‘Birdman’ wins Academy Awards for best picture, director

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LOS ANGELES. KAZINFORM -- "Birdman," the 21st Century Fox Inc. feature about a washed-up film superhero trying to stage a comeback, won the Oscar for best picture, Hollywood's highest honor. Its director, Alejandro González Iñárritu, also won.

"Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)" collected four awards in all, including best original screenplay. The film stars Michael Keaton as an actor who mounts a Broadway adaptation of a Raymond Carver short story. It was a fitting winner on a night when smaller, artistically ambitious films dominated Hollywood's most prestigious awards, and host Neil Patrick Harris poked fun at the industry's obsession with superheroes. Big winners included "The Grand Budapest Hotel" and "Whiplash." "Boyhood," "Birdman's" biggest rival for best picture, took one Oscar. "All the people that were behind this film were really heroes because the idea was really crazy," Iñárritu said from the stage. "I don't know how that happened, but it happened." While "Birdman" emerged as the top film, others led the voting for the lead acting and supporting roles. Eddie Redmayne captured the best actor award for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in ``The Theory of Everything.'' The film recounts the renowned British physicist's battle with a rare form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis that robs him of his ability to move and speak, Bloomberg informs. Best Actress Julianne Moore won the award for best actress for her role in "Still Alice." Moore plays a renowned linguistics professor who gets a diagnosis that upends her life. The film was released in the U.S. by Sony Pictures Classics. In the supporting roles, J.K. Simmons won for his portrayal of an abusive drum teacher in "Whiplash." Patricia Arquette won for her role as the mother in "Boyhood," Richard Linklater's coming of age tale that was filmed over 12 years with the same cast. Arquette plays a parent growing up alongside her children. The 46-year-old actress used the moment to call for equality in pay for women in Hollywood and elsewhere. "To every woman who has given birth to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation: We have fought for everybody else's equal rights," Arquette said from the stage. "It's our time to have wage equality once and for all, and equal rights for women in the United States of America." The recording artists Legend and Common performed the Oscar-winning song "Glory" from the civil rights drama "Selma." Legend followed that with a comment calling attention to the number of black men in prison. Eerie Parallels "Birdman" had some eerie parallels with real life -- Keaton once played Batman, and Iñárritu's career had stalled since 2006's "Babel." The Fox Searchlight division of 21st Century Fox, which distributed "Birdman," led the studios with eight awards, followed by the specialty film unit of Tokyo-based Sony Corp., which got four. Hosting his first Oscars, Harris, 41, opened the show with a sharp elbow for Hollywood, joking the ceremony would honor the "best and the whitest" in a poke at academy voters who bestowed only two nominations on the Martin Luther King Jr. biopic "Selma." After nominations were announced in January, the snub led to creation of the Twitter hashtag #OscarSoWhite.

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