Academy Awards brighten up Hollywood



The 87th Academy Awards, commonly known as The Oscars, was hosted by TV and Broadway star Neil Patrick Harris on Feb. 22. Though highly anticipated, it was the third least watched Academy Awards ever. The night consisted of different speeches and performances, along with 24 nominees taking home awards. A big reason this year’s Oscars were apparent in the media is due to the fact that all individual nominees were white, Harris even introducing the show with “Today, we honor Hollywood’s best and whitest. Sorry…brightest,” leading many to bring up the potential racism, which could be a result of the Academy’s older, whiter membership.

Birdman, which began the night with a total of nine nominations, went home with four awards; one of which was the illustrious Best Picture. Its high ratings and $37.7 million in domestic ticket sales continued all the way to the award show, to the delight of many. But surprisingly, Birdman is one of the lowest grossing Oscar Best Picture winners ever, which makes many wonder what could be the cause of its win. The movie portrays a once-famous actor, played by Michael Keaton, and his attempts to revive his acting career in a Broadway play.

The Theory of Everything and American Sniper were two of Birdman’s biggest competitions as nominees for Best Picture, but fell short. They had a total of five and six nominations, respectively, but only went home with one award each, leaving viewers surprised.

“I was really surprised that Birdman won up against American Sniper. I saw both, and American Sniper was without a doubt better, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks that,” junior Haven McKinney said.

The Theory of Everything’s Eddie Redmayne, whose most notable performance was in the recent film adaptation of Les Miserables, was awarded Best Actor in a leading male role. He did a magnificent job of playing scientist Stephen Hawking in this film set over the course of his life.

American Sniper was based on the true story of Navy Seal Sniper Chris Kyle, played by Bradley Cooper. It has received a surplus of attention in the media, and also received the award for Best Sound Editing.

Pop sensation Lady Gaga delivered a passionate four-song medley in a tribute to the 50th anniversary of The Sound of Music, which received praise from the media. Her tribute to the classic movie fit perfectly in the agenda of the prestigious film award show. Maroon 5, who performed “Lost Stars” from Begin Again, and Rita Ora, who sang “Grateful” from Beyond the Lights, were just two more of the countless, exciting performances from throughout the night that held viewers attention.

Best Song winner John Legend and Common performed “Glory,” a song from Selma, a film about Martin Luther King Jr.’s march to Selma in the 60’s. The performance brought a few audience members to tears, including Selma producer Oprah Winfrey and actor Chris Pine.

All in all, this year’s Oscars had a few discrepancies within awards and nominations, but the performances made up for it.