“Birdman” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel” tied for most wins, with four Academy Awards apiece during the Oscars ceremony Sunday night. “Birdman” took home awards for best picture, director, for Alejandro González Iñárritu, cinematography and original screenplay. “Budapest” won Oscars for production design, costume design, original score and hair and makeup. That left “Boyhood,” a potential front runner, with just one award, for best supporting actress for Patricia Arquette. She gave an impassioned speech advocating for gender equality, which got plenty of applause, including some whooping from Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lopez.
[Ann Hornaday: ‘Birdman’ emerges as big winner at a mostly suprise-free Oscars]
Neil Patrick Harris gave a lackluster performance during the draggy show that clocked in at more than three-and-a-half hours. After an energetic song-and-dance routine to open the ceremony, his jokes mostly fell flat with the exception of the moment he stripped down to his tighty-whities in honor of “Birdman.”
[Hank Stuever’s review of the show: Song-and-dance, yes, and the usual yawns]
The other big winners of the evening were Eddie Redmayne, who won best actor for “The Theory of Everything,” J.K. Simmons for best supporting actor for “Whiplash” and Julianne Moore as best actress for “Still Alice.”
Scroll to the bottom for a complete list of winners and nominees.
“Birdman” wins best picture
Sean Penn announces the “Birdman” best picture prize by asking “Who gave this SOB his green card?”
Director Alejandro González Iñárritu gets on stage for a third time, though he briefly gives the microphone to star Michael Keaton (who says, “Look, it’s great to be here — who am I kidding?” and calls Keaton “as bold as bold could be.”)
Iñárritu closes by dedicating the award to “my fellow Mexicans.” “The ones who live in Mexico, I pray that we can find and build a government that we deserve,” he said. And, he added, for the ones who live in America, he hopes they are “treated with the same dignity and respect” as the ones who came before them and helped build this country.
Backstage Iñárritu said: ““My Mexican style is I just show them my gun.” laughs. “It was a very, in a way, a long road to be selling this with your heart and say ‘Guys, this is what we want to do.” It was a difficult take. I don’t blame the people who didn’t finance this film. When you hear this idea of this film, everything sounds so risky. Nobody could see the light out of it. … It could have been a disaster.”
Julianne Moore wins best actress for “Still Alice”
Julianne Moore shows what happens when you’re a lock for an Oscar: You prepare a flawless, eloquent speech that thanks your cast, crew, family and bring awareness to the disease that was spotlighted in your film.
“I read an article that said winning an Oscar could lead to living five years longer,” she said. “If that’s true, I’d really like to thank the academy because my husband is younger than me.”
She also talked about shining a light on Alzheimer’s disease: “So many people with this disease feel isolated and marginalized,” she said, adding that movies make people feel seen and not alone. “And people with Alzheimer’s deserve to be seen so we can find a cure.”
Backstage she said: “I believe in hard work, actually. I like stories about real people and real relationships and real families and that’s what I respond to. It’s about a real issue and relationships and who we love and what we value. I think, at the end of the day, it’s the work, it’s being able to do work that I love and this is just amazing.”
She was asked: Do films like ‘Still Alice,’ ‘Birdman,’ ‘Boyhood’ give more hope in an industry dominated by big budget, special effects films?
She said: “I go to the movies because I like to see complicated and interesting stories about people and relationships, Whenever there’s success with films like this, people think about them more. I don’t know. You never know. At the end of the day, Hollywood is still a business. I think it depends on how many people buy tickets.”
Moore is one of the most impressive actresses working today, so it was only a matter of time before she won an Oscar. After 17 years and five nominations, it finally happened.
Here’s a look at Moore’s history with the Academy, not to mention the distinctive trends of her Oscar-nominated performances:
Nomination: Best supporting actress
Movie: Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Boogie Nights”
Character: Amber Waves, a cocaine-snorting porn star who takes protagonist Dirk Diggler (Mark Wahlberg) under her wing.
Who won: Kim Basinger for “L.A. Confidential”
Movie: The World War II-era romantic drama “The End of the Affair”
Nomination: Best actress
Character: Sarah, a woman unhappy in her marriage, pining for a man (Ralph Fiennes) who isn’t her husband.
Who won: Hilary Swank for “Boys Don’t Cry”
Movies: Double-whammy! Or a double-handed slap in the face. “The Hours” and “Far From Heaven”
Nominations: Best supporting actress and best actress
Characters: Laura, a 1950s-era pregnant housewife who is unhappy in her marriage and contemplating suicide; Cathy, a 1950s-era housewife who is unhappy in her marriage and befriends a black gardener, spurring neighborhood gossip.
Who won: Catherine Zeta-Jones for “Chicago” and Nicole Kidman, Moore’s “Hours” co-star.
Movie: “Still Alice”
Nomination: Best actress
Character: Alice, a prominent linguistics professor with early onset alzheimer’s disease who loses the ability to teach, navigate her hometown of New York, navigate her own home and, finally, communicate. It’s heart-breaking.
Who won: Julianne Moore, suckers. Finally!
Eddie Redmayne wins best actor for “The Theory of Everything.”
“I’m fully aware that I’m a lucky, lucky man,” Redmayne said as he came onto stage to accept his award for playing Stephen Hawking in “The Theory of Everything. He dedicated his award to the people battling ALS as well as the “exceptional” Hawking family. He promised to take care of his Oscar, saying, “I will polish him… I will wait on him hand and foot.” And, as he thanked his new wife, Hannah, he said, “we have a new fellow coming to share our apartment.”
