Tonight’s Oscars was more satisfying and entertaining than we can remember in many years. Setting aside the snark, the shade, and the yelling at the TV we all succumb to in the privacy of our living rooms, and yes, John Travolta was given a chance at redemption for last year’s flub, and yes, he sort of blew it again by being overly touchy, but we decree from the frozen wilds of Toronto, notwithstanding our serious reservations about cults, he seems like a sweetheart of a guy, and always has. It was that kind of night. Put aside your schadenfreude kimono and put down the tequila, darling. We think it was a night even Margo Channing would have raised just one brow, not unkindly, and evaluated the scene with an understanding wave. Ok Kids, go on and have your little night (opens a velvet lined silver cigarette box and lights her 40th dart of the day). Shall we?

Cate Blanchett, presenter, Oscars 2015, Photo: Dan MacMedan, USA Today
Cate Blanchett, presenter, Oscars 2015, Photo: Dan MacMedan, USA Today

Neil Patrick Harris, tonight’s capable host (You’re rehired!) started off the night right with a brave, bravura opening number that showed his formidable chops under the world’s most public televised pressure as he performed a well designed number that explained the tone of the evening: in this post-modern, terrorized, suicidal, ice cap warming, inequitable world, films still matter. When you give your heart over to the magic of the movie musical, it opens up a sense of childlike wonder, optimism and curiousity the likes of which we adults chase to the bottom of many bottles, expensive vacations, or risky dares. Films hook you, and speak back to you in recognition of your unspoken desire, your dream, your wish, your fear, and muse endlessly on the question of how to leave a mark on the world, how to reconcile our humanity with our fellow man’s humanity (and what the hell to do when the two of them collide?) or maybe it’s tonight’s wine talking. No, it happened. The perfect mood was struck, the perfect host was found, and he looked straight into the camera in the final moments of the song with a look of “I got this” of confidence, of joy and pride. By the time Anna Kendrick and Jack Black (bringing out some of his patented Tenacious D branded “Metal” singing) it was a given, we were finally seeing an Oscars for today, in a number that breezily showed us, yes, haters gonna hate, the world gonna suck, apply films liberally and hang in there.

Wes Anderson, cheering on his fellow nominees: The Grand Budapest Hotel took home 4!
Wes Anderson, cheering on his fellow nominees: The Grand Budapest Hotel took home 4!

This year’s ballot itself was a thing of rare joy in a year where diversity in film (indie films, or films with indie spirit, alongside Clint Eastwood Oscar bait with years of pedigree, Meryl Streep up against Patricia Arquette (!!?!?!) films as weird (and we mean weird as a compliment) as Birdman and Boyhood went the full distance, and Wes Anderson finally got his due as an auteur. The always great Michael Keaton who’s been off the radar for a decade rose to the fore and like his character in Birdman come to life, claimed his place and earned awards and accolades through awards season among his acting contemporaries without ever losing his cool. 5 time nominee, big talent, great beauty and deserving winner Julianne Moore finally got hers tonight, with all the tears, naturalism and humility as we always knew she’d bring whens she finally reached that podium after 20 years in the game. The world finally learned how to say, and spell, Benedict Cumberbatch this year as he reached the A-list he so deserves to be in. Ed Norton effortlessly made a mark in not one but two best picture nominations (Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel) giving a fantastic counterbalance to Keaton’s performance that will go down in history (once it’s more widely seen) every bit as much as his tour-de-force out of nowhere debut Primal Fear (1996). There’s been a lot of jokes & memes going around that the 90’s are back, and we can add another point to the list: Patricia Arquette won an Oscar. That’s right, our own Alabama from True Romance (1993) she who tastes like a peach, trumped permanent winner Meryl Streep.

It felt a little like the Freaks and Geeks had finally taken over the school tonight: the theater kids, the exchange students, the people who didn’t campaign for their life but were recognized for effort, originality, and the work. There’s so much behind the work of a film that we can imagine the parties going on in little pockets around the world, in hotel rooms, in family gatherings, in a home-town sports bar. It felt like the opening musical number wanted us to feel: that movies matter. That there’s hope for the future.

