The 88th Academy Awards, despite the usual 3 1/2 hour run-time, kept us interested the whole evening. Viewers were treated to a fun broadcast with many highlights.
Here are the parts we loved:
1) Chris Rock as Host
While he may have had some awkward moments (namely, the Asian accountants bit), Rock was phenomenal in his 2nd hosting gig. He made serious points about the Oscars’ lack of diversity, with great lines like “You realize, if they nominated hosts, I wouldn’t even get this job. You would all be listening to Neil Patrick Harris right now.” He also threw some shade at Jada Pinkett-Smith saying “Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties,. I wasn’t invited.” His take on Hollywood being “sorority racist” was hilarious.
2) Lady Gaga’s Performance
Gaga was the true star of the night, singing a beautiful rendition of “Til It Happens To You.” She was introduced by Vice President Joe Biden who spoke passionately about how sexual assault must be stopped. Following the incredible performance, survivors joined onstage in a moment of solidarity. Although she didn’t win the Oscar for Best Original Song (that went to Sam Smith for his Bond theme “Writings on the Wall”), Lady Gaga had an amazing night, showing just how powerful music can be.
3) Leo Gets His Due
Finally all of those memes can go away. Leonardo DiCaprio won his 1st Oscar, after for his role as trapper Hugh Glass, in The Revenant. It was a long overdue moment that we all saw coming, but still relieving to hear presenter Julianne Moore call his name as the winner.
4) Tracy Morgan as The Danish Girl
This entire bit was hilarious, but Morgan was clearly the star. In this prerecorded segment, black actors and actresses played roles from this year’s hit films. For example, Whoopi Goldberg played a part in Jennifer Lawrence’s Joy. Leslie Jones played the bear that attacked Leonardo Dicaprio in The Revenant, and Chris Rock took the role of Matt Damon’s The Martian (NASA isn’t willing to save a black astronaut). Former 30 Rock star Tracy Morgan hilariously played The Danish Girl which is something you’ll just have to see to understand.
5) Louis C.K. = Presenter of the Night
“This award will be going home in a Honda Civic,” C.K. deadpanned while handing out the Oscar for Best Documentary Short. He wasn’t finished showing his comedic chops though. When announcing the winner of the category, C.K. joked, “Mad Max: Fury Road” (the movie clearly wasn’t nominated for this category, yet had one the 4 Oscars prior).
6) Jacob Tremblay Was All Of Us
Although the star of Room wasn’t even nominated (snub!), he still went home a winner. I mean, any 9 year-old who gets to attend the Oscars is winning, and he sure was making the most of it. From taking selfies with Room co-star Brie Larson to meeting the star of his favorite movie, Daisy Ridley of Star Wars, Tremblay did it all Sunday night. Here’s hoping he stick around for many years to come.
Now, for what could have been better:
1) Stacey Dash Led to Some Awkwardness
Quite possibly the worst moment ( I wouldn’t even go so far as to call it a joke) in recent Oscars history. Chris Rock introduced Stacey Dash -a Fox News reporter who has been known for her controversial stance on Black History Month and #OscarsSoWhite- as the Academy’s new director of minority. She then proceeded to say “Happy Black History Month” in one of the most awkward things the crowd had ever seen. I’m not even sure if they got it or not, but regardless there was silence.
2) Sylvester Stallone Not Winning/Mark Rylance Winning
The heavy favorite for Best Supporting Actor heading into the night was Stallone, but Rocky took his greatest loss since the one to Apollo Creed. Not only did he lose, but he lost what would have been his first Oscar for the iconic Rocky role to the little known Mark Rylance from Bridge of Spies. Many were expecting that even if Stallone did lose the award (it has been rumored that he has many enemies in Hollywood) the popular runner-up choice was Spotlight’s Mark Ruffalo. But it was an absolute shock for many to see Rylance win the award.