The stars of the silver screen gathered at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood last night for The 87th Oscars ceremony, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris. Birdman emerged as the night's big winner, taking home four Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director (Alejandro González Iñárritu), Best Original Screenplay (Alejandro González Iñárritu, Armando Bo, Alexander Dinelaris, Nicolás Giacobone) and Best Cinematography (Emmanuel Lubezki), with The Grand Budapest Hotel also taking home four Academy Awards for Best Costume Design, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Production Design and Best Original Score. It was a rare year where all eight of the Best Picture nominees ended up taking home at least one award apiece, but for many viewers, the awards themselves weren't talked about nearly as much as the speeches, musical performances and other segments from the ceremony, which ran more than a half-hour longer than its allotted three-hour time slot. After live-tweeting the event last night, I'm breaking down my 5 best and 5 worst moments from this year's Academy Awards, which fans will surely be talking about for days and weeks to come. These are not ranked by any particular order, making them as random as the ceremony seemed to be at certain points of the long-winded night, so take a look at the best and worst of the Oscars below.
Top 5 Oscar 2015 Moments
2 Oscar Winners Will Not Be Played Off!
Along with taking home the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar for Ida, director Pawel Pawlikowski won the hearts of played-off Oscar winners everywhere by refusing to wrap up his speech after being cued by the orchestra. While he did acknowledge that it was time to "wrap up," delivering his speech at a quicker pace, he still kept going even after the band's wrap-up music failed to get him off the stage, which earned well-deserved applause from the audience. Orchestra play-offs are always awkward and somewhat embarrassing moments at any awards show, so kudos to Pawel Pawlikowski for standing his ground. The trend continued into the next award as well, when Best Live-Action Short Film winners Mat Kirkby and James Lucas kept going long after their cue. No one else was played off for the rest of the night. Of course, these Oscar mavericks did contribute to one of the most drawn-out Oscars in recent memory, but time could be cut in a number of different places, not impassioned speeches from Oscar winners.
Worst 5 Oscar 2015 Moments
2 The Seat Fillers
Neil Patrick Harris and producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan were obviously trying to repeat the spontaneity of last year's event hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, which featured a number of memorable highlights such as the biggest "selfie" of all time, and the impromptu pizza delivery. This year, their apparent answer to that was NPH chatting up a number of seat fillers. If you're unfamiliar with seat fillers, they are the random people who step in to fill seats for stars who are backstage waiting to present awards or perform, so viewers at home don't notice any empty seats during the telecast. These seat filler gags fell very flat, and he even incorporated Octavia Spencer's seat filler into his Magic Box bit. Nice try, Neil.
3Terrence Howard's... Whatever That Was
While presenting a montage of Best Picture nominees Whiplash, Selma and The Imitation Game, Terrence Howard got incredibly (and awkwardly) emotional during what is normally a routine and brief speech. The actor even bumped into his microphone, causing a bit of feedback, just as the camera cut to Keira Knightley in the audience. The actor seemed to stumble over his lines, saying "I'm blown away right now myself," while attempting to laugh off his strange behavior. Was the actor drunk? Was there a TelePrompTer mishap? Did John Travolta pass off his Oscar awkwardness through some sort of seance? We may never know, but this brief presentation is surely one of the strangest moments of the night.
What do you think of our best and worst moments from The 87th Oscars? Were there any parts of last night's ceremony that you feel should be included on the list? Do you think Neil Patrick Harris should be asked to host next year? Chime in with your thoughts below, or let me know what you think on Twitter @GallagherMW.