Capping off over a year of praise and superlatives that began with Sundance premieres in January of 2014 and kicked off the season with kudos from the New York Film Critics Circle in December, “Boyhood's” Patricia Arquette and “Whiplash's” J.K. Simmons walked away with supporting actress and supporting actor honors at the 87th annual Academy Awards Sunday night.
Both performers have been mainstays on the circuit, their Oscar fates pushed toward inevitability with each new prize. They were recognized at film festivals from Palm Springs to Santa Barbara during the season, racked up countless critics' prizes, wrangled SAG Awards and Saturday previewed the big night with Spirit Awards from Film Independent.
“I am grateful every day for the most remarkable person I know…my wife,” Simmons said in a speech that focused on his family rather than the usual roll call of agents or colleagues who worked with him on the film. “I'm grateful for your love, your kindness, your wisdom, your sacrifice…which brings me to the above average children,” as he's quipped at other shows all season. He closed by asking anyone lucky enough to have a parent alive to call them and “listen to them for as long as they want to talk.” It was sort of wonderful to see him use the moment for something so personal.
Arquette, meanwhile, went back to a written speech after winging it nicely on the Spirit Awards Saturday. After a speech covering a lot of the usual bases, she transitioned to mentioning her work on ecological sanitation at GiveLove.org and “every woman who gave birth,” she closed with a rousing call to arms. “It's our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for every woman in America.”
More from the Oscars as it happens.