Last night it was time for one of my favorite little traditions, pulling an all-nighter to watch the Academy Awards live on television. Due to the time difference this is quite the challenge sometimes, but I am usually so excited that it is not at all difficult to stay awake. This year I looked forward to the show with mixed feelings, however. The controversy about the complete lack of diversity among the acting nominees was something that I felt very strongly about, because I simply do not understand why Hollywood refuses to give actors and movie makers of colour the same opportunities as everyone else. So, with a little apprehension and a lot of snacks, I counted down the minutes until the show would start.
Chris Rock had the challenging job of hosting the show this year and it has to be said that he dealt with the controversy perfectly. His opening monologue was political, sure, but it was done very elegantly and he was simply hilarious. I feel like there will be people that think the entire show was all about the diversity issue and that it perhaps was less entertaining than usual, but in my opinion it needed to be this way if we want Hollywood to start making a difference. But whereas it could have been very awkward if it had not been handled in the right way, Chris Rock did a great job and I would not mind seeing him host the show again in the future!
Now on to the awards themselves. First of all I have to say that I am insanely happy that Leonardo DiCaprio finally won his first Oscar and it was amazing to see the entire world cheering for him on social media as he won. His acceptance speech was selfless, touched on important issues and was very well delivered. To me it was definitely the highlight of the evening. I am also very happy for Alicia Vikander and Brie Larson. I was rooting for both of them and even though Cate Blanchett will always be one of my favorite actors, I felt like Brie truly deserved this win. The biggest surprise of the evening in my opinion was Mark Rylance winning Best Supporting Actor. I was so sure that Sylvester Stallone was going to win (even though I secretly wanted Mark Ruffalo to get the award) that my jaw literally dropped when they announced Mark Rylance’s name. I have not seen Bridge Of Spies yet, so it is difficult for me to form an opinion on this win, but I noticed that I am definitely not the only one who was a bit shocked at this turn of events. All in all I think the people and movies that won deserved it. I was pleased to see Mad Max win in all of the technical categories. The movie is a piece of art and it was very skillfully made. I do wish that Star Wars had won at least one award though. I was hoping that John Williams would win Best Score, but no one can deny that Ennio Morricone was a deserved winner as well.
Another aspect of the Oscars that I always enjoy are the live performances from the Best Original Song nominees. I was incredibly happy when I found out that Sam Smith was nominated because he is one of my favorite artists of our generation. Sadly his performance was not his best, as he was clearly riddled with nerves. Lady Gaga on the other hand brought me to tears with her performance, it was so hauntingly beautiful! She is such a brave, strong, ridiculously talented woman and I am very thankful to her for having the courage to speak up about sexual assault. The Weeknd’s performance was flawless as well, I really enjoyed it. When Sam Smith turned out to be the winner of the Oscar I fangirled quite a bit and I loved his acceptance speech.
Something that I truly appreciated during this year’s show was the fact that during the In Memoriam piece, the audience did not clap. All too often these moments of remembrance turn into popularity contests as some artists get a much bigger applause than others, which always makes me feel bad. Dave Grohl’s performance during the In Memoriam was wonderful as well. And of course my other favorite moments were when C3PO, R2D2 and BB8 hit the stage and when Buzz and Woody from Toy Story presented an award.
I thoroughly enjoyed last night’s show and I truly hope that it urged Hollywood to really change their view on diversity. It would make the movie-making industry infinitely more interesting, genuine and filled with talent. See you next year, Oscars!