TIME movies

Watch Tegan and Sara and The Lonely Island Perform ‘Everything Is Awesome’ at the Oscars

Even though it was snubbed for Best Animated Feature, The Lego Movie had a big Oscars moment

For a few minutes, everything really was awesome.

At an Oscars ceremony dominated, as usual, by films about dark and painful subjects, Tegan and Sara lightened the mood with a performance of their nominated The Lego Movie song, “Everything is Awesome.” Better yet, they were joined by Andy Samberg’s comedy-music troupe The Lonely Island, plus Questlove on drums and what looked like Will Arnett in a Batman costume.

Dancers even handed out Lego Oscars to Oprah, Steve Carell and other stars. (The Lego Movie directors built themselves one after being snubbed in the best animated picture category.) They may not have been dipped in real gold, but they’ll look just as good on a mantel.

TIME movies

Watch Adam Levine and Maroon 5 Perform “Lost Stars” at the Oscars

The Begin Again tune is nominated for best original song

The ubiquitous Adam Levine extended his brand to the movies last year with his role in the musical drama Begin Again, and he brought his band to the Academy Awards to perform the Oscar-nominated theme “Lost Stars.”

In Begin Again, the song is performed both by Levine and Keira Knightley (who, as a Best Supporting Actress nominee for The Imitation Game, had plenty of other things to worry about). Onstage, Maroon 5 backed up the crooner on a stage filled with stars.


TIME movies

Here’s the Greatest Year in Oscar History

The 12th Annual Academy Awards
NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images Actor Spencer Tracy and Vivien Leigh, winner of Best Actress for "Gone With the Wind," during the 12th Annual Academy Awards held at the Cocoanut Grove in The Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, Calidfornia on Feb. 29, 1940

This year marks the 75th anniversary of 'the most memorable twelve months in the history of the American cinema'

No offense to Neil Patrick Harris or to this year’s best-picture nominees, but this year’s Oscars ceremony is also notable for something that proves it has no chance of being the best: this is the 75th anniversary of the Academy Awards ceremony that honored what is widely thought to be the best year in Hollywood history.

There’s not much of a public record of what happened at the 1940 ceremony between the giving-out of statuettes. It was the first such evenings hosted by Oscars-hosting champ Bob Hope, so presumably there were jokes, but it took place before the days of a national radio broadcast (much less a television broadcast) of the ceremony, though local radio stations may have broadcast a portion of the evening.

But we don’t have to know what Hope said to the audience there to know that it was epic. Here’s how TIME recounted the evening’s events, in the pages of the Mar. 11, 1940, issue:

Hollywood’s swank Cocoanut Grove was aflutter with ermine wraps and shimmering gowns as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences made its twelfth annual awards. To Robert Donat for his role in Goodbye, Mr. Chips and to Vivien Leigh for her Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind went Oscars signifying the year’s best performances by an actor and actress. Nobody was surprised. Academy selections of the best supporting actor and actress met with general approval: 1) Thomas Mitchell, for his whiskey-soaked doctor in Stagecoach; 2) Hattie McDaniel, for her sentimental performance as the hard-boiled mammy in Gone With the Wind. Cinemactress McDaniel was the first Negro to receive the prize. Posthumous were two awards: 1) to the late Douglas Fairbanks Sr. for international services to motion pictures; 2) to the late Playwright Sidney Howard for his Gone With the Wind script. Of the 17 major Oscars handed out, ten were copped by G.W.T.W. Producer David O. Selznick, pretty proud and getting richer by the minute, said he would send an extra check to Author Margaret Mitchell.

Winners from Gone With the Wind, however, aren’t the evidence that 1940’s Oscars were the best. For that, look to the losers.

The best picture nominees who weren’t good enough to take home an Oscar included some of the best movies ever: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington; Stagecoach;, The Wizard of Oz; Goodbye, Mr. Chips; and Dark Victory, and that’s only a partial list, not to mention the famous movies (like Young Mr. Lincoln and Babes in Arms) that weren’t even nominated. Any year can have one instant classic; it’s a rare year that has dozens. That year had been a period that Gerald Clarke described in TIME, on its 50th anniversary in 1989, as “the most memorable twelve months in the history of the American cinema.” But, as Clarke explained, it took a while to realize what was going on: the theater was still seen as superior to the cinema, and the business-centric studio system was still in effect. Movies were low-culture fluff, and nobody was looking for history to be made. And yet, it was.

“There is no formula for magic, and what happened then is something of a mystery even today. Part of the explanation may be that the studio system, which had been born 20 years or so earlier, had come of age; it had reached its maturity but was still full of zest,” Clarke wrote. “The bosses may have been crude and often tyrannical, but they loved their business, they knew what they were doing, and they had created huge organizations whose only purpose was to send new pictures to thousands of theaters, most of which, in the U.S., were owned by the studios themselves. At the same time, moviemaking had reached a level of technical perfection that would have seemed miraculous even five years before.”

