2015 Oscar Recap and Thoughts

Oscars 2015
The 87th Academy Awards came and went last night, and depending on where you stood with your predictions, there was plenty of surprises, and a fair share of disappointments.

Personally, I was heartbroken about Boyhood losing to Birdman for Best Picture, even though I was almost nearly as huge of a fan of Birdman. Boyhood was just a special film for many reasons, one that I could go on and on about, but I’ll leave the think pieces to all the big dogs. It just connected to me on a personal level that I haven’t experienced in some time.

The 'Birdman' team

The ‘Birdman’ team taking home Best Picture

As great as Birdman is, Boyhood will be the film that stands the test of time. It’s just a remarkable film that is so very human and real. And the people whose only argument against Boyhood seem to be that the it taking 12 years to make is just a gimmick. Well those people are usually also praising Birdman for it’s “one continuous tracking shot,” (it’s own gimmick, if you will). So lets at least be fair. Either way, at least Birdman won, and not American Sniper, which seemed like the dark horse victor in case Boyhood and Birdman split the vote.

The amount of effort it took for Alejandro González Iñárritu to film Birdman was the deciding factor for the Best Director prize, but I really was siding with Richard Linklater and his epic journey with Boyhood. The way he held Boyhood and its themes together so strongly throughout its journey shouldn’t have been ignored. I had a feeling Iñárritu would take this one home so I wasn’t too surprised, but it’s disappointing that Linklater went home empty handed.

Eddie Redmayne picking up his Best Actor Award

Eddie Redmayne picking up his Best Actor Award

I felt heartbroken for Michael Keaton losing out to Eddie Redmayne, but ironically it was Birdman that would be the one breaking my heart. So yeah, Keaton didn’t win, but Redmayne’s transformative performance in The Theory Of Everything is the type of stuff that the Oscar voters adore. His performance seems to be getting a lot of backlash from people as of late (seems to be the trend with early Oscar frontrunners), but I think people are confusing their feelings for the film, which was good, but not exceptional. If anything, his genuine excitement while accepting the award was worth it.

Julianne Moore

Julianne Moore winning Best Actress

Julianne Moore gave a wonderful speech after winning Best Actress, and I don’t think anyone can really be upset about her victory. She really was the glue that held Still Alice together, and she’s certainly paid her dues over the years.

J.K. Simmons Winning Best Supporting Actor

J.K. Simmons Winning Best Supporting Actor

The same can be said by the Supporting Actor/Actress winners, J.K. Simmons for Whiplash and Patricia Arquette for Boyhood (it’s lone victory somehow – shameful). Both have been in the game for so long, and just happened to give the best performances of their careers in the same year. Both gave personal and inspirational speeches in somewhat unconventional ways, but very much their own.

Patricia Arquette wins Best Supporting Actress

Patricia Arquette wins Best Supporting Actress

I was whatever about The Imitation Game’s victory for Best Adapted Screenplay, but the speech from screenwriter Graham Moore was moving and inspirational. It was the best speech of the night, and worth the price of The Imitation Game’s victory.

Graham Moore winning Best Adapted Screenplay

Graham Moore winning Best Adapted Screenplay

I really thought Best Original Screenplay was going to go The Grand Budapest Hotel, but Birdman did have a very tight and fluid script. You can’t feel too bad for team Wes Anderson, as they took home an impressive four Oscars for Original Score, Production Design, Costume Design, and Makeup and Hairstyling. I wish it took home more of the bigger prizes, but four wins are four wins.

Similarly I was pleasantly surprised by Whiplash, which upset Boyhood for best editing as well as sound mixing. Throw in Simmons prize, and three Oscars aren’t bad for the little movie that could.

Some no brainers: Citizenfour took home Best Documentary, Ida won Best Foreign Film, Birdman’s Emmanuel Lubezki won Best Cinematography, American Sniper won Best Sound Editing, Interstellar got Best Visual Effects, and Feast won Best Animated Short.

