Oscars 2015

Oscars 2015: The red carpet, ceremony and reaction as it happens

Our critic Peter Bradshaw, who’s sat through more Oscar ceremonies than Meryl, has given his verdict on the night.

The Academy had already come close to disgracing itself by snubbing Ava DuVernay and David Oyelowo from Selma, the film about Martin Luther King. Now it has further failed to distinguish itself with something that is almost another snub — failing to give the best picture award to Richard Linklater’s marvellous Boyhood. It had the chance to mark out a real classic, and in so doing reinforce the Oscar’s own brand-value. But no.

Speaking backstage, Alejandro Iñárritu paid tribute to Fox Searchlight for bucking the film industry’s “horrible corporate mentality” by taking a risk on Birdman.

“They trusted me. It was incredible.. because it could have been a disaster.”

He joked that he persuaded the studio “Mexican-style” and indicated his hip: “I showed them my gun.”

Iñárritu said artists needed to be bold. “Fear is the condom of life. It doesn’t allow you to enjoy things.”

Asked what a four-Oscar sweep meant for his career, he replied: ‘I don’t have a career. I have a life. And today I am living it beautifully.’

Sean Penn’s joke when he announced the best film prize – he asked who gave Iñárritu a green card – did not offend him in the least. “I found it hilarious.”

He had teased Penn mercilessly on the set of 21 Grams, said the director, and he had a strong friendship with the actor.

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