Highlights and Lowlights of the 87th Oscars

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At 3 hours and 43 minutes, it was the longest Oscar telecast aired within the last five years. The 2011 ceremony felt longer, but that was only because the Franco and Hathaway were a drag. I’d rather not join the public pillorying of Neil Patrick Harris because I still found him entertaining, even if some of his jokes fell flat. Besides, hosting the Oscars is one of Hollywood’s most thankless, most brutally-scrutinized gigs. It can either showcase the talent, or at the extreme, readily expose the flaws of even the most seasoned entertainers. NPH was a case of both extremes. His strength is being inherently funny; his weakness is not knowing when to stop (That prediction box gag was particularly dragging). Still, he knew how to put up a show.

It’s also a bittersweet surprise that Birdman (my personal favorite) won over Boyhood (the oddsmakers’ pick) for Best Picture. Weeks before the ceremony, the momentum seemingly belonged to Richard Linklater‘s coming-of-age saga – if even by just a tiny margin. Shockingly, Boyhood won only one award, versus Birdman‘s four. My over-analysis: the voters probably got over the fact that Boyhood 12-year production period and started seeing it as just another coming-of-age film. That probably made Alejandro G. Iñárritu‘s achievements feel fresher by comparison, hence the shift. I’m filing this under “sweet upset”.

Here’s the full list of winners (from Oscar’s official site).

And here are my thoughts on the telecast:

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