The Oscars: top-five moments

Eddie Redmayne poses after winning the Best Actor in a Leading Role award for ''The Theory of Everything'' in the press room of the 87th Academy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015, at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. (Yang Lei/Xinhua/Zuma Press/TNS) Eddie Redmayne poses after winning the Best Actor in a
Leading Role award for ''The Theory of Everything'' in the press
room of the 87th Academy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015,
at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. (Yang Lei/Xinhua/Zuma
Press/TNS)

The 87th Annual Academy Awards were held on Sunday in Hollywood celebrating the best of the best in film this year, with the majority of Hollywood royalty gathered in one place to see who would win, who would lose and what the night would hold overall. While there were no shortage of moving speeches, laugh-out-loud moments (many courtesy of freshman Oscars host Neil Patrick Harris) and several surprise winners, here are my five best moments of the night.

5. Neil Patrick Harris' Opening Number

Harris started the night off in a grand fashion, performing a music number about the magic of motion pictures. The performance reminded those both in the audience and at home not only why movies are important, but why they’re so much fun to watch. Harris was joined by Anna Kendrick and Jack Black during the performance. While the song and dance number ended rather quickly, it was a fun and energetic way to start the show. It was reminiscent of the years when Billy Crystal served as host. While the energy from the number was impossible to translate through the entire show, Harris did his best to make sure it did, sprinkling some witty one-liners throughout the night. While he may not go down as the greatest host of all time, I thought he made an honest effort and for the most part did an excellent job tackling one of the most difficult gigs in all of show business.

4. Everything IS Awesome

Alrhough “The Lego Movie” failed to receive a nomination for Best Animated Picture, its catchy tune, “Everything Is Awesome,” did receive a nod for Best Original Song. Artists Tegan and Sara as well as comedy trio The Lonely Island took to the stage to perform the hit, and the moment made for one of the best of the night. A large dance group of construction workers, cowboys and other nods to the film took the stage as well, journeying into the audience to give select celebrities (read: Oprah) Lego Oscars. Although John Legend and Common’s moving track "Glory" took home the statue, it was great to see one of the year’s catchiest songs performed.

3. Lady Gaga’s Tribute to Julie Andrews

Honestly, hearing Gaga perform in a stripped-down manner was a breath of fresh air. People forget the singer was classically trained, but seeing her perform like that was fantastic. Her vocals were spot-on and the moment was made even more special when Andrews herself took the stage and commended Gaga. It must have been a great moment for Gaga to finally be seen as raw version of herself, showing that she doesn’t need her absurd wardrobe to make a performance memorable.

2. The Memorable Speeches

While the night was full of great speeches, several really stood out in my mind. Whether it was Julianne Moore proclaiming that there was no BEST actress or J.K. Simmons's heartfelt reminder to call your parents, the night’s speeches were as memorable as ever. The real star of the night was “The Imitation Game” scribe Graham Moore, who bravely spoke about his attempt to take his own life at age 16 for being different. Moore dedicated his speech to anyone who felt the same way and encouraged them to continue to be themselves. Moore’s heartfelt speech managed to be, in a night of many great ones, the best speech of the night.

1. “Birdman” takes Top Prize

While “Birdman” and “Boyhood” were certainly the front runners going into the night, “Birdman” came out on top, winning Best Picture. While “Boyhood” was just as ambitious, “Birdman” clicked on all levels and was more than deserving of the win.

Contact this reporter at: seweinst@asu.edu or on Twitter: @S_Weinstein95.

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