Thoughts on the 2016 Academy Awards

The weeks leading up to this year’s Academy Awards was filled with controversy. Stars threatened to boycott. A twitter campaign was forged and soon went viral. So Chris Rock would be remised if he did not address this issue during the ceremony. The end result was a very entertaining ceremony that was aware of its own lack of diversity from beginning to the ending blasting N.W.A.’s Fight the power during the end credits.

The truth is Chris Rock’s monologue was exactly what we needed to hear last night. It was rambunctious and somewhat conversational, but it was not condescending and overly forceful. It was blunt and honest with enough comedy to smooth over the uncomfortable truths with laughs. Normally as human beings, it seems such levity is the only method we as people can approach this matter without someone getting offended.

Chris Rock was hilarious but raised true issues in his jokes from both the present and past. The concept of “Sorority Racism” and the lack of opportunity is apparent in Hollywood, not just for Blacks, but all minorities and women as well. Yet as Chris pointed out, not everything is about racism or sexism but forms of racism and sexism do still exist and should be acknowledged, discussed, and confronted.

Now with that out of the way let’s proceed to the actual events. The #OscarsSoWhite controversy permeated the entire show, which actually provided a lot of entertainment. Normally the ceremony is boring with hosts who seem too nervous to be funny in such a formal setting. This year’s host Chris Rock did an excellent job of providing the needed laughs to balance out the dry humor of the presenter jokes. He even sold Girl Scout Cookies to the crowd, which was unnecessary but came across better than the pizza deliveries and selfies recent Oscars have attempted.

Overall the ceremony itself wasn’t bad. “Oh what a lovely day” for Mad Max: Fury Road. The film brought home several of the technical awards. For a film that was pushed back from its original release and entered reshoots, it certainly has cleaned up well. Inside Out won best animated film, but that wasn’t hard to predict. Chile now can claim Oscar winners for the first time with winners from the category of best short film. The Hateful Eight won best original score while Sam Smith won best original score.

And of course the biggest question this year’s major awards, could Leonardo DiCarpio finally win a golden statue. Director Alexandro Inarritu was up for Best Director for the second year in a row and won. This is the first time this has been achieved in the past 65 years. Mark Rylance from Bridge of Spies took home Best Supporting Actor. Personally, I was hoping for Tom Hardy because of his work in The Revenant. Best supporting actress went to Alicia Vikander from The Danish Girl. Best Actress went to Brie Larson, who appeared to have all the momentum leading into the awards. Best Actor went to Leonardo DiCaprio for the first time. The biggest Oscar awarded last night was for Best Picture. My support was for Mad Max: Fury Road but Spotlight took home the golden statue.

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