British actor Eddie Redmayne won the best actor Oscar for his convincing portrayal of famed astrophysicist Stephen Hawking as a talented young student grappling with a progressive motor neuron disease in “The Theory of Everything”.
The 33-year-old actor was in a neck-to-neck fight with Michael Keaton of “Birdman” in the tightly contested category but was being seen as a frontrunner by picking up all the other trophies—Bafta, Golden Globe and Screen Actors’ Guild in the run up to the Academy awards.
A visibly nervous Redmayne thanked his director, Hawking, his “partner in crime” Felicity Jones and wife as he took to the stage to claim the trophy.
“I am fully aware that I am a lucky, lucky man,” he said dedicating the award to Hawking and his family, “This Oscar belongs to the people around the world battling ALS. It belongs to one exceptional family, the Hawking family. I will be his custodian.”
Redmayne, youngest star in the category, saw off competition from Keaton (‘Birdman’), fellow countryman Benedict Cumberbatch (‘The Imitation Game’), Bradley Cooper (‘American Sniper’) and Steve Carell (‘Foxcatcher’).
The actor researched for six months for his role by pouring over photographs and interviews of the scientist from his younger days to bring reality to his physically demanding role in the James Marsh-directed drama.
He got Hawking’s approval for his brilliant portrayal of the scientist and his struggle with the disease and his romance with first wife Jane Wilde Hawking in the movie.
Anthony McCarten adapted the story from Jane’s memoir ‘Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen by Jane Wilde Hawking’.
The recently married actor’s other notable turns onscreen include his role in “My Week with Marilyn” and “Les Miserables”.
He also starred in director Shekhar Kapur’s “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” and “The Other Boleyn Girl”.
Redmayne has also consolidated his position as one of the best dressed stars on the red carpet with most of his outfits meeting with approval from fashion editors.
Julianne Moore won a long overdue actress in a leading role Oscar for her poignant portrayal of a mother and academic struggling with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease in “Still Alice”.
Moore, one of the most accomplished performers of her generation, is brilliant as a linguistics professor who starts to lose grip on her memory which has serious implications on her family and job.
“People say that an Oscar award leads to living five years younger and I am happy that I won the award because my husband is younger to me...,” an emotional Moore said in her speech.
Moore said people with Alzheimer’s often feel isolated but they need to be seen to be cured.
It was the fifth time lucky for Moore, who has two best actress and two best supporting actress nominations under her belt for roles in “The End of The Affair”, “Far From Heaven”, “Boogie Nights” and “The Hours”.
The actress had consolidated her position by winning almost all the trophies—Golden Globe, Bafta, Critics’ Choice awards and Screen Actors Guild Award, in the run up to the Oscars.
The 54-year-old actress saw off competition from Marion Cotillard (Two Days, One Night), Felicity Jones (‘The Theory of Everything’), Rosamund Pike in (‘Gone Girl’) and Reese Witherspoon in “Wild”.
The movie, directed by Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland, is an adaptation of Lisa Genova’s best-selling 2007 novel of the same name.
Apart from Moore, the film stars Alec Baldwin as the supportive husband, Kate Bosworth and Kristen Stewart among others.
Moore, equally at home in indie movies as well as big budget Hollywood dramas, has made a career out of playing complex roles.
The actress worked as a waitress in New York before finding work as a theatre and TV star.
She made her movie debut in 1990 with Tales from the Darkside: The Movie but she was best noticed for her work in Robert Altman’s “Short Cut”.
Other than her Oscar nominated roles, Moore was praised for her performance in films like “The Big Lebowski”, “Magnolia”, “Hannibal”, “Children of Men”, “A Single Man”, “The Hunger Games” franchise, “The Kids Are All Right” and “Maps to the Stars”.