Either the Academy voters didn’t see “Jupiter Ascending” or they didn’t care that Eddie Redmayne turned in what could very well be the worst performance of 2015, because he still managed to pick up the award. It seemed like it might be a close race between him and Michael Keaton, for “Birdman,” but in the end Redmayne continued a hot streak that also included a Golden Globe, a SAG Award and a BAFTA.
“How do I feel? How do I feel? The fact [that] it was Cate Blanchett giving it. She’s such an exceptional actor. I was recovering from that excitement of seeing her. Then just trying to bury all this frenzy of neves and white noise and trying to speak articulately… it is something I will not forget.”
On his 10-year plan: “If I’m being totally honest, I’ve never had much choice. I’ve always had to fight pretty hard. As far as where I go from here, retaining employment will keep me very happy.”
On playing a living person: “I don’t know if it changed my approach but what it did was… in preparation I met people living with ALS. They let me into their lives. It was essential. It was authentic of what that experience was like. And then the main thing about Stephen and the kids was that it be true to them. …. when the stakes are that high it does force you to work harder.”
But seriously, get a load of this:
Alejandro González Iñárritu wins best director for “Birdman”
Here’s an upset as Alejandro González Iñárritu bests Richard Linklater for best director. “I am wearing the real Michael Keaton tighty-whities,” he explains by way of a good-luck charm. He thanks his cast and gives a shout-out to the work of his fellow nominees — and is the first person to apologize if he forgets anyone.
Graham Moore wins for best adapted screenplay for “The Imitation Game”
Oprah presented the award for best adapted screenplay, which went to Graham Moore for “The Imitation Game.” It’s Moore’s first Oscar. He started things off pretty light, saying, “thank you so much to the Academy…and to Oprah!” But went on to say that he thought it was an injustice that the subject of his film, Alan Turing, “never got to stand on a stage like this with all these disconcertingly attractive faces.” Moore also added that when he was 16 years old, he tried to kill himself because he felt different and like he didn’t belong. “I would like for this moment to be for that kid out there that feels like she’s weird or she doesn’t fit in anywhere — yes, you do. I promise you do. You do. Stay weird. Stay different and when it’s your turn and you are standing on this stage, please pass the same message to the next person who comes along.”
Backstage Moore said: “When you’re approaching a story of this magnitude and you’re approaching a life as unique as Alan Turing there’s tremendous responsibility on your shoulders. Alan is someone who was so mistreated. He is someone whom, as a gay man, was persecuted by the government. As such, I always felt like he needed a film that spread his legacy.”
Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris and Armando Bo win for best original screenplay for “Birdman”
Alejandro González Iñárritu accepts on behalf of four writers as “Birdman” wins best original screenplay, thanking the cast including “the maestro” Michael Keaton. And even though we’re officially several minutes passed when the show was billed to end (11:30), the orchestra doesn’t make a sound as Iñárritu thanks the studio, as well as his wife and kids. Each of the three co-writers thank their families as well. (And one thanks a dog named Larry.)
Alexandre Desplat wins for best original score for “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Lady Gaga’s surprise performance turned out to be in honor of the 50th anniversary of “The Sound of Music.” She hit the high notes, belting out “The Hills Are Alive,” before launching into a rendition of “My Favorite Things” and slowing things down for “Edelweiss” and “Climb Every Mountain.”
Julie Andrews also came onstage, giving the Oscars its Prince moment. “It’s hard to believe that 50 years have gone by,” she said. “How lucky can a girl get?”
Gaga now exclusively motivated by the hugs of people born before 1940.
— Chris _ _ Richards (@Chris__Richards) February 23, 2015
She then introduced the Oscar for best score, which went to Alexandre Desplat, who was nominated for two movies, “The Imitation Game” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” He won for the latter. It was his first Oscar and eighth nomination.
“Wes you’re a genius, which is good,” he said to the movie’s director, Wes Anderson. He also thanked his wife, who he said he met “long ago” when she was playing violin. “You made everything happen for me,” he said.
—Idina and John:
John Travolta’s night hasn’t been quite as cataclysmic as last year, when he pronounced Idina Menzel’s name as Adele Dazeem, but he has been demonstrating some rather odd behavior.
— FOX411 (@Fox411) February 23, 2015
— Minstra (@ViceRoyMinstra) February 23, 2015
Exhibit C, as he introduced the Oscar for best song along with Menzel. As he caressed her face, he called her “wickedly talented.”
— Funny Or Die (@funnyordie) February 23, 2015
Backstage, Alexandre Desplat is asked: Why do you think you finally won this time?
His answer: “I’m not the only composer in the world. I’m not the only one who writes film music.”
The Oscar for best original song goes to “Glory” from “Selma,” as performed by John Legend and Common.
John Legend and Common reduced the audience to complete silence (and some tears) as they delivered a joint acceptance speech for “Glory,” which won best original song.
“ ‘Selma’ is now because the struggle for justice is now,” Legend said. “We know that the voting rights that they fought for 50 years ago is being compromised in this country today.”
He went on to say the U.S. is the most incarcerated country in the world, as “there are more black men under correctional control today than were under slavery in 1850.”
“People are marching with our song — we see you, we love you,” he said. “March on.”
Backstage Common said: “I feel like to whom much is given much is required. The fact we have an opportunity to get to a stage like the Oscars. How could you not say anything. Beyond what we have done on this song, John has always made music about love, he’s been doing things about education for a long time. I feel it’s our duty to do it.”
John Legend discussed process: “Common called me. He describe what they were looking for and gave me ideas for the title of the song. ‘Glory.’ That word really inspired me. My thoughts were that the song should sound triumphant but realize there is more work to do.”
