The 87th Academy Awards were held on Sunday, Feb. 22. The show is one of the most highly anticipated events of the year in Hollywood, and this year was no exception.
The 2015 Oscars were full of unexpected highlights that dominated the Internet in the days after the event. Neil Patrick Harris, also known as NPH, was a wonderful host. He opened with a joke—“We are here to celebrate the best and whitest—I mean brightest.”
NPH’s running gag (an attempt to involve the audience at home) was a magic trick of sorts. He put an envelope of his Oscar show predictions from “three days ago” in a locked box at the top of the show and all of it—wow—came true. It was a good attempt, but clearly planned.
The most memorable parts of the show were the acceptance speeches. This year’s acceptance speech Most Valuable Players were Best Supporting Actress for Boyhood Patricia Arquette and Best Song “Glory” from Selma winners John Legend and rapper Common.
Arquette preached about women’s wage equality, which in turn, caused Meryl Streep and J-Lo to give an enthusiastic standing ovation in agreement, causing the Internet to run wild with moving pictures of their reaction. John Legend and Common’s speech came right after the powerful performance of their song “Glory.” They discussed the spirit of the Edmund Pettus Bridge that Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King marched on, how it transcends all people across the world and how the struggle for change still continues today, even after Dr. Martin Luther King’s march on that bridge 50 years ago.
Legend commented that America has the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world. The best way to sum up the influence of this speech was that Oprah Winfrey was speechless.
The other memorable performance of the evening honored another influential event 50 years ago. The Sound of Music premiered on March 2, 1965 and proceeded to win Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Editing and Best Adapted Score. Lady Gaga sang a Sound of Music tribute that blew me and every other viewer away. She sang with heart, passion, grace and purity. She channeled the essence of Julie Andrews throughout the entire performance. It was completely unexpected.
The question surrounding my mind during that performance was whether Julie Andrews would be at the Oscars to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of her Oscar win. During Lady Gaga’s standing ovation, Dame Julie Andrews herself walked on stage (causing me to hyperventilate) and gave a long, emotional, tearful hug to Lady Gaga mouthing the words, “You were spectacular.”
Imagine if Julie Andrews complimented you on your rendition of her song. I, along with the entire audience, was brought to tears. After this performance, there wasn’t much excitement left in the show. Even the presentations of the final awards were underwhelming.
So it seems that the best part of the Oscars this year weren’t even the awards themselves. This was a relatively low-key year for film as many of the movies nominated were under the radar despite how amazing the performances were. However, as always, the most memorable Oscar moments were the ones that were spontaneous and created Internet conversation for the rest of the year, or just the rest of the evening.