J.K. Simmons, “Birdman”, Julianne Moore, Nab Oscars’

It was another spectacular evening at 87th annual Academy Awards, especially for J.K. Simmons, the native Detroiter,who took home his first Oscar as best supporting actor for his role as a sinister music teacher in the film Whiplash.  Rather than giving an ordinary speech which would typically include thanking the academy, agents and producers, Simmons thanked his wife and children.  He then went on to tell every person watching the ceremony at home to be grateful for having family. His speech was so moving that the audience stood up to give Simmons a standing ovation. “Call your mom, call your dad if you’re lucky enough to have a parent living on this planet,” Simmons said.

Patricia Arquette won best supporting actress for playing a single mother in Boyhood which was shot  over a 12 year period.  At the end of her acceptance speech, Arquette surprised the audience by expressing her support for wage equality for working women in America. “It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for women in the United States of America,” Arquette said. Meryl Streep stood up and cheered.

Birdman had an amazing night at the Awards, taking home the top award for best feature film. Director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu credited the movie’s success to the ensemble of actors involved in the project. “I was so lucky to work with all the people in Birdman,” Inarritu said. “This film would not be this film without Michael Keaton.”

Keaton, who was in the running for best actor, did not get the nod, which went to Eddie Redmayne for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything.  The Best Actress honors went to Julianne Moore for her sensational performance  as a young professor who experiences an early onset of Alzheimer’s disease in Still Alice, which was made in just 23 days at a cost of around $4 million, making it the least expensive Oscar-winning film in recent memory.

Other winners at the 87th academy awards ceremony included Richard Linklater who won best director for Boyhood, Big Hero 6 for best animated feature film, The Imitation Game for best adapted screenplay, Birdman  for best original screenplay, Glory for best original song in Selma,  Interstellar for best visual effects, Whiplash  for best film editing, The Grand Budapest Hotel for best original score, costume design, best makeup, and hairstyling, and Birdman  for best cinematography. A full complete listing of all the 2015 academy award winners can be found on peoplestylewatch.com.

Host Neil Patrick Harris kicked off show by performing a complex musical number with Jack Black and Anna Kendrick, but he topped that off with a nearly naked segment in which Harris walked across the stage in his underwear, an homage to Michael Keaton’s Oscar-snubbed turn in Birdman, in which he strutted his stuff  in the same manner.

Glamour.com listed some of the best as well as worst moments that took place on Sunday night, including J.K. Simmons’ heartfelt acceptance speech and Patricia Arquette’s equal rights pitch for women, and the audience reaction to Arquette’s comments. John Legend and Common’s performance of “Glory”  left Selma Best Actor nominee David Oyelowo in tears. Lady Gaga’s virtuoso performance of a medly of hits from The Sound of Music – showstopper if there ever was one – was capped off when Julie Andrews, the legendary star of the classic film, came out to embrace Gaga at the end of her medley.

Some of this year’s worst moments at the Oscars’ included actor John Travolta creepy behavior,  singer Adam Levine’s dull performance of “Lost Stars”  and actress Lupita Nyong’o’s slip up when she was presenting an award “–and the actor goes to…?”

Musical performances included country singer Tim McGraw’s rendition of Glen Campbell’s “I’m not gonna miss you,” the country singer’s last original song, written as he was slipping  behind the veil of Alzheimer’s disease and Rita Ora reprise of  “Grateful”  from  Beyond the Lights. Lady Gaga.  John Legend, Commons,  and Lonely Island teamed up with Tegan & Sara for a Lego-themed ensemble of “Everything is Awesome” while Jennifer Hudson performed a song from Smash.

Finally, keeping up the tradition, the Academy paid a tribute to the celebrities that passed away including Robin Williams and Mickey Rooney, but comedian and perennial Red Carpet host Joan Rivers was not mentioned in the tribute, which some people thought was an unfortunate snub.

According to Yahoo.com’s television ratings  this year’s Oscars’ broadcast numbers fell approximately 16 percent from last year’s  show, amid lukewarm reviews and criticism for its first time host Neil Patrick Harris. Sunday’s award ceremony only averaged a total of 36.6 million viewers, down from 43.7 million in 2014 according to Nielson ratings cited by industry journal Variety, which reported the lowest total viewer count in six years.

Neil Patrick Harris put on a reasonable performance as a first-time host, playing to an audience of the toughest critics in the world, with a show filled with musical numbers and jokes, but even his  “tighty-whity” underpants routine didn’t seem to impress  either viewers or critics. Even stripping  to his skivvies in a “Birdman” parody couldn’t deliver the added thrills needed to punch up the three-hour, 38-minutes of Oscar folderol without a yawn,” The Washington Post said.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons

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