88th Annual Academy Awards (2016) – “We All Dream in Gold”

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The Academy Awards ceremony is the greatest, finest, biggest, oldest and most fantastic film event of the year. On February the 28th at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, the different ingredients of film-making are mixed together like a potion in a cauldron and form the famous golden Oscar statuette. As all the artists are patiently waiting in their red velvet chairs, wearing their glamourous dresses and suits, the winners are presented with their well-deserved prize. Here is a quick overview for those who missed the event.

This year, the celebration was hosted by Chris Rock, who previously hosted the event in 2005. Controversy arose over the fact that there was a lack of ethnic diversity in the Acting categories, which was why Rock decided to open the show with one of his countless mocking remarks of the show; “Welcome to the 88th Annual Academy Awards, otherwise known as the White people’s choice awards!” As a result of the controversy and world-wide criticism, a speech was made by President of the Academy, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, stating that “It’s not enough to just listen and agree, we must take action”. Apart from addressing the issues of the world, Rock very much kept the audience entertained and from starving during this four hour long ceremony, as he invited a group of girls scouts to sell their cookies.

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When is comes to the awards, some were surprises whereas some were perhaps expected, namely Leonardo DiCaprio’s win for Best Actor. In his acceptance speech he did not only thank the Academy for the recognition of his work, but also addressed the pressing issue of global warming; The Revenant was planned to be filmed entirely in Canada, but as the weather became too warm and the snow had started melting, the ending had to be shot in Argentina. What perhaps came as a surprise to the world was Alicia Vikander’s win for Best Supporting Actress. The Swedish actress was in tears as she received her very own golden statuette for her role in The Danish Girl, becoming the second Swede to win an Oscar in the category. Another highlight of the broadcast was the fourth installment of Mad Max: Fury Road that won six of its ten nominations, mainly for its visuals and sounds, becoming the biggest Oscar-winner this year. Finally, what might have been the biggest surprise of all was the Award for Best Picture that went to Spotlight, having won only one other Oscar of its six nominations.

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The Academy Awards ceremony is not only about the presentation of awards to the winners; more importantly it is about film-making and everything that entails. Remembering those who have dedicated their life to the cinematic world, for example. Among the ones that have passed were Alan Rickman (actor, Harry Potter), Leonard Lemoy (actor, Star Trek) and James Horner (composer, Titanic), all of whom we will miss dearly. The performances and cameos are also a significant part of the annual event. It was to the audience’s great pleasure that droids BB-8, R2-D2 and C-3PO attended the ceremony, coming up on stage to compare C-3PO to the Oscar statuette and give a shout-out to John Williams, the famous composer of the Star Wars theme and five-time Oscar-winner. But “all great things must come to an end”, and so the Awards came to an end as the credits rolled whilst the musical theme song from Do the Right Thing ‘Fight the Power’ played.

– Femke

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