Plus: all the upsets, snubs and gossip about last night's Hollywood ceremony
Birdman triumphed at the Oscars this year, scooping awards for best picture, best director for Alejandro González Iñárritu, best cinematography and best original screenplay. Best picture favourite Boyhood had to content itself with a best supporting actress nod for Patricia Arquette. Another frontrunner, Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel, took home four awards for best costume design, make-up, production design and score. Here’s everything you need to know about last night’s ceremony.
BIRDMAN BEAT OUT BOYHOOD
Alejandro González Iñárritu’s pin-sharp satire about an old Hollywood wash-up swept all the major categories. The Mexican director acknowledged in his speech that the ambitious film could have been a hot mess: “They (the producers) trusted me. It was incredible... because it could have been a disaster.” Backstage, he also stressed the importance of taking artistic risks, in a somewhat unusual way. “Fear is the condom of life,” he said. “It doesn’t allow you to enjoy things.”
PATRICIA ARQUETTE USED HER OSCARS PLATFORM TO TAKE A STAND
Hollywood is still a deeply unequal place for women. As Cali filmmaker Summer Dunsmore pointed out in her editorial for us, there were more women in the director’s chair in 1998 than there are now. So hats off to Patricia Arquette, who used her acceptance speech to issue an impassioned plea for justice: “To every woman who gave birth, to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights. It’s time to have wage equality once and for all. And equal rights for women in the United States of America.” This was Meryl Streep’s response:
JK SIMMONS IS NOT AS SCARY ACCEPTING AN AWARD AS HE IS IN WHIPLASH
Whiplash’s JK Simmons picked up the best supporting actor award and sternly concluded his speech by telling everyone they should really talk to their parents more: “And if I may, call your mom, call your dad. If you’re lucky to have a person alive on this planet, call them. Listen to them, talk to them, for as long as they want to talk to you. Thank you, Mom and Dad.” Do it, or he'll throw a chair at you.
EDDIE REDMAYNE AND JULIANNE MOORE WON BEST ACTOR AND ACTRESS
Brit actor Eddie Redmayne took home best actor for his role as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. “This Oscar belongs to all of those people around the world battling ALS. It belongs to one exceptional family – Stephen, Jane and the Hawking children,” he said. “I will be his custodian. I will be at his beck and call. I wait on him hand and foot.”
Julianne Moore proved that fifth time was the charm for her: she had been nominated for best actress in four other films, but finally nabbed the award for her portrayal of an Alzheimer’s sufferer in Still Alice.
EVERYONE CRIED WHEN JOHN LEGEND AND COMMON PLAYED
Selma was unjustly snubbed in the Oscar nominations, but in ‘Glory’, it was also responsible for one of the most moving music performances of last night’s ceremony. Selma lead David Oyelowo cried. Chris Pine cried. Everyone cried. The track later scooped the award for best original song. In their acceptance speech, both John Legend and Common said that the fight for civil rights was ongoing: “We wrote this song for a film that reflects events that happened 50 years ago. But we say that Selma is now because the struggle for justice is right now.”
“We know the voting rights act they fought for is being compromised in this country today. We know that right now the struggle for freedom and justice is real. We live in the most incarcerated country in the world. There are more black men under correctional control today than there were in slavery in 1850. When people are maching with our song, we want to tell you we're with you, we see you, we love you and march on.”
JOAN RIVERS WAS SNUBBED
Every year, the Oscars finds time to commemorate to notable deaths in the industry – with one startling exception this year. Joan Rivers, beloved for her caustic red-carpet coverage of celebrity, failed to get a nod alongside Robin Williams, Lauren Bacall and even non-Hollywood folks like Gabriel García Márquez and Maya Angelou. Upset followed. We think she would have shrugged and laughed at the omission. After all, it was Joan who once said: “Never be afraid to laugh at yourself – after all, you could be missing out on the joke of the century.”
EDWARD SNOWDEN WAS HONOURED BY THE OSCARS
Citizenfour, Laura Poitras’ documentary about Edward Snowden and NSA spying revelations, was given best documentary. In her speech, Poitras touched on the cotinuing relevance of Snowden’s disclosures: “(They) don’t only expose a threat to our privacy but to our democracy itself. When the decisions that rule us are taken in secret, we lose the power to control and govern ourselves.”
IMITATION GAME SCREENWRITER GRAHAM MOORE GAVE ONE OF THE MOST TOUCHING SPEECHES
American screenwriter and author Moore won best adapted screenplay for the biopic about WW2 codebreaking genius Alan Turing, who killed himself after being prosecuted for homosexuality. “When I was 16 years old, I tried to kill myself because I felt weird and different... and now I’m standing here,” said Moore. “I would like for this moment to be for that kid out there who feels like she doesn’t fit in anywhere. Yes you do... Stay weird. Stay different, and then when it’s your turn and you are standing on this stage, please pass the same message along.”