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Oscars Recap

Leonardo DiCaprio admires his box of Girl Scout Cookies.

Leonardo DiCaprio admires his box of Girl Scout Cookies.

Devon Regal, Staff Writer

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February 28 marked an important day in history: the 88th Academy Awards. The night was full of special events, surprise wins, and powerful comments from host Chris Rock. Here is the complete recap of this year’s Oscars.

This Academy Awards was especially important because of the events leading up to it. Celebrities like Will Smith, Spike Lee, Jada Pinkett-Smith, and  Anohni chose to boycott the awards ceremony for one reason: #OscarsSoWhite. The hashtag was born when moviegoers and Oscars fans realized that everyone nominated for an Oscar in 2016 was white. Snubs included Straight Outta Compton for Best Picture, Michael B. Jordan (Creed) for Best Actor, Idris Elba (Beasts of No Nation) for Best Supporting Actor, and Will Smith (Concussion) for Best Actor. So, of course, Chris Rock’s monologue was almost entirely focused on the overwhelming whiteness of the awards ceremony.

“Say ‘62 or ‘63, and black people did not protest,” Rock said. “Why? Because we had real things to protest at the time, you know? We had real things to protest; you know, we’re too busy being raped and lynched to care about who won Best Cinematographer.”

The first award of the night went to Spotlight for Best Original Screenplay. Spotlight follows the true story of Boston Globe journalists looking to expose the Catholic church for child abuse. Next, the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay was presented to The Big Short, a dramedy about the economic collapse in the United States.

Chris Rock came out next with a satirical video replacing characters in Oscar-nominated films with black actors. Whoopi Goldberg mopped the floor in Joy, Tracy Morgan starred in The Danish Girl, Chris Rock played a neglected astronaut in The Martian, and Leslie Jones was the bear in The Revenant. Directly afterwards, Sam Smith took the stage to perform an underwhelming rendition of “The Writing’s on the Wall” from Spectre.

Alicia Vikander was awarded Best Supporting Actress for The Danish Girl, a film following the sex change of artist Einar Wegener (Eddie Redmayne). This was Vikander’s first nomination. Taking home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor was Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies). Many predictions cited Sylvester Stallone (Creed) as the winner for this award, so Rylance’s win came as a shock.

Before the Oscars ceremony, awards analyst Scott Feinberg said, “Expect [Stallone] to win by a TKO over the other four nominees.”

Mad Max: Fury Road took home most of the editing awards, including ones for sound mixing, film editing, sound editing, makeup, production design, and costume design. In one of the more talked-about events of the night, Jenny Beavan accepted the Oscar for Best Costume Design; however, instead of wearing formal attire like the other Hollywood celebrities, Beavan chose to wear a leather jacket with a flaming skull on the back. Actors and actresses crossed their arms and looked on with distaste as Jenny Beavan accepted her award.

“I just like feeling comfortable,” Beavan said.

Emmanuel Lubezki took home the award for Best Cinematographer for the third year in a row for The Revenant. Ex Machina won Best Visual Effects.

Rock soon reemerged from backstage with a troop of Girl Scouts to sell cookies to Hollywood’s elite, seeming to challenge Ellen DeGeneres’ previous pizza sales at the Oscars. Chris Rock later revealed that the Girl Scouts had raised $65,243. As of March 16, the Girl Scouts have still not been presented with the money they apparently raised.

The Oscar for Best Animated Feature was given to Disney-Pixar’s Inside Out. Soon after, The Weeknd took the stage to perform his hit “Earned It” from Fifty Shades of Gray.

Some of the more minor awards were presented to documentaries and shorts, like Best Feature Documentary for Amy and Best Live Action Short for Stutterer. Then, Vice President Joe Biden took the stage and was greeted with a standing ovation. He told the audience about the importance of changing the stigma surrounding sexual abuse. Biden introduced Lady Gaga, who performed a rousing rendition of “Til It Happens to You.” She shared the stage with survivors of abuse, some featured in the documentary The Hunting Ground.

Following her performance was the presentation of Best Original Song. Lady Gaga herself was the predicted winner, but it was Sam Smith who took home the Oscar for “The Writing’s on the Wall.” Once onstage, Smith mistakenly said that he was the “first openly gay man to win an Oscar.” In reality, both Elton John and Dustin Lance Black had won previously. Afterwards, The Hateful Eight won Best Original Score, breaking Mad Max’s Oscar streak. For the second consecutive year, Alejandro G. Iñarritu (The Revenant) won Best Director.

Next were two of the most high-profile awards of the night: Best Actor and Best Actress. Best Actress was presented first and went to Brie Larson (Room). The award for Best Actor was predicted to go to none other than Leonardo DiCaprio, the man who was bypassed for What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, The Aviator, Blood Diamond, Django Unchained, and The Wolf of Wall Street. In fact, he was snubbed so many times that the Internet took him into its arms and whispered, “You will never win an Oscar.” Lo and behold, DiCaprio was the winner.

Taking home the most prestigious award of the night, Best Picture, was Spotlight. This was surprising considering Mad Max had won six other Oscars that night, whereas Spotlight had claimed only one other award.

This year brought about one of the most significant race debates Hollywood has faced, signaled the end of the “Leo wants an Oscar” meme, and started an era of equality. The 88th Annual Academy Awards will go down in history as the beginning of change.

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Oscars Recap