Credited to outkorean.com
Another award season has come and go; and now, for the verdict on the most important award in every actors life, the Academy Awards 2015 hosted by hostess with the mostest, Neil Patrick Harris. Or was he the hostess with the mostest ever seen in Oscars history, we will get to that.
The start of the ceremony began with Harris’ tribute to movies throughout the years which was, to put it simply, sweet. It was then that Harris’ hosting credentials were further tested. Let’s face it, succeeding Ellen DeGeneres 2014 hosting gig was always going to be a hard act to follow. In his defence, Harris has previous hosting experience hosting the Emmy and Tony awards. Harris’ musical number had the help of fellow A-Listers Anna Kendrick and Jack Black which helped to jazz up the performance. Of course, Harris had to joke that the musical number was all improvised which just added up to the joke itself.
For one thing, as with most Oscars ceremonies, they hand out awards to the actors’ whom the Academy members believe to be most deserving of the best that year. This all goes to script and this year was no exception. Almost everybody who had swept awards this season took top honours. However, what personally surprised me, though he was tipped as a favourite too, was Eddie Redmayne trumping hot favourite Micheal Keaton as Best Actor. Eddie won for his performance in ‘The Theory of Everything’ portraying prominent physicist, Stephen Hawking.
Credited to blueoceane.com
The rest, Julianne Moore, J.K Simmons, and Patricia Arquette all deservedly won their Oscars for their performances in their respective films, ‘Still Alice’, ‘Whiplash’, and ‘Boyhood’. Now, enough with the acknowledgement of the actors and their Oscar wins, they’ve got enough of that already. Let’s get down to the ceremony itself. Patricia Arquette had her Oscars winning speech about pay equality for women in the United States which received a positive reception (which of course it should).
Credited to celebuzz.com
As I have previously stated, Neil Patrick Harris, while looking good on paper, surprisingly just didn’t cut it as an Oscars host. Bear in mind, I am a fan of the man and his body of work, but the Oscars were just ill-suited for his abilities. For one thing, Harris is no comedian (though he did star in a long-running comedy ‘How I Met Your Mother’ which, unfortunately does not make him a comedian). So unlike Ellen, Billy Crystal, Steve Martin, Bob Hope, etc, Harris just can’t be quick on his feet when it comes to hosting without the aid of a good script.
He had had to rely on a number of “stunts” to sustain his Oscars hosting such as standing in his boxers and the rather annoying Octavia Spencer (poor woman) long-running joke over watching a vault. He had some redeeming moments though with the opening musical number dedicated to the magic of movies, as mentioned earlier, and winning well-written quips about the Oscars. He perfectly touched on the lack of diverse Oscars acting nominees’ issue, the #OscarsSoWhite controversy by beginning his speech with the “Where we celebrate the Best and Whitest, I mean Brightest,” thereby not forgetting to indirectly addressing the issue.
The rest of the ceremony relied on the presenters and musical performers at the Oscars. Among the highs and lows of the Oscars were the much talked about behaviours of Oscar presenters. Among them were John Travolta and Terrence Howard. John Travolta, after his infamous butchering of Idina Menzel’s name the previous year came back to present with Idina this year. Unfortunately, what transpired later was borderline creepy with his constant touching of Menzel’s face. Travolta however did later clarify that was all rehearsed earlier. Then there was Terrence Howard who took some time to announce three best picture nominees. Howard later explained that he was “star-struck”.
The musical performances at the Oscars deserve a mention too for brightening up the Oscars. Particular standouts were the performances of Lady Gaga singing a medley of ‘The Sound of Music’ songs in conjunction with that movie’s 50th Anniversary. Her performance earned her a standing ovation and received the thumbs-up from the movie’s star, Julie Andrews. For Lady Gaga, this was a chance for the public to see that she actually has singing chops. Granted, while we know that the lady can sing, it was always overshadowed by her antics such as her crazy dress sense and other showbiz gimmicks. Her most recent collaboration jazz album with the legendary Tony Bennett recently signalled a shift in that direction. Another talked about performance at the Oscars was the collaboration between Common and John Lennon performing “Glory” from the movie ‘Selma’. The song later won the Oscar. This was poignant coming from a year with a lack of a minority candidate in the acting Oscar nominee categories. Another highlight I have to add in were Teigen and Sara performing “Everything is Awesome” in a huge grand production from the ‘The Lego Movie’ (an unfairly snubbed movie) and where they handed over Lego Oscars statuettes.
Other highlights came from other more technical category Oscar winners’ speeches. Winner of the Best Adapted Screenplay Graham Moore had some a little confused when in his acceptance speech, he said, “When I was 16 years old I tried to kill myself because I felt weird and different… Some people misinterpreted it as him coming out at the Oscars but Moore later clarified that he wasn’t a homosexual but that it was a message of tolerance about him being suicidal when he was young. The other memorable moment from the Oscars was from the Short Documentary winners, filmmaker Ellen Goosenberg Kent who said: “This goes to the veterans and their families who are brave enough to ask for help”. Fellow winner Dana Perry then said: “We should talk about suicide out loud.” Her son Evan killed himself.
Unfortunately, this was when host Neil Patrick Harris became a little insensitive upon the conclusion of the speech by instead of highlighting the seriousness of the issue, i.e. suicide; he instead chose to highlight the embellishments of Perry’s dress. He said: “It takes a lot of balls to wear a dress like that.” It was highly inappropriate, especially considering the heaviness of the topic mentioned. In Harris’ defence, in the context of the evening’s proceedings, he probably thought it better to lighten things up a bit. Alas, it was all very poorly timed. The Oscars of course concluded with ‘Birdman’ winning Best Picture but not without another buzz-worthy moment when Sean Penn the announcer, was accused of being racist about the movie’s director, Alexander Inarritu, whom he had worked with previously. Penn had said, “Who gave this son of a b***h his green card?” when presenting the Oscar, later attributing it as a joke. Not everyone was amused though.
All in all, the Oscars in 2015 can be remembered, as in previous Oscars, due to its memorable moments, looking at you John Travolta, but definitely not due to its host’s hosting abilities. Neil Patrick Harris does not a capable Oscars host make. Perhaps he should’ve been given the opportunity to host more Emmy and Tony awards before making it to the big league. Or to the Oscars committee; hire an actual comedian next time; we all remember Seth MacFarlane, and the Anne Hathaway and James Franco duo.