The 87th Academy Awards took place on February 22, 2015 at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, CA. The host of the evening, Neil Patrick Harris didn’t waste any time addressing the Oscar lack of diversity controversy by jokingly stating that tonight represents the “Best and the Whitest.” Neil Patrick Harris followed with a musical tribute to classic movies, accompanied by Anna Kendrick and Jack Black. Later in the show, Neil Patrick Harris did a daring parody of “Birdman” by making his way to the stage dressed only in his underwear.
The first Oscar was presented by Lupita Nyong’o for “Actor in a Supporting Role” to J.K. Simmons for “Whiplash.” Jared Leto presented the Oscar for “Actress in a Supporting Role” to Patricia Arquette for “Boyhood.” Zoe Saldana and Dwayne Johnson presented the Oscar for “Animated Feature Film” to “Big Hero 6.” Idina Menzel and John Travolta presented together and humorously kidded each other about John Travolta’s mispronunciation of Idina’s name during her performance at the Golden Globe Awards. Menzel and Travolta presented the Oscar for “Original Song” for “Glory” from the Oscar nominated film “Selma” which was accepted by recording artist Common and John Legend. Eddie Murphy presented “Birdman” as the winner for “Original Screenplay” and Oprah Winfrey announced “The Theory of Everything” as the winner for “Adapted Screenplay.”
Other presenters included legendary actresses Shirley MacLaine and Julie Andrews, Liam Neeson, Jennifer Lopez, Kerry Washington, Nicole Kidman, David Oyelowo, Kevin Hart, Idris Elba and Jessica Chastain, Terrence Howard, Octavia Spencer, and Ben Affleck. In addition, Cheryl Boone Issacs, President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, spoke in support of free speech by stating the importance of protecting freedom of expression.
Meryl Streep presented the “Memorium” followed by a musical tribute by Jennifer Hudson. Other musical performances included Tim McGraw, Rita Ora, Lady Gaga who sang a musical tribute in the form of a medley of songs from “The Sound of Music”, and Common and John Legend who gave a stirring performance of “Glory” from the Oscar nominated film “Selma” that ended with a standing ovation from the audience and brought David Oyelowo and Chris Pine to tears.
The last awards of the evening were presented by Cate Blanchett for “Actor in a Leading Role” to Eddie Redmayne for “The Theory of Everything” and Matthew McConaughey presented the Oscar for “Actress in a Leading Role” to Julianne Moore for “Still Alice.” The final award of the evening was presented by Sean Penn for “Best Film,” and the winner was “Birdman.”
Many Post Oscar parties took place after the ceremonies including the legendary Elton John Oscar party. The American Black Film Institute (ABFI)also held a Post Oscar party that was attended by Filmmaker and Director Lee Daniels and actor Jussie Smollett from Lee Daniel’s hit television series “Empire” starring Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard.
For a complete listing of all the winners go to oscar.go.com.