Your Guide to the 2015 Oscars

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Written by Andrea Martin. Media by Stephen Hillrich.


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Last Sunday’s Oscars presented new winners and some shocks as cinema’s biggest night gripped the world with meaningful performances and emotional and personal speeches.

Neil Patrick Harris hosted the show and opened up with a creative tune, which also starred Anna Kendrick and Jack Black. Throughout the show, Harris made cliché and “lame” (according to Harris) jokes that presented a light comedic approach.

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Birdman took home the biggest prize as the winner of Best Picture, beating out front-runner Boyhood. Alejandro Gonzázel Iñárritu was also granted the Oscar for Best Director, once again defeating Boyhood director Richard Linklater whom was predicted to take home the award.

Overall, Birdman won four Oscars (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Original Screenplay), which tied with The Grand Budapest Hotel, which won Best Costume Design, Makeup, Production Design, and Original Score.

Birdman, however, failed to give Michael Keaton his first Oscar as Eddie Redmayne won his first ever Oscar for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. Redmayne thanked his co-star (and fellow Best Actress Nominee) Felicity Jones, and paid a tribute to Hawkings and his family.

“This belongs to all of those people around the world battling ALS. It belongs to one exceptional family [the Hawkings]. […] I will be its custodian. I promise you I will look after him.” Redmayne, at one point, was so overcome by emotion that he couldn’t help but have a bit of a freak-out moment. Cate Blanchett, last year’s winner for Best Actress (Blue Jasmine), presented Redmayne with the golden statue.

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One of the most memorable moments in the show came when Julianne Moore finally captured her first Oscar for her work in Still Alice, cementing her place in cinematic history. Having been nominated four times before Sunday’s show, Moore, like Redmayne, was emotional after her win, and gave a heartfelt and comedic speech.

“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,” Moore quipped as she accepted her award.

On a more serious note, Moore thanked those living with Alzheimer’s for giving her the ability to tap into their world, proclaiming that Still Alice has shed a light upon the reality of Alzheimer’s.

“People with Alzheimer’s deserve to be seen so we can find a cure,” she mentioned as she won the only Oscar received for Still Alice.

For the categories of Best Supporting Actor and Actress, J.K. Simmons and Patricia Arquette won respectively for their work in Whiplash and Boyhood. Simmons’ win was the first of the night, and his speech urged for those who still have both parents alive to give them a call.

“Don’t text. Don’t email. Call them on the phone. Tell them you love them, and thank them, and listen to them for as long as they want to talk to you.”

Arquette didn’t hold any punches back as she called out the inequality of pay for women, and dedicated her win to “every woman who gave birth.”

“It’s time to have wage equality once and for all, and equal rights for women in the United States of America,” Arquette said. Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lopez gave vocal approval to Arquette’s proclamation, and openly applauded her acceptance speech.

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“Glory” won Best Original Song, which was presented to Common and John Legend. Before being given the award, both performed the song and received a standing ovation, and even moved some actors to tears. The performance was lauded as the best moment of the night.

The Sound of Music was honored with a soulful medley performed by Lady Gaga as the film would be celebrating its 50th Anniversary on March 2nd. Gaga’s performance showed a more touching side to the eccentric singer who did the movie’s most iconic songs justice, and also received a standing ovation after the four-minute performance. A couple moments later, Julie Andrews walked across the stage to hug Gaga, and praised Gaga’s rendition.

“It really warmed my heart,” said Andrews, 79. “It really did.”

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Here is a complete list of Sunday’s winners:

Best Picture

Best Director
Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman

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Best Actress
Julianne Moore, Still Alice

Best Actor
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

Best Supporting Actress
Patricia Arquette, Boyhood

Best Supporting Actor
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

Best Adapted Screenplay
Graham Moore, The Imitation Game

Best Original Screenplay
Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris and Armando Bo, Birdman

Best Foreign Language Film

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Best Documentary Feature

Best Animated Feature
Big Hero 6

Best Film Editing

Best Original Song
“Glory” from Selma (written by Common and John Legend)

Best Original Score
Alexandre Desplat, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Cinematography
Emmanuel Lubezki, Birdman

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Best Costume Design
The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Production Design
The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Sound Editing
American Sniper

Best Sound Mixing

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Best Visual Effects

Best Short Film, Live Action
The Phone Call

Best Short Film, Animated

Best Documentary, Short Subject
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