Okay, let’s take the ceremony itself first. Following stellar opening numbers at various Tony Awards, expectations were high for Neil Patrick Harris. His opening number was technically nifty and passably amusing, but not in quite the same league, even with help from Anna Kendrick and Jack Black. Harris subsequently restricted himself to 30 second spots and the weakest of all possible jokes. Serious, after he began “Our next presenter is so sweet you could eat her up with-a-spoon…” we all expected him to continue “…please welcome Jennifer Lopez.” But no, the winsome star of Wild showed up instead.

The magic trick at the end was cute and funny, but the pencil sketches for In Memoriam were much less interesting and moving than clips would have been, and the bizarre Lady Gaga tribute to The Sound of Music was baffling. Why, with all the time and money and talent in the world, does the Academy find this show so difficult to pull off, year after year?

On to the results – the acting categories all went exactly as anticipated, and it was great to see The Grand Budapest Hotel scooping up so many awards outside the “big eight”, to the point where it tied with Birdman for the most awards (four), one behind Whiplash, which in the end did not benefit from its inclusion in the Best Adapted Screenplay award which went to a tiny squeaky-voiced child who claims to have written The Imitation Game. Graham Moore being seven years old might excuse his car-crash of a script, but I have to say his acceptance speech was just about perfect. In my blog, I had picked Budapest for Best Original Screenplay, but at our sweepstake on the night I opted for Birdman which proved correct, but honestly it was a three-way coin-flip between those two and Boyhood.

The only other call I got wrong was the big one – Best Picture. It looked like a straight fight between Boyhood and Birdman with the former starting off as the bookies’ favourite, but the latter gathering momentum as the day neared. I figured that Boyhood was the bigger achievement in movie-making, but that the director of Birdman could not be ignored and so picked Iñárritu for director, but Boyhood for Best Picture. In the end, Birdman took both which I can’t help but be pleased about. The making of Boyhood is an amazing process, but the eventual movie is rather a thin piece of work. Birdman ain’t perfect, but it fizzes with invention and was probably my favourite of the nominees.

That’s it for this year. I still hope to catch up with Big Eyes, Inherent Vice, Big Hero 6 and Mr Turner at some point, and I watched Nightcrawler on my iPad on a train recently and I thoroughly recommend it. See you next time.