The 'Big Hero 6' team celebrating their Oscar win.

The ‘Big Hero 6’ team celebrating their Oscar win.

Big Hero 6 upset How To Train Your Dragon 2 in a victory that had be very conflicted emotionally. I was very pleasantly surprised by how well made Big Hero 6, but I feel like How To Train Your Dragon 2 was the better film by a hair. Of course, The Lego Movie really should have won, but even so, How To Train Your Dragon 2 really was a beautiful film that seems to be getting lost in all this. It really doesn’t seem to be getting enough praise.

It still baffles me how little of the Award show is actually spent giving out awards. I wish the Oscars would trim the fat and limit the excessive performances and whatnot, but it’s all a part of the show. At least they got the touching In Memoriam right. Seeing Robin Williams included in the tribute really was a reality check, it’s still very hard to believe he’s gone.

Neil Patrick Harris doing his best Birdman at The Oscars

Neil Patrick Harris doing his best Birdman at The Oscars

As host, Neil Patrick Harris was often energetic, even if he did have more than a few blunders. That Oscar predictions briefcase gag was a huge miss, and was beaten well into the ground. He was good, not great, but not as bad as most people are saying. You could certainly do worse.

The Lonely Islands + Tegan and Sara performing "Everything Is Awesome"

The Lonely Islands + Tegan and Sara performing “Everything Is Awesome”

A highlight of the night came from Tegan and Sara and The Lonely Island’s batshit crazy performance “Everything Is Awesome.” Joining them were Questlove, Devo’s Mark Mothersbaugh, and Will Arnet appropriately dressed as Batman. It was a well needed bolt of youthful energy, and a reminder that the Oscars really dropped the ball on not nominating The Lego Movie. Similarly you had a moving performance of Selma’s “Glory” that brought not only David Oyelowo to tears (expected) but also Chris Pine (very unexpected). “Glory” ended up taking home the prize for Best Song right after the performance (which was a clear sign it would win), leaving way for a powerful speech from John Legend and Common, who we all learned are really named John Stephens and Lonnie Lynn.

With that, The 2015 Oscars are wrapped up, and the exhausting seemingly never-ending Award season finally comes to a close. We can finally look forward to the exciting films that 2015 has waiting for us.

But first, we still got our own Oscars to give out. Our staff Best OF 2014 lists are still on the way. Keep an eye out for those very soon! We promise, we’ll get it right!

Find the full list of 2015 Oscar winners posted below:

Best Picture:

American Sniper
Birdman
Boyhood
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Selma
The Theory Of Everything
Whiplash

Directing:

Alejandro G. Iñárritu – Birdman
Richard Linklater – Birdman
Bennett Miller – Foxcatcher
Wes Anderson – The Grand Budapest Hotel
Norten Tyldum – The Imitation Game

Best Actor:

Steve Carell – Foxcatcher
Bradley Cooper – American Sniper
Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game
Michael Keaton – Birdman
Eddie Redmayne – The Theory Of Everything

Best Actress:

Marion Cotillard – Two Days, One Night
Felicity Jones – The Theory Of Everything
Julianne Moore – Still Alice
Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon – Wild

Best Supporting Actor:

Robert Duvall – The Judge
Ethan Hawke – Boyhood
Edward Norton – Birdman
Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher
J.K. Simmons – Whiplash

Best Supporting Actress:

Patricia Arquette – Boyhood
Laura Dern – Wild
Keira Knightley – The Imitation Game
Emma Stone – Birdman
Meryl Streep – Into The Woods

Best Original Screenplay:

Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris and Armando Bo – Birdman
Richard Linklater – Boyhood
E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman – Foxcatcher
Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness – The Grand Budapest Hotel
Dan Gilroy – Nightcrawler

Best Adapted Screenplay:

Jason Hall – American Sniper
Graham Moore – The Imitation Game
Paul Thomas Anderson – Inherent Vice
Anthony McCarten – The Theory of Everything
Damien Chazelle – Whiplash

Best Animated Film:

