Tuesday, February 24, 2015

2015 Oscars Recap

I just turned 32 years old. I know, it's scary stuff! But through all of the knee troubles I've been experiencing lately and getting married not too long ago in the summer of 2014, nothing has made me recognize my aging as much as fighting desperately to stay awake through Sunday night's long-winded Academy Awards ceremony.

Despite over-extending itself way too far, this year's Oscars offered many iconic moments. Neil Patrick Harris received a passing grade for his first-time hosting duties, Lady Gaga proved she has an amazing set of pipes on her, and a long list of first-time winners delivered memorable acceptance speeches that showed how truly grateful they were for their big prizes.

The Academy Awards has a difficult job of annually recognizing the best of world cinema. And while many (including myself) were excited about all of the tight races that could go any which way on Sunday night, the Oscars managed to be fairly predictable yet again. Outside of perhaps the night's biggest upset, Big Hero 6 taking down How to Train Your Dragon 2 in the Best Animated Feature showdown, all the of major races went in favor of the frontrunners (no matter how slight of an advantage they were given).

Alejandro G. Inarritu's Birdman and Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel stood tallest with four wins apiece. However, to steal an NCAA basketball phrase, quality of wins matters as Birdman captured Best Picture, Director, Original Screenplay and Cinematography. Sundance winner and indie sensation, Whiplash, took home a trio of statues including a well-deserved Best Supporting Actor title for J.K. Simmons.

Also, in as fair a showing as possible, it was interesting to notice that each of the eight Best Picture nominees took home a piece of hardware. The Theory of Everything was honored for leading man Eddie Redmayne's portrayal of ALS sufferer and renowned physicist, Stephen Hawking, Boyhood's Patricia Arquette stirred up the crowd during her acceptance speech, The Imitation Game won Best Adapted Screenplay, Selma was recognized for its Original Song, and American Sniper reigned triumphant in the Sound Editing race.

The Academy certainly spread the wealth this year and it was extremely fitting for such a strong crop of films. Even Christopher Nolan's epic time and space adventure, Interstellar, claimed a victory in the Visual Effects category (for a full list of winners click here).

So as we rewind the clocks for another cinematic year, we can only hope that next year's Oscars will run a little faster! Well, that and a win for Leo (finally)!

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