The 2015 Oscars: Commentary & Winners

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It is 1am. I’m sitting here on the sofa, I’ve got a cup of tea and half a box of Ferrero Rocher (as a tribute to the recently deceased legendary confectioner, you understand) and the TV is on. I’m ready for the Oscars.

There are a number of things I am hoping for tonight. First off I want there to be some reference to Back to the Future 2, the year that Marty visits in the future having now arrived. I also want John Travolta to reference the fact that he mangled Idina Menzel’s name last year. (They should get him to read out the nominations for Best Foreign Language Film.) I want host Neil Patrick Harris to call out the Academy for not nominating any black actors when Selma gave them every cause to and I desperately want Ida to win Best Foreign Language Picture. Everything else can fall how it may.

Okay, the red carpet interviews are done, the commentators seemed to have reached a consensus that Reece Witherspoon is wearing the best dress but she won’t tell anyone who the designer is because ‘it’s not about the dress’. In previous years things have gone downhill from here but I’m feeling optimistic for a good ceremony tonight.

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Ladies and gentleman please welcome your host, Neil Patrick Harris. His opening line – ‘Tonight we celebrated the best and whitest, sorry brightest.’ Tick.

Oh, and a shout out for Back to the Future in the opening song, and Clue! He randomly mentioned Clue! Good start.

First award Best Supporting Actor. Oscar number one goes to J.K Simmonds for Whiplash. He just referred to his ‘above average children’ in his acceptance speech, which he also did at the BAFTAs, and then told everyone to call their parents. Can’t argue with that.

Adam Levine belts out Lost Stars from Begin Again and then it is time for the first ad break. What happens in the theatre when they go to commercial?

Best Costume Design goes to The Grand Budapest Hotel. A worthy win and the first of several I am expecting for that film this evening. It should do well in the technical categories.

Best Make Up & Hairstyling for… yep, The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Best Foreign Language Film, come on Ida, come on Ida. The award goes to… Ida! Hooray, I can sleep easy (but not for another two and a half hours). Director Pawel Pawlilowski is clearly a little overwhelmed and is giving a rambling (and totally endearing) acceptance speech. They are trying to play him off but he’s not stopping. The music has stopped but he’s still going. You take your moment Pawel, you’ve earned it.

Neil Patrick Harris is in the audience talking to the seat fillers. Excellent.

Now they are performing Everything is Awesome and it is joyously nuts. (Look it up on YouTube, I can’t explain it.) The dancers are going out into the audience giving out Lego Oscars just like the one Lego Movie director Phil Lord tweeted a picture of when he didn’t receive a nomination for Best Animated Feature.

The Oscar for Best Live Action Short goes to The Phone Call.

Best Documentary Short goes to Crisis Hotline.

I didn’t predict either of those two correctly.

They tried to play the last recipient off but then she dedicated the award to her son who had committed suicide and said suicide needed to be spoken about openly. Thankfully they had the grace and respect to cut the music immediately.

Crumbs, they are singing the nominated song ‘I’m Not Going to Miss You’ which was apparently written by Glen Cambell to his wife and kids at the point he got Altzheimers. I’ve not heard this before and the lyrics are heartbreaking.

Neil Patrick Harris is on stage in his tighty whities in reference to Birdman. I can’t say much more about that, it’s a visual gag.

Best Sound Mixing for Whiplash
Best Sound Editing for American Sniper. The acceptance speeches are going on a little but they don’t seem to want to play people off anymore.

The Best Supporting Actress nominations are being read out and Emma Stone is sitting there clutching a Lego Oscar with real hope in her eyes. 



Sorry Em, not this year. The award deservedly goes to Boyhood’s Patricia Arquette who uses her speech to demand equal rights for women in America. Cool. She also gave Emma Stone a hug on the way up to the podium.

The Oscar for Best Visual Effects is awarded to Interstellar. I’m glad they thanked theoretical physicist Kip Thorne because they couldn’t have it done it without him.

The winner of Best Animated Short is Feast. I suddenly feel as though I need snacks.

Best Animated Feature is being presented and Neil Patrick Harris has suggested whoever is out there watching the ceremony with the directors of The Lego Movie should distract them right now. The Oscar goes to Big Hero Six which I have to say, I don’t think it deserves, not compared to other nominated films The Boxtrolls and How to Train Your Dragon 2. Baymax is good but that’s all it’s got.

There’s a running gag about Harris’ Oscar predictions being locked in a briefcase on the side of the stage where everyone can see it. It’s falling a little flat at the moment, we will have to see how it pays off at the end.

Achievement in Production Design goes to, yep… The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Best Cinematography goes to Birdman. It should have gone to Ida but I can let that one go. Emmanuel Lubezki also won last year for Gravity, the guy knows his onions.

Best Film Editing. Benedict Cumberbatch is presenting with Naomi Watts and he said arses. He’s Benedict Cumberbatch so he can get away with it. The editing award goes to Whiplash. I hated the editing in Whiplash, the jazz montage jump cuts made me want to scream. Still, you know, congratulations Whiplash.

David Oyelowo is wearing an awesome red tux to award Best Documentary Feature to Citizen Four.

Tears and a standing ovation following the performance of nominated song Glory from the film Selma.

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Excellent. They’ve got Idina Menzel and John Travolta to present best song together. They are giving the guy some affectionate stick for last year and he is taking it well. Idina Menzel announced her co-host as Glam Gazingo and then he came on and said his bit from last year ‘the wickedly talented Idina Menzel’ correctly. ‘This will follow me around forever’ says she. ‘Tell me about it’ he replies. This is my favourite bit of the ceremony so far although what is going on with Danny Zuko’s hair? It looks like a plastic wig.

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Best Song goes to Glory. I think we all saw that coming about five minutes ago if not before.

As a contrast Lady Gaga is now singing a Sound of Music medley. Really? Lady Gaga? She doesn’t seem to have the necessary range. Now here’s Julie Andrews herself to award Best Score to… Alexandre Desplat for The Grand Budapest Hotel. He finally wins after eight nominations.

Best Original Screenplay is awarded to Birdman not Boyhood. Could this be an indication of where the main prize will go? One of the winning writers just thanked his dog.

Best Adapted Screenplay is The Imitation Game. Hmm! Not sure that’s gone to the right film, it was a little clichéd. Winner Graham Moore gives a moving speech though saying he once thought about killing himself because he didn’t fit in and now here he is, so to all those losing hope – stick with it.

Best Director is awarded to Alejandro Iñárritu for Birdman or (The Unjustified Defeat of Richard Linklater).

Best Actor up now. If this one goes to Eddie Redmayne I’ll be able to get over my disappointment regarding the last award. Yep, he’s got it. He’s rambling a little up on the stage but he looks happier to win than anyone else all night.

No surprises with Best Actress, it’s Julianne Moore for Still Alice. She has got a standing ovation. I look forward to seeing the film.

Neil Patrick Harris is opening his predictions envelope. Yep, the gag paid off. It is a series of witty comments on the ceremony that he couldn’t have possibly known or got into the box without anyone seeing. Neat trick.

Okay, here we are – the big one. The Best Picture of 2015 is… Birdman. Shame, Boyhood is an amazing film that did something totally different with the medium. Birdman has some great performances but it is full of affectation.

There it is though. Not enough love for Marty McFly but a good ceremony. Neil did a good job.

It is 5am, the 87th Academy Awards Ceremony is done and I’m posting this, typos and all, and going back to bed.

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