By Aakriti Gupta
Elm Staff Writer
Uncountable hours of preparation, a huge paycheck, and countless jokes later, the question asked is what the verdict is on Neil Patrick Harris’ stint as host for the 87th Annual Academy Awards. Having a vast history as host for shows like “Saturday Night Live,” the Tony Awards, and the Emmys, the Oscars were inarguably his biggest performance as M.C. In my opinion, he did a great job as the host, working the crowd like the long-time showbiz pro that he is, dancing, singing and even stripping down to his underwear to entertain the star-studded crowd.
To start, Harris’ opening act left me wanting more. He performed the song, “Moving Pictures,” written by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, the same duo who created “Let It Go” from the animated movie “Frozen.” He paid a tribute to Charlie Chaplin, Marilyn Monroe, Marlon Brando, Sharon Stone, and even the “Transformers.” He also mocked Kanye West. Anna Kendricks and Jack Black then joined him in the musical with jokes on superheroes and “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Altogether the first 10 minutes of the Academy Awards were musical and captivating.
There were several jokes made during the night, and Harris addressed racism in his opening one when he said, “Tonight we honor the best and the whitest…I mean brightest.” This was a direct blow to the Academy for the lack of diversity in the list of the Oscar nominees. As the night proceeded, there came the joke comparing one half of the room to the Best Picture nominees other than “American Sniper,” and “American Sniper” to just Oprah Winfrey, since out of the $600 million that the eight Best Picture nominees grossed, “American Sniper” made up over $300 million of it.
Harris’ act on his personal predictions of the glittery night was hilarious and came to be surprisingly true. The 41-year-old unfolded the envelope revealing the predictions at the end of the show. Some of his predictions included the intentional mispronunciation of Chiwetel Ejiofor’s name and Meryl Streep realizing that she was underpaid during Patricia Arquette’s speech.
While there was a ton of humor involved, Harris’ spoof on “Birdman” was quite awkward. He stripped down to his underpants and appeared on stage, shocking almost everyone, myself included. It was a bold moment, which was very brave but nonetheless very awkward. At least he has a well-toned body, which I am sure all the ladies (and some of the men, too) loved looking at.
From starring as Barney Stinson in “How I Met Your Mother” to hosting the 87th Academy Awards, Harris has really come a long way. Altogether though many reviews on the web, like the website “Moviefone” among many others, described Harris’ performance as mediocre and not Oscar-worthy, I personally enjoyed it. His performance was a witty mixed bag of humor, dance, music and entertainment. He was charming and delivered a performance that definitely deserved the applause that he received at the end of the show.