By Olivia Byrnes
Assistant editor of production
Did you tune in to ABC on Sunday Feb. 22 to watch the 87th Academy Awards? If you did, then you would have seen awards, controversial acceptance speeches, and a new host: Neil Patrick Harris.
Harris hosted the Tony Awards and the Emmys previously, but this was his first time hosting the Oscars. He opened the show with a big interactive performance that included singing, dancing, and other actors and actresses. “I liked his opening number, but his little jokes in between each presenter and award weren’t very funny,” said sophomore Jamie Rieger. Junior Connor Evans disagreed, saying that Harris was really funny throughout the whole show, and freshman Marcos Petkopoulos loved Harris as a host and thought he was “hilarious.”
Jamesville-DeWitt High School students didn’t seem very familiar with the winners for the major awards such as Best Picture and Best Actor and Actress. “Birdman”, a movie about a retired actor who tries to restart his career, won Best Picture. “I watched five of the movies up for Best Picture, and I can see why Birdman won. It really appealed to the critics,” said Petkopoulos. Eddie Redmayne won Best Actor for his performance as Stephen Hawking in “The Theory of Everything” and Julianne Moore won Best Actress forher performance as Alic Howard in “Still Alice.” “I only saw ‘The Theory of Everything,’ but I thought (Redmayne) definitely deserved the award,” said sophomore Eva Dougherty. The major awards are usually most talked about after the show, but this year the controversial acceptance speeches from winners seemed to draw the biggest reactions from viewers.
The Best Supporting Actress winner Patricia Arquette shared her views on women’s rights after accepting her award. Her speech included her opinions on the gender pay gap which sparked controversy “It’s our (women) time to have wage equality once and for all,” said Arqueete during her speech. “I liked the thought of it, but it was a little out of place,” said Rieger of Arquette’s speech. John Legend and Common also spoke about racism after winning the award for Best Original Song from the movie” Selma,” “There are more black men under correctional control today than were under slavery in 1850," said Legend during his speech. Both these speeches left J-DHS Students surprised, but brought into important issues perspective. “It was meaningful, important, and I think it was good that they said it,” said freshman Abbie Leavitt about both speeches.
With all award shows there is buzz about who was best dressed and who was worst. Students all agreed that Lupita Nyong’o’s customized dress was complete with 6,000 pearls. “I had never seen a dress like that,” said Leavitt. Dougherty also agreed, but she thought Jennifer Aniston and Rosamund Pike “looked really pretty.” Freshman Kathryn Arendt also thought Pike’s red rose covered dress really “fit her well.”
“Birdman,” Redmayne, and Moore may have been the winners of the most prestigous and sought after awards this year, but Arquette, Legend, and Common may have been the most influential and made the biggest impression on viewers. “Overall, it was a really entertaining show,” said Evans.