Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu won the Oscar tonight for Best Director for Birdman, his swooping tale  of a former action-film star staging a Broadway play as a way to redeem himself artistically. Inarritu was also one of four co-writers on the film’s script to win the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, and the film won Best Picture. Inarritu was also a producer on the film.

In accepting his award, Inarritu joked that he had a real good-luck charm on, the “tighty whities” underwear that star Michael Keaton was wearing during a key scene of the film when he’s locked out of the theater’s back door and must walk down Broadway to get back into the play.

“Good luck charm works,” Inarritu said.

He also spread around the appreciation to the film’s cast and especially its Oscar-winning cinematographer, Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubezki.

“Chivo you are the artist of our generation,” he said.

Other nominees included Richard Linklater for BoyhoodBennett Miller for Foxcatcher, Wes Anderson for The Grand Budapest Hotel, and Morten Tyldum for The Imitation Game. Throughout the awards season, it seemed that Birdman and Boyhood traded wins for the equivalent of best picture in various precursor awards.