Statuesque: 2015 Oscar Winners

Forget the other six nominees. For weeks now, it has been obvious that the race for this year’s Best Picture Academy Award was really a two-film battle between ‘Birdman’ and ‘Boyhood’. At the end of the long evening, Alejandro Iñárritu’s ‘Birdman’ took flight with the prize.

I find this a little surprising, honestly. A couple months ago, ‘Boyhood’ seemed like a shoo-in for the trophy. Even though momentum seemed to swing in the direction of ‘Birdman’ with other recent awards shows, it feels like pretty much everyone I know who’s actually seen that film has hated it. It’s really quite divisive, and I expected the predominantly older Academy voters to favor the emotional ‘Boyhood’ instead. I guess I was wrong.

Host Neil Patrick Harris opened the ceremony with kind of a lame musical number, which was broken up briefly by a very funny interlude by Jack Black. For the rest of the night, however, Harris acquitted himself very well. He kept the proceedings light and snappy, and made a number of good jokes. (My favorite was his line about the Oscars also being known as the “Dependent Spirit Awards.”)

Of course, the show ran long, as it always does. Somehow, it only clocked in a mere 45 minutes over schedule, which is pretty amazing considering that Lady Gaga stepped out on stage at 11:15 PM to sing every single song in ‘The Sound of Music’. To her credit, Gaga gave a knockout performance, but the existence of a long production number that late in the show is just the sort of bloat that makes this ceremony such a slog to get through year after year.

Poor ‘Boyhood’, which looked like a frontrunner for a while, only took home a single trophy, for Patricia Arquette as Best Supporting Actress. (Isn’t it a little ironic that the only award for a movie called ‘Boyhood’ went to a girl?) Meanwhile, ‘Birdman’ claimed four (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best Cinematography). Tying that number was Wes Anderson’s ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’, which nabbed Best Original Score, Best Costume Design, Best Production Design and Best Makeup & Hairstyling.

The best acceptance speech of the evening came from Pawel Pawlikowski, director of the Best Foreign-Language Film winner ‘Ida’, who won a battle of wills against the ceremony’s producers when they tried unsuccessfully to play him off with music. He was quite funny and charming.

The other top highlight of the night was Andy Samberg and the Lonely Island crew performing Best Original Song nominee “Everything Is Awesome.”

Best Picture

  • ‘American Sniper’
  • ‘Birdman’
  • ‘Boyhood’
  • ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’
  • ‘The Imitation Game’
  • ‘Selma’
  • ‘The Theory of Everything’
  • ‘Whiplash’

Josh’s Prediction: ‘Boyhood’
Actual Winner: ‘Birdman’

Best Director

  • Wes Anderson, ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’
  • Alejandro Iñárritu, ‘Birdman’
  • Richard Linklater, ‘Boyhood’
  • Bennett Miller, ‘Foxcatcher’
  • Morten Tyldum, ‘The Imitation Game’

Josh’s Prediction: Richard Linklater
Actual Winner: Alejandro Iñárritu

Best Actor

  • Steve Carell, ‘Foxcatcher’
  • Bradley Cooper, ‘American Sniper’
  • Benedict Cumberbatch, ‘The Imitation Game’
  • Michael Keaton, ‘Birdman’
  • Eddie Redmayne, ‘The Theory of Everything’

Josh’s Prediction: Michael Keaton
Actual Winner: Eddie Redmayne

Best Actress

  • Marion Cotillard, ‘Two Days, One Night’
  • Felicity Jones, ‘The Theory of Everything’
  • Julianne Moore, ‘Still Alice’
  • Rosamund Pike, ‘Gone Girl’
  • Reese Witherspoon, ‘Wild’

Josh’s Prediction: Julianne Moore
Actual Winner: Julianne Moore

Best Supporting Actor

  • Robert Duvall, ‘The Judge’
  • Ethan Hawke, ‘Boyhood’
  • Edward Norton, ‘Birdman’
  • Mark Ruffalo, ‘Foxcatcher’
  • J.K. Simmons, ‘Whiplash’

Josh’s Prediction: J.K. Simmons
Actual Winner: J.K. Simmons

Best Supporting Actress

  • Patricia Arquette, ‘Boyhood’
  • Laura Dern, ‘Wild’
  • Keira Knightley, ‘The Imitation Game’
  • Emma Stone, ‘Birdman’
  • Meryl Streep, ‘Into the Woods’

Josh’s Prediction: Patricia Arquette
Actual Winner: Patricia Arquette

Best Animated Feature

  • ‘Big Hero 6’
  • ‘The BoxTrolls’
  • ‘How to Train Your Dragon 2’
  • ‘Song of the Sea’
  • ‘The Tale of Princess Kaguya’

Josh’s Prediction: ‘Big Hero 6’
Actual Winner: ‘Big Hero 6’

