This year’s Oscars were a long one and quite boring (at the end) too. But even then, there were some moments from the show which took us by surprise, awe and wonder and ‘awww!’. Let’s have a look –
1. Neil Patrick Harris’ opening number was full of fun, cinemaphile-y winks and including these LOL-inducing lines, “I gasp when Indy goes back for his hat/ or when I think of all the tension between Ben and Matt.”
Neil was the driver of a slam-bang opening number. That’s what he does. But Sunday’s tribute to films, past and present, was among his best award-show performances and the equal of any Oscar kickoff in memory.
Thanks to computer imagery, Harris sang and danced with multiple Marilyn Monroes, and joined such cinema landscapes as the “Wizard of Oz’s” Land of Oz and the “Field of Dreams.”
Jack Black stormed the stage to decry the corrupt money-mindedness of Hollywood, ranting about “its margin trends and fickle friends and Hollywood baloney — believe me, Neil, you’re better off just polishing your Tony.”
2. Neil Patrick Harris made us laugh yet again as he did a parody of the movie ‘Birdman’, as he stripped and came on the stage only in his underwear.
Locked out of his dressing room clad only in his tighty-whities, he dashed through back hallways, spoofing Michael Keaton’s similarly undressed stride through Times Square, with similar percussion accompaniment, until he reached the stage to declare sheepishly, “Acting is a noble profession.”
3. NPH briskly welcomed the audience by declaring, “Tonight, we honour Hollywood’s best and whitest, excuse me, brightest.” We don’t need say more.
And there was yet another slip of tongue when Lupita Nyong’o came on stage to present the award to J K Simmons for Best Supporting Actor and said, “The actor goes to… Ooops! The Oscar goes to…” Classic!
4. It was no shock when J.K. Simmons’ name was called for best supporting actor Oscar in “Whiplash.”
His acceptance remarks were refreshing, though, as he offered a shout-out for parents around the globe. Pivoting from praise for his wife’s parenting of their three children, he urged the legions watching to “call your mom, call your dad.” And no texts or emails. “Call them on the phone and tell ’em you love ’em, and thank them and listen to them for as long as they want to talk to you.
“Thank you, mom and dad,” he said as he left the podium.
5. Patricia Arquette won Best Supporting Actress for her role in ‘Boyhood’ and before concluding her speech, she said with power and intensity, “It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for women in the United States of America,” which drew roars and cheers from the crowd including Meryl Streep, who apparently punched in the air at Patricia’s words, and Jennifer Lopez.
6. Perhaps the evening’s most moving display was the expansive performance of ‘Glory,’ the Oscar-winning song from “Selma,” with composers Common and John Legend performing alongside dozens of fellow “marchers” on the stage setting of Selma, Alabama’s Edmund Pettus Bridge.
It even moved the cast of ‘Selma’ to tears.
7. Another performance which was ‘awesome’ was ‘Everything is awesome’ from the ‘Lego’ movie. And another connection to the royal snub, we are talking of ‘Lego’, was the Lego Oscars which even Oprah Winfrey was happy to have.
8. Just as the evening was running long and viewers were getting restless, an Oscarcast typically inserts an overlong, gratuitous element into the proceedings to slow things down and really try the audience’s patience.
A fine but excessive golden-anniversary tribute to “The Sound of Music” was this year’s entry, complete with film clips, a medley by Lady Gaga and reminiscences by its star, Julie Andrews.
It was heartwarming, sure. But too much, much too late.
Leaving her crazy outfits behind, Lady Gaga focused on her amazing voice for The Sound of Music’s 50th Anniversary tribute, and she killed it. And what’s even better? Julie Andrews came on stage afterwards and gave her a warm hug.
10. And speaking of too late, NPH’s Oscar soothsaying feat would have come across as a clever ruse had the show not been some 40 minutes overtime, with the best picture yet to be announced. We were 30 minutes over schedule when this gag with the lock box returned.
Prediction: That’s a gimmick that won’t be tried again.
(With AP Inputs)
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