Monday, February 23, 2015

THE OSCARS 2015: THE BEST MOMENTS

Now we all know that Birdman raced ahead of Boyhood and took home Best Picture, and The Grand Budapest Hotel made quite the sweep, let’s take a look back at Oscar night and at what made everything awesome about it...



Photos courtesy: AMPAS

THE HOST
Neil Patrick Harris finds the best and funniest way to round up the evening even before it ended, after he stripped down to his underwear on stage and made clever references…
The whole protected Oscar predictions routine that began with Neil Patrick Harris claiming how good he is at predicting the winners kept us chuckling throughout, every time he checked with Octavia Spencer who was to guard the locked box on one corner of the stage. It seemed like just a continuing shtick, but just before the end of the evening, he opened the box and revealed what was in it. The predictions were not of the results but of the show itself. Highlighting the moments that made us raise our eyebrows, like John Travolta touching Idina Menzel’s face, and other funny bits, he kind of summed up the evening in the most original and entertaining way possible.

But it wasn’t just that. He was awesome in every way. The little spoof on Birdman and Whiplash, getting his robe caught in a door and then walking on towards the stage, but not before criticizing Miles Teller’s tempo on the drums, was hilarious, and bold in a way that few could probably pull off. Harris also had some very cleverly thrown in lines, such as, “Edward Snowden couldn’t be here for some treason,” when the documentary Citizenfour—about Snowden, the fugitive, and the NSA scandal—won the Oscar for documentary feature. Also, the insight into the name of the How To Train Your Dragon sequel, about how it implies that the first film did not adequately teach us how to train our dragons, was one of the funniest things I’ve heard lately.

Most people did have a good feeling about Neil Patrick Harris hosting this year, and the promos for the Oscars showed a lot of promise. But he actually exceeded expectations, setting the tone and quality with his outstanding opening number, with the shadow magic tricks, which he had given hints about. Harris was a good choice, and I suspect they’ll bring him on to host again in a few years.




ACCEPTANCE SPEECHES
Eddie Redmayne, JK Simmons, Alejandro G. Iñárritu and Graham Moore gave the best ones
Eddie Redmayne winning best actor was one outcome of Oscar Night that everyone saw coming. Yet, when the moment arrived, the bounce in his step and the excitement on his face was unparalleled. The Oscar winner dedicated his win to “all of those people around the world battling ALS,” and to the “one exceptional family: Stephen, Jane, Jonathan and the Hawking children.” He went on to say that he would be the statuette’s custodian, promising that he would “look after [it]. I will polish him. I will answer his beck and call. I will wait on him hand and foot,” he said, perhaps referring to the film itself.



JK Simmons, on the other hand, chose to dedicate his Oscar acceptance to his family—his children, their mother and his own parents, driving home a message to stay in touch with our parents and express our feelings. “Call your mom, call your dad. If you’re lucky enough to have a parent or two alive on this planet, call ’em. Don’t text. Don’t email. Call them on the phone. Tell ’em you love ’em, and thank them, and listen to them for as long as they want to talk to you. Thank you. Thank you, Mom and Dad.”

Alejandro G Iñárritu made an interesting point while accepting the Oscar for Best Picture for Birdman, talking about immigrants in the US, reminding everyone that America is in fact a country built by immigrants. He said, “I want to dedicate this award for my fellow Mexicans. The ones who live in Mexico, I pray that we can find and build the government that we deserve,” and added, “And the ones that live in this country who are part of the latest generation of immigrants in this country, I just pray that they can be treated with the same dignity and respect of the ones who came before and build this incredible immigrant nation.”


Alejandro G Iñárritu and the cast and crew of Birdman accept the Oscar for Best Picture 

However, the best acceptance speech of the night was given by Graham Moore (winner for adapted screenplay, for The Imitation Game). The young screenwriter opened up about his attempted suicide at the age of 16, saying that he felt weird and different and like he didn’t belong. He spoke of how Alan Turing didn’t get to stand on a stage like this, saying, “I would like for this moment to be for that kid out there who feels like she’s weird or she’s different or she doesn’t fit in anywhere. Yes, you do. I promise you do. You do. Stay weird. Stay different. And then when it’s your turn and you are standing on this stage, please pass the same message to the next person who comes along. Thank you so much.”



Lady Gaga pays tribute to Julie Andrews and The Sound Of Music

THE TRIBUTES
Lady Gaga goes sober and pays tribute to Julie Andrews, and Jennifer Hudson belts out a beautiful number for the 'in memoriam' section
We’ve seen Lady Gaga dressed in the most ridiculous things, including meat. Even on the red carpet on Oscar Night, she was wearing what looked like red cleaning gloves. But with Gaga, such outrageous accessories are not out of the ordinary and now only make us smile. What was shocking was the simplicity of her on-stage avatar when performing a tribute to the beloved musical The Sound Of Music, which released 50 years ago, and went on to win the Oscar for Best Picture. Singing some of the best-known songs from the timeless film, she proved yet again that she’s as much about the talent as she is about her theatrics. But the highlight of it all was when the legend, Julie Andrews, herself came on stage at the end of the performance and thanked Gaga for the wonderful tribute, as she reminisced about making the film. The other exceptional tribute was Jennifer Hudson’s following the ‘in memoriam’ slideshow. The talented Oscar winner performed a song from the TV show SMASH.

Jennifer Hudson performing

THE WINNERS
Most deserving wins in a long time
After a long time, I felt that the most deserving candidates won in almost all categories at the Oscars. I had identified my picks earlier, and most of them were the actual results as well. Birdman was a superior movie and deserved its win for Best Picture and directing. Without a doubt Eddie Redmayne and Julianne Moore deserved their best actor and actress statuettes. JK Simmons had no competition in his category, and Patricia Arquette, who was the best thing about Boyhood rightfully turned out to be the one person from the film to have been awarded. 


(Left to right) Oscars winners Patricia Arquette, Eddie Redmayne, Julianne Moore and JK Simmons

From the music, production design, costumes and make-up and hairstyling of The Grand Budapest Hotel to the film editing and sound mixing of Whiplash; from the sound editing in American Sniper to the visual effects in Interstellar—all got their due credit. I’m glad that The Imitation Game and The Theory Of Everything won at least one Oscar each in main categories. The only real upset was that How To Train Your Dragon 2 didn’t make best animated feature.



I clearly thought it was a good show. What did you think? Would you like to see Neil Patrick Harris back to host the Oscars sometime soon?

1 comment:

  1. I loved Lady Gaga's tribute to Julie Andrews. And I was happy to see deserving wins as you rightly said. Though, as much as I personally love Neil Patrick Harris, I didn't find him too funny this time.

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