On the 28th February the Dolby Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard played host to the 88th Academy Awards.
Despite being arguably the biggest event of the movie calendar there was only one question on everyone’s lips: Will Leonardo DiCaprio finally do it?
The Academy didn’t disappoint. At 4.50am GMT, those of us who were brave enough to embrace the sleep deprivation to join the masses of global viewers witnessed history. Leonardo DiCaprio won Best Actor for his starring role in epic The Revenant. After five previous nominations (three for Best Actor, one for Best Supporting Actor and one for Best Picture as the producer of Wolf of Wall Street) Leo’s sixth bid for the little gold statue proved successful. Our favourite under appreciated actor took to the stage under the proud gaze of ‘work wife’ Kate Wislet, who coincidentally won her first Oscar in 2009 on her sixth nomination too. The pair made our night far more emotional and injected that extra magic into this already special moment.
They melted our hearts…
Mad Max was the big winner of the evening scooping six of their ten nominations including: Best Costume Design, Best Production Design and Best Editing
The Revenant only managed three of their twelve nominations: Best Actor, Best Director and Best Cinematography. However as some of the highest accolades, I can’t imagine too many complaints there.
Best Actress went to Brie Larson for Room. Thoroughly deserved in my opinion. She gave such a beautiful performance of a harrowing story that simply needed to be told. She’s certainly one to watch in the future.
Alicia Vikander secured Best Supporting Actress for her role in The Danish Girl, the only win out of their four nominations. She performed in five films this year, two of which bagged Oscar nominations, showing hard work really has payed off for the sweet Swedish actress. Kate Winslet was also nominated in this category for Steve Jobs and took home the BAFTA for it a few weeks ago.
Perhaps surprisingly Mark Rylance came away with Best Supporting Actor for his role as Soviet Spy Rudolf Abel in The Bridge of Spies. Many thought this would go to Sylvester Stallone however I’m pleased as The Bridge of Spies was one of my personal favourites from this year’s awards season. It was nice to see the four acting gongs spread across vastly different, but equally brilliant, films.
Spotlight came away with Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay whilst Best Adapted Screenplay went to The Big Short.
Most surprisingly for me Carol failed to win any of their six nominations. The film boasted performances from Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara who successfully transferred their characters’ story from page to film with beauty and emotion. The film had an interesting and complete story arc unlike Blue Jasmine, the film for which Cate won the Oscar in 2014 denying Sandra Bullock of the award she should have won for Gravity. For me it feels like Carol has been massively underrated in this cycle of awards.
Arguably the star of the evening was presenter Chris Rock who dealt with the #OscarsSoWhite controversy in the perfect way. His monologue at the start of the ceremony expressed all the thoughts of the situation with dignity and appropriate humour. Tearing down Jada Pinkett Smith‘s boycott was Oscar worthy in itself. As Kerry Washington said of the situation to Robin Roberts on the red carpet:
“A lot of people have asked me why I’m here tonight, and the thing I’m thinking about is, if you look at the history of movements, the history of change, a lot of the voices are needed at the table. I really respect and actually admire some of the people who are not here tonight, I really get it. But for me, I felt like my voice — in my heart — my voice is best used at the table…We need all those voices at the table. It’s about making sure that our films, and the awards that we give for films, represent humanity.”
I sincerely hope we never face another year with all white nominees. The entire industry needs to change to represent all members of society, be that African American, Asian, Latino or any other denomination.
Nevertheless Hollywood certainly delivered an incredible night of glitz and glamour for the most anticipated awards of the year.
Read Chris Rock’s full opening monologue here:
Watch monologue highlights here:
Full list of nominees and winners here: