The 2015 Oscar for Best Director has been won by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu for his work on Birdman (Or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance).

Inarritu beat Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel, which led the field at the start of the night with nine nominations in total, Richard Linklater’s epic Boyhood, Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher and Morten Tyldum’s Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game.

'Birdman' won Inarritu the prize for Best Director

Ben Affleck presented the trophy, and Inarritu jokingly announced that he was wearing the ‘tighty whities’ as made famous by the film’s lead actor Michael Keaton. He also acknowledged the virtue of tough competition, a nod to the other fine films that lost out. He finished by saying that the moment was “slow motion” to him and asked forgiveness if he missed anybody out of his acceptance speech.

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Birdman also won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, the award for which Inarritu also accepted along with the three other members of his writing team. The innovation of the direction was what the film’s biggest accomplishment, which in the minds of the Academy was probably what set it apart from the labour of love that Richard Linklater had put into Boyhood.

Inarritu directed his first major film in 2003 with 21 Grams, and has gone on to make other critically acclaimed pictures in the shape of 2006’s Babel and 2010’s Biutiful. However, this Oscar has finally seen the hard work pay off for Inarritu.

The 87th Academy Awards ceremony was broadcast live on ABC, and was presented by Neil Patrick Harris.

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