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Inconsistencies marked the awards show last night. The opening number was so fascinating that it had set a standard and expectation that could not be met for the rest of the evening, from Neil Patrick Harris’s jokes to the incredulous performance by Lady Gaga singing a medley from The Sound of Music. Was that just to open for Julie Andrew to come out to present the Best Original Score? As for NPH’s Birdman imitation game, the naked escapade was a little too desperate an attempt to shock. But his guessing game was mind boggling I must admit.

There were notable high points though, most memorable being the performance of the Oscar winning song ‘Glory’ by John Legend, Common, and a massive group of backup singers re-enacting a Selma scene. Tears rolled down the face of David Oyelowo’s who played Martin Luther King Jr. in the movie, and Chris Pine’s, who played… uh… Captain Kirk.

Speeches were heartfelt and imbued with family value. J. K. Simmons had set it off with a passionate plea for all to thank their parents, mothers, spouse, and children. Patricia Arquette brought the house down with her cry for equal work, equal pay for the females in the movie industry. Is she now considered a whistleblower? Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lopez almost jumped out of their seats with approval. Ironic to think that some of those applauding were the gatekeepers of the system.

Major winner was Birdman, grabbing all the most coveted prizes, albeit a let down for Michael Keaton. The Grand Budapest Hotel tied with Birdman in the number of Oscars won, the exact categories predicted in my review written in April last year. Just sayin’.

Boyhood only got one nod, a gem of a film that is the epitome of innovation, perseverance, and risk-taking. The fact that it has travelled so far all the way to Oscar night, thirteen years by now, is already an admirable success for the filmmakers and all involved, albeit I’d like to see them win a few more, especially for director Richard Linklater.

Excited to see Ida honoured as the Best Foreign Language Film of the year, and to hear director Pawel Pawlikowski’s take on the occasion: Ida was intended to be a quiet film of contemplation about withdrawing from the world, “and here we are at the epicenter of noise and attention. It’s fantastic. Life is full of surprises.”

CitizenFour won Best Documentary, deservedly. Director Laura Poitras had done an extraordinary job capturing (no pun intended; better than NPH’s ‘treason’) Edward Snowdon’s initial coming out with all the classified materials, filming his meeting with journalist Glenn Greenwald in a Hong Kong hotel room. Considering how the events unfolded later, these footage are now invaluable. The film is on my Top Ripples 2014 list.

Here are the major Oscar 2015 winners:

Birdman (4) – Best Picture, Directing, Original Screenplay, Cinematography.

The Grand Budapest Hotel (4) – Best Makeup, Costume Design, Production Design, Original Score.

Whiplash (3) – Best Supporting Actor J. K. Simmons, Film Editing, Sound Mixing

Boyhood (1) –  Best Supporting Actress Patricia Arquette.

The Imitation Game (1) – Best Adapted Screenplay

The Theory of Everything (1) – Best Actor Eddie Redmayne

Still Alice (1) – Best Actress Julianne Moore

American Snipper (1) – Best Sound Editing

Selma (1) – Best Original Song ‘Glory’

Ida – Best Foreign Language Film

CitizenFour – Best Documentary

Interstellar – Visual Effects

For a complete list, CLICK HERE.

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Click on the links to my reviews of Oscar Movies:

The Budapest Hotel: A Grand Escape

Whiplash: What Price Perfection?

Boyhood: The Moment Seizes Us

Ida’s Choice

Interstellar and Ida: The Sound and Silence of Exploration

Leviathan: The Beast Within Us

 

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