The 87th Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), honored the best films of 2014 and took place on February 22, 2015, at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California. During the ceremony, AMPAS presented Academy Awards (commonly referred to as Oscars) in 24 categories. The ceremony, televised in the United States by ABC, was produced by Neil Meron and Craig Zadan and directed by Hamish Hamilton. Actor Neil Patrick Harris hosted the ceremony for the first time.
In related events, the Academy held its 6th Annual Governors Awards ceremony at the Grand Ballroom of the Hollywood and Highland Center on November 8, 2014. On February 7, 2015, in a ceremony at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, the Academy Awards for Technical Achievement were presented by hosts Margot Robbie and Miles Teller.
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), and The Grand Budapest Hotel each won four awards, with the former film earning the Best Picture honor. Other winners include Whiplash with three, and American Sniper, Big Hero 6, Boyhood, Citizenfour, Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1, Feast, Ida, The Imitation Game, Interstellar, The Phone Call, Selma, Still Alice and The Theory of Everything with one. The telecast garnered more than 37 million viewers in the United States.
Neil Patrick Harris (born June 15, 1973) is an American actor, producer, singer, comedian, magician, and television host. He is known for playing Barney Stinson in the television comedy series How I Met Your Mother (2005–2014), for which he was nominated for four Emmy Awards, and for his role as the title character in Doogie Howser, M.D. (1989–1993). He currently hosts Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris.
He is also known for his role as the title character in Joss Whedon's musical Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog (2008) and a fictional version of himself in the Harold & Kumar film series (2004–2011). He appeared in the films Starship Troopers (1997), Beastly (2011), The Smurfs (2011), The Smurfs 2 (2013) and Gone Girl (2014).
Harris was named as one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people in 2010, He has hosted the Tony Awards on Broadway in 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013, for which he won several special class Emmy Awards. He also hosted the Primetime Emmy Awards in 2009 and 2013, and hosted the 87th Academy Awards in 2015, thus making him the first openly gay man to host the Academy Awards. In 2014, he starred in the title role in Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Broadway, for which he won the 2014 Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical.
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), commonly known as Birdman, is a 2014 American satirical black comedy-drama film directed by Alejandro G. Iñárritu. It was written by Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris Jr. and Armando Bo. The film stars Michael Keaton with a supporting cast of Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan, Emma Stone and Naomi Watts. The story follows Riggan Thomson (Keaton), a faded Hollywood actor best known for playing the superhero "Birdman", as he struggles to mount a Broadway adaptation of a short story by Raymond Carver.
The film covers the period of previews leading to the play's opening, and with a brief exception appears as if filmed in a single shot, an idea Iñárritu had from the film's conception. Emmanuel Lubezki, who won the Academy Award for his cinematography in Birdman, believed that the recording time necessary for the unique long take approach taken in Birdman could not have been made with older technology. The film was shot in New York City during the spring of 2013 with a budget of $16.5 million jointly financed by Fox Searchlight Pictures, New Regency Pictures and Worldview Entertainment. It premiered the following year in August where it opened the 71st Venice International Film Festival.
Birdman had a limited theatrical release in the United States on October 17, 2014, followed by a wide release on November 14, grossing more than $103 million worldwide. The film won the Academy Award for Best Picture, along with Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Cinematography from a total of nine nominations, tying it with The Grand Budapest Hotel for the most nominated film of the Academy's 87th annual awards ceremony. It also won Outstanding Cast in a Motion Picture at the 21st Screen Actors Guild Awards, as well as Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy for Keaton and Best Screenplay at the 72nd Golden Globe Awards.
Alejandro González Iñárritu (Spanish pronunciation: [aleˈxandɾo ɣonˈsales iˈɲaritu]; credited since 2014 as Alejandro G. Iñárritu; born August 15, 1963) is a Mexican film director, producer, screenwriter, and former composer. He is the first Mexican director to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Directing and the Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directing, for Babel in 2007. He is also the first Mexican-born director to have won the Prix de la mise en scene, the best director award at Cannes.
His five feature films – Amores perros (2000), 21 Grams (2003), Babel (2006) (comprising the "Death Trilogy"), Biutiful (2010) and Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014) – have garnered wide acclaim and numerous accolades including Academy Award nominations. In 2015, he won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, Best Director and Best Picture for Birdman. His sixth film, The Revenant, will be released on December 25, 2015.