Best Foreign-Language Film

  • ‘Ida’ (Poland)
  • ‘Leviathan’ (Russia)
  • ‘Tangerines’ (Estonia)
  • ‘Timbuktu’ (Mauritania)
  • ‘Wild Tales’ (Argentina)

Josh’s Prediction: ‘Leviathan’
Actual Winner: ‘Ida’

Best Original Screenplay

  • ‘Birdman’
  • ‘Boyhood’
  • ‘Foxcatcher’
  • ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’
  • ‘Nightcrawler’

Josh’s Prediction: ‘Birdman’
Actual Winner: ‘Birdman’

Best Adapted Screenplay

  • ‘American Sniper’
  • ‘The Imitation Game’
  • ‘Inherent Vice’
  • ‘The Theory of Everything’
  • ‘Whiplash’

Josh’s Prediction: ‘Whiplash’
Actual Winner: ‘The Imitation Game’

Best Visual Effects

  • ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’
  • ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’
  • ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’
  • ‘Interstellar’
  • ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’

Josh’s Prediction: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’
Actual Winner: ‘Interstellar’

Best Cinematography

  • Roger Deakins, ‘Unbroken’
  • Emmaneul Lubezki, ‘Birdman’
  • Dick Pope, ‘Mr. Turner’
  • Robert Yeoman, ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’
  • Lukasz Zal & Ryszard Lenczewski, ‘Ida’

Josh’s Prediction: ‘Birdman’
Actual Winner: ‘Birdman’

Best Costume Design

  • ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’
  • ‘Inherent Vice’
  • ‘Into the Woods’
  • ‘Maleficent’
  • ‘Mr. Turner’

Josh’s Prediction: ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’
Actual Winner: ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’

Best Documentary Feature

  • ‘CitizenFour’
  • ‘Finding Vivian Maier’
  • ‘Last Days in Vietnam’
  • ‘The Salt of the Earth’
  • ‘Virunga’

Josh’s Prediction: ‘Finding Vivian Maier’
Actual Winner: ‘CitizenFour’

Best Documentary Short

  • ‘Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1’
  • ‘Joanna’
  • ‘Our Curse’
  • ‘The Reaper (La Parka)’
  • ‘White Earth’

Josh’s Prediction: ‘Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1’
Actual Winner: ‘Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1’

Best Film Editing

  • ‘American Sniper’
  • ‘Boyhood’
  • ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’
  • ‘The Imitation Game’
  • ‘Whiplash’

Josh’s Prediction: ‘American Sniper’
Actual Winner: ‘Whiplash’

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

  • ‘Foxcatcher’
  • ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’
  • ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

Josh’s Prediction: ‘Foxcatcher’
Actual Winner: ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’

Best Original Score

  • Alexandre Desplat, ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’
  • Alexandre Desplat, ‘The Imitation Game’
  • Johann Johannsson, ‘The Theory of Everything’
  • Gary Yerson, ‘Mr. Turner’
  • Hans Zimmer, ‘Interstellar’

Josh’s Prediction: ‘The Theory of Everything’
Actual Winner: ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’

Best Original Song

  • “Everything Is Awesome” from ‘The Lego Movie’
  • “Glory” from ‘Selma’
  • ‘Grateful’ from ‘Beyond the Lights’
  • “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” from ‘Glen Campbell… I’ll Be Me’
  • “Lost Stars” from ‘Begin Again’

Josh’s Prediction: “I’m Not Gonna Miss You”
Actual Winner: “Glory”

Best Production Design

  • ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’
  • ‘The Imitation Game’
  • ‘Interstellar’
  • ‘Into the Woods’
  • ‘Mr. Turner’

Josh’s Prediction: ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’
Actual Winner: ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’

Best Short Film – Animated

  • ‘The Bigger Picture’
  • ‘The Dam Keeper’
  • ‘Feast’
  • ‘Me and My Moulton’
  • ‘A Single Life’

Josh’s Prediction: ‘Feast’
Actual Winner: ‘Feast’

Best Short Film – Live Action

  • ‘Aya’
  • ‘Boogaloo and Graham’
  • ‘Butter Lamp’
  • ‘Parvaneh’
  • ‘The Phone Call’

Josh’s Prediction: ‘Butter Lamp’
Actual Winner: ‘The Phone Call’

Best Sound Editing

  • ‘American Sniper’
  • ‘Birdman’
  • ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’
  • ‘Interstellar’
  • ‘Unbroken’

Josh’s Prediction: ‘American Sniper’
Actual Winner: ‘American Sniper’

Best Sound Mixing

  • ‘American Sniper’
  • ‘Birdman’
  • ‘Interstellar’
  • ‘Unbroken’
  • ‘Whiplash’

Josh’s Prediction: ‘Whiplash’
Actual Winner: ‘Whiplash’

Josh’s Final Score:

12 out of 24.