Graham Moore: Winner of Best Adapted Screenplay for The Imitation Game, Oscar 2015 photo: Patrick T. Fallon for The New York Times
Graham Moore: Winner of Best Adapted Screenplay for The Imitation Game, Oscar 2015 photo: Patrick T. Fallon for The New York Times

The theme of heartfelt speeches started early with a determination from non-celebrity winners who carried on and outlasted the “play off” music. This became a trend throughout the night. Patton Oswald, the best actor-comedian in the Twitter game, was in good form tonight and summarized it nicely:

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The often bloated-feeling 3.5 hours long ceremony has many key marks to hit that are familiar to all regular viewers, and yet there was a quality to this year’s winners (and subject matters of their projects) that made room for a new kind of non-polarizing, open activism that invited cheers instead of boos (Donald Trump tweeted his unhappiness confirms the tone was exactly right). Arquette started this off by taking a moment out of non-read speech to speak for wage equality among men and women. With many issues competing for the public consciousness and dollars, this statement felt genuine and heartfelt. The subjects of suicide prevention, acceptance, Alzheimer’s awareness (featured in two nominated works, the Julianne Moore starring-Still Alice, and I’ll Be Me, a documentary about singer Glen Campbell’s experiences with the disease, for which his original song “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” was nominated),  shout outs to whistleblowers, a call for equality issues in general and notably, profoundly expressed in a stellar musical performance of “Glory” by Oscar winners John Stevens & Lonnie Lynn (or as you may know them, John Legend & Common) who made a lot more people think about seeing Selma.

Watch the 3-standing-ovation and Oscar winning performace of “Glory” from Selma HERE.

More coverage, pictures and debriefing to follow tomorrow. For now, we leave you with a list of the winners in all the categories and some comprehensive links for further reading for those of you that needed to sleep, as we do.

Best Picture
“Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” Alejandro G. Iñárritu, John Lesher and James W. Skotchdopole, (WINNER)
“American Sniper” Clint Eastwood, Robert Lorenz, Andrew Lazar, Bradley Cooper and Peter Morgan, Producers
“Boyhood” Richard Linklater and Cathleen Sutherland, Producers
“The Grand Budapest Hotel” Wes Anderson, Scott Rudin, Steven Rales and Jeremy Dawson, Producers
“The Imitation Game” Nora Grossman, Ido Ostrowsky and Teddy Schwarzman, Producers
“Selma” Christian Colson, Oprah Winfrey, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, Producers
“The Theory of Everything” Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Lisa Bruce and Anthony McCarten, Producers
“Whiplash” Jason Blum, Helen Estabrook and David Lancaster, Producers

Eddie Redmayne in “The Theory of Everything” (WINNER)
Michael Keaton in “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”
Steve Carell in “Foxcatcher”
Bradley Cooper in “American Sniper”
Benedict Cumberbatch in “The Imitation Game”

Julianne Moore in “Still Alice” (WINNER)
Marion Cotillard in “Two Days, One Night”
Felicity Jones in “The Theory of Everything”
Rosamund Pike in “Gone Girl”
Reese Witherspoon in “Wild”

“Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” Alejandro G. Iñárritu (WINNER)
“Boyhood” Richard Linklater
“Foxcatcher” Bennett Miller
“The Grand Budapest Hotel” Wes Anderson
“The Imitation Game” Morten Tyldum

Supporting Actor
J.K. Simmons in “Whiplash” (WINNER)
Robert Duvall in “The Judge”
Ethan Hawke in “Boyhood”
Edward Norton in “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”
Mark Ruffalo in “Foxcatcher”

Supporting Actress
Patricia Arquette in “Boyhood” (WINNER)
Laura Dern in “Wild”
Keira Knightley in “The Imitation Game”
Emma Stone in “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”
Meryl Streep in “Into the Woods”

Adapted Screenplay
“The Imitation Game” Written by Graham Moore (WINNER)

“American Sniper” Written by Jason Hall
“Inherent Vice” Written for the screen by Paul Thomas Anderson
“The Theory of Everything” Screenplay by Anthony McCarten
“Whiplash” Written by Damien Chazelle

Original Screenplay
“Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” Written by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. & Armando Bo (WINNER)

“Boyhood” Written by Richard Linklater
“Foxcatcher” Written by E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman
“The Grand Budapest Hotel” Screenplay by Wes Anderson; Story by Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness
“Nightcrawler” Written by Dan Gilroy

Animated Feature
“Big Hero 6” Don Hall, Chris Williams and Roy Conli (WINNER)

“The Boxtrolls” Anthony Stacchi, Graham Annable and Travis Knight
“How to Train Your Dragon 2” Dean DeBlois and Bonnie Arnold
“Song of the Sea” Tomm Moore and Paul Young
“The Tale of the Princess Kaguya” Isao Takahata and Yoshiaki Nishimura

Documentary Feature
“CitizenFour” Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy and Dirk Wilutzky (WINNER)
“Finding Vivian Maier” John Maloof and Charlie Siskel
“Last Days in Vietnam” Rory Kennedy and Keven McAlester
“The Salt of the Earth” Wim Wenders, Juliano Ribeiro Salgado and David Rosier
“Virunga” Orlando von Einsiedel and Joanna Natasegara

Original Song
“Glory” from “Selma”
Music and Lyric by John Stephens and Lonnie Lynn (WINNER)

