Oscars 2015: Post mortem

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Overview

Boring, and worse – not funny or particularly entertaining. Neil Patrick Harris had a good opening number, but things went downhill after that. Harris seemed uncomfortable, and that came across. It’s a hard, thankless gig, but he trooped on. Last year’s host, Ellen DeGeneres, with her ability to connect with the star-studded audience, was a hard act to follow. The show started running long from the get-go, so at least presenters weren’t bogged down with silly chit chat or bad jokes.

Oscars 2015 winners were fairly predictable with no upsets. I scored an 18 out of 24 in my predictions.

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Of the eight films nominated for best picture, each film took home at least one Oscar. The top awards went to Birdman, but the good takeaway was that the love was spread around. Tallies went like this:

4 > Birdman
4 > The Grand Budapest Hotel
3 > Whiplash
1 > American Sniper
1 > Boyhood
1 > The Imitation Game
1 > Selma
1 > The Theory of Everything

Seemingly genuine moments:

  • There were quite a few tears shed. David Oyelowo and Chris Pine crying during the performance of “Glory.”
  • Julie Andrews in an emotional embrace with Lady Gaga after her Sound of Music anniversary tribute.
  • Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lopez cheering on Patricia Arquette in her acceptance speech on gender/wage inequality. Kudos to Arquette for putting it out there.

Most heartfelt acceptance speech: Many winners took the opportunity to deliver politically-tinged speeches while Graham Moore, winner for best adapted screenplay, The Imitation Game, shared his personal story – a suicide attempt as a young, gay man – as his connection to the film. “Stay weird. Stay different.” he emotionally said.

Worst speech: Most of them were forgettable – with endless thanks to agents, managers, producers etc.

Best sight gags: NPH’s homage to Michael Keaton’s coat-stuck-in-the-door bit from Birdman,
and the actors holding the Oscar statuette made of Legos.

Best scripted moment: Idina Menzel [that’s Adele Dazeem] and John Travolta sending up last year’s goof-heard-round-the-world.

Fashion

Best dressed: Anna Kendrick, Naomi Watts, Kerry Washington, Rosamund Pike, Emma Stone, Jennifer Hudson and costume designer Milena Canonero. As for the men: Eddie Redmayne, David Oyelowo, Chris Pine and Common were standouts.

Worst dressed: Jessica Chastain, Nicole Kidman, Gwyneth Paltrow; Marion Cotillard, Lupita Nyong’o, Viola Davis (all three usually winners), Lady Gaga – well, she’s gaga.

Most-voluminous gown: Jennifer Lopez

How can Oscars 2016 be better? Strip it to bare bones and just present the awards. I’d like that, but it would put so many people out of work if it went down that way. Other than the fashion parade, the broadcast is rarely interesting and far too long. Nice graphics and typography on the nominees this year though.

Until next year, let’s hope for a good year of creative, unexpected films, rich in diversity across the board.

What did you think of the 2015 Oscars telecast?

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