While Neil Patrick Harris is a veteran host of many events, last night was his first time hosting the Oscars. Ellen DeGeneres did such an amazing job last year, she was effortless and the very definition of a tough act to follow. NPH did not meet or surpass Ellen's efforts this year as host. He did a solid job, it certainly was not like when James Franco and Anne Hathaway hosted. As expected, with his Broadway background and opening muscial number, his hosting style was most similar to Hugh Jackman in 2009. I hope Jimmy Fallon will finally host next year -- mark your calendars for Sunday, February 28th, 2016.
Eddie Redmayne was delightful in the joy he expressed at his win for Best Actor. Julianne Moore gave a lovely acceptance speech as well and spoke briefly but notably about Alzheimer's. JK Simmons gave the same speech he has been giving (those above average children of his must be sick of being described that way) though his closing sentiment to call, not text or email your living parents was a thoughtful surprise. Patricia Arquette wore her glasses and read from a list (nominees are encouraged at the Oscar nominee luncheon to be thoughtful and prepare for an acceptance speech and strongly recommended to not have something written down) but her call for equal pay for women at the end of her speech was very unexpected. Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lopez loved it. There are a billion people watching worldwide so if you have something to say, it is the moment to have a large, captive audience.
It seemed as though John Travolta was redeeming himself for his horrible mispronunciation of Idina Menzel's name when he announced her performance of "Let It Go" during last year's show. Menzel showed grace and what a good sport she was by presenting with Travolta. Then he had to go and touch her face, way too much. Hopefully there will be no opportunity for reliving that moment next year.
Joan Rivers was not included in the in memoriam, a startling omission. This year marks the 20th Anniversary of the red carpet at the Oscars and Joan Rivers invented the institution of the red carpet.
I accurately predicted 19/24 categories this year. Last year was my personal best with 22/24 and I knew then it would be difficult to replicate for possibly several years. In previous years the best that I had been able to predict was always maxed out at 18/24. Birdman took home the Best Picture statue and tied with The Grand Budapest Hotel with the most wins, four each. Whiplash won three Oscars.
BEST DIRECTOR Alejandro G Iñárritu, Birdman
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
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY Birdman
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM Ida, Poland
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY The Imitation Game
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY Birdman
BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING The Grand Budapest Hotel
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE The Grand Budapest Hotel
BEST ORIGINAL SONG “Glory” from Selma
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE Big Hero 6
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1
BEST FILM EDITING Whiplash
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN The Grand Budapest Hotel
BEST ANIMATED SHORT Feast
BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT The Phone Call
BEST SOUND EDITING American Sniper
BEST SOUND MIXING Whiplash
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS Interstellar
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE Citizenfour
BEST COSTUME DESIGN The Grand Budapest Hotel