After an extremely long presentation of the 87th Academy Awards it’s obvious the show has lost its pizzazz. The glitz, glamour and glory that once offered exciting stories to movies lovers and moviegoers became a series of homogenized films about the same character in different plights, and then “Selma”. And with Neil Patrick Harris’ rough jokes in between awards, the show really had nothing going for it.
The Academy Awards flies or fails based on the host, and let’s face it: Neil Patrick Harris is not a comedian. Harris is a beloved actor, a talented performer and a gracious celebrity favorite. Everyone loves him, especially “How I Met Your Mother” fans. But he does a better job hosting the Tony’s compared to his attempts this year at the Oscars. It was unfortunate, and even though some of his jokes flew, there were no standout acts that made him a memorable Oscar host. Even though his edgy introductions threw some major shade at the Academy, his longstanding Oscars predictions skit turned into a summary that was ultimately rushed at the end along with all the important awards. But the show was thirty minutes longer this year. So how did that even happen?
Due to the lack of diversity in the nominations this year, notable snubs going to David Oyelowo and Ava DuVernay for their work in “Selma”, half of Twitter voiced their opinions with the #OscarsSoWhite movement. Over 90,000 tweets echoed opinions of why some felt left out of the award show by not seeing any people of colour in the actor and actresses categories. Some people went as far to boycott the Oscars to deprive the Academy viewership in rebuttal to their homogenized list of movies and people. Sadly, the only lick of diversity is seen in the big five awards was “Birdman’s” Director, now Academy Award Winner, Alejandro González Iñárritu. Ironically enough, one of the Oscar movies emphasizes progressiveness and dreams of diversity but over fifty years later there is still a diversity issue with the Academy. Dr. King is probably rolling over in his grave.
However the Oscars are still the most established award show and acknowledge good movies, shout out to “Whiplash”, “Birdman,” and “Selma”. But the awards themselves have become trophies that affirm an actor’s career. So much that the mere nomination is used as bragging rights on upcoming movie trailers featuring the actor. The inexplicable award given to Julianne Moore for her performance in “Still Alice” proves this trophy-like mentality. Yes, Moore deserved an Oscar; there is no doubt about that. However her role as Alice was less than par compared to her other acclaimed acting performances. Everyone knew she would win for the sole purpose of solidifying her career, but the Academy could have given her the Oscar for her performance in “Maps to the Stars” and it would have been more understandable. “Still Alice” was not Moore’s best performance and even though she deserved that award, an Oscar shouldn’t be an award to verify one’s talents but rather recognize a talented performance.
The only thing pulling that painful three and a half hour show was the underdog spirit of “Birdman”. Richard Linklater was probably holding his head in his hands after every possible award for “Boyhood”, minus Best Supporting Actress, was taken by the undeniable brilliance behind “Birdman”. From the screenwriters to the director, the speeches and excitement mirrored the same excellence the film had, making it a perfect selection for Best Picture. Besides “Birdman’s” triumph and a few award speeches, this year’s Academy Awards weren’t anything special.