John Legend and Common’s performance of “Glory” from “Selma” earned a rousing standing ovation of the crowd, while stars Carmen Ejogo and David Oyelowo cried in the audience. (A few camera pans to other sections of the crowd showed it was difficult to find a dry eye in the house, as Chris Pine was seen with a tear rolling down.)
— Yahoo Singapore (@YahooSG) February 23, 2015
If you feel like you’ve seen them sing “Glory” pretty recently…well, you probably saw the Grammys a couple weeks ago. (Of course, then they had an intro by Beyoncé.) Regardless of what happens tonight, the song is already a winner this award season, as it picked up the best original song trophy at the Golden Globes.
Terrence Howard gave a bizarre, if impassioned introduction of the final three best picture nominees, “Whiplash,” “The Imitation Game” and “Selma.” He seemed to get choked up before saying a few words about the Alan Turing biopic, which leads us to believe that something was wrong with the teleprompter and he was buying time. At least, we hope that’s what happened.
You know it's hard out here for a prompter. #Oscars2015
— John Fugelsang (@JohnFugelsang) February 23, 2015
Breathe, Terrence. Your TelePrompter may have gone out, but you can do this. #Oscars2015
— Mark Gagliardi (@MarkGags) February 23, 2015
Citizenfour wins for best documentary
Big applause from the crowd as “Citizenfour,” the HBO film about Edward Snowden and the NSA, wins best documentary feature.
“The disclosures that Edward Snowden revealed don’t only expose a threat to our privacy but to our democracy itself,” said director Laura Poitras.
“When the most important decisions being made for all of us are made in secret, we lose our ability to check the powers that control us,” she added, thanking Snowden, whistleblowers and journalists who expose the truth.
“Edward Snowden could not be here for some treason,” Neil Patrick Harris cracked at the end of it.
Patricia Arquette’s backstage quotes:
“It is time for us. It is time for women. …The truth is even though we sort of feel like there is, there are huge issues that are at play and really do affect women. It’s time for all the women in America, and the men who love women and all the gay people and people of color we’ve all fought for to fight for us now.”
Tom Cross wins for film editing for “Whiplash”
The Oscar for film editing went to Tom Cross for “Whiplash.” He thanked Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons for “delivering gold to the cutting room,” as well as writer-director Damien Chazelle, who Cross said, “never threw a chair at my head, but always pushed to make it better….your art changed my life.”
Backstage, Cross said: ““[Damien Chazelle] always knew he wanted to make a picture that was really strong in terms of character, but really was told stylistically. He knew he wanted to make a movie that would be an editor’s showcase.”
There are different levels of feeling humbled and honored. A little over a year ago Damien and I were sitting in a room saying, wouldn’t it be great if this got into Sundance.”
Meryl Streep introduced the tribute to the luminaries who died last year with a Joan Didion quote. A sampling of the actors, directors, producers, writers and other creatives: Mickey Rooney, James Garner, Elizabeth Peña, Edward Herrmann, Maya Angelou, James Rebhorn, Anita Ekberg, Paul Apted, H.R. Giger, Gordon Willis, Richard Attenborough, Ruby Dee, Samuel Goldwyn Jr., Robin Williams, Lauren Bacall, Misty Upham, Eli Wallach, Gabriel García Márquez, Bob Hoskins and Mike Nichols. The tribute also included a musical performance by Jennifer Hudson.
Emmanuel Lubezki wins for cinematography for “Birdman”
The surreal “Birdman” was nearly guaranteed to win best cinematography, and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki (who also won last year for “Gravity”) kept his speech short and sweet. He thanked his family along with “Birdman” director Alejandro González Iñárritu, “for your curiosity and your passion and your friendship.”
Backstage, Lubezki says: “This was probably the hardest movie I’ve worked on. The shots were very, very long. That brought an energy to the movie that otherwise the movie would not have. Stress and a need for concentration made the acting so powerful.
“The first time he talked about the movie, he said he wanted to make a movie in one shot. At that moment, I truly thought I hope he doesn’t offer me this movie. I’m not interested. It sounds like a nightmare. ”
Adam Stockhausen, Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock wins for production design for “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
The Oscar for production design went to Anna Pinnock and Adam Stockhausen for “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” They thanked director Wes Anderson, calling the gig a dream come true. Between this award and Oscars for costume design and makeup and hairstyling, “Grand Budapest” is at least the aesthetic winner of the night.
“Big Hero 6” wins for animated feature film
Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson reminisced about getting verklempt watching “The Lion King” before presenting the award for best animated feature along with Zoe Saldana. The winner was “Big Hero 6.” Don Hall, Chris Williams and Roy Conli accepted the award — a first Oscar for each of the men — and thanked Disney’s John Lasseter, calling him the best boss in the world.
Patrick Osborne and Kristina Reed win for animated short film for “Feast”
Kevin Hart and Anna Kendrick introduce best animated short by arguing which one is shorter. (For the record, it’s Hart, probably whether or not Kendrick is in heels.)
Anyway, “Feast” wins, which is great because it stars a really cute puppy. Director Patrick Osborne and producer Kristina Reed keep it short and both thank their families, as Reed is especially grateful for her husband and kids’ patience as she pursues this “crazy career.”
Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter and Scott Fisher win for visual effects for “Interstellar”
Ansel Elgort and Chloe Grace Moretz presented the award for visual effects to Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter and Scott R. Fisher for “Interstellar.” Franklin and Lockley also won an Oscar for another Christopher Nolan movie, “Inception.”
