Once a year, we are treated to watching Hollywood’s biggest and brightest stars be awarded with a trophy resembling a small, gold, naked man named Oscar for their roles in the best films of the previous year.
It’s a gargantuan production that so boldly reminds us lowly viewers at home that we cannot and likely won’t ever be allowed beyond the velvet rope to mingle with the A-listers and feel intimidated by someone exponentially wealthier and far more talented.
It’s a huge, glittering night, and for us watching at home, it’s a pleasure to see — maybe for the Red Carpet looks or to see my boy Leonardo DiCaprio get his Oscar that was long overdue. I guess eating a raw bison liver and acting in subzero temperatures with an irritable director makes the Academy take pity on you, but let’s hope not, because that award symbolizes every landmark role that Leo has magnificently played. I may have shed a tear or fifty.
Anyway — onto the ceremony that we were so graciously not allowed into:
The 88th Academy Awards began with host Chris Rock addressing the elephant in the room — calling out Hollywood on the Oscars’ lack of diversity. It was a poignant speech that needed to be said.
“We want opportunity. We want the Black actors to get the same opportunities (as white actors). That’s it, you know?” Rock said.
This year, there was also powerful social commentary on the topic of sexual abuse. Lady Gaga sang a song about sexual abuse titled “Til It Happens To You,” which was a breathtaking performance. Joe Biden made an appearance, in which he took a stand against sexual assault. Gaga and Biden both received standing ovations.
There were surprising and unsurprising wins this year.
Firstly, Leo finally got an Oscar for best actor for his role in “The Revenant,” and all feels right in the world. I think my parents told me to calm down when he won (I must have been the screaming at the TV). Brie Larson, unsurprisingly, took home the award for best actress for her role in “Room.”
“Spotlight” won best picture, which was a surprise, as well as Mark Rylance winning best supporting actor for his role in “Bridge of Spies.” Alicia Vikander won best supporting actress for her role in “The Danish Girl.”
Best director went to Alejandro González Iñárritu, who, in his acceptance speech, said, “Leo, you are ‘The Revenant'” to a watery-eyed Leonardo DiCaprio.
“Mad Max” took home the most awards — six, to be exact — and was a dominating presence, which I wasn’t too pleased about. For a moment there, every envelope said “Mad Max: Fury Road,” and I gritted my teeth. If I’m honest, the only film I wanted winning every award was “The Revenant.”
This year’s Oscars included some cringe-worthy presenters (ahem, Sarah Silverman), powerful social commentary and musical performances by Sam Smith, The Weeknd and Dave Grohl, who sang “Blackbird” by The Beatles as a video montage played, honoring people who have died in the motion-picture industry. This included a tribute to Alan Rickman, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel emotional here.
A highlight of the night was when Chris Rock asked celebrities in the audience to buy Girl Scout cookies from his daughters.
“I want you to reach into your millionaire pockets, and I want you to buy some of my daughters’ Girl Scout cookies,” Rock said. “Leo, you made 30 million — c’mon.”
There was something oddly satisfying about seeing celebrities wave $5 bills in the air. It was revealed that the total cookie sales amassed to $65,243. Something else that was satisfying was seeing “Inside Out” win best animated feature, which I felt was well-deserved. Good on you, Disney-Pixar.
Overall, I felt like “The Martian” and “The Big Short” should have won more awards, instead of “Mad Max” hogging them all.
Other comments: Jacob Tremblay is an incredibly cute human, seeing Kate Winslet and Leo together brought me back to 1997 and Chris Rock killed it overall.
I’ll conclude with the evening’s best-dressed: Cate Blanchett, Saoirse Ronan, Alicia Vikander, Chrissy Teigen (she can rock a baby bump like nobody’s business), Leonardo DiCaprio (he always looks good and he never ages), Christian Bale, Jacob Tremblay and our amazing host, Chris Rock.
Until next year…
Best picture: “Spotlight”
Actor in a leading role: Leonardo DiCaprio – “The Revenant”
Actress in a leading role: Brie Larson – “Room”
Actor in a supporting role: Mark Rylance – “Bridge of Spies”
Actress in a supporting role: Alicia Vikander – “The Danish Girl”
Animated feature film: “Inside Out”
Cinematography: “The Revenant”
Costume design: “Mad Max: Fury Road”
Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu – “The Revenant”
Documentary (feature): “Amy”
Documentary (short subject): “A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness”
Film editing: “Mad Max: Fury Road”
Foreign language film: “Son of Saul”
Makeup and hairstyling: “Mad Max: Fury Road”
Music (original score): “The Hateful Eight”
Music (original song): “Writing’s On The Wall” – Sam Smith, for “Spectre”
Production design: “Mad Max: Fury Road”
Short film (animated): “Bear Story”
Short film (live-action): “Stutterer”
Sound editing: “Mad Max: Fury Road”
Sound mixing: “Mad Max: Fury Road”
Visual effects: “Ex Machina”
Writing (adapted screenplay): “The Big Short”
Writing (original screenplay): “Spotlight”
Collegian A&C Reporter Clarissa Davies can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @DaviesClarissa.