“Everything Is Awesome” from “The Lego Movie”
Music and Lyric by Shawn Patterson
“Grateful” from “Beyond the Lights”
Music and Lyric by Diane Warren
“I’m Not Gonna Miss You” from “Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me”
Music and Lyric by Glen Campbell and Julian Raymond
“Lost Stars” from “Begin Again”
Music and Lyric by Gregg Alexander and Danielle Brisebois

Foreign Language Film
“Ida” Poland (WINNER)
“Leviathan” Russia
“Tangerines” Estonia
“Timbuktu” Mauritania
“Wild Tales” Argentina

Original Score
“The Grand Budapest Hotel” Alexandre Desplat (WINNER)
“The Imitation Game” Alexandre Desplat
“Interstellar” Hans Zimmer
“Mr. Turner” Gary Yershon
“The Theory of Everything” Jóhann Jóhannsson

Film Editing
“Whiplash” Tom Cross (WINNER)

“American Sniper” Joel Cox and Gary D. Roach
“Boyhood” Sandra Adair
“The Grand Budapest Hotel” Barney Pilling
“The Imitation Game” William Goldenberg

Visual Effects
“Interstellar” Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter and Scott Fisher (WINNER)
“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” Dan DeLeeuw, Russell Earl, Bryan Grill and Dan Sudick
“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett and Erik Winquist
“Guardians of the Galaxy” Stephane Ceretti, Nicolas Aithadi, Jonathan Fawkner and Paul Corbould
“X-Men: Days of Future Past” Richard Stammers, Lou Pecora, Tim Crosbie and Cameron Waldbauer

“Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” Emmanuel Lubezki (WINNER)
“The Grand Budapest Hotel” Robert Yeoman
“Ida” Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lenczewski
“Mr. Turner” Dick Pope
“Unbroken” Roger Deakins

Costume Design
“The Grand Budapest Hotel” Milena Canonero (WINNER)
“Inherent Vice” Mark Bridges
“Into the Woods” Colleen Atwood
“Maleficent” Anna B. Sheppard and Jane Clive
“Mr. Turner” Jacqueline Durran

Makeup and Hairstyling
“The Grand Budapest Hotel” Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier (WINNER)
“Foxcatcher” Bill Corso and Dennis Liddiard
“Guardians of the Galaxy” Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou and David White

Jennifer Aniston and Emma Stone on the Oscars red carpet Photo: Dan MacMedan, USA Today
Jennifer Aniston and Emma Stone on the Oscars red carpet Photo: Dan MacMedan, USA Today

Production Design
“The Grand Budapest Hotel” Production Design: Adam Stockhausen; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock (WINNER)
“The Imitation Game” Production Design: Maria Djurkovic; Set Decoration: Tatiana Macdonald
“Interstellar” Production Design: Nathan Crowley; Set Decoration: Gary Fettis
“Into the Woods” Production Design: Dennis Gassner; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock
“Mr. Turner” Production Design: Suzie Davies; Set Decoration: Charlotte Watts

Animated Short Film
“Feast” Patrick Osborne and Kristina Reed (WINNER)
“The Bigger Picture” Daisy Jacobs and Christopher Hees
“The Dam Keeper” Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi
“Me and My Moulton” Torill Kove
“A Single Life” Joris Oprins

Live Action Short Film
“The Phone Call” Mat Kirkby and James Lucas (WINNER)
“Aya” Oded Binnun and Mihal Brezis
“Boogaloo and Graham” Michael Lennox and Ronan Blaney
“Butter Lamp (La Lampe Au Beurre De Yak)” Hu Wei and Julien Féret
“Parvaneh” Talkhon Hamzavi and Stefan Eichenberger

Documentary Short Subject
“Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1” Ellen Goosenberg Kent and Dana Perry (WINNER)
“Joanna” Aneta Kopacz
“Our Curse” Tomasz Sliwinski and Maciej Slesicki
“The Reaper (La Parka)” Gabriel Serra Arguello
“White Earth” J. Christian Jensen

Sound Mixing
“Whiplash” Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins and Thomas Curley (WINNER)
“American Sniper” John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Walt Martin
“Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño and Thomas Varga
“Interstellar” Gary A. Rizzo, Gregg Landaker and Mark Weingarten
“Unbroken” Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño and David Lee

Sound Editing
“American Sniper” Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman (WINNER)
“Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” Martín Hernández and Aaron Glascock
“The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” Brent Burge and Jason Canovas
“Interstellar” Richard King
“Unbroken” Becky Sullivan and Andrew DeCristofaro


The New York Times staff did a terrific job of live blogging, constant updates of photos from the broadcast, and notable tweets and comments for anyone who can’t get enough, like us, or needs to catch up!

Read here