LOS ANGELES - Two veteran actors walked away with their first Oscars for supporting roles at the 87th Academy Awards on Sunday, while Poland won its first award in 10 nominations for best foreign-language film.
In a few brave bits, first-time host Neil Patrick Harris opened the night with a quip about the lack of diversity among the nominees for the film industry's highest honors and later came out in his underwear in a spoof of best picture favourite"Birdman." But early awards were proving more predictable than the host as heavy favorites ended up hoisting the golden statuettes.
Patricia Arquette won best supporting actress for her role as a struggling single mother in "Boyhood," the coming-of-age tale she made with director Richard Linklater over 12 years with the same cast. "It's our time to have wage equality once and for all and for equal rights for the women in the United States of America,"Arquette said in her acceptance speech.
J.K. Simmons, a long-time character actor in Hollywood, won the best supporting actor Oscar as a monstrous music teacher in the independent film "Whiplash."
The Poland's "Ida" clinched best foreign-language film and director Pawel Pawlikowski pushed the 45-second acceptance speech boundary to thank "my Polish friends who are in front of the TV, the crew who were in the trenches with us and who are totally drunk now, and you were fantastic."
The night's top award - best picture - is a contest between two small movies, show business satire "Birdman" and "Boyhood." But in one of the least predictable years in recent memory, the race was too close to call and there was room for upsets.
"American Sniper," "The Grand Budapest Hotel" and "The Imitation Game" could also find favour from the 6,100 members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences who vote for the Oscars. "The Grand Budapest Hotel," the colorful caper from Wes Anderson, picked up Oscars in both costume design and make-up and hairstyling.