The under-appreciated “Beyond the Lights” — about the struggles of a young singer played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw — gets a moment with “Grateful,” written by Diane Warren. Rita Ora takes the stage with a small platform and a sparkly snake necklace to belt out the ballad. **
Patricia Arquette wins for best supporting actress
Patricia Arquette wins even though Emma Stone was holding a Lego Oscar. At first it’s the dull reading-off-the-piece-of-paper variety speech (thanking kids, cast, blah blah blah) until she starts ripping into wage and gender equality. “It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all!” she roars. The camera pans to Meryl Streep, wildly pumping her first, and J-Lo sitting next to her, just as riled up.
Arquette has come a long way since her first role, at 19, in “A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors.” Since then, she’s worked with a number of auteurs — Tim Burton, David O. Russell, David Lynch — although her highest profile role may have been television’s “Medium.” From 2005 to 2011, she played a psychic who solved mysteries.
That role landed her some awards nominations. She was up for Golden Globes and Emmys (and won one), but it was her performance in Richard Linklater’s “Boyhood” that earned her her first Golden Globe, not to mention this Oscar for best supporting actress.
Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman win for sound editing for “American Sniper”
The Oscar for sound editing went to Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman for “American Sniper.” They thanked director Clint Eastwood and said, “It’s always been an honor and a privilege to work with you.” This is the second Oscar for both, who also won for another Eastwood movie, “Letters From Iwo Jima.”
Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins and Thomas Curley win for sound mixing for “Whiplash”
Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins and Thomas Curley of “Whiplash” win for sound mixing (tying “The Grand Budapest Hotel” with two wins so far tonight) and are the first people on stage who run out of things to say, after thanking their wives and the “Whiplash” team. Then they stand there awkwardly. Come on orchestra, you’re usually so enthusiastic!
Neil Patrick Harris stripped down to his skivvies to pay homage to “Birdman” before coming onstage and saying, “acting is a noble profession.” It’s the riskiest joke he’s made so far.
When nothing works, drop your clothes. NPH finally got the memo. #Oscars2015
— Harneet Singh (@Harneetsin) February 23, 2015
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) February 23, 2015
Ouch, Twitter is really not pleased with Neil Patrick Harris’s joke about “Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1” producer Dana Perry’s pom-pom dress (“It takes a lot of balls to wear a dress like that”) — mostly because he dropped the zinger right after her speech where she mentioned her son’s suicide.
Did Neil Patrick Harris just make a joke about a dress worn by a woman who's son committed suicide?!!
— Mitch Silpa (@Silpatweets) February 23, 2015
NPH should not have made a joke about the woman's dress after she admits her son committed suicide. #Oscars2015
— shia (@ShiaLaBeard) February 23, 2015
— Mark Sherry (@markdsherry) February 23, 2015
Perry was asked about the joke backstage. “That’s adorable,” she said. “I just got the gown to sort of support the balls.”
The audience applauds when Neil Patrick Harris singles out the infamously nominations-snubbed David Oyelowo (“Selma”). “Oh sure, now you like him,” NPH says.
It was rough getting through the documentary “Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me” without shedding a few tears, as it chronicled the legendary country star (diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease) as he embarked on his final tour. Nashville A-lister Tim McGraw subs in on this heartfelt track, the last one Campbell will ever record.
J.K. Simmons from backstage
When asked about what he would [say] to theater folks who are struggling:
“I almost got back on the bus a handful of times and if I had had any reasonable options, I probably would have. I read a very romantic book when I was young, when I was in college, Rilke’s “Letters to a Young Poet.” And I’ve always felt that if you are in any kind of an artistic, creative endeavor and you feel there’s something else you can do for a living and be happy, I think you should do something else because you’re much more likely to find comfort and and happiness. If you can look deeply in yourself and say there is nothing else that can bring you satisfaction. That’s your answer.”
When asked about the character he played.
“There’s much to admire for Fletcher’s passion. I don’t find much to admire in his pedagogy.”
“Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1” wins for best documentary – short subject
Two movies about phone crisis hotlines win Oscars, back to back — probably the first time that’s happened? Ellen Goosenberg Kent and Dana Perry accept the best documentary short for “Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1” and thank the dedicated people at hotlines everywhere. Again, they’re almost played off the stage, but continue talking and the music is forced to quiet down.
Dana Perry backstage: “I don’t know what I said even though I wrote something down. My main objective was to honor the veterans and staff of the crisis hotline. Of course, I do have a personal connection to the subject. I lost my son. He was 15 when he killed himself. I think I said something, like, we need to talk about suicide out loud. The best prevention for suicide is awareness and discussion and not trying to sweep it until the rug.”
“The Phone Call,” Mat Kirkby and James Lucas wins for best live action short film
Kerry Washington and Jason Bateman presented the award for best live action short to “The Phone Call,” starring Sally Hawkins (who worked for nothing) and Jim Broadbent. Directors Mat Kirkby and James Lucas are both first-time winners. “These are big buggers. We’re only little, and these are heavy to us,” Kirkby said during his acceptance. He also celebrated the fact that the win would mean free donuts at his local bakery.
Phone Call director Matt Kirby backstage: “I hope it gives us a springboard into feature films. We’ve worked really hard to get this far. And all the people … everybody worked for nothing. They gave their talent for free with the hope we would make something we were proud of. We’ve proved what we can do with no budget. It would be nice to prove what we can do with the help of a bigger team.”
“Everything is Awesome,” the ridiculously catchy song that kicked off “The Lego Movie,” brings together indie duo Tegan and Sara along with Andy Samberg’s Lonely Island trio, dressed in powder blue tuxedos for their rap interludes. They get some help from actual legos, along with a giant chorus including Will Arnett dressed as Batman and Questlove. That woke up the audience.
