Emma Champion’s 2015 Annual Oscar© Report

Oscars 2015 logo

All eyes are on LA’s Dolby Theatre tonight as the world’s press and fans alike gather in gaggles to gawk, gasp and gaze at the Glitterati arriving for Oscar© 87!  My wine is perfectly chilled and poured, my popcorn is warm and ready, and I am ready for all that the evening promises to deliver.

I first stayed up all night to watch the live stream of the Oscar© Ceremony back in 1998, because I was a massive fan of James Cameron’s Titanic (as I still am) and it was nominated in 14 categories.  It won 11.  But what I wasn’t expecting was how taken I would be with the general splendour of Oscar© night.  And from that year forward, I have stayed up all night every year to watch the awards as they unfold.  Here in the UK, the ceremony begins at 1.30am, and doesn’t really finish until approximately 5.00am.  It requires dedication – the booking of the following Monday off of work to recover, the paying of a fee to my digital service provider to switch on the channel carrying the show, the frantic typing of live-posting the winners on social media whilst simultaneously producing a play-by-play transcript of the ceremony…I have pledged myself to this task with no reward other than the sheer joy of feeling a part of it.

As ever, I shall begin with observations from the red carpet, courtesy of E! Entertainment, The Guardian, ABC and The Telegraph:

Naomi Watts in a risqué silver/grey Armani Privé gown with a pattern resembling a brick wall…Patricia Arquette in an interesting off-the-shoulder monochrome dress…Dakota Johnson in vivid, red, floor-length, YSL gown, admitting to Ryan Seacrest that she kept a ‘flogger’ from the set of 50 Shades of Grey…JK Simmons arriving dressed in what can only be described as ‘Wild West Chic’…defying age at every turn, Julianne Moore arrives in a figure-hugging cream Chanel Couture gown with train…Sienna Miller looking gorgeous in a black, strappy Oscar de la Renta…Felicity Jones in a stunning silver/grey halter gown by Alexander McQueen with flowing wedding-esque skirt…Rosamund Pike wearing a strapless, scarlet dress that she describes as looking like a bouquet of Roses…Rita Ora in a Marchesa, black and gold, fishtail gown…Reese Witherspoon sporting a dramatic yet simple white structured gown with black trim.  However, she has taken to Twitter using the Hashtag #AskMeMore to encourage journalists to ask her something other than ‘who are you wearing?’  Witherspoon describes this as a ‘movement’.  Way to take the fun out of it, Reese…Jennifer Lopez in a flesh tone, a-line gown with plunging neckline, being told by a journalist that this is actually the 20th Oscar night she has attended, reacting with shock…

To coin an overused phrase from Sky Movies’ blander-than-porridge fashion ‘expert’ Alexa Chung, this year’s red carpet has been a bit ‘snoozy’.  Let’s hope the ceremony itself packs a little more oomph.  With that, lets pour another glass of red and get down to it, as it very much were…


Host Neil Patrick Harris opens with a song written by Frozen songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez.  He is joined on stage by Anna Kendrick and Jack Black.  It’s actually brilliant.  Afterwards he claims the entire performance was improvised.

Lupita Nyong’o takes the stage to present Actor in a Supporting Role.

Best Supporting Actor

Robert Duvall, The Judge

Ethan Hawke, Boyhood

Edward Norton, Birdman

Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher

JK Simmons, Whiplash – WINNER

JK Simmons gives a great speech about appreciating your parents. “Don’t text, don’t email, CALL THEM,” he pleads.

Neil Patrick Harris takes the stage straight after, and sings, ‘He won an Oscar! Bum-ba-dum-bum-bum-bum-bum!’  Everyone laughs.  Including me.  It’s a welcome moment of daftness amidst all the pomp.

Liam Neeson is here to talk about the first two Best Picture nominees, The Grand Budapest Hotel and American Sniper.

50 Shades of Grey star Dakota Johnson takes the stage to introduce Best Song nominee, ‘Lost Stars’ from the movie Begin Again, performed by Adam Levine.

Jennifer Lopez and Chris Pine are here to present Achievement in Costume Design.

Best Costume Design

The Grand Budapest Hotel – WINNER

Inherent Vice

Into the Woods


Mr Turner

Reese Witherspoon arrives to present Achievement in Make-Up and Hair Styling.

