The Academy Awards: 87th Oscars (2015)

SEASON:

87th Oscars
The Academy Awards

Critics Consensus

Awards season pro Neil Patrick Harris is uncharacteristically stilted during a sedate 87th Oscars that can't seem to grapple with controversy or execute a decent gag.

27%

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Critic Ratings: 33

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Air date: Feb 22, 2015

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Critic Reviews for The Academy Awards 87th Oscars

All Critics (33) | Top Critics (27)

The genial, high-energy Harris was a nimble emcee, proving he could deliver one-liners, as well as dance and sing. He didn't land all his jokes -- or puns -- but even when he didn't, the audience stuck with him.

Nov 4, 2019 | Full Review…

As a television event, the 87th Academy Awards seemed to drag on into eternity.

Nov 4, 2019 | Full Review…

Yep, Oscar, the Everest of hosting gigs, has left yet another promising host stranded short of the summit.

Nov 4, 2019 | Full Review…

Harris has been consistently excellent, talented, affable, jocular, deft... And yet despite all his experience, the Oscars undid even him, whose magic touch fell as flat as the night's long-running, ostensible magic trick.

Nov 4, 2019 | Full Review…
Top Critic

It's certainly not only the lack of diversity that makes the Oscars seem irrelevant to the point of quaintness, but it's not helping. It may be that this is just a broken model.

Nov 4, 2019 | Full Review…
NPR
Top Critic

[Neil Patrick Harris'] responsibility was putting a bright ribbon on a package of films that for the most part weren't mainstream blockbusters. It didn't feel like he quite got there.

Nov 4, 2019 | Full Review…

Once [Neil Patrick Harris] introduced his designated running-joke -- asking Octavia Spencer to keep watch on a locked box of his own Oscar predictions -- his humor began to seem thin and strained whenever it wasn't wan or tin-eared.

Nov 4, 2019 | Full Review…

[Harris] lacks the killer instinct of, say, a Stephen Colbert, who would light into the crowd mercilessly for the enjoyment of those watching at home. This left Harris often in a weird middle ground, where he wasn't really playing to either audience.

Nov 4, 2019 | Full Review…

Harris played it like he was basically born to do it -- light on his feet working the crowd or at center stage without his pants, winkingly self-deprecating, moving-right-along when his prepared material didn't land (which was too often).

Nov 4, 2019 | Full Review…

Harris, usually so relaxed and likable in awards host mode, was sweating early and often in this one. The predictions gag was dead from the outset and his jokes in general were much snarkier and off-key than he usually comes off in these jobs.

Nov 4, 2019 | Full Review…

Honestly, Julianne Moore finally winning makes up for a lot, but between the Birdman of it all and the NPH of it all, there isn't a ton more to remember fondly.

Feb 24, 2019 | Full Review…

Overall, the 2015 Oscar broadcast was a sluggish affair that, fortunately, had enough memorable speeches and musical numbers to save it from being deemed a complete disaster.

Jan 30, 2019 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Academy Awards: 87th Oscars

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