I don’t know about you all, but I’m suffering from a serious post-Oscars syndrome this Monday morning. A person can only handle so much glamour, talent, and film nostalgia without feeling completely overwhelmed. I laughed, I cried… I cried again. This year’s Academy Awards was an emotional roller coaster and I did not want to get off.
Before we delve into the actual awards, I’d like to take a moment of silence for all the hearts that simultaneously exploded the moment that Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet stepped onto the red carpet together. I’m still recovering.
Okay, on to the show! Host Chris Rock exemplified the best way to address the #OscarsSoWhite debacle: through humor. With a refreshing twist on the usually safe monologue route post Seth McFarlane’s failed jokes of 2013, Chris really went for it. Although some of his jokes were met with an uncomfortable silence and hesitant applause, for example following a comment that this year’s “In Memoriam package was going to be black people who were shot by cops on their way to the movies,” his message was clear, powerful, and grounded.
This year, there were some noticeable deviations from the traditional order of presentation. Normally, the show starts off with one of the supporting actor categories ,but this year the awards followed the order of production of a film, kicking off with the foundation of a movie, best screenplay(s). With no surprise to anyone, Original Screenplay went to Tom McCarthy’s Spotlight and Adapted to Charles Randolph and Adam McKay with The Big Short.
Following a head to head race with this year’s BAFTA and Globe recipient Kate Winslet, best supporting actress went to The Danish Girl’s Alicia Vikander. Her acceptance speech was adorable and her genuine excitement was contagious. Following a quick kiss with fellow academy award nominee and boyfriend Michael Fastbender, Vikander made her way to the stage and thanked her parents for believing in her and encouraging her to dream big.
In the spirit of change, the 88th Academy Awards also incorporated new little details throughout the show ,such as having the winner’s ‘Thank You’s’ running in a stream below their acceptance speeches and little blurbs beside the presenter’s with their filmography.
Chris Rock continued his humorous social commentary throughout the show with little side comments such as “should have been nominee Michael B. Jordan,” re-creating important scenes from best pictures with the inclusion of actors of color, and a segment titled ‘Black History Month Minute’ which celebrated actor Jack Black.
At the hour and half mark, things started to get… interesting. First, we were surprised with an appearance by R2D2, C3PL, and BB-8; a moment that clearly blew the mind of the prince of this year’s award season and star of Room, 9-year-old Jacob Trumbley.
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) February 29, 2016
Following the arrival of the trio of droids, Chris Rock invited his daughter’s girl scouts troop out in the audience to sell Girl Scout Cookies to Hollywood’s elite, gifting us with moments of Kate Winslet looking exceptionally excited over a box of Tagalongs and Sam Smith waving $5 in the air for his own. Then, to the pleasure of my inner-child, Buzz Lightyear and Woody, who are celebrating 20 years of friendship (excuse me…what?) presented the award to Pixar’s Inside Out for best-animated feature.
We then turned back towards the serious, with comedian Kevin Hart giving a touching speech where he applauded actors of color in the industry for an incredible year of powerful performances, encouraging his fellow creative to continue to push boundaries.
In a personal disappointment and first real snub of the night, Best Supporting Actor went to Mark Rylance for his performance in Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies. That’s not to say his performance in the film wasn’t impressive, because it absolutely was, but let’s be honest here, who wouldn’t have loved to see Stallone up on that stage? You’re still a champ in my heart, Rocky.
One of the most talked about segments of the night came from a shocking collaboration between Joe Biden and Lady Gaga in a stance against sexual assault. After a speech made by our Vice President, Lady Gaga took to the stage to sing ‘Till it Happens to You, surrounded by sexual abuse survivors with ‘it’s not your fault’ written on their arms, a moment that moved the entire room, and everyone at home, to tears. The tears then continued with the shot of Brie Larson hugging all of the participants during the commercial break.
Talking about Brie Larson, excuse my gushing here, but… YAY!!!! Aside from the fact that her performance in Room was breathtaking, heartbreaking, and genuine beyond belief, Brie is one of the most eloquent and intelligent women in this world and I’m so glad that she is getting the recognition she deserves as lead actress. Seriously, she’s made my entire year.
And of course, the moment that gave humanity as a whole a sense of justice (and perhaps a tear or two), Leonardo DiCaprio finally got his Oscar. May the Internet’s favorite memes rest in peace.
To close out the show with the final shocker, the absolute treasure that is Spotlight takes home the award for Best Picture.
And that’s a wrap on this year’s Academy Awards! Thank you 2015 for an inspiring collection of films and let the countdown to next year begin! For more highlights and winners from the Oscars 2016, visit oscar.go.com.
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Featured image courtesy of the Oscars