“Ida” wins for best foreign language film
Director Pawel Pawlikowski could not be played offstage. He took home the Oscar for best foreign language film for the Polish movie “Ida,” and even as the wrap-up music began to surge, he forged on, thanking his friends in Poland, who are “resilient, courageous, brave and funny,” not to mention his kids.
Backstage, he says: ““It’s not a holocaust movie,
Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier win for makeup and hairstyling for “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
“The Grand Budapest Hotel” wins again! Hannon thanks Bill Murray, which is an excellent name-drop, and the rest is just a long, long list of names.
Milena Canonero wins for costume design for “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Jennifer Lopez and Chris Pine presented the award for costume design to Milena Canonero for “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” This is her fourth Oscar of nine nominations. She spent her entire speech thanking director Wes Anderson, who she also worked with on movies “The Darjeeling Limited” and “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.”
NPH is back with some more jokes:
“Welcome back to the Oscars or as I like to call them, the Dependent Spirit Awards.”
He notes the ridiculous $160,000 gift bags for stars, which contain make-up, shoes and “an armored car ride to safety when the revolution comes.”
Introducing Reese Witherspoon: “This next presenter is so lovely you could eat her up with her spoon.” (Get it?)
Maroon 5’s Adam Levine made his movie debut as the caddish singer in indie film “Begin Again” (playing Keira Knightley’s ex-boyfriend) where he sang this tune, “Lost Stars.” Who knew it would lead him to the solo stage at the Oscars? That just seems like something that would only happen to Adam Levine.
Harvey Weinstein joke! NPH notes that “American Sniper” Chris Kyle had 160 kills — “or as Harvey Weinstein calls it, a slow morning.”
J.K. Simmons wins for best supporting actor
J.K. Simmons thanks everyone who made “Whiplash,” but turns the attention to his wife and kids. “I am grateful every day for the most remarkable person I know, my wife Michelle Schumacher. I’m grateful for your love, your kindness, your wisdom, your sacrifice and your patience — which brings me to the above-average children,” he said, calling his son and daughter “extraordinary human beings” who are a reflection of their mother.
Simmons ends with a plea for everyone, “if you’re lucky enough to have a parent or two alive,” call them. “Don’t text, don’t e-mail,” he warns. “Call them. Listen to them for as long as they want to talk to you.”
After decades of reliable work as a character actor in “Law and Order,” “Spider-Man,” “Juno,” “Oz” and Farmer’s Insurance Commercials, J.K. Simmons finally found a role that placed him squarely in the spotlight. He burst into this year’s Oscars race, quickly becoming a sure bet for playing Fletcher, a domineering, occasionally violent jazz band conductor in “Whiplash.” He even humiliates the poor protagonist Andrew (Miles Teller), making him cry in front of the whole band. It’s pretty terrifying:
And so that you can still sleep at night, here’s Simmons in one of his other nutty roles:
Neil Patrick Harris got off to a good start with this line: “Tonight we honor Hollywood’s best and whitest — sorry, brightest.”
Well that didn’t take long! NPH breaks into song. Sample lyric:“I know the camera’s on and we’re behaving our best/Secretly hope someone pulls a Kanye West.” (Camera pans to an unamused Clint Eastwood.)
NPH’s song about the wonder of “moving pictures” is interrupted by… guest star Anna Kendrick! Looking for her lost shoe. And she accidentally spoils “Gone Girl.”
Jack Black is the next cameo, doing a sort of spoken-word thing, mocking all of the lame superhero movies and Hollywood’s one-note ideas: “After ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ they’ll all have leather whips!”
“More than any one star, truly, moving pictures shape who we are,” NPH bellows. He name-checks all of the best picture nominees as the song gets faster and pictures flash on the screen. He ends the song solemnly standing with his hands folded, imitating the exact pose of an Oscar statue as the audience cheers wildly.
After Neil Patrick Harris’s little song and dance, he was mostly earnest and congratulatory (with the exception of one requisite Oprah joke). He also reminded us that of the $600 million that the best picture nominees made, half of that was thanks to “American Sniper.”
Scarlett Johansson is wearing a green frock with a statement necklace. (We think it kinda looks like some algae got stuck around her neck after a swim in a lake.)
— Post Style (@PostStyle) February 23, 2015
She’s come a long way since meat dresses. Not only is Lady Gaga looking demure in Azzedine Alaïa, but she’s part of this year’s big trend of white and light-colored dresses. The recently engaged Gaga is doing a tribute performance tonight.
— Nico Bellay (@IAMFASHlON) February 23, 2015
David Burtka is tweeting backstage since his husband, Neil Patrick Harris, is a little busy getting ready for the show:
Robin Roberts raves that it’s the third year in a row Bradley Cooper has been nominated for best actor, but Cooper would rather talk about how cool it is that he’s here with Clint Eastwood. Then Roberts gives Cooper a hug because someone on Twitter told her to. And that’s the red carpet in 2015.
— BuzzFeedEntmnt (@BuzzFeedEnt) February 23, 2015
A genuine moment? On the red carpet? It can’t be!!
— Nico Bellay (@IAMFASHlON) February 23, 2015
Taya Kyle, real-life widow of Chris Kyle (portrayed by Bradley Cooper in “American Sniper”) talks to Robin Roberts about how grateful she is for all the accolades for the film. “I still want to embrace everything that he should be here to do with me,” she says of attending the Oscars. She says that if her husband was here, he would be self-deprecating, but also: “Deep down he would be really, really happy that so much healing is happening… and opening a dialogue.” **
It must be hard to decide who to bring as your date to the Oscars. If an actor doesn’t have a significant other, what to do? Take to Tinder? And if they do have a long-term love, that could be just as awkward. Some attendees are getting around this with the popular solution of bringing family. So far, we’ve seen Dakota Johnson with her mom, Melanie Griffith; Laura Dern with her dad, Bruce Dern; Common with mom, Mahalia Ann Hines; and Emma Stone with her mother, Krista Stone. Michael Keaton, meanwhile, brought his son, songwriter Sean Douglas.