As terrible of an Oscar predictor as I may be, I actually outguessed Mrs. Z this year, for the first time in I don’t know how long. She only got 9 categories correct.


  1. Chapz Kilud

    As I mentioned previously, I thought Eddie Redmayne would win the Best Actor. Still, I feel sorry for Michael Keaton because he would have won in previous years. I had hoped for a major upset with Best Actress going to Rosamund Pike, but I guess Julianne Moore was too much.

    I wish we could find out how close those votes were just like the way it was for Baseball Hall of Fame voting.

  2. I felt so embarrassed for all involved while watching this year’s Oscars. The writing was completely awful. Even NPH’s delivery was stale. The opening number was the only decent part. I will be very surprised if he gets asked back.

  3. Chris B

    Saw Birdman this weekend and didn’t care for it all. Mostly a bunch of unlikeable characters bickering backstage. As a result I was really pulling for Boyhood and Grand Budapest. At least the latter picked up four awards.

    Eddie Redmayne winning for best actor seemed to be the biggest surprise of the night, and a welcome one at that.

    I agree NPH was kind of an awkward host. The bits where he was interacting with the audience reminded me of Ellen doing the same thing last year only she was way better at it than he was.

    Overall I thought this was one of the most downright boring Oscars in recent memory, hopefully next year is better….

  4. Scott

    Glad I didn’t listen to you guys in regards to Birdman. Watched it yesterday and thought it was incredible. Dare I say that maybe you just didn’t “get it”? I mean come on, the writing and acting were top notch!

    • Chapz Kilud

      Yes, the writing and acting were top notch. But if I ask you whether you’d pay $15 for the movie, you probably would say no. It’s an interesting movie but I wouldn’t want to watch it a second time.

      • Clemery

        I am looking forward to my second viewing. I feel I need one to get a deeper understanding of the ending, and can’t wait to see that beautiful and colourful cinematography again! I pay over $20 to watch shit in the cinema all too often, so I would have no qualms paying $15 for a an interesting movie like Birdman.

    • Chris B

      I’ll agree the movie is impeccably crafted ad impressive from a technical standpoint, but that doesn’t automatically mean I like it. Personally I thought Keaton’s performance was a bit overrated, almost every character was a jerk etc.

  5. NPH was just the kind of host the Academy likes – safe. His most controversial joke was about Edward Snowden being tried for treason, and by that point in the night I think most had dozen off, since there was zero reaction from the crowd. I didn’t think he was as goon as Ellen was last year, but at least he borrowed some of her shtick, like going out into the audience to interact with people.

    There was nothing particularly memorable out the show (no selfies or pizza delivery this year), but nothing that really made you groan either (like most of Seth MacFarlane’s show a couple years back).

    I’m of the strong belief that stand-ups host the Oscars better than anyone else, so hopefully they’ll return to that next year…be it Ellen, Steve Martin, or someone new.

  6. yotum

    Was anyone else surprised by Interstellar taking the prize for visual effects? Some heavy (visual) hitters in that category. Maybe I’m not giving interstellar enough credit.

  7. Clemery

    For the record, I thought the opening number was the best since the old Billy Crystal days, proving an enjoyable tribute to moving pictures with some witty lines and the Jack Black intrusion was a novel touch.

    I also really enjoyed the Lady Gaga Sound Of Music tribute, scaling down the theatrics and just showcasing her great voice (that I never really even knew existed before last night!). Julie Andrews was clearly moved by it, and I thought Julie’s segue into the film score award was very apt.

    Definitely though… the joke writers this year were lousy, as most jokes seemed to be either overly hurtful or too ‘exclusive’ (i.e. in-jokes). That exchange between NPH and Steve Carrell about seat-fillers was a textbook example of awkward silences.

    • Clemery

      I would never consider any performance on Everything Is Awesome a highlight… it felt like a silly, overproduced Eurovision entry (to me anyway).

      • I’m the complete opposite…I thought Everything Is Awesome was the worst performance of the night and thought Tim McGraw was the best. There’s something about a great singer just sitting in front of a mic belting out a great song that I find more appealing than a big choreographed number.

        Also, with all due respect to ‘Glory’ – that Glenn Campbell song was far and away the best, although I’m sure the Academy would have been highly criticized if SELMA had gone Oscarless.

  8. EM

    For the most part I don’t follow the Oscars, but I am glad about two of the wins. I attended screenings of the nominees in the animated- and live-action-short categories, and there was a prediction contest. My correct predictions will garner me free passes, as well as entry in a drawing for dinner for two at a local restaurant. How appropriate that I might receive a phone call informing me I’ve won a feast!

    Regarding Josh’s remarks about Birdman vs. Boyhood: a plurality rule and eight nominees means that a film utterly despised by over 87% of the voters could still win. That’s a somewhat extreme scenario, but it is possible.

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