Top 10 Moments From the 2015 Oscars
Granted, this year’s Oscars were by no means the most exciting, scandalous, or even most amusing we’ve seen in a while. But that’s not to say the evening didn’t have some great moments. Because honestly, at over three hours long what program is ever going to seem to be a hit in its entirety? The Oscars always have us talking about something, here’s the top moments from the 2015 Oscars that stood out.
#1. The Opening Number
Obviously Neil Patrick Harris is most known for his amazing Tony Awards hosting where he always does musical numbers. Which are of course expected for an evening celebrating theater. The Oscars also have a long history of musical openings, so this was an obvious but excellent decision. NPH sang a touching and catchy tune celebrating movies (of course) but the whole number was stepped up several notches when he was joined by current American Sweetheart Anna Kendrick donning her lovely Cinderella dress from Into the Woods. Just in case anyone worried it would get in schmaltz territory, Jack Black brought some dark moodiness to the affair joining the two on stage and bringing us back to the modern era by reminding us most people watch movies on their “screens in their jeans.” It’s our new favorite hashtag (#screensinjeans).
#2. J.K. Simmons Uses His Acceptance Speech to Get Us All to Call Our Parents
One hears a wealth of emotional and inspiring things in acceptance speeches, and often parents are thanked and appreciated in such speeches, but its more rare for the audience to be chided for neglecting their parents. Not that Best Supporting Actor winner J.K. Simmons meant to make us all feel super guilty that we only call our parents every once in a while, but when the man who threw stools at Miles Teller’s head tells you to call your parents you get the impression he means NOW. On it, sir.
#3. Tegan and Sara and The Lonely Island’s Performance of “Everything is Awesome”
Considering we all knew they weren’t nominated and weren’t likely to win anything at the Oscars, the people behind The Lego Movie still got the point across that they know their film is awesome and nothing has changed. Complete with dancers dressed as characters from the film and with that awesome energetic beat, “Everything is Awesome” was one of the bigger spectacles of the night and by far one of the lighter and more fun moments. When Will Arnett came out to do his solo as Lego Batman, the awesome levels truly were at an all-time high. The real winners were lucky audience members who were handed Lego statuettes, a throwback to director Philip Lord’s tweet that an Oscar nomination mattered not, he could make his own.
#4. NPH’s Birdman/Whiplash Mashup
Running around in his tightie-whities was good enough. Making the connection between Birdman’s erratic drums soundtrack and Miles Teller in Whiplash was perfect. A mostly naked NPH telling Teller his playing was “not my speed” made for some of the biggest laughs of the evening. And those feeling slightly scandalized by the whole thing are just silly. It’s the perfect meta-moment when a live television program references a film scene in which a celebrity endures a ridiculous moment during another piece of live theater. It’s a great scene in the movie and was great when NPH did it as well.
#5. Patricia Arquette’s Simple But Passionate Acceptance Speech/Meryl Streep’s Reaction
These two tie, mostly because they happened at the same time. Upon winning her Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, Patricia Arquette thanked all the appropriate people, referenced the sanitation organization she’s involved with and then somewhat unexpectedly threw out that it was time for equality for women in the workplace. Nothing new, granted, but during a night when everyone seemed to have left their soapboxes at home, it was a refreshing reminder that women especially need to use the spotlight whenever it’s given to them to remind others of where we stand. Almost just as stirring was Meryl Streep’s instant reaction, jumping to her feet and raising her arms in support (now our new favorite gif). The fact that such simple statements still get a rise out of those who hear them, means we’re not quite there yet with women’s equality—(not to mention the clarity the Sony hacking gave us in the differences in paychecks still happening in the industry). Thank you Patricia for the needed reminder.
#6. Common and John Legend’s Performance of “Glory”
We’ve seen this one performed a few times, the Golden Globes and the Grammys most recently, but somehow this performance beat out all the rest. For one because Common and John Legend had a powerful group of people walking slowly behind them as though down the road to Selma. The visuals were truly fantastic, but also since Selma was snubbed in many ways for these Oscars, it was as though these two men were committed to giving the film the recognition it deserved. And boy did they move us. There were tears a plenty in the audience, most notably streaming down star David Oyelowo’s face and also Chris Pine’s (causing female hearts around the country to simply snap in two.) The performance made their win for Best Song even more deserved, and the two men spoke so eloquently and with such conviction all the feels just came rushing back. A sincere congratulations to everyone involved with Selma.
#7. First Time Writer/Winner Graham Moore’s Acceptance Speech
As a complete newbie, it was heartwarming to see the young Graham Moore pick up an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Imitation Game, but his speech went even further in making us love him. Falling in line with the slew of “it gets better” style speeches we’ve seen lately, Moore spoke of his attempt to commit suicide at 16 and that anyone out there thinking those same thoughts needs to “Stay weird. Stay different. And when it’s your turn, pass this message on to the next person.” It’s the sort of message we can always use reminding of. And those trolls of the Internet who poked fun at Moore, saying for someone calling for “weird and different” he had one of the more boring scripts of the year, should do well to remember it’s adapted. You can only work with what you got, people.
#8. John Travolta is Ridiculously Creepy to Idina Menzel
So John Travolta made for the best joke of last year’s Oscar show by weirdly mispronouncing Idina Menzel’s name as “Adele Dazeem” before her performance of “Let It Go” from Frozen. An entire meme was formed and we all had a great laugh. Idina Menzel got her much deserved revenge by announcing John Travolta as “Glom Gazingo” when he joined her on stage last night. This was plenty funny and much deserved but as though overly trying to endear the audience (and apparently Menzel) Travolta got extra touchy, weirdly closing in on Menzel and touching her face. It was strange and just reinforced our preconceived notion that Travolta is turning into one of the more eccentric characters in Hollywood.
#9. Eddie Redmayne Wins Best Actor and Oozes Adorableness
Even we were slightly torn over who would take this one home, Keaton and Redmayne had us guessing, even after Keaton took home the Spirit Award the night previous. So when Eddie Redmayne won the award for his role in The Theory of Everything we were happy for him and no one can say he didn’t deserve it. But his baffled expression, his humongous grin, and the exuberance with which he accepted the award sure make him that much more lovable. It’s the sort of excitement one hopes to see from an actor when they’ve truly done work that merits such accolade.
#10. Birdman Wins Best Picture
Ok, so this is obvious, whoever gets Best Picture always achieves one of the bigger events of the evening, but this one feels all the more significant because it didn’t seem likely to happen. Not that Birdman is any dark horse by any means. They were a close second pick in our minds, but Boyhood getting exactly one award (Best Supporting Actress) of its six nominations is a bit shocking. And maybe even a bit harsh. But once again the Academy proves their nostalgia and narcissism picking a film focused on the arts rather than a film that’s artistry was highly involved and historical. Rants aside, Birdman is an excellent picture and pitting two such dissimilar films against one another is hardly an even battle. Congrats to all, and Boyhood, don’t worry. You’ll still make it into all the history books.
Honorable Mentions: Lady Gaga killing it in her performance of songs from The Sound of Music in recognition of its 50th anniversary and then melting our hearts when hugging Julie Andrews. Sean Penn and his awkward and ill-timed joke before announcing Best Picture. Outrage online around Joan Rivers missing from the In Memoriam (despite being far more influential to the red carpet than to film itself.)