WASHINGTON, February 23, 2015 – For this critic at least, last night’s Oscars were a mixed bag. I got the actors right and the rest of the major categories wrong in my February 22 Oscar Preview. “Boyhood”−whose compelling story was the impressive product of heroic efforts, inspiration and dedication−failed to place (save for one major award) while the oddball but somewhat sentimental favorite, “Birdman,” copped two of the coveted top spots (but none for star Michael Keaton) in a night that ran relatively briskly but still far too long. Maybe if “Boyhood” had been about a girl…
By most lights, Neil Patrick Harris did an energetic but mostly OK job as the star-studded evening’s emcee, taking reasonably tempered pokes at this year’s “lily white” awards, scoring with some bits and losing the audience on others that fell flat.
Lest we keep you awake any longer, here’s the final list of Academy Award winners in the top categories—the ones most readers care about. Plus one, which we didn’t discuss in yesterday’s article but which bears mention here:
“Birdman.” Alejandro G. Iñárritu, John Lesher and James W. Skotchdopole, Producers.
Alejandro G. Iñárritu, “Birdman.”
Eddie Redmayne in “The Theory of Everything.”
Julianne Moore in “Still Alice.”
Best Supporting Actor:
J.K. Simmons in “Whiplash.”
Best Supporting Actress:
Patricia Arquette in “Boyhood.”
Best Original Screenplay:
“Birdman.” Written by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. and Armando Bo.
Best Adapted Screenplay:
“The Imitation Game.” Adapted by Graham Moore
We didn’t pitch a “best song” guess yesterday for, perhaps, idiosyncratic reasons.
We haven’t been tracking the “Best Song” award category since the Academy began to soil its nest in 2005 by adding an element of political correctness to this selection. This trend has shaded many Oscar picks since then, and it came back to haunt the Academy again this year.
While shunning the MLK biopic “Selma” in most categories for a variety of obvious and unobvious reasons (including the usual cronyism), the Academy did toss a bone to that film’s cast, crew and producers by awarding the film’s feature song, “Glory,” with Best Song.
Could that have been why a planned protest against the Oscar Award telecast never materialized?
According to “The Root”:
“The planned protest by Los Angeles civil rights groups outside Sunday’s Oscar show was cancelled at the request of film director Ava DuVernay, according to the Los Angeles Times. DuVernay directed the best picture-nominated film Selma.
“‘The Los Angeles chapter of the National Action Network has agreed to forgo our planned protests of the Oscars today and pursue instead a direct dialogue with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences,’ the local chapter’s political director, Najee Ali, said in a statement.”
Were the demonstrators tipped off ahead of time about the impending award, giving them time and rationale to cancel? Was this the real reason why “Glory” got the award? We’ll likely never know. But such a weird conclusion marks another chapter in how “Best Song” has become another political football in the weird, leftist world of Hollywood.
One thing, at least, is for sure, though: It wasn’t Bush’s fault.