When it comes to hosting award shows, “Gone Girl” star Neil Patrick Harris has plenty of experience. Although Harris has successfully hosted 2 of Emmy Awards and 4 of Broadway’s Tony Awards, he arrived at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles as a first-time Oscars host. This may be his first time, but Harris’ hosting experiences allow him to soar high at the Academy Awards with his hilarious monologues. His jokes are slightly offensive but perhaps they can serve as a reminder for him because this year’s Oscars lasted nearly 4 hours, and not many people were happy about it.
As you’ve probably seen from the live updates on our own Twitter and Instagram, there are a number of Oscars moments that are worth the buzz.
Congratulations are in order for Alejandro González Iñárritu’s “Birdman” and Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel” as both movies won 4 Academy Awards at the Oscars. Patricia Arquette, Julianne Moore, Eddie Redmayne, and J.K. Simmons took home 4 major acting prizes and gave some inspiring acceptance speeches. However, an award show is incomplete without some satirical monologues and great performances in between.
From Lady Gaga’s tribute to “The Sound of Music” to a tear-jerking performance by Common and Legend, to the winners’ heart-wrenching acceptance speeches, take a look at some of the most memorable moments from this year’s Oscars telecast.
1. Neil Patrick Harris’ magical Disney-like opening number
Neil Patrick Harris, the first-time Oscars host kicked off the awards ceremony by delivering a hilarious opening monologue that addresses the racial controversy:
Tonight we celebrate Hollywood’s best and whitest – sorry, brightest.
After making a surprise appearance at the 82nd Academy Awards with an exciting musical number, the host pulled off the same trick by opening the ceremony with yet another awesome musical number called “Moving Pictures”, a song written by “Frozen” team Kristin and Robert Lopez.
During the performance, Harris found himself making “cameo” appearances in several screen classics including “Star Wars”, “The Wizard of Ox”, and “Avengers”. He was later joined on stage by Anna Kendrick before Jack Black interrupted their performance and belted out his solo.
2. Best real-life advice in acceptance speech
“Whiplash” star J.K. Simmons accepted the first award of the night, “Actor in a Supporting Role”. Instead of just thanking everyone for the award he earned, J.K. Simmons took the opportunity to give a life-changing advice to everyone.
Call your mom, call your dad. If you’re lucky enough to have a parent or two alive on this planet, call ’em. Don’t text, don’t email, call them on the phone. Tell them you love them. Thank them and listen to them for as long as they wanna talk to you.
Now, isn’t that a great advice?
3. Everything is awesome when Oprah receives a LEGO Oscars statue
So, the Oscars admitted that everything about brick flick “The LEGO Movie” is awesome because the movie once again won our hearts with a high-energy performance of the movie anthem, “Everything is Awesome”.
Despite being snubbed by the Oscars, the movie anthem is incredibly addictive that not even the Oscars can deny it.
Alongside dozens of backup dancers, Tegan and Sara performed the song with The Lonely Island and Questlove. Will Arnett even donned a Batman costume to deliver his Batman persona from the movie and sang, “Darkness! No parents!” However, the best part of the performance was when the dancers channeled their inner “Oprah” and handed out the LEGO Oscar statues to the attendees including Oprah Winfrey. Yes, they totally went like, “You get a Lego! And you get a Lego! And you get a Lego statue!”
4. Patricia Arquette
One of the moments that deserved a standing ovation was when Patricia Arquette started addressing the issue of gender equality. The actress won the “Best Supporting Actress” award but as soon as she thanked everyone she needed off a list, she used her remaining time on stage by delivering an oh-so-inspiring speech on equal pay for every woman in the United Sates of America.
We have fought for everybody else’s equal rights. It is our time to have wage equality once and for all — and equal rights for women in the United States of America.
Very quickly, everyone stood up and gave a round of applause for her courage. Meryl Steep and Jennifer Lopez were seen freaking out over her speech and gave their utmost support to the actress.
5. Neil Patrick Harris’ “Birdman” spoof
Harris just had to do this. One of the most iconic scenes in the “Birdman” movie was when Michael Keaton’s character ran through New York City’s Times Square in nothing but his underwear.
Thus, Harris decided to spoof “Birdman” by reenacting the scene. With his bodacious bod, he unashamedly went on stage in his tight whities (bulge alert!) and black socks to poke fun at Michael Keaton’s persona in the Oscar-winning “Birdman”.
6. A standing ovation for Common and John Legend’s “Glory”
Ava DuVernay’s “Selma” received critical acclaim and garnered heavy buzz for actor David Oyelowo and director Ava Duvernay, but the movie was only nominated for the “Best Picture” and “Best Original Song” awards. Despite being snubbed in the acting and the directing categories, Common and John Legend moved everyone including “Selma” star David Oyelowo and Oprah Winfrey to tears with their rousing rendition of the film’s nominated song, “Glory”.
The song went on to win “Best Original Song”, creating another Oscar-buzzworthy moment with a powerful acceptance speech from John Legend and Common:
We say Selma is now, because the struggle for justice is right now. We know that the voting rights, the act that they fought for 50 years ago is being compromised right now in this country today. We know that right now the struggle for freedom and justice is real. We live in the most incarcerated country in the world. There are more black men under correctional control today than were under slavery in 1850. When people are marching with our song, we want to tell you that we are with you, we see you, we love you, and march on.
That was a glorious speech, no doubt about it.
7. Lady Gaga’s tribute to the 50th Anniversary of “The Sound of Music”
Judging by how people were raving over Lady Gaga’s performance on my social media timeline, I believe Lady Gaga deserves an award for bringing an unexpected rendition of the “The Sound of Music” songs. While everyone was expecting Mama Monster’s eccentric performance, the singer surprised us instead and successfully grabbed our attention with her note-perfect medley from the 50-year-old musical.
We all know how talented she is but her 15-minute tribute is one of the reasons of why this year’s Oscars is worth watching. The best part of the performance? It was definitely when “The Sound of Music” star Julie Andrews came onstage afterwards and gave her a warm hug. Excuse us while we cry over this beautiful moment.
8. Most inspirational message from Graham Moore
Yet another acceptance speech was a buzzworthy moment and this time around, it came from “The Imitation Game” screenwriter Graham Moore. He won “Best Adapted Screenplay” for his Golden Globe-winning script and talked about his suicide attempts in his Oscars acceptance speech. He talked about Alan Turing, who never got the opportunity to stand on stage to make an acceptance speech because of his homosexuality.
He said it was “the most unfair thing” he ever heard and went on to reveal that he once tried to kill himself when he was 16. As most young adults are struggling with their paths, he encouraged young adults to “stay weird, stay different”. He added:
And then when it’s your turn and you are standing on this stage, please pass the same message to the next person who comes along.
The 87th Annual Academy Awards will air again on HBO (Astro Ch 411/431) Friday (27th Feb) at 11.10pm and Sunday (1st Mar) at 4.30pm.