The Oscars 2015: Politics, boredom and then there were the Academy Award winners. Yesterday, the eagerly-awaited Oscars took place.
Great expectations were cherished on this year’s ceremony host, Neil Patrick Harris who is well known for his popular character in How I met your mother. He started with a tame song-and-dance number containing allusions of different movies and musicals. But it was still part of his most entertaining moments. During the ceremony he exert himself more and more since he recognized that he more or less gets laughs out of pity. “This year the nominated actors will receive gift bags containing $160,000 worth of merchandise, including two vacations, makeup, clothes, shoes and an armored-car ride to safety when the revolution comes.”, was one of his most funny cracks as well as his introduction of Dakota Johnson: “Our next presenter is not only the star of the record breaker for biggest February premiere ever, 50 Shades of Grey, she is also the reason you had to explain to your grandmother what a spanking bench is.”
After Laura Poitras accepted the Oscar for her documentary feature CitizenFour, a documentary about Edward Snowden, Harris commentated her thanks to Snowden for his bravery with the wordplay “Edward Snowden couldn’t be here for some treason” which was one of his inappropriate patters.
Nevertheless it was an evening of political statements. Already in advance the lack of diversity took center stage of this year’s Oscars – about 94% of the Academy Award voters are white, 77% of them are male and it is also conspicuously that the 20 actors and actresses nominated for the most outstanding performance in a film were all white. Harris himself took this subject up and tried to zing racial injustice with his plays on words like “Tonight we honor Hollywood’s best and whitest. Sorry, brightest”.
A hugely emotive moment was when John Legend Common accepted the Oscar for Best Original Song they made for the nominated Martin Luther King Jr. biopic, Selma. Their song Glory contain lines like: “Resistance is us / That’s why Rosa sat on the bus / That’s why we walk through Ferguson with our hands up”. In his speech Legend drew praise for their concise and frank observations on racism in America: “Nina Simone said, It’s an artist’s duty to reflect the times in which we live. We know that the Voting Rights Act that they fought for fifty years ago is being compromised right now in this country today.” He went on, “There are more black men under correctional control today than were under slavery in 1850. When people are marching with our song we want to tell you we’re with you, we see you, we love you, and march on.”
The big winner of the night, the Mexican movie maker Alejandro González Iñárritu who won in the categories Best Film, Director, Original Screenplay and Cinematography made some words about immigrants’ situation in the United States of America. But also other political subjects have been stated. The scriptwriter Graham Moore, who won the Award for Adapted Screenplay for the movie The Imitation Game, mentioned in his speech that he wanted to commit suicide as a 16-year-old boy due to his homosexuality. He closed with the words: “Stay weird, stay different!” amid the applause of the crowd.
Patricia Arquette won Best Actress in a Supporting Role and spoke up for women equality, “It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for women in the United States of America!” (as a remark: equal rights for women are still a global issue and those fights are still not over). So these Oscars have not been just all about glamour and ideal world – this year’s ceremony also called attention on subjects striking the societies all over the world.