Oscar - Prize, Pose & Preen
A Birdman bonanza to passionate speeches, some fun moments to one big fail. That’s how the Academy Awards played out at the dolby theatre in Los Angeles
- Published 25.02.15
It was touted to be a B-vs-B battle, but Birdman soared way higher than Boyhood, winning the big two: Best Picture and Best Director for Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu. “For someone to win, someone has to lose. But the paradox is that true art, true individual expression… can’t be compared,” said Inarritu about his ambitious project shot as a single take. For all those hoping for a biggie from Boyhood in terms of Best Picture felt robbed. “Who gave this son of a b**ch his green card?” asked presenter Sean Penn, before handing over the big award of the night to Inarritu and his Birdman gang. A visibly overwhelmed Inarritu dedicated the win to his “fellow Mexicans”, calling for “dignity and respect” for Mexicans settled in “this incredible immigrant nation”.
TURNING ON THE CHARM
True to expectations, Eddie Redmayne won Best Actor for his turn as legendary physicist Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. Too choked to speak, the 33-year-old British actor nevertheless delivered a charming speech. “I will be its custodian,” said Redmayne, saying that the award was meant for all sufferers of ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis).
ALICE IN WONDERLAND
Nominated for four previous Oscars, Julianne Moore finally took home the Best Actress trophy for her role of a mother and wife battling the early onset of Alzheimer’s in Still Alice. The still stunning Moore started off with a winner: “I read an article that winning an Oscar makes you live five years longer. If that’s true, I would like to thank the Academy because my husband is younger than me!” Acknowledging her fellow nominees, she said: “There is no such thing as Best Actress.” And then moved on to pay tribute to her Still Alice director Richard Glatzer, who is coping with ALS.
WE THE WOMEN
She may have read out from a printout, but Patricia Arquette delivered the most moving speech of the evening. The winner of Best Supporting Actress for Boyhood, the 46-year-old won over the audience when she stressed on the need to have “equal wage rights for every woman in America”. “To every woman who gave birth. To every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights. It’s time to have wage equality once and for all," said Arquette to thunderous applause, led by Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lopez (Below) who stood up from their seats in support.
We also loved: Reese Witherspoon’s #askhermore tag, urging red carpet reporters to ask the women more questions than just what they are wearing. “We’re more than just our dresses. We are so happy to be here and talk about the work that we’ve done,” said the Wild nominee.
NEIL PATRICK HARRIS: #EPICFAIL
When nothing works, drop your pants. Neil Patrick Harris, making his Oscar debut as host, turned up in one sequence in just white undies to channel Birdman’s Riggan Thomson (yes, those “tighty whities”). But as O host, the How I Met Your Mother funnyman was anything but legen — wait for it — dary. Apart from a visually pleasing opening number, in which he cheekily let slip, “Tonight we honour Hollywood’s best and whitest — sorry, brightest”, NPH was a disaster. Most of his jokes and gags failed to find favour with the audience — those in front of him and the millions watching at home. “This next presenter is so lovely you could eat her up with a spoon: Reese Witherspoon,” bored NPH, but the one that truly made us cringe was when winner Dana Perry dedicated her Oscar for Best Documentary to her son who had committed suicide and Harris came up with an ill-timed quip about her outfit: “It takes a lot of balls to wear that dress”. WTF?!
The big fail of the night was a protracted and unnecessary gag in which the host “locked up” a bag containing what he claims were his Oscar predictions for the night, asking actress Octavia Spencer to guard it. Spencer didn’t get the joke… neither did we.
E for Equality
Even Jesus got his crown in front of a crowd / They marched with the torch, we gonna run with it.
Selma may have been sidelined in the big categories, but John Legend and Common mesmerised with their rendition of Glory — that eventually won for Best Original Song — prompting its star David Oyelowo as well as Chris Pine to tear up.
Lady Gaga’s ‘sound of music’
Lady Gaga performed the perfect 50th anniversary tribute to Sound of Music hitting all the high notes, with the classic musical’s Maria — Julie Andrews —thanking “Lae-dee-ga-ga” and saying that the performance “really warmed my heart”.
Take that, send-off music
Pawel Pawlikowski— winning Best Foreign Language Film for the Polish film Ida — cocked a snook at the send-off music, delivering his acceptance speech and saying his ‘Thank yous’ even as the orchestra played on, indicating his time on stage was up.
Everything is awesome!
The Lego Movie was left out of the Best Animated Film category and the rendition of Everything Is Awesome was just a reminder to the Academy on what it missed out. What we loved? The cute Lego Oscar replicas handed out to the likes of Meryl Streep, Bradley Cooper and Clint Eastwood.
“Stay weird, stay different,” was the message from Graham Moore who took home the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Imitation Game. Moore’s heartfelt speech— advocating gay rights and the right to belong— struck a chord.
50 shades... no, no!
Dakota Johnson and Melanie Griffith had the most awkward — and most real — mother-daughter moment on the red carpet with Dakota insisting that her mom, her plus-one for the evening, should watch her raunch fest Fifty Shades of Grey, and Melanie insisting that she didn’t want to watch it as it would be “strange”! “Fine, you don’t have to watch it,” said Dakota with mommy dear relenting with, “If she asks me to, I’ll watch it.” Awww.
Terrence Howard got oddly nervy when he came on stage to announce the nominees for Best Picture. Pregnant pauses, heavy breathing and a lot of stuttering defined the singer-actor’s time on stage which some are attributing to his desperate attempt to cover up a teleprompter failure.
SIPS & SLIPS
The actor goes to...
Last year’s Best Supporting Actress winner Lupita Nyong’o looked confident and composed while announcing the Best Supporting Actor winner, but fumbled at the most important line, saying: “And the actor goes to...”, eliciting a roar from the audience.
Take a swig, Sherlock!
Benedict Cumberbatch, a Best Actor nominee, was caught swigging from a hip flask, just as Neil Patrick Harris sang about people not yet being drunk at the Oscars because no one had lost. BC did not like being caught on camera though, asking it to “Oh go away!”
Called to present an award on stage, Idina Menzel got back at John Travolta for his gaffe last year — he mispronounced her name as Adele Dazeem — by referring to The Saturday Night Fever man as “Glom Gazingo”!
In the middle of all the serious speeches, one ‘thank you’ brought a smile on everyone’s face — while accepting the award for Best Original Screenplay for Birdman, writer Nicolas Giacobone had a heart-warming acknowledgement: his pet dog Larry!