.
The other big winner of the night was The Grand Budapest Hotel, which won four Oscars: Best Score, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Costume Design, and Best Production Design. That sound of cheering you hear is managing editor of Moviefied NYC Myrna Duarte. Her love of this film knows no bounds. I actually have the sneaking suspicion that she may be receiving a percentage of the profits.
The award show itself was very underwhelming. Host Neil Patrick Harris began with a strong opening number dedicated to movies. After that initial performance, Harris’s jokes seemed forced and not very funny. He gave the impression that he got his jokes from a book on joke-telling. The one bright spot was Harris’s spoof on Birdman. Harris appeared on stage in a pair of tight white underwear after being locked out of his dressing room during a costume change. He nailed it.
Below is a full list of night’s winners:
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman
Best Actor in a Leading Role
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything
Best Actress in a Leading Role
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Best Actor in a Supporting Role
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash
Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Best Original Screenplay
Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo, Birdman
Best Adapted Screenplay
Graham Moore, The Imitation Game
Best Animated Feature Film
Big Hero 6
Best Foreign Language Film
Emmanuel Lubezki, Birdman
Tom Cross, Whiplash
Best Production Design
Adam Stockhausen, Anna Pinnock, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Best Costume Design
Milena Canonero, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Frances Hannon, Mark Coulier, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Best Original Score
Alexandre Desplat, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Best Original Song
Common and John Legend, “Glory” from Selma
Best Sound Mixing
Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins, Thomas Curley, Whiplash
Best Sound Editing
Alan Robert Murray, Bub Asman, American Sniper
Best Visual Effects
Paul J. Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter, Scott R. Fisher, Interstellar
Best Documentary Feature
Best Documentary Short
“Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1”
Best Animated Short
Best Live-Action Short
“The Phone Call”