Hollywood celebrated itself and the art of moving pictures last night in the lavish celebration that was the 87th Academy Awards. Much like the opening song and dance number, the ceremony promised excitement and something different, before reverting to the mean and offering few surprises.
Birdman was the big winner, taking the awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography, and Best Original Screenplay. By doing so it became the third film in four years to win Best Picture for depicting the art of filmmaking or acting.
Momentum going into the ceremony had swung in Birdman‘s direction, meaning that it triumphed over the heavily fancied and long-running favourite, Richard Linklater’s Boyhood. That film had to settle for Best Supporting Actress for Patricia Arquette.
Supporting actor went to Whiplash‘s J.K. Simmons, who gave an honest and heartfelt speech encouraging everyone to phone their parents. Damien Chazelle’s percussive drama also landed the Film Editing and Sound Mixing statutes.
Best Actress went to odds on favourite Julianne Moore for her portrayal of a woman with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease in Still Alice, with Eddie Redmayne’s turn as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything landing the British actor the Best Actor Award.
A good night for the British saw Graham Moore win Best Adapted Screenplay for the Alan Turing story The Imitation Game, and The Phone Call win Best Short Film (Live Action) ahead of Northern Ireland’s Boogaloo and Graham.
Ireland’s Song of the Sea also lost out, with Disney Animation winning Best Animated Feature for the second year in a row with Big Hero 6, in what was one of the bigger surprises of the night. Disney also took home the Short Film (Animated) award for Feast, the short that played before Big Hero 6.
Poland won its first Best Foreign Language Oscar for Pawel Pawlikowski’s Ida, which showed at last year’s Jameson Dublin International Film Festival. Heavy favourite CITIZENFOUR won Best Documentary.
The Grand Budapest Hotel picked up a slew of technical awards, with Annie Atkins’ work helping lead that film to glory in Best Production Design. It also won Best Costume Design, Make-up and Hair, and Original Score. Speaking of Glory…that song won Best Original Song for Selma.
Elsewhere Sound Editing went to American Sniper, with Interstellar taking Visual Effects, and Documentary Short going to Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1.
The spread of Oscars meant that, for the first time since the field was expanded from 5, every Best Picture nominee won at least one award.
The full list of winners:
Best Picture:Birdman (Or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Best Director: Alejandro G Inarritu (Birdman (Or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance))
Best Actor Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything)
Best Actress Julianne Moore (Still Alice)
Best Supporting Actor J K Simmons (Whiplash)
Best Supporting Actress Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)
Best Adapted Screenplay Graham Moore (The Imitation Game)
Best Original Screenplay Alejandro G Inarritu, Alexander Dinelaris, Nicolas Glacobone, Armando Bo (Birdman (Or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance))
Best Foreign Language FilmIda
Best Animated FeatureBig Hero 6
Best Production Design Adam Stockhausen, Anna Pinnock (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
Best Cinematography Emmanuel Lubezki (Birdman (Or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance))
Best Costumer Design Milena Canonero (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
Film Editing Tom Cross (Whiplash)
Make-Up and Hair Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
Music, Original Score Alexandre Desplat (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
Original Song Glory (Selma)
Sound Mixing Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins, Thomas Curley (Whiplash)
Sound Editing Alan Robert Murray, Bub Asman (American Sniper)
Visual Effects Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter, Scott Fisher (Interstellar)