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) February 23, 2015
Julianne Moore on the red carpet
Thank God all the nominees are white this year because the rain would be a real problem for black hair. #blackgirlproblems
— Audra McDonald (@AudraEqualityMc) February 23, 2015
Emma Stone brings her mom to the red carpet, but unlike Dakota Johnson and Melanie Griffith, there’s no sniping about mom not seeing her daughter’s movie. Probably because it’s a lot less embarrassing to see “Birdman” than “Fifty Shades of Grey.”
EMMA STONE IS MY FAVORITE BYE. pic.twitter.com/FHT47JObCi
— melanie kwong (@melsanie) February 23, 2015
emma stone looks like a 20s princess pic.twitter.com/r6BecSgzZl
— lydo girl (@lydorito) February 23, 2015
Another light-colored dress, this time on Gwyneth Paltrow, who has a rose growing out of her shoulder.
— Red Magazine (@RedMagDaily) February 23, 2015
Robin Roberts had a tall order interviewing Reese Witherspoon after the actress took to Twitter with #AskHerMore, urging interviewers to dig a little deeper than: “So, who are you wearing?” Roberts didn’t even go there (it was Tom Ford, if you’re wondering), but she did ask what resonated with Witherspoon about her Oscar-nominated role in “Wild.” She also asked about the hashtag, and Witherspoon said there are 44 women nominated for Oscars, and she’s excited to hear more about the work they did.
— Tom + Lorenzo® (@tomandlorenzo) February 23, 2015
“Special doesn’t even begin to talk about Jennifer Lopez,” Lara Spencer gushes, though has a very important question: Will J-Lo wear that Elie Saab ball gown to the Oscars after-parties? Not a chance!
“You can’t party in this dress. Not even me,” J-Lo laughs.
— Pastrana (@PastranaTweet) February 23, 2015
Benedict Cumberbatch gave a shout-out to friends back home in England on the red carpet, which was, according to him, “a bit squishy.” Cumberbatch is up for best actor for playing Alan Turing in “The Imitation Game.” He brought along his new wife, Sophie Hunter, who is pregnant with the couple’s first child.
— BuzzFeedEntmnt (@BuzzFeedEnt) February 23, 2015
Chris Pratt, now an Official Movie Star, is on the red carpet with wife Anna Faris. They have a toddler at home so they plan to stay out partying as long as possible. “I love your show!” Robin Roberts says to both of them. (Quick: Does she mean “Parks and Recreation” or “Mom”?)
Famous families annoy each other, too. Dakota Johnson and her mom, Melanie Griffith, look genuinely uncomfortable when Lara Spencer starts grilling them about Dakota’s starring role in “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Will her mom see the movie? “I don’t think I can,” Griffith responds. “I think it would be strange.” Dakota looks offended but Griffith stands her ground.
Julianne Moore, who plays a professor with early-onset Alzheimer’s in “Still Alice,” gets serious on the red carpet talking about Alzheimer’s and dementia. She says there’s a misnomer that they’re natural causes of getting older. “It’s a disease no matter when you get it,” she says.
— Joanie Jacobsen (@runwithwrink) February 23, 2015
Tim McGraw is probably looking at J.K. Simmons and thinking, “Darn it, I could have worn my hat.”
— Variety (@Variety) February 23, 2015
Naomi Watts and Ryan Seacrest have just broken the record for how many times anyone has ever said “frittata” on the red carpet.
Jimmy Kimmel shows up on the ABC red carpet in jeans and a button-down shirt, defying the dress code in a way only an ABC employee can. Kimmel and Lara Spencer discuss appropriate red carpet questions to ask anyone, including, “How long do you think it would take to eat your car?” In more important news, Kimmel plugs his annual after-Oscars special, which will star John Travolta, Sean Penn and lots of other A-listers, including (of course) Matt Damon.
“It was the most beautiful script I’ve ever read.” That’s Miles Teller on “Whiplash,” which is up for best picture and best adapted screenplay, among other awards. Teller showed up with his model girlfriend Keleigh Sperry.
— laChambre PR (@laChambrePR) February 23, 2015
Lots of Twitter chatter about Lupita Nyong’o’s dress, but Robin Givhan sums it up best:
— Robin Givhan (@RobinGivhan) February 23, 2015
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) February 23, 2015
— Henry Goldblatt (@HenryGoldblatt) February 23, 2015
Rosamund Pike is wearing a vibrant dress and she hasn’t been so covered in red since the last time she had a run-in with Neil Patrick Harris. She’s up for best actress for “Gone Girl.”
— COSMETIC Magazine (@thecosmeticmag) February 23, 2015
Over on ABC, John Legend and Chrissy Teigen tell Robin Roberts that their after-party plans depend on whether or not they win. Why that’s a rather honest answer! They’re accompanied by Common and his date, his mom (who is delightful) so it seems like that group would have a great time partying after the show.
Felicity Jones, who is nominated for “The Theory of Everything” had this to say about Stephen Hawking: “He has a very flirtatious nature.”
— Nikki Rappaport (@nikkirap) February 22, 2015
Eddie Redmayne (a probable winner for best actor with “The Theory of Everything”) is delighted that it’s raining in Los Angeles. “It’s beautifully British,” he says.
