TV and Movies

Academy Awards Overview

The Academy Awards are no stranger to stirring up internet buzz and getting people talking. This year there was large amount of controversy surrounding the Oscars and its lack of diversity in the nominees. Many knew that African American host Chris Rock would surely address the issue of #OscarsSoWhite, but no one predicted that it would be a central theme throughout the show. Many presenters used the time to talk about the issue, and some even poked fun at the controversy. Nonetheless, there was no shortage of great films and this will review the winners of the five biggest awards and previous expectations.

Best Picture: This year there were eight films nominated in this category. Three films stood out as true contenders. First there was “The Martian,” a film about an astronaut named Mark Watney, who is left on Mars and presumed dead. Watney must struggle to survive and Matt Damon does an exceptional job showing this harrowing journey where he is in somewhat of a “castaway” situation. Second, there is “Mad Max: Fury Road.” This is a widely loved film with stunning visuals about a man named Max who helps a group of women defeat an evil tyrant that uses them to reproduce. But the actors did not any have standout performances and the story was relatively basic. The film predicted to win was “The Revenant.” This film follows a man who seeks revenge on a man who wronged him. The wide landscape visuals were breathtaking and Leonardo DiCaprio does a great job. But one might not enjoy this, considering it was not dialogue heavy at all. In addition, Director Alejandro G. Inarritu is no stranger to winning awards. Last year Inarritu’s film “Birdman” won an Oscar for Best Picture. To much surprise, at the end of the night when presenter Morgan Freeman read off the winner as “Spotlight.” This film chronicles an investigative journalist team working for “The Boston Globe.” They investigate cases of widespread child sex abuse by members of the catholic church in Boston.   

Best Actor: Before the announcements, Leonardo DiCaprio was predicted to win best Actor award. After an intense and intriguing performance as Hugh Glass in “The Revenant,” DiCaprio was pinned to finally get the award that he deserved after three losses in the “Best Actor” category. In addition, Dicaprio’s speech was a highlight of the night. He brought the audiences’ attention to climate change and how we should not take the world for granted like he will not take his award for granted.

Best Actress: Brie Larson took home this award with her powerful performance as a mother who was held captive for five years in “Room.” After gaining freedom with her five year-old son, she allows him to experience the outside world. Larson’s take on this character was already praised by the Golden Globes in January. This award was very deserving.

Best Supporting Actor: Our pick prediction for this category was Sylvester Stallone for his performance as  Rocky Balboa in the movie “Creed.” Stallone has played this character in six other films but nothing compares to Balboa towards the end of his life as a forgotten boxing  legend who comes back to train his best friend’s son, Adonis Creed. Instead of fighting in the ring Balboa has an internal battle and finds why his life’s worth living for. However, when the time came, Mark Rylance won for his portrayal as a soviet spy who is used in an exchange for an American pilot in “Bridge of Spies.” This was viewed as a large surprise considering he beat both Stallone for “Creed” and Tom Hardy for “The Revenant.”

Best Supporting Actress: Alicia Vikander won for her portrayal as Gerda Wegener in the “Danish Girl.” Gerda struggles with her husband after revealing that he identifies as a woman and will undergo a sex change surgery. Although Vikander’s character was in the shadow of Eddie Redmayne’s main character, it was still a praiseworthy take on a spouse who must be supportive.

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  1. Awesome article! I didn’t think Stallone would win, but I was also surprised to see a stage actor take the award home. That best picture award was equally shocking.

  2. Re: Bridge of Spies,
    Mark Ryland’s performance, although understated, was very powerful. I hope students see this movie as it allows you to ponder our history and important political ideas. Mr. Ryland’s character also delivers a highly repeated line that will help you deal with many situations in your life!


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