The night of the Academy Awards of 75 years ago was a celebration of that magic — but there is one way in which the 1940 Oscars flopped: as recounted by the Academy, the practice of tipping off newspapers in advance, to get the winners into the morning paper, backfired that year. The Los Angeles Times published the results in the evening edition rather than the morning edition, which meant the attendees already knew who had won.

Read the full 1939 cover story about Gone With the Wind, here in the TIME Vault: G With the W

Read Gerald Clarke’s examination of the best year in Hollywood history, here in the TIME Vault: Twelve Months of Magic

TIME movies

Watch Neil Patrick Harris’ Opening Number at the Oscars

With help from Anna Kendrick and Jack Black

Neil Patrick Harris was advertised as an especially bombastic Oscar host, and his first moments onstage didn’t disappoint.

His opening number, entitled “Moving Pictures,” paid tribute to the history of movies eloquently. Harris was superimposed onto clips from Star Wars and other classics as he defended the idea of the classic Hollywood film. Anna Kendrick, of Into the Woods, joined Harris to defend Hollywood’s output; Jack Black, of Tropic Thunder, criticized the recent franchise-and-sequel culture, a critique echoed by Best Picture frontrunner Birdman.

The song was written by Bobby Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, who won the Best Original Song Oscar last year for Frozen anthem “Let It Go”; their wit combined with Harris’ brio made for a very memorable opening.

TIME movies

See All the Winners From the Oscars

Birdman came out on top on Hollywood's biggest night

Birdman won big at the 2015 Academy Awards, raking in prizes for Best Picture as well as direction, original screenplay and cinematography. The acting categories went mainly as predicted, with top nods going to Julianne Moore (Still Alice), Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything), Patricia Arquette (Boyhood) and J.K. Simmons (Whiplash). Here’s the full list of every winner from the 2015 Oscar ceremony, held Feb. 22 in Los Angeles.

Best Picture
American Sniper
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything

Best Actor
Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
Bradley Cooper, American Sniper
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
Michael Keaton, Birdman
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

Best Actress
Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night
Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon, Wild

Best Supporting Actor
Robert Duvall, The Judge
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
Edward Norton, Birdman
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
J. K. Simmons, Whiplash

Best Supporting Actress
Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Laura Dern, Wild
Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game
Emma Stone, Birdman
Meryl Streep, Into the Woods

Best Director
Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher
Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game

Best Cinematography
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Mr. Turner

Best Original Screenplay
The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Adapted Screenplay
American Sniper
The Imitation Game
Inherent Vice
The Theory of Everything

Best Foreign Language Film
Ida (Poland)
Leviathan (Russia)
Tangerines (Estonia)
Timbuktu (Mauritania)
Wild Tales (Argentina)

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Guardians of the Galaxy

Best Original Score
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything
Mr. Turner

Best Costume Design
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Inherent Vice
Into the Woods
Mr. Turner

Best Documentary Feature
Finding Vivian Maier
Last Days in Vietnam
Salt of the Earth

Best Documentary Short
Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1
Our Curse
The Reaper
White Earth

Best Film Editing
American Sniper
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game

Best Animated Feature
Big Hero 6
The Boxtrolls
How to Train Your Dragon 2
Song of the Sea
The Tale of Princess Kaguya

Best Original Song
“Lost Stars,” Begin Again
“Grateful,” Beyond the Lights
“I’m Not Gonna Miss You,” Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me
“Everything is Awesome,” The Lego Movie
“Glory,” Selma

Best Production Design
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Into the Woods
Mr. Turner

Best Animated Short Film
The Bigger Picture
The Dam Keeper
Me and My Moulton
A Single Life

Best Live-Action Short Film
Boogaloo and Graham
Butter Lamp
The Phone Call

Best Sound Editing
American Sniper
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Best Sound Mixing
American Sniper

Best Visual Effects
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Guardians of the Galaxy
X-Men: Days of Future Past

TIME movies

Watch J. K. Simmons Win Best Supporting Actor at the Oscars

And remember, call your parents!

Veteran actor J. K. Simmons won his first Oscar for his supporting role in Whiplash. Playing an abusive teacher who pushes a young jazz drummer to the limit, Simmons had been a sensation since his film debuted at the Sundance Film Festival more than a year ago, though fans of his work in everything from HBO’s Oz to the Spider-Man films (in which he played newspaper editor J. Jonah Jameson) can hardly have been surprised. Notably, Simmons represents another performer winning in this category for playing an alluring villain, following past winners including Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men), Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight), Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds), and Kevin Spacey (The Usual Suspects).

In his speech, Simmons encouraged viewers to call their parents, in a moving moment unusual, for the Oscars, in its personal aspect. Watch up top.


TIME celebrities

Cumberbump Alert: Benedict Cumberbatch’s Baby Is Coming Soon

87th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals
Jason Merritt—Getty Images Benedict Cumberbatch, right, and Sophie Hunter attend the 87th Annual Academy Awards on Feb. 22, 2015 in Hollywood, Calif.

