LOS ANGELES - For the third time in four years, Hollywood's top honor went to a story mostly about itself: "Birdman" won best picture at the 87th Academy Awards on Sunday night.
Despite relatively meager domestic ticket sales of $37.8 million, "Birdman" had been the favorite to win best picture, having swept the top prize at banquet after banquet leading up to the Oscars.
Minutes before, Alejandro G. I??rritu had won best director for "Birdman," which also collected Oscars for best original screenplay and the cinematography of Emmanuel Lubezki. "Tonight I am wearing the real Michael Keaton tighty whities," Mr. I??rritu said, a joke about the long Broadway walk Mr. Keaton, the star, takes in his skivvies during the film.
No one film this year achieved critical mass in a year that saw all eight of the best picture nominees leave with at least one Oscar.
As expected, Julianne Moore won best actress for her faltering college professor with early-onset Alzheimer's in "Still Alice," and Eddie Redmayne won best actor for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in "The Theory of Everything."
One of the year's smallest films, "Whiplash," in ticket sales, became one of the night's biggest winners, stealing the editing award. A dramatic thriller set in a music school, "Whiplash" also collected prizes in the supporting actor and sound mixing categories.
"The Grand Budapest Hotel," a whimsical period caper, won four Oscars. It lost the original screenplay race, however, to "Birdman," which included Mr. I??rritu. Best adapted screenplay went to Graham Moore for "The Imitation Game," keeping that film - nominated in eight categories - from being shut out.
As for arranging and planning the producers of the show, which ran nearly 3 hours 40 minutes, appeared much more concerned with music. In many ways, it was the night the Oscars became the Grammys.
Only one Oscar, for supporting actor, was presented in the first 22 minutes. J. K. Simmons won for his role as an abusive music teacher in "Whiplash." Deep into the telecast's second hour, Patricia Arquette took the supporting actress prize, for her portrayal of a single mother in "Boyhood." -The New York Times