The 88th Annual Academy Awards have come and went and I am sure we are all looking forward to next years award ceremony. This years event was marred by controversy  due to the lack of African American nominations.  For months now Twitter has been flooded with tweets of #OscarsSoWhite. Actor Will Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith both decided to boycott the ceremony.  Most notable snubs were Idris Elba (Beasts of No Nation), Ryan Coogler (Creed), Benicio Del Toro (Sicario) and Michael B. Jordan (Creed). 

Host Chris Rock came out and as expected did not hold back when it came to the subject of racism in Hollywood. As soon as I saw Chris Rock wearing a white tuxedo (clearly in response to the controversy), I knew it was about to be good. I enjoyed most of what Chris had to say, commenting that “I’m here at the Oscars, otherwise known as the White People’s Choice Awards.” Chris also did not stop there commenting on Will Smith, saying “Is it fair that Will didn’t get nominated for Concussion? No. But it’s also not fair that he got paid $20 million for Wild Wild West.” He even commented that if hosting the Oscars were left up to nomination that he would not have even gotten the job. “You’d be watching Neil Patrick Harris right now.”, the comedian joked.

These jokes were funny and the crowd was into most of what he had to say but there were a few moments that were not so funny. Chris joked about how this was the 88th year of the Academy Awards, and why are people picking this year to protest. He made a comment that in the 50’s and 60’s African American’s had better things to protest. The comedian made comments about being lynched and raped, seeing Grandparents swinging from a tree, and burning crosses. As camera’s panned the crowd there were claps followed by more claps but the audience was very uncomfortable with what was being said. I applaud Chris for taking a stand but some of the comments were very graphic and unnecessary. It is a shame we live in a world where these comments have to made to get the point across that racial bias is still a huge problem. I hope that the industry will wake up.

I wont even cover the whole Stacy Dash skit that left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth, even Chrissy Teigen.

Following the opening monologue we get right into the award presentations. There was a sense of nervousness around the room and on the internet as well all were waiting to see who would take home the top honors.  I won’t cover all the winners but you can see the entire list here.  The main event for most of the evening was the Award for Actor in a Leading Role. The nominee’s were Bryan Cranston (Trumbo), Matt Damon (The Martian), Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl), Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs) and Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant). Why was Tom Hanks not nominated for Bridge of Spies? The race was really only between Fassbender and DiCaprio in my opinion, though I think Damon could have shocked the world. I was pulling for Leo to win much as I was at the 2014 Oscars when I feel he should have won for Wolf of Wall Street. Don’t get me wrong, I love Matthew McConaughey but he was not even the best part about Dallas Buyers Club, Leto was

The moment came when the envelope was opened, pause, and the Oscar goes to…..(right here I think everyone’s BP was 200/200), Leonardo DiCaprio….(right here everyone went nuts). Years of Leo not winning an Oscar memes were suddenly replaced with new memes and gifs of Leo with the Oscar.  I was so thrilled to see an amazing actor and humanitarian finally get the recognition he deserved. Leo jogged up the steps to grab his trophy and even took the award envelope. Leo talked about how tough the shoot was for The Revenant  and also talked about climate change in his acceptance speech.  After years of losing out, Leo finally had his award and said,”I do not take tonight for granted.” What is not to like about this guy? Academy Awards

In somewhat of a shocker Spotlight took home the Oscar for Best Picture. I think it was a tight race with Mad Max: Fury Road being the fans favorite but many expecting The Revenant to win.  As a big fan of Michael Keaton, it was good to see his last two films win back to back Best Picture awards. Last year Birdman won as well.

The winner for Best Director went once again to Alejandro González Iñárritu for The Revenant.  Alejandro won last year for Birdman as well. I truly expected George Miller to take this award home, especially after the night Mad Max: Fury Road had. I loved both movies so this was a hard choice but I do feel in the end it went to the right nominee.

In what many called a huge snub was the Best Supporting Actor award that went to Mark Rylance for Bridge of Spies. I am not familiar with his work and even asked “Who is Mark Rylance?” I am not taking anything away from him and if he won then he must deserve it but many people felt Sylvester Stallone should have won.  Even pal Arnold Schwarzenegger took to Twitter to applaud his friend.  I was not in the same boat as many, I felt Tom Hardy should have won. Hardy was amazing in The Revenant with some even saying his performance was better than Leo’s. Rylance was the underdog by a mile but congratulations are in order.

A moment that many felt stole the show was the performance by Lady Gaga and her nominated song “Til It Happens To You”. Gaga’s performance brought tears to many audience members eyes. The song touches on sexual assault among men and women. Gaga was surrounded on stage by sexual assault victims. Gaga too is a former victim, raped at the age of 19. At the end of the performance she stood tall as they all held hands in unity.

The amazing performance had many hoping that she would win the award for Best Music. If the nominations were voted the night of then Lady Gaga would have won hands down. The award eventually went to Sam Smith’s “Writings On The Wall” for Spectre. I honestly do not see how this song won, It was terrible and not well received.

The Actress in a Leading Role award went to Brie Larson for Room. I have yet to see this movie but the buzz for Brie was off the charts last night. I think there were many who were ready to riot had Jennifer Lawrence won.  Cate Blanchett was phenomenal in Carol and I would not have been shocked if she had won. Congratulations to Brie on her amazing award!

The biggest snub of the night was not that Star Wars: The Force Awakens didn’t win a single award, it was that Kate Winslet did not win Best Supporting Actress for Steve Jobs.  Robbed, robbed I tell ya! She was amazing in that movie and her performance was second only to Fassbender. The award went to Alicia Vikander for The Danish Girl, if she had been nominated for Ex Machina then we would not even be having this discussion. I could make a strong case for Rachel McAdams for Spotlight as well. I am not saying Vikander did not deserve to win, I just felt she won for the wrong movie and thus Kate Winslet was the better actress.

The night was also highlighted by Mad Max: Fury Road’s six Oscar awards. I think many felt a sweep was coming after the start it had. Mad Max won for Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, Production Design, Makeup and Hairstyling, Film Editing, and Costume Design.  You could have made the case for Best Director and Best Picture, after all Mad Max was one of the best reviewed movies of 2015.

The In Memoriam was spot was very sad. So many great individuals lost in 2015-2016 from Alan Rickman, David Bowie, Leonard Nimoy, and Christopher Lee. Though they did snub a few individuals this year.  All in all I think the Academy did a great job showcasing the men and women we lost and they will never be forgotten.

The night was filled with several highs (Lady Gaga, Leo, Mad Max) and some lows (Stallone/Hardy/Winslet snub, entire #OscarSoWhite issue). I think Chris Rock was a good host, the skits were terrible, but he did a good job. My only wish is that Hollywood will wake up and see there is a real problem with racism and even sexism. Award shows should be about celebrating achievements, not having to discuss racism. Winning speeches should be filled with praise, not talks about diversity. Hollywood needs to start looking at the body of work instead of the color or gender of the person. I hope 2016 is a better year for all actors and actresses.

Overall rating 7.5/10


Sources: Oscars, CNN, Independent , News MyracleEntertainmentMoviesRecent PostsTV ShowsAcademy Awards,Actor,Actress,Director,Film,Hollywood,Leonardo Dicaprio,Nominee,oscars  The 88th Annual Academy Awards have come and went and I am sure we are all looking forward to next years award ceremony. This years event was marred by controversy  due to the lack of African American nominations.  For months now Twitter has been flooded with tweets of #OscarsSoWhite. Actor Will Smith and...Why go anywhere else for sports and entertainment?