Eddie Redmayne. Yes. pic.twitter.com/LRONNhzq8L
— BuzzFeed Community (@BuzzFeeders) February 23, 2015
Shout out to Michael Keaton’s son Sean, who the world discovered (and fell in love with) at the Golden Globes. Again, sorry — he’s married.
David Oyelowo shows up in a red tuxedo and Seacrest keeps the chat serious, asking about Oyelowo’s portrayal of MLK Jr. in “Selma.” “I wanted people to know the men that they hadn’t yet met,” Oyelowo says.
Laura Dern brought her father, Bruce Dern, as her date. The proud papa announced that between the three actors in their family, which includes Diane Ladd, they have seven Oscar nominations total. Bruce Dern was most recently nominated for “Nebraska” last year. And Laura Dern is up for supporting actress for playing real-life character Cheryl Strayed’s mother, Bobbi Lambrecht, in “Wild.”
From the E! livestream: Apparently it’s raining? That’s a lot of umbrellas.
“Selma” director Ava DuVernay paid a sweet Twitter tribute to the movie’s star, David Oyelowo, who played Martin Luther King Jr.
I never shared this. I saved it for today. A special outtake of my hero. I love you, David. You are my Best Actor. https://t.co/hb26gg7fjc
— Ava DuVernay (@AVAETC) February 22, 2015
Neither Oyelowo nor DuVernay were nominated for their work, although “Selma” is up for best picture. The clip she posted is an emotional outtake after Oyelowo, playing King, delivers his Nobel Prize speech.
Kevin Hart tells Seacrest that he’s busy working on the roast of Justin Bieber for Comedy Central, so just a reminder that exists.
Breaking news: Dakota Johnson kept a “flogger” from the “Fifty Shades of Grey” set. No one knows what that is so, naturally, co-host Giuliana Rancic looks up the definition on the Internet and reads it out loud to Kelly Osbourne and Ross Mathews. It’s not awkward at all!
Ethan Hawke and Seacrest chat about how difficult it is to tie a bowtie — that’s really all we took away from the conversation because mostly we were thinking about how annoying it must be to show up at the Oscars and know you have zero chance to win. (J.K. Simmons has already won every trophy so far.)
— GuruChat (@Guruchat) February 22, 2015
Dakota Johnson brought her mom, Melanie Griffith, as her date to the Oscars. That’s pretty wholesome considering the up-and-comer is currently heating up movie theaters in “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Johnson (whose father is Don Johnson), will be presenting an award tonight. Griffith, meanwhile, was nominated for an Academy Award back in 1989, for “Working Girl.”
— Post Style (@PostStyle) February 22, 2015
Margot Robbie wearing a necklace that she says costs more than her life, which we’re assuming is not hyperbole because it looks pretty fancy.
Nashville shows up on the red carpet as Tim McGraw and Faith Hill (wearing a sparkly white J. Mendel dress that the E! fashion experts call one of the first “jaw-dropping” moments of the night) banter with Seacrest about how Faith might “accidentally” grab George Clooney’s knee. Tim is performing tonight, subbing in for Glen Campbell on the best original song nominee, tearjerker “I’m Not Gonna Miss You.”
File this under “can’t tell if it’s a joke”: Andy Samberg and the Lonely Island trio confirms there is one person that’s turned them down for a cameo in one of their songs: Bill Clinton. That’s unfortunate, they say, but apparently he didn’t want to play the saxophone. Oh, the possibilities…
It isn’t easy for guys to make a statement at the Oscars. With the exception of formal shorts (ahem, Pharrell), all the men show up in the usual: a tuxedo.
But Oscar host Neil Patrick Harris, who just arrived with his partner David Burtka, is standing out with a gray tuxedo. It’s not quite as fresh as, say, a Bjork swan dress, but it’s nice to see something a little different from the guys.
— Jeana (@SurfnSunshine) February 22, 2015
Don’t think that just because Common and John Legend performed “Glory” (nominated for best orignal song) a couple weeks ago at the Grammys that they’ll be phoning in the same performance! Common tells Seacrest that they changed up the presentation for tonight. “The Oscars is the mountaintop,” Common says. (Though presumably they won’t be introduced by Beyoncé this time.)
Patricia Arquette, poised to easily win the best supporting trophy tonight for her role in “Boyhood,” is on the red carpet at 5:42 p.m., about three hours before the show starts. Did she lose a bet? She also takes a swipe at the insanity of the Mani Cam without realizing it is dead. See below.
Anna Kendrick has arrived and she’s wearing coral. She’ll be performing tonight, though the details are still scarce.
— The Hot Hits (@thehothits) February 22, 2015
Josh Hutcherson (Peeta of “The Hunger Games”) is randomly on the red carpet — apparently he’s a presenter, and the academy pulled a fast one and doubled the length of his speech. He seems faux-stressed while talking to Seacrest, who grills him for “Hunger Games” details. Hutcherson gives him nothing.
Gina Rodriguez of CW’s “Jane the Virgin” is on the red carpet chatting with Seacrest — she’s gone from unknown actress to Golden Globe winner and Oscar attendee in a matter of months. Will the CW finally start to get some respect around here?!
Wolfgang Puck teases all the food that the stars won’t be able to eat for approximately six hours, including mini burgers, lobster, and other delicious looking things. Out in L.A. on the red carpet, the Post’s Geoff Edgers spotted someone holding a mini chocolate Oscar, as well:
— Geoff Edgers (@geoffedgers) February 22, 2015
RIP Mani Cam
Mani Cam, a frivolous feature on E!’s red carpet specials, has died. He was three years old. Mani Cam was loved by some — mostly by those that didn’t have to immediately interact with him — and demonized by others for the sexist way he singled out ladies to parade their fancy jewelry and colorful fingernails down his back.
