Dopey Cumberbatch to creepy Travolta: Top 10 Oscar moments

  • Sanya Panwar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Feb 24, 2015 08:57 IST

Oscars can be long. At over three-when-on-earth-will-they-end-hours (easily five hours, if you count the red carpet), it is probably the longest award show in the world. And first-time Academy Award nominee Benedict Cumberbatch knew that all too well. But before we start off on how he made us fall for him, and his unrefined ways (yet again), here's what we have for you: All the moments that saved us from the super boring, super long and super self-involved award gala, driven sideways into a ditch by host Neil Patrick Harris (NPH), of all people.

1 So, Cumberbatch came prepared and did exactly what we expect of him: Save us from boredom and give us something to talk about. During host NPH's opening monologue, the camera cut to the Best Actor nominee to show him taking a swig from a flask. And the man with that posh British accent and an angular face really didn't care! We have proof.

2 Opening with a musical number was to be expected from NPH, who has found great success in hosting the Tony Awards and even winning in 2014 for his stirring turn in the musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch. But boy, did Neil Patrick Harris and Anna Kendrick shine at the Oscars opener? A big definite yes. "Today we honour Hollywood's best and whitest... I mean brightest," began Harris in a nod to the much-discussed lack of nominations for people of colour in the years' ceremony. It was the only even-slightly political moment in the song-and-dance heavy monologue that involved numerous audience members. The performance included shadow dancing, holograms and graphics that made Harris look like a fly on the wall in a number of Oscar-nominated films, past and present.

3 Later in the ceremony, the hilarious NPH stripped down to his undies. He showed the world (or at least he tried) that he was committed to his Oscars host gig, when he did a funny spoof where he walked through the halls of the Dolby Theatre in nothing but tighty-whitey undies, as photographers took his picture. Playing drums in the background was Whiplash star Miles Teller. When NPH passed him, he jokingly cut him off, saying, "Not my tempo" -- which was the line of Best Supporting Actor winner JK Simmons' Whiplash character Terence Fletcher. In the original clip, Riggan (Michael Keaton) is forced to run through Times Square in his underwear, pushing off fans asking for autographs in a clip that eventually goes viral.

4 Holding her first Oscar, Patricia Arquette leaned into the microphone. Her arms waved the paper with her notes on it. Yes, Arquette was a favourite to win Best Supporting Actress at the Oscars for representing badass single moms worldwide in Boyhood. But even better was her 'feminist' Oscars speech, in which she shouted out for equal pay and rights for women. Hundreds in the audience applauded Arquette's passionate plea, but Meryl Streep's reaction, which was our reaction, too, pretty much sums up everything.

5 Also, this happened at the Oscars red carpet. We don't know really know what to say about this Oscar red carpet moment when John Travolta went on to plant a kiss (putting it subtly) on Scarlet Johansson's cheek. See the creepy, haunting photo right here. Also, last year, Travolta had everyone talking about how he mangled the name of the beautiful and talented Idina Menzel. This year, the talented songstress got her revenge. On stage to announce the winner for the Best Original Song category on ABC's live stream of the Academy Awards, Idina Menzel was brought out to set up the gag. Sure enough, she announced that Glom Gazingo was to join her on stage. Being the good sport that he is, John Travolta walked out on to the stage and engaged in some playful patter with Menzel, showing that no hard feelings are in order. Still creepy, Travolta. Still creepy.

6 From photo-bombs to cute candid run-ins, there's no limit to the amount of red carpet shenanigans between celebrities at the Oscars. But this one is our favourite. Frankly, here's the celebrity friendship you didn't know existed, until right now. Presenting the new BFFS of Hollywood: Jennifer Aniston and Emma Stone. They are the cutest friends ever and embraced each other, after getting really silly doing their thing at the Oscar red carpet. We feel your love, ladies.

7 In the first joke of the gala, NPH compared the $300 million American Sniper has made at the box office to Oprah Winfrey. Congratulating this year's nominees for Best Picture, the host took note that American Sniper alone had raked in more at the box office than all the other nominees combined. "Congratulations to all the nominees, especially the 8 films up for Best Picture. They have grossed over $600 million," Harris said. "American Sniper alone is responsible for over $300 million of that, so congratulations. To put that in perspective, everyone on this side of the theater are the seven other nominees and American Sniper is Oprah." Oprah looked surprised when the camera was on her. And then NPH said this after a pause, "Because you're rich." Our girl Oprah did mouth back, but it was inaudible. But worry not, her epic reaction to the American Sniper dig proved yet again that she's one the biggest sports out there.

8JK Simmons took home his first best supporting actor Oscar for his performance in Whiplash. But what made us sit up and take notice of the first-time nominee was his acceptance speech. Did he top last year's most-talked about Matthew McConaughey speech? Not really. But he did strike an emotional cord, when the 60-year-old, who has three children with his wife of 19 years, used his time on stage to encourage people to have more human interaction, especially with your parents. "... And if I may, call your mom, everybody. I've told this [to], like, a billion people, or so. Call your mom, call your dad. If you're lucky enough to have a parent or two alive on this planet, call 'em. Don't text. Don't email. Call them on the phone. Tell 'em you love 'em, and thank them, and listen to them for as long as they want to talk to you," he said.

9 Let's now give it up for the most tear-jerking performance of Oscars 2015. The talented John Legend and Common received a standing ovation and brought tears to the eyes of actor David Oyelowo, who portrayed Martin Luther King Jr in Selma, along with a bunch of other audience members, including actor Chris Pines. The soaring ballad, Glory, at the heart of the movie Selma, won an award for best original song, moments after the performance. Powerful stuff indeed.

10 And we saved the best for last. After Lady Gaga delivered a Julie Andrews-approved performance celebrating The Sound of Music, the legendary Andrews made a surprise Oscars appearance and gave Gaga a big hug. And may we say, Lady Gaga nailed it during her tribute to the 50th anniversary of the The Sound of Music. The pop star plowed through song after song from the 1965 film, including Edelweiss, My Favorite Things and Sixteen Going on Seventeen. "Dear Lady Gaga," said Andrews, "Thank you for that wonderful tribute. It really warmed my heart. It's hard to believe that 50 years have gone by since that joyous film was released."

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