Veteran character actor J.K. Simmons took the first award at Sunday's Academy Award ceremonies, kicking off Hollywood's 87th annual honors for the motion-picture business by capturing best supporting actor honors for his role in "Whiplash." The Oscar awards ceremony and preceding red-carpet gala took place under what could be considered inclement weather for the Los Angeles region. Periodic drizzles soaked streets and sent nominees under a protective cover as they strode past press and fans toward the Dolby Theater in downtown Hollywood. The three-hour-plus ceremony is expected to produce the closest horse race for this year's best picture, as "Boyhood" and "Birdman" are considered the hottest prospects for the top prize.
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