He had a famously contentious relationship with Jennifer Aniston, and Elisabeth Moss once used and abused him, cozying up to him only tomake a gesture that isn’t suitable for network television.
Mani Cam is survived by the other awkward ways E! puts celebrities on the spot. The cause of death is uncertain. Supposedly there wasn’t space for him in this world, but old age is also possible. He did sort of outstay his welcome.
Tired of the age-old “what are you wearing” question? So are some of today’s stars, if Instagram is any indication. Reese Witherspoon has been posting her pre-Oscars prep on the social network with the hashtag #AskHerMore. The “movement,” as Witherspoon called it, is “meant to inspire reporters to ask creative questions on the red carpet.” We’ll see how much it actually works.
❤️ this movement #AskHerMore..have you heard of it? It's meant to inspire reporters to ask creative questions on the red carpet. I love the Oscars AND fashion like many of you – & am excited to share #WhoAmIWearing later tonight. (🙊not yet!!) But I'd also love to answer some of these Qs….And hear your suggestions?! (Share em below!) There are so many amazing, talented nominees this year..! Let's hear their stories! Spread the word. #AskHerMore #Oscars #Countdown
Turns out losing isn’t so bad at the Oscars.The non-winners in the top six categories (best actor, actress, supporting actor, supporting actress and director) won’t take home a golden statue, but the consolation prize is a swag bag valued at $168,000, according to Vanity Fair. “The gift bags were put together by a company called Distinctive Assets, who assembled 21 gift bags, for the host as well as the losing nominees for best actor, best actress, best supporting actor, best supporting actress, and best director.” Sorry, losers in the other categories, you just get to go to the after-parties.
Gifts in each bag include: free Silvercar Audi rentals for a year; a $20,000 astrology reading; an $800 custom candy and dessert buffet; a $12,500 glamping vacation from Terravelo Tours; a train trip on the Rocky Mountaineer; a $11,500 nine-night Italian vacation package; $4,000 worth of liposuction, a $1,200 Matrone bicycle; non-invasive L.E.D. light therapy; $25,000 worth of custom furniture “perfect for giving their Malibu pad a special look,” and a laser vibrator valued at $250. And yes, all this swag counts as taxable income.
Finally, we have the answers to some very important questions. Will Oscars voters go with newcomer Eddie Redmayne (“Theory of Everything”) or favorite Michael Keaton (“Birdman”) for best actor? Is host Neil Patrick Harris going to try to upstage Ellen DeGeneres with another celebrity selfie? And, please, seriously, is locked-in-a-dead-heat “Birdman” or “Boyhood” is going to take home best picture?
The ceremony scheduled to start at 8:30 p.m. and end at 11:30 p.m. (Though you might want to allow for some extra time — you never know with those acceptance speeches.)
Meanwhile, check out our film critics’ picks here and see who is likely to take home all the trophies: Though some of the acting categories seem like a lock (hello, Julianne Moore) there are still some tight races in other categories.
And be on the lookout for lots of performances, from all five best original song nominees (Common and John Legend will sing “Glory” from “Selma,” Adam Levine sings “Lost Stars” from “Begin Again,”etc.) plus special appearances from Anna Kendrick, Jennifer Hudson and Lady Gaga.
COMPLETE LIST OF WINNERS AND NOMINEES (WINNERS IN RED)
“The Grand Budapest Hotel”
“The Imitation Game”
“The Theory of Everything”
Actress in a Leading Role
Marion Cotillard, “Two Days, One Night”
Felicity Jones, “The Theory of Everything”
Julianne Moore, “Still Alice”
Rosamund Pike, “Gone Girl”
Reese Witherspoon, “Wild”
Actor in a Leading Role
Steve Carell, “Foxcatcher”
Bradley Cooper, “American Sniper”
Benedict Cumberbatch, “The Imitation Game”
Michael Keaton, “Birdman”
Eddie Redmayne, “The Theory of Everything”
Alejandro González Iñárritu, “Birdman”
Richard Linklater, “Boyhood”
Bennett Miller, “Foxcatcher”
Wes Anderson, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Morten Tyldum, “The Imitation Game”
Actor in a Supporting Role
Robert Duvall, “The Judge”
Ethan Hawke, “Boyhood”
Edward Norton, “Birdman”
Mark Ruffalo, “Foxcatcher”
J.K. Simmons, “Whiplash”
Actress in a Supporting Role
Patricia Arquette, “Boyhood”
Laura Dern, “Wild”
Emma Stone, “Birdman”
Keira Knightley, “The Imitation Game”
Meryl Streep, “Into the Woods”
Writing – 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”
Writing – 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”
Milena Canonero, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Mark Bridges, “Inherent Vice”
Colleen Atwood, “Into the Woods”
Anna B. Sheppard, “Maleficent”
Jacqueline Durran, “Mr. Turner”
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”
Foreign Language Film
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
Documentary Short Subject
“Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1”
“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
“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
“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
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
Animated Feature Film
“Big Hero 6”
“How to Train Your Dragon 2”
“Song of the Sea”
“The Tale of the Princess Kaguya”
“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
Emmanuel Lubezki, “Birdman”
Robert D. Yeoman, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lynzewski, “Ida”
Dick Pope, “Mr. Turner”
Roger Deakins, “Unbroken”
Joel Cox and Gary Roach, “American Sniper”
Sandra Adair, “Boyhood”
Barney Pilling, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
William Goldenberg, “The Imitation Game”
Tom Cross, “Whiplash”
“Last Days in Vietnam”
“The Salt of the Earth”
“Finding Vivian Maier”
Music – 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 and Danielle Brisebois, “Begin Again”
Music – 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”
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