And that's a wrap!
A truly unpredictable awards season boiled down to two seemingly atypical choices for the Academy in Birdman and Boyhood, and, in the end, it was the film that most spoke to artists and those in the industry that prevailed, as Birdman was selected best of the year. Much like last year, most of the front-runners walked away victorious, but that didn't seem to help us with our predictions. Matt went 17/24 while Nathan ended with 13/24.
It was an inflated telecast that certainly dragged in spots (who on Earth only scheduled the show to take three hours? They had to know that was never going to happen), but many of the winners (and even some of the presenters - not sure what was up with Terrence Howard) gave emotional, candid speeches that enlivened the proceedings. And our Oscar menu never let us down. Never have we been happier to have three drink options.
Before we put the 2014 film year to bed for good, let's count down our top ten favorite moments from the 87th Annual Academy Awards.
10. Lady Gaga sings The Sound of Music tribute - The show was 15 minutes from its scheduled end time and there were still seven major awards to go, but the producers insisted we needed a musical tribute to the Best Picture winner from 50 years ago. We were certainly skeptical at first, but Lady Gaga really delivered. Classic music, a beautiful performance from one of our most talented artists (it's true), and it all lead to our #3 moment on this list, so it was well worth it.
9. Graham Moore inspires us all to "stay weird" - The Best Adapted Screenplay winner for The Imitation Game gave a stirring speech that touched on his attempted suicide when he was 16 and ended with him encouraging those who feel like outsiders to stay true to themselves and pass on the message when they one day reach the podium.
8. Ida director Pawel Pawlikowski refuses to be played off - We were excited when this frontrunner deservingly won Best Foreign Language Film (it made both of our top ten lists of the year - including Nathan's #1), and Pawlikowski's speaking right through the climax of the get-off-the-stage music only added to our glee.
7. Neil Patrick Harris' opening number - The show was off to a great start with the opening song (penned by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Oscar winners last year for "Let It Go"). Neil Patrick Harris can rock an opening number and enlisting Anna Kendrick and, especially, Jack Black for some assistance paid off big time. The visuals with his shadow reenacting famous movie moments and ending with his silhouette as the Oscar statue gave us goosebumps. And major points for the Clue shout out!
6. Julianne Moore wins Best Actress - A total lock, but still heartwarming to see one of our greatest actresses win a much deserved, and overdue, Academy Award.
5. Common & John Legend win Best Original Song - They gave a great speech when they won at the Golden Globes and proved why they're in the business of songwriting with another eloquent and emotional speech after winning the Oscar.
4. Wes Anderson and his cast beam as crew members win Oscars - The Grand Budapest Hotel walked away with four Oscars last night (tying Birdman for the most of the evening) for its Production Design, Costume Design, Makeup & Hairstyling, and Original Score (bringing Alexandre Desplat his first win after eight nominations). Although Wes Anderson didn't take home a statue himself, it was great to see how genuinely ecstatic he and many of his cast members were as their peers collected trophies.
3. JULIE ANDREWS! - Following Lady Gaga's medley of The Sound of Music classics, the audience stayed on their feet as the legend and original Maria Von Trapp of motion pictures herself walked out to announce the Best Original Score award.
2. Patricia Arquette wins Best Supporting Actress - Another foregone conclusion, but so earned. A pity it was Boyhood's only win of the night (it was Matt's #1 film of the year, after all), but Arquette made the most of her time on stage. She got out a piece of paper to read a list of names as she's done all season, but ended with an unexpected and rousing call for equal pay for women. Meryl Streep and JLo certainly agreed.
1. The performance of "Glory" from Selma - We weren't the only ones crying (David Oyelowo and Chris Pine, we're looking at you) after the powerful and gorgeously staged performance of the Best Original Song winner. It prompted the longest and most earned standing ovation.