Oscars 2016 in Review

Joseph Beaird, Staff Writer

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No one can hear about the 2016 Academy Awards without immediately thinking about the #OscarsSoWhite controversy. For the second year in a row, there have been no African- American actors nominated for awards. This situation has caused great backlash and anger from the general public, but is their anger righteous?

According to a study conducted by the Los Angeles Times, 94% of members of the committee of voters for the Oscars were old, white males. On the other hand, 2% of the committee consists of African-Americans while the other 4% is made up of other races. From these results, it is evident that the Academy needs to change the population of voters to better reflect the diversity of the American public.

So many black actors and celebrities boycotted the actors, and many questioned, why did the host, Chris Rock, retain from boycotting? During his opening speech at the Oscars, Chris Rock stated “It’s not about boycotting. We want opportunity. That’s it.”

The #OscarsSoWhite controversy was joked at so much throughout the entirety of the Oscars, that by about an hour into the show’s runtime, the audience and everyone viewing at home was exhausted from hearing about it. Many people agree that while the Academy needs demographic changes, it is equally important for movie studios to share responsibility for diversity and that the current controversy is exaggerated,  Even Chris Rock compared the racism in Hollywood to college sorority rivalries.

Unsurprisingly, much more happened at the Oscars other than racial controversy. Leonardo DiCaprio finally won an Oscar for Best Actor for his role in The Revenant. The old internet meme about Leo being incapable of winning an Oscar has been laid to rest thanks to his efforts in acting. Of course, this was joked at during the show. During a montage for Best Actor nominees, someone in a bear suit applauded as a nod to the bear in The Revenant.

Leonardo DiCaprio gave a great acceptance speech about climate control. He pointed out that to film The Revenant; he had to go halfway around the globe to find snow. Leo closed his speech by saying “Do not take this planet for granted, I do not take this night for granted. Thank you.” Throughout six nominations, stress on Wall Street, and a bear attack, Leo has finally claimed victory.

Everyone was surprised by how well the apocalyptic action movie Mad Max: Fury Road performed, taking home six awards. The film did not win Best Picture, yet it surpassed every other picture in number of awards won. The movie that came closest in comparison was The Revenant, which received three awards.

Many people were surprised by the fact that Sylvester Stallone was snubbed of his Oscar glory for Best Supporting Actor. The general public agreed that his reprisal of the role Rocky Balboa in Creed was the performance of a lifetime. However, Mark Rylance gave an excellent performance as Russian spy Rudolf Abel in Bridge of Spies, well deserving of an award. Many people believed that Stallone was the only option for Best Supporting Actor.

There were excellent performances during the entirety of the Oscars. It was a brilliant choice for David Grohl to perform for the In Memoriam section of the show. Grohl paid tribute to those who considerably impacted film and passed away in the year passed by playing “Blackbird” by the Beatles. His peaceful rendition of the classic Beatles song complemented the In Memoriam section perfectly and left viewers speechless.

Vice President Joe Biden discussed sexual assault on college campuses as he introduced Lady Gaga’s performance of “Til It Happens to You.” In Gaga’s powerful presentation, she sang and played piano as victims of sexual assault joined hands on stage. The performance proved that assault can happen to anyone, regardless of gender or race. The collective work of Joe Biden and Lady Gaga brought light to this serious problem, which should bring change to colleges all across America.

This year’s Oscars have been a wild ride throughout all forms of media. While everyone distracted by the controversy over the lack of diversity in nominations, much more happened. Whether it be the tremendous performances, long-deserved awards, or snubs from other actors, the entirety of the Oscars was fantastic.

 

Here are the Spokesman’s Predictions versus the results of the biggest categories of Oscar nominations:

 

The Spokesman’s Predictions

Best Picture: The Revenant

Best Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant

Best Actress:Jennifer Lawrence in Joy  

Best Supporting Actor: Sylvester Stallone in Creed

Best Supporting Actress: Rachel McAdams in Spotlight

Best Director: Alejandro G Inarritu for The Revenant

Best Song: Writing’s on the Wall by Sam Smith and Jimmy Napes from Spectre

Best Original Score: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Best Visual Effects: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Best Original Screenplay: Straight Outta Compton

 

Results

Best Picture:Spotlight

Best Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant

Best Actress: Brie Larson in Room

Best Supporting Actor: Mark Rylance in Bridge of Spies

Best Supporting Actress: Alicia Vikander in The Danish Girl

Best Director: Alejandro G Inarritu for The Revenant

Best Song: Writing’s on the Wall by Sam Smith and Jimmy Napes from Spectre

Best Original Score: The Hateful Eight

Best Visual Effects: Ex Machina

Best Original Screenplay: Spotlight

 

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