Oscars 2015: Best and Worst Moments

It was a very good night for TV actors at the 2015 Academy Awards — with Patricia Arquette (Medium, CSI: Cyber), J.K. Simmons (Oz, The Closer, Law & Order) and even Julianne Moore (As the World Turns) and Eddie Redmayne (The Pillars of the Earth) snagging the four major acting prizes.

And yet only two members of that elite quartet made our gallery of the 20 Best and Worst Moments from the Oscars’ nearly four-hour telecast.

Instead, we found ourselves reeling from Lady Gaga’s Sound of Music tribute, Adele Dazim’s sporting gesture and a perfectly tear-jerking rallying cry from The Imitation Game‘s clear and present screenwriter.

Also on our radar? Host Neil Patrick Harris’ hat-tip to Jennifer Aniston and David Oyelowo, not one but two tighty-whitey moments, a righteous Meryl Streep-J.Lo collaboration and an unexpected reminder of the brilliant-but-cancelled Red Band Society.

So, click through the gallery below for our Best and Worst picks, then hit the comments with your cheers, jeers and complaints about any highlights we might’ve missed!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Sara says:

    Best – award season’s finally over. I can’t wait for my Sunday shows to return, especially The Good Wife

  2. As a strong, independent, single mom, I applaud Patricia Arquette for her shout out for wage equality for women!

    • DarkDefender says:


    • lkh says:

      sure–and what was the name of the movie nominated for best picture that had a woman as the protagonist? or perhaps we can see screen time being the same for male and female actors? no? well than, equal pay. dreaming of the day…

      • She wasn’t asking for a raise herself, more or less, asking for women in general. Women have been underpaid for years and still are. Men are continuously receiving better pay, even when a women could do the job much better, all because she’s a women. Women are denied better paying jobs, because they are a women.

        • lkh says:

          I totally understand that. What I’m saying is that even in her profession, this isn’t happening–people believe there has been progress there also, but there really hasn’t. In my job which requires very ‘strong’ credentials so to speak, when I started women made 70% or what men earned. After many, many years, it was 73%. There wasn’t a discrepancy in job type or level, they were the same jobs. So I emphasized entertainment because that what’s we were discussing. It occurs everywhere. If you want to see what has happened, watch ‘Makers’ on PBS. Even when they ‘get’ the same job, they don’t get the same pay. It’s so well documented that it can’t even be questioned. I didn’t think she was asking for a raise herself–but why not? So, my comments were: women don’t get the same screen time as men-by a lot. Movies where women are leads, don’t get the same recognition-with a very few exceptions. My point was none of the nominated pictures had female leads. So women don’t get the ‘same’ anything. You are preaching to the choir.

    • jim says:

      award show or political bulls–t?

    • Lucifer says:

      The gender wage gap is a myth. It has been debunked by many notable people including feminist author and professor Christina Hoff Sommers. Women are not paid less money for the same job as men for simply being women, and if they are it is a federal offense. Many factors go into why the gap does not exist, but the main reasons are due to choice of profession and time spent working. It baffles me to why gender activists continue pushing debunked statistics and injustices rather than actually push the real ones.

  3. Kate says:

    How did they run 40 minutes over? There was so much filler. I was surprised they didn’t cut some of it to wrap it sooner.

    • Rebecca says:

      I love the Oscars, but I can’t remember a time it is went that over. It was kinda ridiculous.

    • smartysenior says:

      Did you see how slowly the winners got up from their seat, kissed everybody around, then strolled slowly waaaaaay down the aisle, finally meandering up to the stage? It ran overtime because everybody was in slow motion. It was so oddly weird and rude and boring.

  4. DarkDefender says:

    Idina Menzel looked stunning. Props to Streep (and the Streep adjacent, JLo) for the solidarity with Patricia Arquette (best speech of the night). I’m sure Birdman was everything people are saying it is (and I’ll definitely go see it now), but The Imitation Game was my favorite film this year and besides, who doesn’t love Benedict Cumberbatch?

    • DarkDefender says:

      On a side note: Worst snub.. Not putting Joan Rivers into the Memoriam.
      Also, was it just me or did they make Robin Williams look like Scott Bakula (circa Quantum Leap)

      • dragons3 says:

        The “In Memorium” at the Oscars is for people in the film industry. Joan Rivers wasn’t a movie star. She was TV, stage and Comedy Circuit.

        • Betty says:

          She may not have been a movie star but she made the Red Carpet show before the ceremony as important as the awards themselves. AND she wrote and produced Rabbit Test with Billy Crystal.

          Also missing from the Memorium was Elaine Strich who while better known for her work in the Theater had made several movies over the course of her career,

        • Ro says:

          She was also the voice of Dot Matrix in Space Balls.

        • lkh says:

          I think she made a couple of movies-maybe. Didn’t they show some business/management types?

