Birdman triumphs at the Oscars

The Grand Budapest Hotel and Whiplash also scoop multiple awards.

by Jennie Kermode

Michael Keaton and Edward Norton in Birdman
Michael Keaton and Edward Norton in Birdman

Birdman - a film about an ageing actor trying to make a comeback by directing a play - won Best Picture at the Oscars tonight and also took Best Director for Alejandro Iñárritu, who received his award from future Batman Ben Affleck. He described it as "Like a slow motion moment in my life."

Eddie Redmayne seemed to be the only person surprised by his Best Actor win for playing Stephen Hawking in The Theory Of Everything, looking dazed as he took to the stage. Julianne Moore may not have surprised anyone by winning Best Actress - with her fifth nomination - but her almost completely clean sweep of Best Actress awards this season is a remarkable achievement. In her speech, she talked about Alzheimer's disease and the importance of research which is believed to be close to finding successful treatments and helping people like Alice. Wash Westmoreland recently spoke with us about working with her on the film.

Alice at Columbia University: "It worked so beautifully for that sequence of disorientation."
Alice at Columbia University: "It worked so beautifully for that sequence of disorientation."

Tonight's first result was JK Simmons, who won Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Whiplash. Patricia Arquette won Best Supporting Actress and used her speech - which soon went viral online - to make a fierce statement about the need for equal rights and equal pay for women. In Hollywood, the pay gap got a little smaller last year, but women still have far fewer opportunities - only 12% of lead characters in the top 100 films last year were female, although research has shown that audiences are not put off by female protagonists. Patricia was among those who recently talked to us about making Boyhood.

We were pleased but not surprised to see Ida win Best Foreign Language Film. Director Pawel Pawlikowski shared his thoughts on it with us a few months ago.

In Oscar fashion we saw the same trend for monochrome that was visible at the BAFTAs two weeks before, and there were also a few flowing blue gowns. Cate Blanchett combined the two with a slender black dress and heavy turquoise necklace, while designer Folake Kuye looked stunning in a slender blue satin dress with several layers of fringes. There were also splashes of silver, with Jamie Chung making a splash in a nude gown streaked with silver and Best Supporting Actress nominee Laura Dern wearing a custom-made beaded pewter coloured dress that must have taken days to construct and that moved like snakeskin.

Star of the moment Dakota Johnson, still making big box office with Fifty Shades Of Grey, wore a daring scarlet dress and was accompanied by her mother, Melanie Griffith, in elegant black. Marion Cotillard had a strong Sixties look with short, sleek hair and a white dress full of symmetrical round holes. Rosamund Pike wore a heavily textured red dress and the woman every fashion fan was waiting for, Lupita Nyong'o, looked elegant as ever in a white gown embroidered with 6,000 individual pearls by a designer from the Calvin Klein collection and accessorised with diamonds. Julianne Moore wore white sequins.

Most of the men were fairly simply dressed but Benedict Cumberbatch looked striking in a white suit, arm in arm with new wife Sophie, the two of them looking very much in love. Jared Leto, meanwhile, wore a very pale powder blue suit over a white shirt, with a pink carnation on his lapel, and carried his black umbrella (it was raining hard in Los Angeles) all the way along the red carpet to pose with it for the cameras.

Richard Linklater, managing to look casually dressed even in a suit, said he'd be happy whether or not he won because Boyhood had already done much better than he expected. He also hinted that he may be working on a sequel. David Oyelowo, meanwhile, was very gracious about not being nominated for Best Actor - something many fans are angry about - but said he thinks it's part of Selma's message that voters should always reflect the composition of society. Perhaps then we would see more nominations for black people and for women behind the camera.

Those results in full:-

Best Picture

Best Director

Best Actor

Best Actress

Best Supporting Actress

Best Supporting Actor

Best Animated Feature Film

Best Foreign Language Film

Best Documentary Feature

Best Live Action Short Film

  • The Phone Call

Best Documentary, Short Subject

  • Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1

Best Animated Short

  • Feast

Best Original Screenplay

  • Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr and Armando Bo, Birdman

Best Adapted Screenplay

Best Cinematography

Best Film Editing

Best Production Design

Best Visual Effects

  • Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter and Scott Fisher, Interstellar

Best Costume Design

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Best Sound Editing

Best Sound Mixing

  • Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins and Thomas Curley, Whiplash

Best Original Score

Best Original Song

  • Glory - Selma, Music and Lyrics by John Stephens and Lonnie Lynn

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