And the Oscar goes to….

The tally at the end of the Oscars stood at: 

Birdman: 4
The Grand Budapest Hotel: 4
Whiplash: 3
American Sniper: 1
The Theory of Everything:  1
The Imitation Game:1
Neil Patrick Harris has done it. He brought the magic of movies to us. This year, the Oscars were so hotly contested with upsets coming from every corner. From Best Actor, to Best Actress to Best film to Best Director and Best Story and much more, the Academy has given us moments of shock and sheer “aww”.

Let’s get right down to business, shall we? The opening ceremony… Often this takes on the personality of the Host and this year, it wasn’t any different. Neil Patrick Harris reminded us that he really does deserve that Tony. He took us down memory lane and made sure that the audience knew that the Oscars are truly about moving pictures. He was joined on stage by Anna Kendrick and Jack Black along with chorus lines which included Stormtroopers, who knew. 
The first award of the night was the Best Supporting Actor gong
The nominees were Robert Duvall for The Judge, Ethan Hawke for Boyhood, Edward Norton for Birdman, Mark Ruffalo for Foxcatcher and J.K. Simmons for Whiplash


And Simmons took the award for his powerful performance as the no-nonsense Jazz teacher from Whiplash. In his speech, he reminded everybody to call their mother.
This was followed by the customary best film showcase, starting with The Grand Budapest Hotel and American Sniper. 
Maroon 5 then took the stage with Adam Levine playing the song “Lost Stars” from the movie “Begin Again.” 
The atmosphere got charged up and the effervesce was palpable. 
The next award was for the Best Costume Design
The films nominated were The Grand Budapest Hotel, Inherent Vice, Into the Wood, Maleficent and Mr. Turner. 
In the end, Milena Canonero won the award for The Grand Budapest Hotel. She paid tribute to Wes Anderson and reminded how amazing it is to create fantastic costumes. 


Followed by Achievement in Make-up. Here there were just 3 nominees – Foxcatcher, The Grand Budapest Hotel and The Guardians Of the Galaxy
In the end, The Grand Budapest Hotel took this home as well. Wow, two already and the night was still young. 
Nicole Kidman and Chiwetel Ejiofor then took the stage to announce the nominees for Best Foreign film. They were Ida – Poland, Leviathan- Russia, Tangerines – Georgia, Timbuktu – France Mauritania, Wild Tales – Argentina. 


The winner was Ida. A black and white film where the emphasis is on stillness and silence, Ida captured everyone’s attention. Not to mention, the director Pawel Pawlikowski put it nicely – “Life is full of surprises.” 
Neil then took to the audience, asking the seat fillers questions. Oops, he even asked Steve Carrell if he was one of them. Such a kidder, who knew? 


It was followed by a high octane performance of Everything is Awesome. Everyone took part, from Lego statuettes to Will Arnett in a Batman costume, the song got the Dolby Theatre jumping. 
Jason Bateman and Kerry Washington then came on stage to announce the winner of the Best Live Action Short Film Award. The winner  was The Phone Call. Directors Matt Kirby and James Lucas thanked everyone who gave their time and favors to make their dream come true. 

The award that followed was the Best Documentary Short. This was a touching award as the winner was Crisis Hotline – Veterans Press 1. It documents the stories of veterans and people struggling with depression. Bringing to light that life is precious. 

The Governor Awards were announced. And Viola Davis recounted the winners of the awards. Harry Belafonte won the Jean Hersholt Award for his music and his activism. The Japanese animator and director Hayao Misaki also won an award. 


The Oscars 2015 will also be noted for the fact that Neil Patrick Harris appeared on stage in tighty-whities, channeling Birdman and Michael Keaton. In the background, Miles Teller played the drum solo. 
The Award for Best sound mixing went to Whiplash and the award for Best Sound Editing went to American Sniper. 
Singer and actor, Jared Leto came on to the stage to announce the nominees and winner of Best Supporting Actress Award. We had Patricia Arquette – Boyhood, Laura Dern – Wild, Keira Knightely- The Imitation Game, Emma Stone – Birdman and Meryl Streep – Into The Woods


Streep lost out yet again and Patricia Arquette took the gong. Her amazing portrayal of a mother over a period of time in Boyhood was powerful and so was her speech. She talked about Equal Wage Rights for Women and also reminded us that women’s rights have to be protected and nurtured more now than ever before. 
Ansel Elgort and Chloe Grace Moretz were the announcers for the Best in Special Visual Effects. 
The list of the nominees had Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, The Guardians of the Galaxy, X-Men: Days of Future Past and Interstellar
Christopher Nolan‘s Interstellar took this award easily. No doubts there. 

