This past Sunday, the 87th Academy Awards were held and while most winners were not surprising, there were a few that could be deemed surprises. The overall show was not bad, a bit too long for my taste, but not that bad. Neil Patrick Harris as host was fine, not my first choice, but he did good. I’m still waiting for Jimmy Fallon to host.
There were some great moments in the show. The speeches were really good, with most winners speaking from the heart and delivering genuine speeches, which I especially appreciated. Patricia Arquette’s speech onstage was particularly a favorite moment for me. Although it can debated if this was a moment to make a statement, I found it entertaining and what she said was the truth. Women, not just in Hollywood, deserver equal pay. And who am I kidding, Meryl Streep’s reaction to the speech was the best thing ever. If you haven’t seen it, watch it.
Other great moments from the show were the performances. Generally, the Oscar musical performances are not that entertaining to me, but this year they were great. Common and John Legend’s performance of their Oscar-winning song “Glory” was one of the most powerful and moving things of the night. Another highlight was Lady Gaga’s tribute to “The Sound of Music.” She was spectacular. Say what you want about her, but the lady can sing for days. Her vocal talent is next level.
Below I’m going to recap the major award categories and reveal who I thought was snubbed of an award.
While I can appreciate the movie “Birdman,” I honestly thought that “Boyhood” deserved to win this award. Sure, “Birdman” was more entertaining and had more overall excitement in the film, but I believed “Boyhood” just told a better story, a 12-year story at that. It maybe wasn’t the most exciting movie of the year, but none had more heart or showed more realness.
First off, the glaring omission of Ava DuVernay for her directorial work on “Selma” was both sad and unfortunate. She was not the clear winner, but she definitely deserved a nomination. That being said, this category shocked me the most. Richard Linklater had not lost at any of the major award shows, and I didn’t expect him to here. Excellence is the only word that can describe the job he did directing “Boyhood.” However, Alejandro Inarritu did a phenomenal job directing “Birdman” and his win is warranted.
Michael Keaton deserved the win. His performance in “Birdman” was so spectacular; the range he displayed was all over the map and I mean that in the best possible way. And not to mention, I just can’t help but root for him because he is so likable. Eddie Redmayne was just as deserving though, and he was equally captivating on screen. His interpretation of Stephen Hawking was amazing.
In “Still Alice,” Julianne Moore’s portrayal of a middle-aged woman suffering from Alzheimer’s is haunting and heart-wrenching. She was the frontrunner from the very beginning. Reese Witherspoon was similarly powerful in “Wild” and if this were based on the overall performance, Witherspoon may have walked away with her second Oscar, but it's not. Moore’s performance is the only one from last year to make me openly weep in a theater, and if I’m weeping that means I must be in awe. Moore finally got the Oscar she deserves.
Best Supporting Actor
J.K. Simmons winning this category was never in doubt. Simmons has been on a clear path during awards season. He did not lose and had been the clear favorite from the beginning. His performance in “Whiplash” was remarkable. It ignited an uneasy feeling in me and it was great.
Best Supporting Actress
Patricia Arquette was brilliant in “Boyhood.” The elusive realness she was able to bring to the screen was unmatched. In another clear-cut category, Arquette had not lost in this category all of awards season. She wasn’t stopped Sunday, as the actress took home her first Academy Award.