Academy Awards 2015 – Full List of Winners

Here’s a simple list of all the winners of Oscars at the 87th Academy Awards last night. I’ve not included the other nominees as I think the lists elsewhere have become cumbersome. Keep it simple!

Best picture
Birdman

Best director
Alejandro González Iñárritu for Birdman

Best actor
Eddie Redmayne for The Theory of Everything

Best actress
Julianne Moore for Still Alice

Best supporting actor
J. K. Simmons for Whiplash

Best supporting actress
Patricia Arquette for Boyhood

Original screenplay
Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo – Birdman

Adapted screenplay
Graham Moore – The Imitation Game

Best documentary feature
Citizenfour – Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy, Dirk Wilutzky

Best foreign-language film
Ida – Paweł Pawlikowski

Best animated feature film
Disney’s Big Hero 6

Best animated short film
Disney’s Feast – Patrick Osborne, Kristina Reed

Best live-action short film
The Phone Call – Mat Kirkby, James Lucas

Best documentary short subject
Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1 – Ellen Goosenberg Kent, Dana Perry

Best production design
The Grand Budapest Hotel: Adam Stockhausen, Anna Pinnock

Best original song
Glory from Selma – Lonnie Lynn (Common), John Stephens (John Legend)

Best original score
Alexandre Desplat – The Grand Budapest Hotel

Achievement in sound mixing
Whiplash – Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins, Thomas Curley

Achievement in sound editing
American Sniper – Alan Robert Murray, Bub Asman

Achievement in costume design
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Milena Canonero

Achievement in makeup and hairstyling
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Frances Hannon, Mark Coulier

Achievement in visual effects
Interstellar – Paul J Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter, Scott R Fisher

Achievement in cinematography
Birdman: Emmanuel Lubezki

Achievement in film editing
Whiplash – Tom Cross

So there you go. I was really disappointed that “Everything Is Awesome” from The Lego Movie didn’t win Best Song, not least because the eventual winner was pretty dreadful (I talk about them here). I was happy about the Disney double of Big Hero 6 and Feast – both are excellent and I’ll no doubt be reviewing them on here when I get around to it. The really obvious ones won, of which for me there was only three: Eddie Redmayne for Best Actor, J. K. Simmons for Best Supporting Actor and Birdman for Achievement in Cinematography. That’s how tight it was elsewhere.

I’m thrilled that Birdman won Best Film over Boyhood and American Sniper. Birdman is a seriously effective piece of cinema and a work of art. It has things that appeal to the Academy: the struggling actor struggling to cope with his own relevance, a technically excellent piece of cinematography that (sort of) uses one shot, some fantastic performances from a range of excellent actors and actresses.

So today is for everyone to digest the results and look back on a fantastic year for cinema. Here’s to the next one.

Whiplash (Damien Chazelle, 2014)

In the history of cinema, there have been a small number of characters so full of evil they barely resemble human beings anymore. We’re talking Louise Fletcher’s Nurse Ratched, Ian McDiarmid’s The Emporer. I think we can add another one to the list after seeing Whiplash.

J. K. Simmons’s portrayal of jazz conductor Terence Fletcher is absolutely remarkable and his Oscar nomination is fully deserved. Channelling his previous performance as newspaper owner Jameson in the 2002-2007 Spiderman trilogy but taking it to another level, removing the caricatured anger and replacing it with psychopathic traits of real malice, we are treated to a truly great cinematic performance.

The story charts 19-year-old Andrew Neimann (Miles Teller) as a first-year jazz student at the prestigious (and fictitious) Shaffer Conservatory music school. He lands a place in Fletcher’s jazz orchestra, an orchestra renowned for both the high performance standard and intense rehearsal conditions. Happy to meet the challenge, Neimann quickly realises he’s going to be pushed beyond the limits to achieve the thing that all aspiring musicians crave: perfection.

Teller’s performance is very assured, showing admiral talents in both his musicianship (he’s a self-taught rock drummer though had lessons to learn jazz drumming) and his portrayal of a young man trying to find the strength to pursue his dream and avoid a nervous breakdown. He has a bright future in the business, and this is an excellent way to announce yourself to the wider industry.

The film has come under criticism from avid fans of jazz for misrepresenting particular anecdotes used in the film and apparently poor musicianship from the lead characters. I’m no fan of jazz so I won’t comment on something I’m not confident on, but from my point of view the abilities of the performers was not something I felt was detrimental to the film at all. Indeed, it made me want to explore jazz a little more. But anyone can see this film is not about jazz. It’s about bullying, using jazz as a medium to tell the story. The jazz industry would do well to not underestimate the audience so much as to assume they wouldn’t get that.

I can’t recommend this enough to fans of great character portrayal. If Simmons isn’t awarded with an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor next month it will be the wrong decision.

Whiplash is on general release globally now.