The actor appeared on the red carpet with his pregnant wife

Cumberbitches may still be bummed that their darling Benedict Cumberbatch is off the market, but at least this cloud has a silver lining: soon enough, a tiny Cumberbatch will be coming into the world.

The Imitation Game star appeared on the red carpet in advance of the Oscars Sunday with his new bride, Sophie Hunter, who was visibly pregnant in her gown. Whether or not he lucks out in his bid for Best Actor, these red carpet photos should definitely go in the baby book.

Hunter is, of course, more than just a baby mama for the British heartthrob; she’s had her own notable career as an actress and director.

TIME movies

Reese Witherspoon Slams Sexist Red Carpet Questions, Encourages Journalists to #AskHerMore

Tired of fielding questions about her clothes and makeup, the actress called for a more dignified line of questioning

Reese Witherspoon is sick of being asked who she’s wearing — so ahead of tonight’s Oscars, she called for journalists on the red carpet to ask female stars about more than their couture.

Using the hashtag #AskHerMore, Reese Witherspoon posted this photo on Instagram earlier this afternoon to encourage more interesting dialogue on the red carpet.

“This is a movement to say we’re more than just our dresses,” Witherspoon told Robin Roberts. “There are 44 nominees this year that are women and we are so happy to be here and talk about the work that we’ve done. It’s hard being a woman in Hollywood, or any industry.”

Fans are taking to Twitter to offer their support.


TIME language

In Soviet Russia, the Oscars Host You

Actors (L-R) Clark Gable Cary Grant Bob Hope and David
Leonard McCombe—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Clark Gable, Cary Grant, Bob Hope and David Niven laughing heartily together at one of Hope's recently-acquired Russian jokes during break from rehearsals for the 1958 Academy Awards

In 1958, Oscars host Bob Hope may have made comedy history

Stop me if you’ve heard this one.

These days, an Oscars host is likely to wish only to avoid a complete disaster — but in 1958, veteran host Bob Hope may have introduced the world to a joke that, decades later, has become part of comedy’s common heritage.

Here’s how TIME described the ceremony in the Apr. 7 issue of that year:

As things got under way, Jimmy Stewart told the home audience that the uninterrupted program was “being brought to you in living black and white.” Bob Hope, back from his Russian junket, noted that there had been TV in all the rooms of his Moscow hotel—”only it watches you”—also called attention to the parades of expensive talent being given away free to television, proving that “the motion-picture industry isn’t frightened. It’s off its rocker.”

Comedy fans will likely recognize a very familiar construction in that first Hope joke. In Soviet Russia, the TV watches you!

These days, that construction is often known as the “Russian reversal.” Swap around the order in which things are usually done, add “in [Soviet] Russia” to the beginning, and that’s it. The joke has appeared on The Simpsons and Family Guy, and the Internet is flush with “t-shirt wears you” gear.

Most sources — from the spot-on Language Log blog at UPenn to the equally trustworthy (when it comes to viral jokes) Know Your Meme — trace the joke’s popularity to Yakov Smirnoff, a Russian-born comedian who came to the U.S. in the 1970s. And it’s not hard to see why he would get the credit:

Dig a little deeper, and some sources note that a similar joke (substituting “the Old Country” for “Russia”) appeared on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, which started airing in 1968 — which is, of course, a full decade after Bob Hope used the joke at the 1958 Oscars.

There’s some evidence that Hope’s joke was new at that time: LIFE magazine had a photographer on scene during rehearsals for the telecast, and — though the magazine ended up printing something different — the caption with one of the photos (seen here) indicates that Hope and friends were laughing at one of his “recently acquired Russian jokes.”

But, while Bob Hope may have introduced a national television audience to the Russian reversal, the real moral of the story is not that he was first — just that it’s hard to say who came up with something so common. After all, buried in the meme’s page on TVTropes.org there’s an example from a play written a full two decades earlier, before Bob Hope hosted the Oscars, before the Oscars were on TV, before the Cold War even started. In 1938’s Cole Porter musical Leave It to Me!, a man tries to tip a messenger. “No tipping,” he’s told. “In Soviet Russia, messenger tips you.”

Read the full write-up of the 1958 ceremony, here in the TIME Vault: The Oscars

TIME celebrities

This Is What Dakota Johnson Took Home From the Fifty Shades of Grey Set

From the red room to the red carpet

Fifty Shades of Grey‘s leading lady Dakota Johnson isn’t nominated for an Oscar, but she’s already generating buzz on the red carpet. The actress, who’s a presenter at the 87th Academy Awards, arrived with her date for the night: mother Melanie Griffith, who’s already said she won’t be seeing her 25-year-old daughter’s steamy role on the big screen — as it would probably make both mother and daughter uncomfortable.

So it was good Griffith wasn’t within earshot of Johnson’s interview with Ryan Seacrest when the E! host asked her what she took home from the set of the film. “A flogger,” she said, then quickly followed it up with. “Can I say that on television?” Too late.

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