Article by Amanda Hickey | esPResso Committee Member
Please note that this article is the opinion of the writer.
Neil Patrick Harris hosted this year’s three-hour and 38-minute Oscars’ telecast, opening the night with a theatrical number that praised the magic of the movies. “Pitch Perfect” actress Anna Kendrick joined him for a split second, only to be interrupted by a comedic rant from Jack Black addressing the problems he sees with show business.
Then came the number that also could have been mistaken for a comedy bit: best original song nominee, “Everything is Awesome,” from “The Lego Movie.” The performance, led by musical duo Tegan and Sara, had good intentions although many found it to be an awkward, sporadic spectacle. However, the peculiar routine was welcomed much more than Harris’ jab at Dana Perry, winner for Best Documentary Short, “Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1.”
“It takes a lot of balls to wear that dress,” he said after she dedicated the award to her 15-year-old son who committed suicide. While her dress was indeed covered in little black pom-poms, the timing was all wrong, according to ABC News.
Besides John Travolta’s apology to Idina Menzel after mispronouncing her name last year, the remainder of the show was entertaining but moderately humorless. Thankfully, the awards show redeemed itself from “The Lego Movie” fiasco when John Legend and Common performed their Oscar-winning song, “Glory,” from the film “Selma.” They brought the crowd to its feet as they belted lyrics to their inspiring song. Patricia Arquette, winner for Best Supporting Actress for “Boyhood,” delivered a speech that also left the audience roaring with applause: “To every woman who gave birth, to every taxpayer of this nation. It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all in the United States of America.”
J.K. Simmons, winner for Best Supporting Actor for “Whiplash,” urged everyone to call their parents while they still can during his acceptance speech. Graham Moore, who took home the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for “The Imitation Game” also left viewers with some touching words: “I would like this moment to be for this 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. Stay weird, stay different.”
Finally, Lady Gaga, the queen of embracing your differences, hit viewers with one more “wow” factor. She performed a “Sound of Music” medley that received a standing ovation from the audience, including Julie Andrews herself. Overall, The Oscars were nothing out of the ordinary pomp and circumstance. But even despite the lengthy running time, it reminded viewers that there truly is magic in the movies.
Best Picture: “Birdman”
Best Actor: Eddie Redmayne, “The Theory of Everything”
Best Actress: Julianne Moore, “Still Alice”