And the Oscar goes to…

Zachary Mroz, Managing Editor

The highly anticipated Oscar Sunday is a night filled with paparazzi and the world’s best actors and filmmakers. On Feb. 28, The 88th Academy Awards were held at the elegant Dolby Theater in Los Angeles. Chris Rock, this year’s host, brought his comedic acts to the stage. Rock’s jokes were perceived as racist and awkward for the audience members. This year, the viewership was the lowest in the past eight years, and the third lowest overall.

Following the Oscar nominations, #OscarsSoWhite trended due to no actors of color being nominated. Due to the national attention this brought, The Academy made extreme changes to increase diversity. These changes include reorganizing voting status and membership privileges. The Board of Governors has plans to add three new governors along with new members to The Academy’s committees.

Despite the low total viewers, this year’s Oscars broke many records and provided many with their first gold statue. All of the top four acting awards were awarded to actors that have never won an acting Oscar prior. Brie Larson won Best Actress in a Leading Role (Room), Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies) and Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl) both won Actor/Actress in a Supporting Role. Perhaps the biggest win of the night, was the Actor in a Leading Role Oscar, given to Leonardo DiCaprio for his well perceived role in the Revenant. DiCaprio began acting in 1989 but rose to fame with his performance in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. DiCaprio has been known as the best actor who has never won an Oscar. Spotlight was awarded the Oscar for Best Picture, the big win of the night. Spotlight is based off of a true story of how a Catholic priest molested up to 80 young boys. With the help of journalist, the crimes committed were brought to attention all around.

Many winners used their victories to bring light to important issues around the world. DiCaprio addressed climate change, Sam Smith dedicated his win to the LGBT community, and the producers of Spotlight thanked the reporters around the world for uncovering crimes. Lady Gaga gave a tearful performance of “Till It Happens to You,” her Oscar nominated song based off of sexual assault. Vice President Joe Biden helped Gaga uncover the sexual assault issues happening every day by asking everyone to recite the pledge against sexual assault.

With a year until the 89th Oscars, we can look forward nest to the Emmy AND Tony awards. Over the course of the next year, we can expect to see more strides made in the film industry.