Newly on Disc 'Birdman' Wins Best Picture Oscar22 Feb, 2015 By: John Latchem
Conventional wisdom holds that Oscars usually go to films released at the end of the year, when they're freshest on the minds of Academy voters. As a result, many nominated films aren't released on home video prior to the awards ceremony.
However, this year's ceremony on Feb. 22 saw two films win four Oscars apiece despite being released eight months apart.
The top prizes went to Birdman, which in a nod to good timing was released on DVD and Blu-ray by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment on Feb. 17. The film won Best Picture, Best Director for Alejandro González Iñárritu, Best Original Screenplay and Best Cinematography.
The other four-Oscar winner was another Fox film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, which was released on DVD, Blu-ray and Digital HD way back in June. It won for Best Original Score for Alexandre Desplat, Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, and Best Makeup and Hairstyling.
Also released Feb. 17 was Universal's The Theory of Everything, which won Best Actor for Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking.
Boyhood, an early awards-season darling that garnered six Oscar nominations, managed to win just one, Best Supporting Actress for Patricia Arquette. The film is available on DVD, Blu-ray and Digital HD from Paramount.
Best Foreign-Language Film went to Poland's Ida, which is available on DVD and Blu-ray from Music Box Films.
Two Oscar winners will arrive on DVD and Blu-ray Feb. 24: Best Animated Feature winner Big Hero 6, from Disney, and three-trophy winner Whiplash, from Sony Pictures.
Whiplash won Oscars for Best Supporting Actor for J.K. Simmons, Best Film Editing and Best Sound Mixing.
Big Hero 6 has been available on Digital HD since early February. The DVD and Blu-ray of Big Hero 6 also includes the short film Feast, which won the Oscar for Best Animated Short.
Among the other short-subject winners, Best Documentary Short Subject Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1 is available on Digital HD and as a manufactured-on-demand DVD. And Best Live-Action Short went to The Phone Call, which is available on Digital HD.
Best Documentary Feature winner Citizenfour, about NSA leaker Edward Snowden, begins airing on HBO Feb. 23.
The only other Oscar winner with a release date on the horizon is Best Visual Effects winner Interstellar, which arrives on Digital HD March 17 and DVD and Blu-ray March 31 from Paramount.
Among winners not yet announced for home video release, Sony Pictures' Still Alice won Best Actress for Julianne Moore; Warner's American Sniper won Best Sound Editing; and Paramount's Selma won Best Original Song for "Glory."
Update: Anchor Bay's The Imitation Game, which won Best Adapted Screenplay, will arrive on Digital HD March 20 and DVD and Blu-ray March 31.