When the Academy Award nominees were announced, the tag #OscarsSoWhite began to trend. Racial minorities have a history of being left out when it comes to the big screen, and 2016 was no different. The actors and actresses were all highly diverse shades of Wonder Bread, mayonnaise, and milk.
The night’s host, Chris Rock, did exactly what we expected. He came out swinging, and went straight for the controversial diversity gap in his opening monologue, with lines from “You’re damn right Hollywood is racist,” to “When your grandmother’s swinging from a tree, it’s really hard to care about Best Documentary, Foreign Short.”
While the ratings may have been poor, Rock covered what could be considered a delicate topic with humor, while still making solid criticisms about Hollywood and the Academy, as well as unexpectedly raising money for his daughter’s Girl Scout troupe.
A large part of why I enjoy the Oscars is the fashion. Most notably, Carol actresses Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara were resplendent in a feathered mint gown and a sheer frothy Givenchy dress complete with stomach cutout, respectively. Brooklyn star Saoirse Ronan killed it in an emerald sequined Calvin Klein ensemble in honor of her native Ireland.
When it came to awards, Spotlight, which chronicles the struggles of journalists trying to uncover the sexual abuse hidden in the Catholic Church, took home the highly anticipated award for Best Picture.
Mad Max: Fury Road was also a big hit with the Academy, as the film took home statues in six categories, from costume design to sound mixing.
Vice president Joe Biden appeared unexpectedly to announce “his friend” Lady Gaga, and to promote It’s On Us, the campaign to end sexual assault and violence on college campuses. Gaga then performed her heart-wrenching song “Till It Happens To You” from the documentary The Hunting Ground, and was joined onstage by victims of sexual assault in an emotional tribute.
On a lighter note, Leo DiCaprio’s sixth nomination finally resulted in taking home an Oscar for Best Actor for his role in The Revenant, finally bringing joy to middle-aged women and an end to the seasonal award show jokes. DiCaprio’s speech covered his respect and appreciation for his fellow nominees, and ended on the unexpected note of combatting climate change.
The adorable Brie Larson won her first Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in Room, and thanked her beaming costar Jacob Tremblay for being “my partner through this in every way possible.”
I think Tremblay deserves a mention simply because of how small and cute he is. Tremblay’s performance in Room may not have won any awards that night, but he certainly won us all over with his tiny Armani suit, Darth Vader socks, and precious comments. (“Thanks Chris [Rock]! I loved you in Madagascar!”)