    • Nancy says:

      Don’t bother to see Birdman, it was horrible. Save your money.

      • Uzi says:

        Thank you! Totally overrated. I’m still trying to figure out the significance of the drums…

      • Gabrielle W says:

        I second this comment about Birdman. I’m not going to any movies in the theaters this year, because unless I can fast forward a movie, I refuse to sit through an entire movie as awful as Birdman was. The other contenders were so much better than Birdman.

    • Meghan says:

      Who doesn’t love Benedict Cumberbatch? ME!!!
      I’m grateful he didn’t win, because his fangirls would be unbearable if he had won.

  5. Appalled says:

    Worst: When Sean Penn said “who gave this son of a b#$&# his green card before announcing Birdman for best movie. So rude!

  6. big cheddar says:

    Graham Moore’s speech moved me to tears. A genuinely beautiful moment. I hope that message got through to a few people tonight.

  7. Ron says:

    On the whole, it was kinda boring, but it’s the Oscars so no surprise there. HOWEVER, there were some truly amazing, touching moments. It’s difficult to pick just one, from Patricia Arquette’s speech, to Graham Moore’s speech, to Lady Gaga’s performance and subsequent Julie Andrew embrace. But, for me, I think the thing that moved me the most was the entire collective of John Legend and Common performing and then immediately winning for ‘Glory.’ It is such a powerful song and they perform it with so much heart. And seeing the crowd in tears and on their feet was goosebump-inducing. I want to give a shout-out to Chris Pine, who was in tears after the performance and one of the first on his feet after John and Common’s acceptance speech. Seeing Chris’s emotions like that, openly wearing his heart on his sleeve was one of the most memorable things for me tonight.

    • Ron says:

      As well as David Oyelowo finding solace in Oprah after the performance. So many powerful feelings being felt and shown. It goes to show just how one song can be life-changing.

    • Kld says:

      It was very moving until Common said Ferguson Hands Up. That totally ruined it.

      • Rebecca says:

        Agreed! I’m from St. Louis and why does it have to be brought up in everything?!? I fast forwarded through the rest of the song after that.

  8. Jon88 says:

    About Cumberbatch: The camera was on him for the shot with the flask a moment later (at the top of NPH’s song); the cutaway to which you object might have been a slip-up. As for Terrence Howard, the problem seemed to be that the teleprompter wasn’t working, and he was up the creek without it.

    • Sara says:

      I kind of thought the Cumberbatch thing was more that he was wearing all white and the camera had just been on him for the flask joke.
      And I thought that Terrence Howard got ahead of himself and thought he was about to introduce Selma then looked at the teleprompter and realized that The Imitation Game was actually what was up next.

    • dan says:

      I got the impression that Terrence Howard had tried to memorize his speech instead of using the Teleprompter. I felt like he did the first introduction then forgot the second one and had to find the Teleprompter to get back on track. It was an awkward moment for sure!

  9. Maggiejen says:

    Tired of racist jokes against white people. Maybe Tyler perry make movies of substance instead cashing in on madea movies, which are very funny.

  10. I stopped watching the Oscars several years ago. BOOOOOOOORING.

  11. Steve F. says:

    Aw, no mention of NPH’s ad-lib after J.K. Simmons won his award? Or Jared Leto’s joke about “…four talented nominees – and by the statutes of California law, Meryl Streep”?

  12. Sara says:

    Cynicism alert: Jennifer Lopez seemed to only react that way because Meryl reacted in such a manner (though, I honestly thought Meryl’s reaction was heartfelt.) Jennifer Lopez waited a moment, realized the camera was on her and suddenly went nuts with Meryl.

    • Deo says:

      My thoughts exactly. Watching her react with THAT MUCH enthusiasm seemed kinda “put on” for me. Could be sincere though, it’s just for me, it made her seem fake. (I like Jlo any other day.)

  13. Truefan says:

    Lady Gaga’s tribute to The Sound of music was stunning. She is awesome. The moment when Julie Andrew came out to hug her was really emotional.
    I was also touched by the woman who spoke about the suicide of her son and the young guy who said he almost committed suicide when he was 16 because he was different. These were the moments I remembered.
    The rest of it was business as usual. Altho’ I thought Eddie Redemeyer’s acceptance speech was cute.

    • Ron says:

      The lady who talked about her son’s suicide was very emotional. And I think what I appreciated most was that when she started to talk about it, they stopped playing the cut-off music. Respect to the orchestra/Oscars for doing that and allowing her to have her moment to express her heart to the world without interruption.

  14. Kris says:

    You knew it was going to run way over when in the first half hour only 1 person had won an oscar. An hour into the program only 5 had won an oscar. Every year it runs way over & this year was no exception. I found it quite boring compared to other years.

