The 87th Annual Academy Awards (Or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

by Sarah Gorman

Last night was the night of all nights, the cream of the crop, America’s finest three and a half hours: the Oscars. Neil Patrick Harris swung in as host making everyone ask, “Hasn’t he done this already?” It was glitzy, it was glamorous, and it was generally one of the more boring shows I’ve ever seen.

We started off with Neil Patrick Harris’s friendly little mug greeting us like an anthropomorphic chicken nugget in one of the many weirdly artistic McDonald’s commercials that aired during the broadcast.


I think it’s nice that they decided to just get another inoffensive, affable gay icon to host after Ellen was so successful last year, but then why not just have Ellen host again? That being said, I love Neil Patrick Harris and think he was very good in the musical Assassins.


Pretty much right of the bat, NPH made a race joke that was pretty funny, if not pretty dad-like. This would begin a pattern of him just making Dad jokes throughout the broadcast.

They cut to Benedict Cumberbatch, presumably because of his ridiculous old timey white man name. I was glad to see his Norwegian Ridgeback dragon face so early on in the night.


Then Neil quickly started singing, because what else was he going to do?


And they cut to our alien overlord again, this time drinking from a flask and pretending to be salty. That Benedict Cumberbatch is such a jokester!


Then Neil went into this dancing with his shadow routine, which really needed a trigger warning because it gave me nightmarish “Peter Pan Live!” flashbacks. Shiver.


Then there was a montage of background changes to celebrate our favorite movies from the past. Some of the movies were very worthy of being honored on the Oscar stage. Others were less worthy. The movie Clue somehow got mentioned and I was fine with it.


Then Neil called out America’s favorite love story, Matt and Ben. I could watch an entire broadcast that was just someone reminiscing about Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, so I really enjoyed this part. Boston 4ever.


Then Neil mentioned something about small town girls who change the world and they brought up a montage of all my personal heroes, plus Julia Roberts. But then they took it away VERY quickly because, women? Ick!


Then Neil literally just magically inserted himself into all of America’s favorite movie scenes. Photoshop was the real star of these Oscars.


AND THEN, America’s favorite cup drummer/Kristen Wiig’s impression of drunk Cinderella showed up! I actually enjoy Anna Kendrick and that was no different tonight.


After Anna Kendrick got about as adorkable as she could, they brought out the big guns. THIS GUY. And he was all like, “Grumble grumble, you guys are being way too positive right now!” Classic Dewey/Ned Schneebly.


He sang some super relevant and edgy stuff about how modern technology is ruining the movie industry, etc. I HAD NEVER HEARD SUCH RIDICULOUS CLAIMS BEFORE.


Then it was back to Neil doing his delightful, Neil Patrick Harris thing. It should be noted that this song was called “Moving Pictures” which was almost more annoying than when people insistently call movies “films” all the time.


And he closed the number with him standing there looking like an Oscar! It was very winky and cute, which, again, will continue as a theme throughout this broadcast.


So then we got to THE GOOD STUFF. Lupita Nyong’o came out looking unreal and presented the award for Best Supporting Actor.


J.K. Simmons won much to the delight and non-surprise of everyone. Whiplash was definitely the best movie of the year, so I was happy to see this. Plus, J.K. Simmons is basically just a male version Allison Janney, ranking just beneath Stanley Tucci. He is great and this was well-deserved!

In his speech he said very nice things about his wife and told us all to call our parents more. This fit in really nicely with the general Dad vibes of the show. Also while I was watching, one of my friends asked if this was the guy who played Voldemort.


Then our buddy Neil continued with the Dad vibes and did this bit about how he locked his Oscar predictions in a glass box on stage and the audience said a resounding, “K.” This bit did not seem to have any legs whatsoever. I wanted him to bail and order another pizza.


Then he dragged poor Octavia Spencer into it and made her the official watcher of the box. And I was just like, “Ugh Octavia Spencer, you do not deserve this.” She was a sport though because she’s lovely and fantastic.

I’m glad that Red Band Society got cancelled because Octavia Spencer deserves better vehicles for her talent.


Then this noise happened and everyone took a resounding bathroom break. When I was in middle school, I saw Maroon 5 perform and Adam Levine waved at me. I’m pretty sure that was his peak.

After this, J.Lo and Chris Pine presented the award for best costumes and NPH made a dad-like Jenny from the Block joke. The Grand Budapest Hotel won for costumes. Cool.

Then came the Best Foreign Film category which went to Ida from Poland. The filmmaker accepting the award threw some shade at Hollywood and then talked for a very long time, through loads and loads of music. Soak it up, Poland!

Then the real reason any of us were watching this thing at all happened.


The performance of “Everything Is Awesome” began and everything WAS awesome.


This was the most fun number I’ve seen at the Oscars since Robin Williams sang “Blame Canada” in 1999. Remember that year when Beyonce sang all the Oscar-nominated songs? They should to that next year with The Lonely Island. Or Beyonce again.

The dancers gave out Lego Oscars to audience members and Oprah was loving it.


Then, as I was still riding my Oprah high, Will Arnett and Questlove showed up.


And, oh look! It’s the guy from Devo! Nonstop delightfulness this was.