Best Make-Up & Hairstyling


The Grand Budapest Hotel – WINNER

Guardians of the Galaxy

Channing Tatum is here to talk about the winners of Team Oscar.

Nicole Kidman and Chiwetel Ejiofor arrive to present.

Best Foreign Language Film

Ida (Poland) – WINNER

Leviathan (Russia)

Tangerines (Estonia)

Timbuktu (Mauritania)

Wild Tales (Argentina)

Shirley MacLaine is here to talk about three more nominees for Best Picture: Boyhood, The Theory of Everything, and Birdman.

Neil Patrick Harris talks to some of the ‘Seat Fillers’ in the audience – people employed to sit in the stars’ seats whilst they are up on stage.  I want that job… he approaches Steve Carrell and implies he is only there in a seat-filling capacity.

Marion Cotillard presents a performance of ‘Everything Is Awesome’ from The Lego Movie.  Dancers hand out Oscars made of Lego to audience members, including Steve Carrell and Channing Tatum.  The performance is colourful, if a little bit embarrassing.  It is well received by the audience.

Carrie Washington and Jason Bateman arrive arm in arm to present Best Live Action Short and Documentary Short Subject.

Best Live Action Short


Boogaloo and Graham

Butter Lamp (La Lampe Au Beurre De Yak)


The Phone Call – WINNER

Best documentary short

Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1 – WINNER


Our Curse

The Reaper

White Earth

Viola Davis takes the stage to talk about a separate awards ceremony, The Oscars Governors Awards.

Gwyneth Paltrow appears in a baby pink gown – a nod to her famous winners’ gown, perhaps?  She introduces a performance of ‘I’m not gonna miss you’’ by Glen Campbell, from the movie I’ll Be Me.  Performed by Tim McGraw.

Neil Patrick Harris stages a skit where he failed to complete his costume change in the ad break.  He takes to the stage in just his boxers, opening with the line ‘Acting is a noble profession.’

Margot Robbie and Miles Teller introduce footage from the Scientific and Technical Awards.

Sienna Miller and Chris Evans present Best Sound Mixing and Editing.

Best Sound Mixing

American Sniper




Whiplash – WINNER

Best Sound Editing

American Sniper – WINNER


The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies



Jared Leto arrives to present Actress in a Supporting Role.  He jokes that Meryl Streep is nominated ‘in accordance with state law.’ She put her head in her hands as everyone laughs.

Best Supporting Actress

Patricia Arquette, Boyhood – WINNER

Laura Dern, Wild

Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game

Emma Stone, Birdman

Meryl Streep, Into the Woods

Josh Hutcherson takes the stage to introduce nominated musical number ‘Grateful’ from the movie Selma, performed by Rita Ora.  She does a fantastic job.

Ansel Elgort and Chloe Grace Moretz arrive to present the Visual Effects award.  They both look like they’re twelve playing dress-up.

Best Visual Effects

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Guardians of the Galaxy

Interstellar – WINNER

X-Men: Days of Future Past

Kevin Hart and Anna Kendrick arrive to present Best Animated Short.

Best Animated Short

The Bigger Picture

The Dam Keeper

Feast – WINNER

Me and My Moulton

A Single Life

Zoe Saldana and Dwayne Johnson arrive to present Best Animated Feature. ‘The Rock’ talks about how he always remembers crying at the end of The Lion King.  Saldana points out he would’ve been in his twenties.  He moves the conversation on swiftly.

Best Animated Feature

Big Hero 6 – WINNER

The Boxtrolls

How to Train Your Dragon 2

Song of the Sea

The Tale of Princess Kaguya

Cheryl Boon-Issacs, The president of the Academy, arrives on stage.  She makes a encouraging speech about not giving in to fear.

Chris Pratt and Felicity Jones take to the stage to present the award for Production Design.

Best Production Design

The Grand Budapest Hotel – WINNER

The Imitation Game


Into the Woods

Mr Turner

Idris Elba and Jessica Chastain arrive to announce the award winner for Achievement in Cinematography.

Best Cinematography

Birdman – WINNER

The Grand Budapest Hotel


Mr Turner


Meryl Streep is here to introduce the ‘In Memoriam’ segment.  Notable inclusions are Mickey Rooney, James Garner, James Rebhorn, Richard Attenborough, Robin Williams, Lauren Bacall and Bob Hoskins.  It is rounded off with a powerful musical performance from Jennifer Hudson.

