The Oscars: worth the time commitment?

Award show season is the time for ordinary people to gawk at the luxury of $10,000 dresses and the time for celebrities to get the awards that they, in some cases, have waited their entire careers for. But the real question isn’t if your favorite movie or actor will walk away with an award, but instead, if it’s worth it to sit for almost four hours to find out. 

Award show season also, as previously mentioned, brings to light the inherent racism of our society, which was dealt with rather awkwardly at last night’s Academy Awards. Chris Rock, our host for approximately three and a half hours, began the show with a monologue to discuss the controversy over the second year without any black nominees. Rock awkwardly joked about lynching in a speech that left the noticeably white audience wondering if they should laugh. Unfortunately, many did — yikes. The 10 minute monologue confused many of the audience members, see Chrissy Teigen below, while I was left to wonder if the show would be a total flop or a major success.

Courtesy of ABC

Chrissy Teigen cringing at Chris Rock's opening monologue.
Courtesy of ABC
Chrissy Teigen cringing at Chris Rock’s opening monologue.


Though beginning with a rocky start, the Oscars certainly improved throughout the night. The first award of the night, Best Original Screenplay, went to Spotlight, a movie highlighting the indiscretions of the Catholic Church, and ended with Spotlight’s win for Best Picture. Other big winners of the night included Mad Max: Fury Road, which took home a whopping six awards.

Another notable performance was that of Lady Gaga in her moving tribute to victims of sexual assault. The song, “‘Til it Happens to You” was originally written for the Academy Award nominated documentary The Hunting Ground and left a large portion of the audience in tears, especially me. By the end of the song, Gaga was surrounded by victims of sexual assault with words like “Not Your Fault” and “I’m a Survivor” inscripted on their arms. This performance, especially in light of musician Kesha’s legal battle with her alleged abuser, Dr. Luke, was extremely moving because of how current of a topic this has become.

Lady Gaga standing with victims of sexual assault after a tearjerking performance.
Courtesy of Nylon Magazine
Lady Gaga standing with victims of sexual assault after a tear-jerking performance.

The most anticipated award of the night, arguably, was the award for Best Actor. The nominees for this category included Bryan Cranston for Trumbo, Matt Damon for The Martian, Michael Fassbender for Steve Jobs, Eddie Redmayne for The Danish Girl, and Leonardo DiCaprio (America’s favorite) for The Revenant. Everyone watched at the edge of their seats wondering if tonight would be the night DiCaprio took home an Oscar. After four previous nominations in the same category, DiCaprio took home his first Oscar, thus ending a lengthy losing streak and innumerable memes on the topic.

An example of the internet jokes that plagued the years leading up to Leonardo DiCaprio's Oscar win.
Courtesy of Brophisticate
An example of the Internet jokes that plagued the years leading up to Leonardo DiCaprio’s Oscar win.

I’ll admit that I’m not a big award show fan, but so long as Leonardo DiCaprio is there, so am I. And despite a rough start, the Academy Awards proved itself to actually be worth watching after multiple touching moments and getting to see Leonardo DiCaprio (almost) cry with the rest of us.