Oscars Recap an Amazing Year of Film

Rachel Haywood
Editor in Chief

I expected American Sniper to sweep the 87th Academy Awards on Sunday. Unfortunately, the one film nominated for an Oscar that I saw only took home one award, Sound Editing.

American Sniper is a good movie. I guess I was uneducated and I assumed that the one I knew about would win.

Host Neil Patrick Harris opened the show with a dazzling musical number, featuring Anna Kendrick and Jack Black, which was quite entertaining, just enough to get our attention, anyway.   Harris has always entertained the masses, but I think the comedy fell flat after that brief opening. Transitions between awards were filled with stiff jokes and awkward giggles. The response from the audience was not as rousing as it had been in past years. Hosting this show is tough. Sorry, Neil Patrick Harris.

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) was the big winner Sunday night, walking away with four of its nine nominations including Best Picture. The Grand Budapest Hotel was hot on their tail also walking away with four of their nine nominations, including Production Design and Best Original Score.

Cinema isn’t the only talent at the Oscars. Musical performances from Adam Levine (“Lost Stars” – Begin Again), Tegan & Sara (“Everything is Awesome” – The Lego Movie), Tim McGraw (“I’m Not Going to Miss You” – Glen Campbell I’ll Be Me), John Legend & Common (“Glory” – Selma), and Lady Gaga (The Sound of Music medley) showcased the amazing music involved in filmmaking. Gaga stole the whole show with her 50 year tribute to The Sound of Music. Julie Andrews presented the next award and also graciously thanked Gaga for her outstanding performance. Gaga’s performance was probably my favorite part of the whole show.

Best Picture: Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Best Actor: Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

Best Actress: Julianne Moore, Still Alice

Best Supporting Actor: JK Simmons, Whiplash

Best Supporting Actress: Patricia Arquette, Boyhood

Animated Feature Film: Big Hero 6

Cinematography: Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Costume Design: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Director: Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu for Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Documentary Feature: CitizenFour

Documentary Short: Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1

Film Editing: Whiplash

Foreign Language: Ida (Poland)

Makeup and Hairstyling: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Music (Original Score): The Grand Budapest Hotel

Music (Original Song): “Glory” – John Legend and Common (Selma)

Production Design- The Grand Budapest Hotel

Short Film (Animated): Feast

Short Film (Live-Action): The Phone Call

Sound Editing: American Sniper

Sound Mixing: Whiplash

Visual Effects: Interstellar

Writing (Adapted Screenplay): The Imitation Game

Writing (Original Screenplay): Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

*For a list of specific winners/nominations go to oscar.go.com/nominees

Perhaps one of the best jokes of the night came from Idina Menzel and John Travolta. At last year’s Academy Awards, Travolta introduced Menzel and her musical performance, but not quite in the way everyone expected. “Idina Menzel” somehow turned into “Adele Dazeem,” and social media exploded over the incident, following both Travolta and Menzel for a long time. This year, Menzel jokingly introduced her fellow presenter (Travolta) as “Glob Gazingo.” “I deserve that,” said Travolta.

Fashion is another widely discussed category in the Oscars buzz. On Sunday, viewers saw outfits ranging anywhere from stunning to plain ugly. Among many others, award presenter Jennifer Lopez steals one of my “Best Dressed” votes. Her blush pink/peach Ellie Saab gown was amazingly beautiful and perfect for her and the occasion. Lady Gaga, however, stands at the other end of the spectrum. On the Red Carpet, Gaga wore red rubber gloves with a shimmering scale-like Azzedine Alaïa gown. Not one of her best looks, but she is known for outrageous fashion statements. I just didn’t know what to think.

All in all, the Oscars accomplished what they set out to do. 24 categories later, the best of the best have been named. After months and even years of hard work, the filmmaking industry has wrapped up an incredible year. Here is one quick look at Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance).

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