By Edson Valenzuela
The Oscars capped off another year in cinema Sunday night in a show with socially conscious acceptance speeches. Host Neil Patrick Harris offered genuine laughs throughout the evening with a fun-loving but deadpan delivery.
Birdman, directed by Mexican born auteur Alejandro González Iñárritu, was the big winner, taking home four awards, including for Best Picture and Best Director.
In his acceptance speech Iñárritu took a moment to recognize the plight of his countrymen stating “I want to dedicate this award for my fellow Mexicans,” said Iñárritu, “I pray that we can find and build a government that we deserve.”
A variety of issues were addressed by Oscar winners throughout the show. Both winners for actors in lead roles, Eddie Redmayne for his portrayal as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, and Julianne Moore for her performance in Still Alice, took turns on stage attempting to raise awareness for both ALS and Alzheimers in their speeches.
Best Supporting Actor winner J.K. Simmons implored everyone in attendance to phone their mothers during his speech, while Best Supporting Address Patricia Arquette said, “It’s time for gay people and people of color to fight for us now,” addressing women’s equality in the U.S.
After an emotional performance, Common and John Legend both took the stage to accept their award for Best Original Song Glory from Selma.
“We wrote this song for a film that was based on events that were fifty years ago but we say that Selma is now because the struggle for justice is right now,” Legend said.
The evening wasn’t completely about activism and Harris allowed the show to bounce back from serious moments to moments of silly fun as Hollywood celebrated the Academy Awards 87th awards show.