Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Award Shows: 2015 Oscars - Rina's Favourite Moments

© Mike Blake/Reuters  |  Source: Newsweek

The Oscars are over and I'm already missing all the excitement that goes hand in hand with award season. Now it'll be another year until I can indulge again in glitz and glamour, in happiness and outrage, and in the sheer subjectivity of it all. 

On the whole, I'd say that 2014 was a good year for film. Maybe not always utterly mind-blowing but, as usual, especially the end of the year brought us some wonderfully exciting and, at times, deeply moving exercises in cinema. 

This year's Oscar ceremony did a good enough job to celebrate the movie industry. While the show itself lacked originality, and Neil Patrick Harris, the host, failed to deliver some truly outstanding moments, it were the inspirational speeches by the winners and the musical acts that saved the show from boredom. 

In the following, I'm going to present my favourite moments from the 87th Academy Awards. So, settle back, grab a tasty beverage of your choice and join me in reminiscing about the events that took place in the Hollywood Dolby Theatre on 22 February 2015. And beware, there's subjectivity ahead.

Neil Patrick Harris' opening number

Moving pictures shape who we are."  -- Neil Patrick Harris

When Hugh Jackman opened the Oscars in 2009, he did so with a bang. I think no other musical number has since then reached the greatness of his opening. He introduced all the relevant movies in a witty, sometimes even downright hilarious way. He alluded to underlying political conditions, showed the right amount of melodramatics, made a subtle comment on low and high culture and, above all, it was a joy to see that he really had a blast. This being said, NPH's opening this year certainly was lovely, mildly snappy, unspectacularly professional and supported by beautiful set design, yet it lacked the overall superb-ness of Jackman's number. Still, I enjoyed the allusions to multiple movie franchises and great stars of the silver screen. The whole thing was harmless and short-lived, but entertaining enough.

J.K. Simmons winning Best Supporting Actor

And if I may, call your mum. Everybody. I've told this like a billion people or so, call your mum, call your dad." -- J.K. Simmons

© Kevin Winter/Getty Images  |  Source: abcNews

I was beyond happy to see this guy win since his performance in Whiplash really is, well, frigging amazing. His speech was a shout-out to his dear ones. It was funny and classy, reminding us to stop texting and take care of our family connections more thoroughly. Hear, hear, Mr. Simmons, and congratulations!

Pawel Pawlikowski defying the playoff music

You know, life is full of surprises." -- Pawel Pawlikowski

Pawlikowski's movie Ida won Best Foreign Language Film and, after a brilliantly funny start, the director refuses to cut his speech short only because the playoff music tells him to wrap up. I seriously loved his resilience, and so did the audience.

The Birdman/Whiplash Spoof

Not my tempo!" -- Neil Patrick Harris

One of NPH's more memorable moments had him re-enact a scene from Birdman, with Miles Teller reprising his role as an ambitious jazz drummer in Whiplash as well as taking over the part of the percussionist appearing in Birdman. The whole thing was poignantly random and hilarious. And maybe this is the right time for me to express my happiness about all the Whiplash love shown throughout the show. The film won three out of five possible Oscars, and deservedly so. Congratulations, you precious little indie gem!

Patricia Arquette's feminist shout-out

It is our time to have wage equality once and for all, and equal rights for women in the United States of America." -- Patricia Arquette

Source: YouTube screenshot

After winning Best Supporting Actress for her role in Boyhood, Patricia Arquette really became The Boss (sorry, Bruce!) when she finished her speech by demanding equality for US women. Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lopez were ecstatic, and I cheered at the TV in agreement. You go, sister!

John Legend and Common performing "Glory"

Now we right the wrongs in history."

Probably the goosebumps moment of the evening. "Glory" went on to win the Best Song Oscar for Selma, a movie about Martin Luther King's voting rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. Even though this didn't make up for David Oyelowo and Ava DuVernay's respective Oscar snub, it felt good to see the film take home a trophy. The performance was beautifully staged and perfectly carried by both Common and John Legend. The latter's final vocal part bristled with raw emotional power and had the one or the other member of the audience in tears.

Lady Gaga's Sound of Music tribute

The hills are alive with the sound of music..."

Speaking of performances, Lady Gaga's tribute to the 1965 classic The Sound of Music starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer really was delightful. Once I had gotten over the fact that she wore grooming gloves on the red carpet, I thought her performance was beautifully simple, with the spotlight on her wonderful voice and performing qualities rather than on cheap shock value or overly dramatic self-projection. Julie Andrews coming out afterwards to give her a heartfelt hug was another highlight. 

Graham Moore's acceptance speech 

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." -- Graham Moore

© Reuters  |  Source: International Business Times
A beautifully honest and uplifting message from the winner of the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for The Imitation Game. Stay weird, everybody! 

Eddie Redmayne acting all weird and different

Please know this, I'm fully aware that I am a lucky, lucky man. Uhm... This, this Oscar... WOW!" -- Eddie Redmayne

Source: Vogue
I've been a fan of Eddie Redmayne for a long time now. His performance in The Theory of Everything was his career best so far, and I was strongly rooting for him to win this one. When he did, he not only delivered the most adorable speech of the evening, he also made me squee with joy. Loved the sheer awkwardness and the pure joy in his reaction. #happiness

Julianne Moore's Oscar fun fact

I read an article that said that winning an Oscar could lead to living five years longer. If that's true, I'd really like to thank the Academy because my husband is younger than me." -- Julianne Moore

Source: YouTube screenshot
Julianne Moore kept her speech funny and classy by mentioning, first, the age gap between her husband and herself and, second, the importance of making movies about Alzheimer disease. Congratulations on your first win, Ms. Moore! 

For a complete list of all nominees and winners check out this post.

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