Naomi Watts and Benedict Cumberbatch present Achievement in Film Editing.

Best Film Editing

American Sniper


The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Imitation Game

Whiplash – WINNER

Terence Howard takes the stage to talk about more Best Picture Nominees – Whiplash, Selma and The Imitation Game.  However, he seems to struggle through his script due to technical difficulties, and tries to cover it up with fake, genuine awe for the nominees.  Embarrassing.

Jennifer Aniston and David Oyelowo arrive to announce the winner of Best Documentary Feature.

Best Documentary Feature

CitizenFour – WINNER

Finding Vivian Maier

Last Days in Vietnam

The Salt of the Earth


Octavia Spencer is here to introduce a performance of ‘Glory’ from the movie Selma, performed by John Legend and rapper Common.  It gets a standing ovation and reduces several actors in the audience to tears, including Chris Pine.

*A nod to John Travolta’s famous ‘Adele Dazeem’ line fluff last year*

Neil Patrick Harris takes the stage.  “Benedict Cumberbatch,” he says.  “It’s not only the most awesome name in show business, but it’s also the sound you get when you ask John Travolta to announce Ben Affleck.”  His BEST joke of the night.  He then announces Idina Menzel, who introduces John Travolta as “Glom Gazingo.”  He replies, “I deserved that.”  “It’s okay,” she says, “It’s not like it’s going to follow me around for the rest of my life or anything.”  Travolta nods. “Tell me about it,” he replies.  He then says her name correctly as an act of redemption, which gets a cheer from the crowd, whom he asks, “Was that right?”  When it comes to announcing the winner of Best Song, Travolta says to Menzel, “You do it.”

Best Song

‘Everything is Awesome’, The Lego Movie

‘Glory’, Selma – WINNER

‘Grateful’, Beyond the Lights

‘I’m Not Gonna Miss You’, Glen Campbell… I’ll Be Me

‘Lost Stars’, Begin Again

Scarlett Johansson introduces a tribute to The Sound of Music performed by…Lady Gaga (?).  An odd combination perhaps, but she is wonderful.  The special medley of beloved tunes is delivered flawlessly.  She gets a well-deserved standing ovation.  Julie Andrews then comes on stages applauding her.  They embrace.  The audience goes nuts.  Andrews stays to announce the winner of Best Musical Score.

Best Music

The Grand Budapest Hotel – WINNER

The Imitation Game


Mr Turner

The Theory of Everything

Eddie Murphy is here!  He announces the winner of the Original Screenplay category.

Best Original Screenplay

Birdman – WINNER



The Grand Budapest Hotel


Oprah Winfrey is the next presenter.  She announces the adapted screenplay winner.

Best Adapted Screenplay

American Sniper

The Imitation Game – WINNER

Inherent Vice

The Theory of Everything


Writer Graham Moore gives a very moving speech dedicated to ‘that kid out there who doesn’t think they fit in anywhere.’ He adds, “I promise you, you do.”  He gets a standing ovation.

Ben Affleck has arrived!  He’s here to announce the winner of Achievement in Directing.

Best Director

Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Alejandro G Inarritu, Birdman – WINNER

Richard Linklater, Boyhood

Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher

Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game

They are storming through the awards now.  Next to present is Cate Blanchett, in the category of Actor in a Leading Role.

Best Actor

Steve Carell, Foxcatcher

Bradley Cooper, American Sniper

Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game

Michael Keaton, Birdman

Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything – WINNER

Last year’s Best Actor Matthew McConaughey is here to announce the winner of Actress in a Leading Role.

Best Actress

Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night

Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything

Julianne Moore, Still Alice – WINNER

Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl

Reese Witherspoon, Wild

Neil Patrick Harris’ Oscar Predictions skit falls flat.

Sean Penn arrives to announce the winner of Best Picture.

Best Picture

American Sniper

Birdman – WINNER


The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Imitation Game


The Theory of Everything



And that is that.  For another year, I must wave my friend Oscar goodbye.  Farewell, Buddy.  May we one day meet in person.  Until that day, I will remain dedicated to the cause.  See you all in 2016!