And then, because all good things have to end, it was over. And I was sad because there would be nothing else worth watching for the rest of the show.


Then they gave the short film awards that no one saw, but the two who won for Documentary Short seemed like people I want to be friends with. One of them was wearing a very jaunty fur capelet thingy, and I was really happy for her to have her moment. And they used their speech to say that we should talk about suicide more as a group, and I think that’s important. Good for you guys!

Then Neil Patrick Harris made an awkward joke with David Oyelowo where I’m pretty sure he said he was nominated. It was awkward. Then he was like, “Lol, notice how your voice is British sounding and mine is not!” It was a lot like what a Dad would do if he were talking to a British person.

Then Tim McGraw sang.


Listen, the story behind this song was very moving. It was written by a man with Alzheimer’s to his wife and daughter. But I’m sorry, I could not pay attention to the lyrics because of Tim McGraw’s overwhelming banality. If I have to hear country music, give me Garth Brooks. At least he has some personality.

Also Gwyneth Paltrow introduced him which I thought was funny because I would think she’d really want us to forget her association from Country Strong.


Then Neil did a little Birdman bit with some Miles Teller drumming from Whiplash sprinkled in. There weren’t any jokes in this other than just repeating lines from the movies themselves. I guess that’s okay. But I feel like NPH just wanted to show us that he’s a Dad who’s still got it.

Then there were some sound awards. Whiplash won one and I was happy, but then American Sniper won the other and I was like, “Meh.” I haven’t seen American Sniper, but I’ve heard it isn’t great at not promoting Islamaphobic ideology.

Then the proverbial sea of styling mousse parted and Jared Leto entered to present the award for Best Supporting Actress.

Patricia Arquette won because she was the best part of Boyhood and quite frankly, that movie should have been called Motherhood and just been about her.


In her speech she started talking about taxpayers which made me nervous because usually when people talk about paying taxes they’re about to say something really douchey.

BUT instead she started saying awesome stuff about how we should all stand up for wage equality for women!

Meryl Streep and J.Lo were all about it. Give these two a sitcom, please.


This moment was one of the best things about the show. Patricia Arquette crushed it.*

*Note: Apparently Patricia Arquette said some not so great things regarding her speech after the ceremony. Consider this less crushed.

Then Best Visual Effects went to Interstellar which I liked because I put Interstellar for all the production awards on my ballot.

Then Rita Ora sang and I was like, “Was this really the best we could do in terms of pop divas to perform at this? Where is Ariana Grande and her ponytail?” It was unmemorable like much of Rita Ora’s existence.


Then Best Animated Short went to a movie called, “Feast,” which seems like it’s just about a dog eating things. So I’m very interested in watching “Feast.”


Then Big Hero 6 won Best Animated Feature which I was happy about because I did not like How To Train Your Dragon 2 much compared to the first one. Big Hero 6 was cute and had the voice of Pete Hornberger, but I am still forever bitter that The Lego Movie wasn’t even nominated.

Then they cut to the cast members who were sitting way in the back. Whoops!


Pete Hornberger wasn’t there but the Erlich Bachman from Silicon Valley and Mulan from Once Upon A Time were, so it was a pretty good group.

Then Cheryl Boone Isaacs aka the president of the Academy came out and talked for a long time about how filmmakers who take risks should be celebrated and not censored and I was like, “Wait, but you’re talking about James Franco right now.” I’m just saying, I don’t really think The Interview was made with the intention of being some big political statement.

Then Grand Budapest Hotel won best Production Design and Birdman won Best Cinematography and I was like, “Makes sense, makes sense.”

Then the proverbial sea of Michelle Williams’ tears parted and Meryl Streep introduced the “In Memoriam” segment in the touching, beautiful, and eloquent way only Meryl Streep could.


This was very sad, as we lost a lot of really great people this year. Obviously Robin Williams was the most memorable. I still really miss him, guys. Also notably, Joan Rivers was not included which I thought was kind of rude. Even if Joan wasn’t a movie person per se, she’s still a huge part of Oscar history. Also she was in Muppets Take Manhattan.

Then Jennifer Hudson sang flawlessly because she’s flawless Jennifer Hudson. I really want Jennifer Hudson to find more stuff to do. She should go to Broadway.


Then Whiplash won for Best Editing which was great because, like I said, Whiplash was the best movie of the year. Sorry Birdman, you were only okay.

Then CitizenFour, which was about Edward Snowden, won for Best Documentary and NPH made the most Dad-like joke of the night, “Edward Snowden couldn’t be here tonight for some TREASON.” Honestly they really missed the boat by not cutting to Miles Teller on the drums with that one.

Then Common and John Legend came out and showed us all that they are perfect and we are not worthy.


Afterwards they cut to many of the cast members of Selma crying, and also Chris Pine crying. I thought that was sweet, as I teared up during this, too.

Then NPH was back and made a joke about how John Travolta would call Ben Affleck Benedict Cumberbatch and everyone was like, “Lol so true, he’s crazypants!”

But, twist! Next to present Best Original Song were John Travolta and Adele Dazeem herself!