  15. Wendy says:

    So, so happy for J.K. Simmons. Loved his speech about talking to one’s parents, too. Who know the man who played the awesome Dr. Skoda, among so many other great roles, would end up with an Oscar? Kudos, sir! Of course, the fact that he’s an actor who doesn’t feel it’s beneath him to do commercials – a la Farmers Insurance and, even cooler, as the voice of the Yellow Peanut M&M – makes him even cooler, to me.

  16. mtevenan says:

    You forgot to give props to Jennifer Hudson… That song was originally sung on Smash, after all!!

  17. Larry C. says:

    The Oscars is not the place for social/political comments. I have no respect for Patricia Arquette and John Legend. I bet she is making more than minimum wage for her upcoming tv show. She’s just your typical, Hollywood liberal. She can appear magnanimous shouting out while holding her gold-plated Oscar. It all garnered her more media attention. As for John Legend, if he has such negative feelings about this country, he is welcome to leave. The only reason his song won was Hollywood’s guilt for not having nominated SELMA for major awards. Its nomination for best picture was a bone tossed to those involved. As for the song, you won’t hear it again after tonight. They no longer write songs that become standards. The category is obsolete and ridiculous. When was the last time you heard IT’S HARD OUT THERE FOR A PIMP?

    • safado says:

      Social and political comments have been made at the Oscars as long as I can renember–where have you been? If the comments were conservative, you’d be fine with them, I’m sure. And Selma was a fine and moving film.

      Are there still songs that become standards?

    • Betty says:

      I seem to remember Marlon Brando not even accepting one of his Oscars (The Godfather, I believe). He sent a Native American to accept the award on his behalf to raise awareness of them being pushed onto Reservations. The Oscars have been a platform for politics for years, if you don’t like it maybe you shouldn’t watch.

      • Larry C. says:

        I do remember the Brando incident. If you recall, he was severely criticized at the time even by folks in Hollywood who said what I said about Arquette. This isn’t the time or place for politics. Say “thank you” and get off the stage. Need I add that Michael Moore was even booed for his political rant.

      • Lucifer says:

        Brando’s stance was actually real, the fight for wage equality has already been fought and won. The wage gap is nonexistent and has been debunked by many notable people including Christina Hoff Sommers, a feminist author and professor. And the “injustices” that John Legend and Common claim exist are nowhere near as prominent or race-specific as their little hearts wish.

  18. Julie says:

    Benedict Cumberbatch: it’s not only the most awesome name in show business, it’s also what you get when John Travolta pronounces Ben Affleck.

  19. Marco says:

    That photo of Meryl Streep giving the fascist salute is uncomfortable to say the least.

  20. Kaige says:

    Joan’s absence was noticed, but it was worth it! She really had a way of feeling ugly about herself on the red carpet, it’s no wonder trying to look young killed her… Of course didn’t deserve to be on the Oscars memoriam..

  21. jim says:

    Neil whatever his name is was the worst host ever..his opening remark “the whitest…I mean brightest crowd.. gay and sick…then his coming out in his undies..did nothing for me maybe for other types of “men”. Tim McGraw and Lady Gaga were the best, she amazed me, ok I’m done. Thank God for freedom of speech, enjoy it now while you can

    • H says:

      “…did nothing for me” — it’s not always about pleasing the fantasies and wants of the heterosexual man. What a stupid thing to say, especially considering that there are so many shows/movies not to mention the majority of adverts that go out of their way to cater to your demographic all the while leaving the majority of the planet out.

    • Timmah says:

      I thought that Tim McGraw song was terrible. But, I’ve never heard it before… maybe it’s not supposed to have a discernible melody.

  22. albertj15 says:

    I want equal pay with Patricia Arquette. You get payed what you are worth. The 2 woman I work with get the same rate I get.

    • Leo D says:

      Hard to take seriously when its coming from someone who makes more money than 95% of males in this country. Tom Bradys wife makes a lot more than he does, and all she does is pose……lol. On a more serious note, there are 3 females in my office, that have bn employed with less time than me, yet make more than me because they appeal to management…….Is that fair? Isn’t that a bit of discrimination? I can find thousands of women that make more than there male equals, solely based on looks and flirtations.

  23. Jan says:

    You guys did a good job of picking out the highlights. I was near tears after Graham Moore’s speech. I was blown away by Gaga, but (apparently unlike you) also enjoyed J Hudson and most of the Best Song nominee performances.

  24. Timmah says:

    Glory and Gaga were the highlights for me. The rest of the show pretty much stunk.

  25. Leo D says:

    Very disappointed to see that the actors/actresses used the Oscars as a platform for political views. I couldn’t tell if I was watching an award show or the nations State of Address. I’m even more dissapointed that the Acadamy allowed this. End result….. I will boycott watching this next year.