The 88th Academy Awards ceremony took place in Hollywood, California at the Dolby Theatre and was broadcast live on ABC. Oscars Host Chris Rock immediately addressed the lack of diversity issue head on when he walked onstage to “Fight the Power” by Public Enemy. Chris Rock announced to the audience “I’m here at the Academy Awards, otherwise known as the white people’s choice award.” Chris Rock joked that he thought about boycotting, but the last thing he needed was to lose another job to Kevin Hart. Chris Rock stated that diversity is ultimately about opportunity.
Big Oscar winners included “Spotlight” for Best Picture, Leonardo DiCaprio for Actor in a Leading Role for “The Revenant,” Alejandro G. Iñárittu also won Directing for the “The Revenant,” and Brie Larson won for Actress in a Leading Role for “Room.” “Mad Max: Fury Road” also won several awards in the categories of Costume Design, Production Design, Make up/Hair Styling, Film Editing, Sound Editing, and Sound Mixing.
Highlights of the award ceremony also included Academy President Cheryl Boone addressing the diversity issue by stating that “our audiences are global and rich in diversity and every facet of our industry should be as well. Everyone in the Hollywood community has a role to play in bringing about vital changes that the industry needs so that we can accurately reflect the world today.”
Vice President Joe Biden also made an appearance at the Oscars to discuss the issue of sexual assaults on college campuses and introduced Lady Gaga who performed alongside sexual assault survivors who joined her onstage. Other Musical performances included Sam Smith, The Weekend, and Dave Grohl from Foo Fighters who performed the In Memoriam.
Chris Rock continued to address diversity throughout the program with a video parody that included Black actors in Oscar nominated movies including Whoopi Goldberg in “Joy” and “The Martian” and Tracy Morgan as “The Danish Girl.” Chris Rock also drove home the point humorously with two other videos one entitled “Black History Month Minute” with Angela Bassett and a man on the street interview with moviegoers at a movie theater in Compton. On a lighter note, Chris Rock followed Ellen DeGeneres’ previous Oscar pizza moment by selling his daughter’s Girl Scout cookies at the Oscars.
Diversity was reflected in the selection of the Oscars presenters who included previous Oscar winners Whoopi Goldberg, Morgan Freeman, and Lou Gossett Jr.; music legend Quincy Jones, Pharrell Williams, Benicio Del Toro, Abraham Attah, Sofia Vergara, Byung-Hun Lee, Priyanka Chopra, Common, John Legend, Chadwick Boseman, and Michael B. Jordan who Chris Rock announced as “should have been Oscar nominee.” Kerry Washington was also a presenter and spoke to ABC Correspondent Robin Roberts before the show and said that she was here tonight because she believes her voice is best used “at the table” because as a fairly new member of the Academy she wants to make institutional change so that that this [lack of diversity] will never happen again.
Spike Lee was not present at the awards; however, a video clip was shown of his Honorary Award acceptance speech where he stated “it’s easier to be the President of United States as a Black person than to be the head of a studio.”
Highlighted below are some of the Top Awards:
• Best Picture “Spotlight”
• Best Original Screenplay “Spotlight”
• Directing – Alejandro G. Iñárittu “Revenant”
• Actor in a Leading Role – Leonardo DiCaprio “The Revenant”
• Actress in a Leading Role – Brie Larson “Room”
• Actor in a Supporting Role – Mark Rylancs “Bridge of Spies”
• Actress in a Supporting Role – Alicia Vikander “The Danish Girl”
• Best Adapted Screenplay “The Big Short”
• Animated Feature Film “Inside Out”
• Cinematography – Emmanuel Lubezki “The Revenant”
• Music Original Score – Ennio Morricone for “The Hateful Eight”
• Original song – Sam Smith and Jimmy Napes “Spectre”
• Costume Design “Mad Max: Fury Road”
• Production Design “Mad Max: Fury Road”
• Make up/Hair Styling “Mad Max: Fury Road”
• Film Editing “Mad Max: Fury Road”
• Sound Editing “Mad Max: Fury Road”
• Sound Mixing “Mad Max: Fury Road”
• Visual Effects “Ex Machina”
• Animated Short Film “Bear Story”
• Documentary Short Film – Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy “A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness.”
• Documentary Feature – Asif Kapadia and James Gay-Rees “Amy”
• Live Action Short Film “Stutterer”
• Foreign Language Film “Son of Saul”
For a complete list of the Oscars Winners go to: oscars.org
For more information about the winners go to www.imdb.com