The Best Short Animated Short Award was given to Pixar’s Feast. The story of a pup and the food in one’s life, brought a smile to everyone’s face. 
The contenders for the Best Animated Feature Film were –  Big Hero 6, How To Train Your Dragon 2, Song of the Sea, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
Presented by Zoe Saldana and Dwayne Johnson, the surprise winner turned out to be Big Hero 6 coming from behind to take this award.


The award for Best Production Design went to The Grand Budapest Hotel
On the other hand, the Oscar for the best cinematography was taken by Birdman. The tally was starting to heat up again. 
Meryl Streep was the next presenter. She talked about all those stars whose work live on. The passing of talent was a touching reminder that time and life is fleeting but true art is immortal. 


No film is complete without editing and this year’s nominees for the Best in Editing were all brilliant films. The nominees were American Sniper, Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game and Whiplash. And the winner was Whiplash
The winner of the Best Documentary feature was Citizen 4. A powerful documentary about the lives of Edward Snowden and other whistleblowers. 
If you haven’t heard it already, you should! Common and John Legend took to the stage and performed Glory from the Selma soundtrack. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house, as these two amazing musicians sang about the lives and rights of the people. A gentle reminder that we have to still fight for what is right. 


John Travolta and Idina Mendzel then came to the stage, with John apologising for last year’s gaffe. They presented the award for the Best Song. The nominees were Everything is Awesome, Glory, Grateful, I am not going to miss you and Lost Stars. 
In the end, it was the powerful Glory that snatched the Oscar. The winners were John Stephens and Lonnie Lynn ( that’s John Legend and Common by the way) 
The best part of the Oscars is that we get to walk down memory lane. And Scarlett Johansson presented the film “The Sound of Music”. Do you know that it has been 50 years since we tried to figure out what to do with Maria? And then, the vocal powerhouse that is Lady Gaga reminded us that she can truly belt it. She performed a medley of the best songs from The Sound of Music. 
This left Julie Andrews stunned. She then announced the winner for the Best Soundtrack
It was a shocker – The Grand Budapest Hotel won yet again. With that wonderful score, The Grand Budapest Hotel really did transport us to that amazing world. 
One of the biggest stars and comedians of Hollywood, Eddie Murphy came next. He presented the award for the Best Original Screenplay. With Birdman, Boyhood, Foxcatcher, The Grand Budapest Hotel and Nightcrawler, the winner seemed hard to figure out. 
And Birdman took it again. Co-writer and director Alejandro G. Innaritu talked that to make such a script, they were all crazy, but being crazy pays off. 

The Best Adapted Screenplay was presented by Oprah Winfrey to The Imitation Game. The moral of the story is that it is okay to be different and to stay true. Wonderful words from Graham Moore

Last year’s Best Director Award winner Ben Affleck then came to announce the nominees for the director’s award. With Birdman, Boyhood, Foxcatcher, The Grand Budapest Hotel and The Imitation Game populating the list, the winner could have been anyone. And surprise, surprise, it was Alejandro G. Innaritu. He came on to the stage and said that he had Michael Keaton’s tighty-whites (underwear) on. He also said that true art comes from all and within. 
The Best Actor award was up next. Cate Blanchett came up to announce the nominees: 
Eddie Redmayne- The Theory Of Everything, Bradley Cooper – American Sniper, Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game and Michael Keaton – Birdman.

And the winner….was Eddie Redmayne for his stirring portrayal of Stephen Hawking and his battle with ALS. He then dedicated this award to the people suffering from motor neuron disease. He surely couldn’t believe that he won. 
Matthew McConaughey came up to the mic and said “Alright…” With the whole crowd hanging onto his every word, the nominees were announced. Felicity Jones for The Theory of Everything, Julianne Moore for Still Alice, Rosamund Pike for Gone Girl and Reese Witherspoon for Wild. 

And the shock win was Julianne Moore for Still Alice. Her work as a person who suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease is something to behold. 
Neil Patrick Harris then came back on stage to reveal his Oscar Predictions. He got each of them right, such a class act and a funny magician. 
And the biggest award of the night was next. The Best Film Oscar
Sean Penn got the honor of announcing the nominees: American Sniper, Birdman, Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, Selma, The Theory Of Everything and Whiplash
As the whole world waited with bated breath, Sean Penn announced loudly “Who gave this guy his green card, it’s Birdman!” 
The whole cast and crew of Birdman took to the stage to deliver their heartfelt thanks. With Michael Keaton getting the last word “It’s great fun just to be here.” 
And finally, Neil Patrick Harris ended the night with Buenas Noches. That’s it, folks. That was the Academy Awards 2015 for you. 


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