Last night, Chris Rock used all 3 hours and 37 minutes of the 88th Academy Awards to bitch slap Hollywood with some hard truths about the lack of diversity in this year’s nominees.
When he wasn’t making rich white people shift uncomfortably in their seats and demonstrate their limited range with nervous laughter and forced smiles, Rock subtly tackled body image in cinema by force feeding actors and actresses Girl Guide cookies. This feat, veiled as a fundraising attempt for his two young daughters, was presumably the first morsel of food containing gluten and glucose Hollywood elite have consumed since puberty.
The broadcast definitely broke from the tradition one usually associates with the Academy Awards. At times, I found myself missing the formality and prestige that celebrates cinema (think Billy Crystal monologues and goosebumps inducing montages). Somehow talk of Minion appendages and James Bond’s s lackluster performance in the bedroom, didn’t quite scream Oscar caliber material.
The show delivered some laugh out loud moments, especially the sketch where black actors insert themselves into this year’s nominated films . SNL alums Tracy Morgan as The Danish Girl and Leslie Jones as the bear from The Revenant were standouts, that had me laughing well into commercial break (and then again this morning).
Another giggle of the night came from Tina Fey and Steve Carell made the most of their roles as presenters to introduce Best Production Design, injecting the category with their notorious brand of deadpan humor.
My favourite part of the evening was Lady Gaga’s emotional performance of Till It Happens to You, a song written for The Hunting Ground, a documentary about sexual assault on college campuses. I recently watched the film and was blown away by the courage of the men and women who survived heinous crimes and were denied justice by their schools and local law enforcement. You MUST see this film, it will break your heart, make you insanely angry, and hopefully change the way victims of rape and sexual assault are treated.
Even though the show was unbearably, make-me-late-for-work-today long, I stayed up until midnight to see Leonardo Di Caprio receive his first, and long awaited Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role. I’m not ashamed to say that I let out a high pitched shriek of joy, as social media went into a frenzy, with women who used to make out with his Tiger Beat poster every day before bed, declaring their joy that our collective first love was finally recognized by the Academy for his work. Even though DiCaprio picked up the award for The Revenant, in our hearts (and our vaginas) he was winning for Romeo + Juliet, Titanic, The Aviator, Blood Diamond, The Departed and the Wolf of Wall Street.
Spotlight took home the award for Best Picture a film I feel SLIGHTLY/OBSESSIVELY connected to due to the fact that my friend Ashley and I got to visit the set while filming took place on our university campus in Hamilton. The crew was kind enough to let us watch filming on the monitors for a few hours so long as we stayed silent (not a problem because we were completely starstruck). We haven’t received our SAG award for best ensemble cast, but I’m sure it’s in the mail.
So, there you have it.
I’m sleep deprived, emotionally exhausted for Leonardo, and feel like I’ve had several shots at the Vanity Fair After Party .
What was your favourite moment of the night?