The 87th Academy Awards took place on Sunday Feb. 22 and—as always—some people won, some people lost and the red carpet pre-show was nearly insufferable. For those of you who didn’t watch the ceremonies but still want to be informed, here’s a quick rundown of who took home the gold. Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) won the Oscar for Best Picture.
Though the competition was stiff this year, Birdman certainly deserved the award. A unique picture, this black comedy sought to appear as a single tracking shot for close to the entirety of the film. That technical prowess almost certainly aided in its snagging Best Picture.
As many predicted, Best Actor went to Eddie Redmayne for his role as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. The intense physical and emotional character work Redmayne went through to perform this role allowed him to steal the Oscar away from the likes of Bradley Cooper, Michael Keaton, Steve Carell and Benedict Cumberbatch. It was a truly well deserved win for a seemingly shocked Redmayne.
Julianne Moore won the Best Actress award for her role as Alice Howland in Still Alice. I believed—and still believe—that this award belongs to Rosamund Pike for her role as Amy Dunne in the massively snubbed Gone Girl, but Moore put in a very skillful performance in her role.
Another unsurprising win was Patricia Arquette for Best Supporting Actress in Boyhood. Arquette was up against some truly brutal competition—including the legendary Meryl Streep—but in the end her grounded and honest portrayal of a mother attempting to do what’s right by her children while pursuing her own goals was enough to get her the gold.
Though I incorrectly predicted that Best Director would go to either Richard Linklater for Boyhood or Wes Anderson for The Grand Budapest Hotel, my reasoning behind choosing Anderson was proven solid by the night’s awards. Although The Grand Budapest Hotel didn’t win Best Picture or Director, it won in technical categories like Costume Design, Make-Up, Production Design and Music, proving that Wes Anderson’s world-building skills are nearly impossible to match. The award for Directing ended up going to Alejandro G. Iñárritu for Birdman.
The two biggest winners of the night were Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) and The Grand Budapest Hotel. While Birdman picked up Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography and Best Original Screenplay, The Grand Budapest Hotel swept the minor categories and both films ended the night with four Academy Awards. The biggest snub was probably Boyhood, which only won one award even though it was predicted to be a huge winner.
Ultimately, the four-hour ceremony was boring and largely predictable. Most of the winners had been clear frontrunners since the day they were nominated, and the twists were in categories that were always going to be hotly contested and hard to predict. The only interesting aspects of the ceremony were the speeches, which largely diverted into cries for social justice.
Overall, if you didn’t catch the Awards, don’t feel bad because you didn’t miss much.