John Travolta was looking like he just got a fresh polish at Madame Tussaud’s and did a lot of inappropriate face-touching and necklace-wearing. #FreeIdina.

Then “Glory” won Best Original Song as it very well should have, even though I would have liked to see at least a little recognition for The Lego Movie, which was the second best movie of the year after Whiplash.

Common came out and gave the best speech of the night because he’s Common and he’s perfect. This was another really great moment of the show.


Then Scarlett Johannsen came out wearing a lizard costume, which I thought was a bold choice, and introduced Lady Gaga’s tribute to the 50th Anniversary of The Sound of Music, because apparently she’s our modern-day Julie Andrews.

I really wanted Anne Hathaway to do this because then it could be like a Princess Diaries reunion, but then I remembered that everybody hates her except for me. #JusticeForAnneHathaway.


Honestly, Lady Gaga ended up killing this performance and made everyone remember that she’s actually really talented. Her hair was also looking really good. This was another highlight of the night.


Then the goddess that is Julie Andrews came out and Julie Andrews’d all over the place. It made me wonder like, does Julie Andrews sound like Julie Andrews when she’s just in her PJs chilling? I feel like she’s never not wearing a taffeta blazer.

Then she presented Best Original Score, which went to The Grand Budapest Hotel, which I really liked so this was cool with me.

Then Eddie Murphy gave Best Original Screenplay to Birdman and I began to really grow tired of hearing about how great Birdman is all night when it was really only pretty good.

I’m just saying, there were a lot of clichéd moments, like when a younger person and an older person argue about the merits of social media. Also, the ending was not my taste. It was still PRETTY GOOD though.

Then they gave the award for Adapted Screenplay, which went to The Imitation Game, which I also thought was just a pretty good movie, but who knew the screenwriter was such a delight!


This guy was like the surrogate for everyone watching at home. He could not have been more stoked that Oprah gave him his award and used his speech to tell a touching story of his suicide attempt as a teen and how we should all stay weird. I really enjoyed this guy! His name is Graham Moore.

Then NPH was back and made a joke about how Gone Girl should have been called “Bitches Be Trippin.” Good one, Dad.

Then Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu won Best Director for Birdman. I was a little bummed about this because, as I said, Birdman wasn’t my favorite movie and I thought Richard Linklater deserved it because Boyhood was such a feat in directing, even though that wasn’t my favorite movie either.


He made a weird joke about how he was wearing Michael Keaton’s tighty whiteys from the movie. I’m sure all the Dads watching were loving it.

Also, Birdman, I’mma let you finish, but Walter White had some of the best tighty whiteys of all time. OF ALL TIME.

Then came Best Actor. I really think that J.K. Simmons just should have been nominated in this category instead, but besides that I was really pulling for Eddie Redmayne, only because I was feeling irrationally bitter about Birdman, even though I actually did like it. Also, Jake Gyllenhaal was robbed of a nomination, which is not a sentence I ever thought I’d say.

Alas, Eddie Redmayne did win and continued to be an adorable stuffed animal. When this happened, I did feel a little sad for Michael Keaton. But Eddie was still very good and so excited that it was contagious.


Eddie’s speech was really adorable. I really liked how he reacted to an Oscar win like a normal, giddy human being instead of trying to play it ultra cool. He also said he was just holding onto the award for everyone out there battling ALS. So sweet.


Then came Best Actress, which was presented by a disgusting looking Matthew McConaughey, who had hair on his face that did not look like it belonged on a face. And just like everyone assumed, Julianne Moore won.

I haven’t seen Still Alice yet, but Julianne Moore is one of my favorite actresses and I have no doubt that she deserved this. Her speech was very classy and she gave a shout out to the fact that she has a young husband. You go, girl!


Then NPH came back and was like, “Remember that lock box I told you about guys?” And everyone was like, “Not really.”


He opened it up and it turned out it was just a list of jokes about things that happened throughout the broadcast, much like what you’re reading right now. This was a better payoff for this bit than I expected, but overall it wasn’t great.

Then they decided it would be cool to have some human garbage present the award for Best Picture.

Sean Penn came out and was the worst like always. Seriously you guys should all Google the terrible things that Sean Penn has done. He is trash.


He gave the award for Best Picture to Birdman by asking about Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s green card. Just an all around class act, that Sean Penn.

This win obviously was not my favorite, but there was no way Whiplash was ever going to win so whatever. I think I liked Boyhood more than Birdman though. They were both a little cheesy to me, but at least Boyhood knew it.

Anyway, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu does seem like a really cool guy and I’m happy he won. Also Emma Stone got to be on stage, and she’s perfect.

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu let Michael Keaton talk for a bit, probably because he was a little robbed of Best Actor, and he was gracious and likable as always. You’ll be okay, Michael Keaton.


And that was it. Honestly, it was very uneventful. This time next year I’m going to have a hard time remembering who hosted. I hope the Oscars now feel like they successfully cleaned up their Seth McFarlane mess and will have a host that takes some non-Dad risks next year, aka Chris Rock. Or just have Jimmy Kimmel do it already.


I still had fun watching and was happy with a lot of the wins! “Everything Is Awesome” was the best part. Until next year!


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