The Best & Worst 2015 Oscars Moments, From Julie Andrews To 'Boyhood's Near Snub
Now that they're over, it's safe to finally say it: no, the 2015 Oscars were not perfect. It's not all the show's fault — if having Neil Patrick harris host, Meryl Streep nominated, and Anna Kendrick perform can't make a night flawless, than what can? Awards shows are always a mixed bag, and this year's Academy Awards was certainly no exception.
Yet while it would've been nice to get one issue-free awards show this season, you have to admit that its flaws — and oh, this year, there were many — are part of what makes the Oscars so interesting. For every sight of Neil Patrick Harris in his undies, there was another gag about Octavia Spencer not looking closely enough at that box. But without the must-see moments, both the good and the bad, why else would we tune in instead of just reading the headlines on Monday morning? Read on for the 20 best and worst moments from this year's show.
BEST: The Red Carpet
Women typically have a rough time on awards show red carpets, with interviewers asking them nothing but what designers they’re wearing, how they got ready, and if they’ll be willing to place their fingers in the mani-cam. Yet the Oscars’ pre-show was (mostly) free of sexism — for once, the hosts asked questions that mattered. Other shows, take note: “Who inspires you?” is a lot better to hear than “who are you wearing?”
BEST: Neil Patrick Harris' Opening Song
Did anyone expect that Neil Patrick Harris would open the Oscars with anything less than a show-stopping musical number? The performance was witty (“tonight we honor hollywood’s best and whitest — sorry, brightest!”), gorgeous (those visuals!) and star-studded (Anna Kendrick! Jack Black!), just the way we like it. Only downside? NO need for the Gone Girl spoiler!
BEST: J.K. Simmons Winning Best Supporting Actor
Sure, it was expected, but that doesn’t mean it was any less satisfying. After years of underrated work and an incredible performance in Whiplash, Simmons’ win couldn’t have been more deserving.
WORST: Adam Levine's Uncomfortably Intense "Lost Stars" Performance
This is the Oscars, not… actually, there is no place that getting that into a song would be acceptable. Kneeling? Really?
WORST: Every Time Neil Patrick Harris Laughed At His Own Jokes
That’s our job, Neil, not yours.
BEST: Nicole Kidman Saying "Darkened Theater"
My second favorite accented phrase, after Hermione saying “hooded figure” in Harry Potter 7 Part 1.
BEST: The 'Ida' Director's Complete Disregard of Time Constraints
The Oscars want you to wrap up? Who cares! Pawel Pawlikowski, the director of Ida, did not care one bit about the show’s finish-your-speech music, making for one of the funniest, most spontaneous moments of the night.
BEST/WORST: The Completely Insane "Everything is Awesome" Performance
There were firefighters! And dogs! And Questlove! And Will Arnett as Batman! If Oprah holding a Lego Oscar was the least confusing moment of the performance, that’s saying a lot.
BEST: Neil Patrick Harris in Tighty-Whities
BEST: Patricia Arquette's Feminist Shout-Out
WORST: Dick Pope Having His Name Pronounced Correctly
What? It’s still funny.
BEST/WORST: The In Memoriam Montage
BEST: Those Sets
Who knew the background visuals would be the most exciting part of the Oscars? Whether it was a recreation of the bridge in Selma or Neil Patrick Harris’ shadow morphing into an Oscar, the ceremony’s set design was never anything but magnificent.
BEST: John Legend and Common Performing 'Glory'
WORST: Lady Gaga Singing 'The Sound of Music'
This isn’t Gaga’s fault — she sounded great. I blame you, Oscar producers, for letting anyone, Grammy-winning superstar or not, attempt to sing “The Sound of Music” directly after a clip of Julie Andrews doing the original.
BEST: Julie Andrews.
Wow, Gaga can sing, I wonder what she’ll do — OH MY GOD, JULIE ANDREWS IS HERE. All hail the Queen.
BEST: Graham Moore's Speech for 'The Imitation Game'
The screenwriter’s acceptance speech started off funny, with a shout-out to Oprah, but quickly turned serious. Referencing a suicide attempt in his youth, Moore encouraged young fans to “stay weird, stay different” and telling them that they, too, might be taking the Oscar stage one day. It was a beautiful, poignant moment, one of the Oscar’s very best.
BEST: Eddie Redmayne's Genuine Excitement
Fact: there is nothing more adorable than Eddie Redmayne saying “wow!” in his British accent and jumping with his Oscar held in the air. And Cate Blanchett standing in the back like a proud mom? SO CUTE.
WORST: That Entire Box Joke
You would think that after dragging out a joke about Neil Patrick Harris’ prediction-filled box the entire night, there’d be some pay-off at the end. Maybe a magic trick? A bunny? Octavia Spencer fast asleep? Instead, all we got were some lame jokes that made the show run even longer than it already was.
WORST: 'Boyhood's Near Snubs
Save for Arquette’s Best Supporting Actress win, Boyhood, predicted by many to take home Best Picture and Director, went home without any Oscar love. A sad fate for one of the year’s very best movies.