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Not everything was awesome at the 2015 Oscars

by JASMINE ELSHAMY Editor-in-Chief

Neil Patrick Harris hosted the 87th annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theater at Hollywood and Highland Center on February 22, with the star-studded night televised by ABC. The night was filled with cringe-worthy jokes, Lady Gaga slaying a “Sound of Music” medley, Lego Oscar trophies, white people, and a crying Chris Pine. 

If you missed this night of subpar hosting and really cool soon-to-be stolen pearl dress (cough cough LUPITA cough), have no fear! We are going to go through some of the most important categories, review the awful writing that The Academy gave NPH to work with, and remind you of some of the best speeches and performances of the night, which includes Terrence Howard basically having an orgasm onstage and John Travolta harassing Idina Menzel’s face. 

Let’s review the winners in the categories that we all care about the most (which basically just means I’m going to exclude the bum categories of Visual Effects and whatnot): 

  1. Best Picture: “Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” 

  2. Actor in a Leading Role: Eddie Redmayne (“The Theory of Everything”)

  3. Actress in a Leading Role: Julianne Moore (“Still Alice”)

  4. Supporting Actor in a Leading Role: J.K. Simmons (“Whiplash”)

  5. Supporting Actress in a Leading Role: Meryl Streep, Patricia Arquette (“Boyhood”)

  6. Animated Feature Film: “Big Hero 6”

  7. Writing (Original Screenplay): Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. & Armando Bo (“Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”)

  8. Writing (Adapted Screenplay): Graham Moore (“The Imitation Game”) 

  9. Music (Original Song): “Glory” from “SELMA” by John Legend and Common

  10. Costume Design: Milena Canonero — “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

By the end of the night, some of the biggest and even most unexpected winners were “Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” with four wins, “The Grand Budapest Hotel” with four wins, and “Whiplash” with three wins.

“I’m really disappointed ‘Boyhood’ didn’t get more recognition at The Oscars. It was a really moving, fantastic film about growing up, with a lot of heart and soul put into it, and I understand that the same goes for most of the films nominated, but I was just surprised,” said senior Kirsten Pasewaldt. “I mean, 12 years, come on, that’s pretty amazing.”

When it came to viewership, though, ABC definitely fell through this year, making it the least watched Oscars since 2009 when Hugh Jackman emceed and “Slumdog Millionaire” won Best Picture.

Not to mention, every nominee in the categories for best actors and actresses in both supporting and leading roles were caucasian, and every nominee for Best Directing and Writing were all men. 

Sure, NPH managed to show that The Academy has self-awareness with some jokes such as, “…to honor the best and the whitest — I mean, brightest,” which was kind of like, okay great, thanks for the crumb. And of course the issue is not NPH’s fault, but it is a diversity problem that all of Hollywood is tainted with. 

NPH also was not given the writing staff that he deserved. He had to tell some pretty God-awful jokes that just made me cringe, and that whole bit about the Oscar predictions being in the box was like opening a birthday card that doesn’t come with a gift or money. NPH is a very charismatic, entertaining performer, and The Academy could have done so much more with him. 

I think the musical numbers saved the night, with a lovely Broadway-esque opening number from Anna Kendrick, Jack Black, and NPH (written by one of the guys who wrote the “Frozen” music!), and then an insane performance of “Everything Is Awesome” from Tegan & Sara and The Lonely Island. It almost helped me forget my initial rage upon hearing “The Lego Movie” was snubbed. 

John Legend and Common delivered a chilling, moving performance of their Oscar-winning song “Glory,” receiving a well-deserved standing ovation and the tears of many audience members, including Chris Pine, David Oyelowo (who absolutely should have been in the Best Actor category), and Oprah.

Similarly, Queen Gaga gave us a stunning rendition of a medley from “The Sound of Music,” receiving acclaim from nearly every soul on this planet who witnessed that beautiful woman belt like she was in the hills of Austria. 

“I loved the musical performances. The Lonely Island, Jennifer Hudson, John Legend and Common, Lady Gaga. All of them are massively talented, and it was so cool to get to see Julie Andrews hug Gaga,” said sophomore Chelsea Algoo. 

Overall, The Oscars weren’t so bad. If you’d like to find out more about The Academy’s diversity issue, this Buzzfeed article was really helpful. If we want to see any change in the representation of people of color and women in stories we see in theaters and being recognized by the big shot award shows, we must create them ourselves. 

What did you think of this year’s Oscars? 

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