Arts & Reviews

Stars Shine Bright at the 2015 Oscars

By: John Franklin

Outrageous, dazzling, impressive, and no I am not talking about Zendaya’s hair.  I am referring to the magnificent show that was this year’s Academy Awards.  Let’s start from the beginning, and what a beginning it was.  A spectacular opening number by this year’s host Neil Patrick Harris that featured Anna Kendrick and Jack Black wowed everyone in attendance.  Harris notoriously opens the award shows he hosts with musical numbers and this one was nothing short of amazing.  Other musical performances included those up for the Best Original Song award.  Those up for the award were “Everything is Awesome” from The Lego Movie,” I’m not Gonna Miss You” from I’ll Be Me, and the award winning song “Glory” from the emotional film ‘Selma’.

Moving on with the night, there were many big wins and even greater disappointments.  Overall the big winners were ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ and ‘Birdman’ each cleaning up in several categories.  Let’s talk big moments shall we?  Patricia Arquette won the award of Best Actress in a Supporting Role, but it was her speech that delivered a message.  Arquette called for “equal wages for women” in the closing of her speech.  Her passion was highly regarded by some including Meryl Streep, but others did not approve of Arquette’s actions.  These critics said that the message Arquette sent to the national viewers is an issue that needs to be addressed, but it was not the time or place for such a thing to be brought up.  Either way you look at it, it was a great win for Arquette and it was 30 seconds of time she used to speak on an issue she is passion about.

Another highly acclaimed part of the evening was John Legend and Common performing the song “Glory” from the movie ‘Selma’.  The song sends a powerful message about the civil rights movement and the way it shaped our world today.

The biggest winners of the night were Eddie Redmayne who won Best Actor in a Leading Role for his portrayal as Stephen Hawking in ‘The Theory of Everything’, Julianne Moore won Best Actress in a Lead Role for her role in ‘Still Alice’, and the movie ‘Birdman’ won Best Picture.

There was one award that I left unmentioned for one specific reason.  J.K. Simmons won Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his part in the movie ‘Whiplash’, but it was his speech that moved every person watching that night.  Simmons told everyone watching, young and old, to call their parents.  He said, “If you’re lucky enough to have a parent alive on this planet — call them, don’t text them!”  This single quote resonated with the nation.  An amazing moment for an amazing actor.

Overall, this year’s Oscars was unbelievable.  All the stops were pulled out and left everyone baffled.  Neil Patrick Harris was a spectacular host and we can only hope next year’s host does just as well.  Congratulations to all the nominees, but most of all to the winners.  In the end, The Oscars left the world breathless and begging for more.