Big Hero 6
The Boxtrolls
How To Train Your Dragon 2
Song Of The Sea
The Tale Of The Princess Kaguya

Best Cinematography:

Birdman (Emmanuel Lubezki)
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Ida
Mr. Turner
Unbroken

Best Costume Design:

Milena Canonero – The Grand Budapest Hotel
Mark Bridges – Inherent Vice
Colleen Atwood – Into the Woods
Anna B. Sheppard – Maleficent
Jacqueline Durran – Mr. Turner

Best Documentary Feature:

Citizenfour
Last Days In Vietnam
Virunga
The Salt Of The Earth
Finding Vivian Maier

Best Documentary, Short Subject:

Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1
Joanna
Our Curse
The Reaper
White Earth

Best Film Editing:

Joel Cox and Gary Roach – American Sniper
Sandra Adair – Boyhood
Barney Pilling – The Grand Budapest Hotel
William Goldenberg – The Imitation Game
Tom Cross – Whiplash

Best Foreign Language Film:

Ida
Leviathan
Tangerines
Wild Tales
Timbuktu

Best Makeup and Hairstyling:

Bill Corso and Dennis Liddiard – Foxcatcher
Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier – The Grand Budapest Hotel
Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou and David White – Guardians of the Galaxy

Best Original Score:

Alexandre Desplat – The Grand Budapest Hotel
Alexandre Desplat – The Imitation Game
Hans Zimmer – Interstellar
Gary Yershon – Mr Turner
Jóhann Jóhannsson – The Theory of Everything

Best Original Song:

“Everything Is Awesome” by Shawn Patterson – The Lego Movie
“Glory” by Common and John Legend – Selma
“Grateful” by Diane Warren – Beyond the Lights
“I’m Not Gonna Miss You” by Glen Campbell and Julian Raymond – Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me
“Lost Stars” by Gregg Alexander, Danielle Brisebois – Begin Again

Best Production Design:

The Grand Budapest Hotel – Production design: Adam Stockhausen, Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock
The Imitation Game – Production design: Maria Djurkovic, Set Decoration: Tatiana Macdonald
Interstellar – Production design: Nathan Crowley, Set Decoration: Gary Fettis
Into the Woods – Production design: Dennis Gassner, Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock
Mr. Turner – Production design: Suzie Davies, Set Decoration: Charlotte Watts

Best Short Film – Animated:

The Bigger Picture – Daisy Jacobs and Christopher Hees
The Dam Keeper – Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi
Feast – Patrick Osborne and Kristina Reed
Me and My Moulton – Torill Kove
A Single Life – Joris Oprins

Best Short Film – Live Action:

Aya – Oded Binnun and Mihal Brezis
Boogaloo and Graham – Michael Lennox and Ronan Blaney
Butter lamp – Hu Wei and Julien Féret
Parvaneh – Talkhon Hamzavi and Stefan Eichenberger
The Phone Call – Mat Kirkby and James Lucas

Best Sound Editing:

American Sniper – Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman
Birdman – Martín Hernández and Aaron Glascock
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – Brent Burge and Jason Canovas
Interstellar – Richard King
Unbroken – Becky Sullivan and Andrew DeCristofaro

Best Sound Mixing:

American Sniper – John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Walt Martin
Birdman – Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño and Thomas Varga
Interstellar – Garry A. Rizzo, Gregg Landaker and Mark Weingarten
Unbroken – Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño and David Lee
Whiplash – Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins and Thomas Curley

Best Visual Effects:

Captain America: Winter Soldier – Dan DeLeeuw, Russell Earl, Bryan Grill and Dan Sudick
Dawn Of The Planet of the Apes – Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett and Erik Winquist
Guardians Of the Galaxy – Stephanie Ceretti, Nicolas Aithadi, Jonathan Fawkner and Paul Corbould
Interstellar – Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter and Scott Fisher
X-Men: Days Of Future Past – Richard Stammers, Lou Pecora, Tim Crosbie and Cameron Waldbauer