It’s that time of the year again when these golden statues are handed out to various individuals from all corners of the film industry (the corners with the strongest buzz, that is). Don’t forget to join the Morning News USA for its live blog of the 2015 Oscars, hosted by first-timer Neil Patrick Harris at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.
Are you all set? The live blog begins at 7:30 p.m. Central time.
The 87th Oscars starts now!
7:30 p.m. – Neil Patrick Harris is introduced. He doesn’t waste any time, giving the first (and hopefully one of many) white-centric joke of the show. In the usual Neil Patrick fashion, he bursts into song without warning. A few minutes later, Anna Kendrick appears in her “Into the Woods” costume to sing along, but the two are interrupted by none other than Jack Black, who also starts singing before he gets kicked offstage.
7:37 p.m. – No standing ovation for Neil. He begins the hard job of giving the opening monologue, which is shorter than expected. He introduces the first presenter, Lupita Nyong’o. The nominees for Best Supporting Actor are introduced.
7:43 p.m. – The “Actor,” according to Lupita, goes to J.K. Simmons for “Whiplash,” ending his season-long well-deserved sweep of all acting awards available to mankind.
7:47 p.m. – Neil hires Octavia Spencer to watch over his prediction box. Liam Neeson then presents the “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and the controversial “American Sniper.”
7:51 p.m. – Dakota Johnson introduces Adam Levine, who sings Lost Stars from “Begin Again.”
7:58 p.m. – Jennifer Lopez and Chris Pine give the award for Best Costume Design to Milena Canonero for her outstanding work in “The Grand Budapest Hotel.”
8:03 p.m. – Reese Witherspoon gives “The Grand Budapest Hotel” its second Oscar, for Best Makeup and Hairstyling.
8:10 p.m. – Neil Patrick Harris gives a sly commentary about Nicole Kidman’s “prosthetics.” Together, she and Chiwetel Ejiofor award “Ida” the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. Director Pawel Pawlikowski battles with the musicians as he struggles to finish his thank-you speech.
8:17 p.m. – Neil attempts to do an Ellen and goes into the audience area to awkwardly converse with a few celebrities. Fortunately, he introduces Marion Cotillard. Best Song nominee “Everything Is Awesome” is up, and what is happening right now? A way to avoid boring the viewers, that’s what.
8:25 p.m. – Kerry Washington and Jason Bateman present the nominees for Best Live Action Short Film. “The Phone Call” wins, while Best Documentary Short goes to “Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1.” It’s really nice for the musicians to stop playing as soon as the topic of suicide was mentioned.
8:32 p.m. – Viola Davis, ladies and gentlemen.
8:35 p.m. – Neil now appears to be comfortable in his role as host. If only the audience doesn’t seem so uptight. After an introduction by Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim McGraw sings “Im Not Gonna Miss You” written by the late Glenn Campbell.
8:43 p.m. – Of course, Neil’s hosting stint wouldn’t be complete without him going onstage wearing only his underwear. Take note that Chevy Chase did something similar back in the days, so this is nothing new anymore. Achievement in Sound Mixing goes to “Whiplash.” It would be an upset if it didn’t. On the other hand, Sound Editing is awarded to “American Sniper.”
8:52 p.m. – Jared Leto enters to give Patricia Arquette her Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. This one is a no-brainer, considering the amount of awards she already received and her outstanding performance in “Boyhood” as well.
9:01 p.m. – Rita Ora sings “Grateful.”
9:04 p.m. – Best Special Effects goes to Interstellar, because it’s a Nolan film, and Nolan is pretty great with these things. The show wastes little time and moves quickly to Best Animated Short, which “Feast” wins.
9:11 p.m. – Badly missing “The LEGO Movie,” the nominees for Best Animated Film are announced. “Big Hero 6” wins. The movie deserves it, but still, we all know LEGO should’ve been there.
9:23 p.m. – Another win for “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” taking home Best Production Design, presented by Chris Pratt. Up next: Birdman winning Best Cinematography for its faux yet effective one-take effect.
9:32 p.m. – The amazing Meryl Streep solemnly presents the In Memoriam segment.
9:41 p.m. – Commercial break. Around 10 more categories to go, which means around seven more hours before the show ends.
9:44 p.m. – “Whiplash” wins Best Film Editing for successfully going back in front between drums and the frowning face of J.K. Simmons.
9:47 p.m. – Awkward ten seconds of pause from Terence Howard. There are probably technical difficulties happening off-screen.
9:51 p.m. – CitizenFour wins Best Documentary Feature. Edward Snowden wasn’t able to make it for obvious reasons, as Neil points out.
9:57 p.m. – John Legend sings the powerful Glory. He is given a standing ovation, and David Oyelowo is seen crying.
10:05 p.m. – Idina Menzel calls John Travolta, and he manages to say her name! It feels really great to see them riding along this joke. Best Original Song goes to Glory. Of course, it should.
10:18 p.m. – We have Lady Gaga trying to pull a Julie Andrews with her medley. Oh, wait. Julie Andrews comes out and hugs Lady Gaga! Maria herself has enjoyed the performance. Here’s to a happy 50th year to “The Sound of Music.” Meanwhile, Best Original Score goes to Budapest!
10:36 p.m. – “Birdman” takes home Best Original Screenplay. As for Best Adapted Screenplay? “The Imitation Game” gets it, and they’re all very excited. Writer Graham Moore gives one of the most moving and memorable speeches of the night.
10:42 p.m. – In what could possibly be the first real upset of the night, Alejandro Iñárritu of “Birdman” wins Best Director instead of Richard Linklater, who will probably spend 13 more years trying to move on from this loss.
10:48 p.m. – Cate Blanchett presents the award for Best Actor. Eddie Redmayne wins for his brilliant portrayal of Stephen Hawking. No thanks to the Hawking in his speech, though.
10:54 p.m. – Alright, alright, alright. Matthew McConaughey gives the Academy Award for Best Actress to the lovely Julianne Moore! Academy Award-winner Julianne Moore. That sounds so good.
10:58 p.m. – Worst Running Gag goes to Neil Patrick Harris and his prediction box.
11:04 p.m. – Sean Penn is to present the Academy Award for Best Picture.
11:06 p.m. – Birdman wins.
11:11 p.m. – The show ends. No closing words from Harris – just an eerie image of the giant Oscar statue above the audience.
The 87th Academy Awards is over. We have reached the end of the current awards season, and what we have here is a pretty straightforward albeit slightly predictable awarding ceremony, with the best parts being the speeches themselves. It’s only a matter of time, though, before blogs and other websites start criticizing certain aspects of the show such as the weak jokes of Neil Patrick Harris.
That’s it for now. Thank you for following the live updates!