The 2016 Oscars

Marissa Sanna, Staff Writer

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Each year, the Academy Awards, or Oscars, are held to recognize outstanding achievements in the movie industry. This year, the ceremony will be held on February 28. It will be broadcast on ABC at 7pm. Nominations for Best Movie are The Big Short, Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, The Revenant, Room, and Spotlight. Nominations for best Actors and Actresses in Leading Roles are Bryan Cranston (Trumbo), Matt Damon (The Martian), Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant), Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs), Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl), Cate Blanchett (Carol), Brie Larson (Room), Jennifer Lawrence (Joy), Charlotte Rampling (45 Years), and Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn). Supporting Actor nominations include people from most of these movies, along with Sylvester Stallone for his role in Creed and Jennifer Jason Leigh for her role in The Hateful Eight. The movies with Best Director are The Big Short, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Revenant, Room, and Spotlight.
Indiewire reports that Spotlight, an indie film, has a good chance of winning Best Film, but it may also lose to a movie produced by a larger company, namely The Revenant or The Big Short. Because of his stellar work in The Revenant, Leonardo DiCaprio may win his first Oscar after four nominations in previous years. For Best Actress, either Brie Larson or Saoirse Ronan are projected to win. The Best Supporting Actress may be Rooney Mara, and the Best Supporting Actor may be Sylvester Stallone.
This year’s Oscars face controversy because no actors of color have been nominated for major awards. On January 21, Will and Jada Pinkett Smith announced they would be boycotting this year’s awards, and they encouraged other actors to do the same. Matt Damon said, “There’s two years in a row that there are no people of color nominated. That’s insane.” Only 44 black actors have been nominated for acting Oscars, and 12 have won. Lupita Nyong’o, a woman of color who won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in 2013, also voiced discontent with the nominations. She was the sixth black woman to win Best Supporting Actress, and the most recent person of color to win an acting Oscar (Common and John Legend won an Oscar for Best Original Song in 2015). In fact, Halle Berry is the only woman who has, to date, won an Academy Award for Best Actress.
Stacey Dash believes that if black people want more opportunities to win Oscars, they need to desegregate and end the BET Awards. Gabrielle Union’s response sparked the hashtag #whoisstaceydash, under which Twitter users expressed their distaste with Dash’s comments, pointing out racism and making fun of her dead career. Despite naysayers, the Academy is changing the rules required to vote for Oscar nominations. While voting rights had previously lasted a lifetime, they will now be terminated after ten years of inactivity in the film industry. This rule will eject old people who have little perspective on modern society and can not separate their childhood beliefs from what is currently accepted. Several other measures were announced to add more women and people of color to the largely white male Academy. Perhaps to rebut claims of racism as soon as possible, some of the first presenters announced for this year’s Oscars are Kevin Hart, Whoopi Goldberg, Benicio del Toro, The Weeknd, and Pharrell Williams, all non-white members of the media industry.

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