The 72nd Annual Academy Awards were last week and boy, did it feel like a winner-take-all Oscars. For those of you who are unfamiliar, it’s the annual Hollywood award ceremony that honours the best in films and television, with a few awards going to the artists behind the scenes. Last week, the spotlight was on the stars and their dresses, but we shouldn’t forget about the producers, directors, writers, and the entire teams of people who made the films and TV shows that were recognised at this year’s awards.
Here are some of the most interesting things that happened at the Oscars this year.
Hollywood’s Old Guard Remains Unchallenged
It was a night of changing faces in Hollywood, as three of the most prominent studios in the business (Sony, Warner Bros, and Universal) shuffled their top brass and installed new bosses. But the most interesting news came from Fox, as the old guard remained unchallenged and three of their top executives – Dana Walden, Gary Newman, and Peter Chernin – were appointed to the newly created positions of Co-Chairman, Co-CEO, and Co-COO. The Murdoch brothers now effectively have representatives sitting at the table with their biggest rivals. It’s a big change that will likely prove good for business.
Glenn Close’s Best Actress Win Was a Shot to the Heart
The biggest upset of the night came from the Best Actress category, where perennial favourite Glenn Close lost out to fellow acting legend, Jessica Chastain. It wasn’t Close’s first time competing for the title, having previously lost out to Diane Keaton in 1994 and Nicole Kidman in 2000. But this time was different. This time it was personal. This time it was heartbreaking.
When the dust settled on the Oscars, Chastain had won Best Actress for her role in The Wife, a movie about a housewife who goes undercover to expose her cheating husband. Keaton, who had previously worked with Close on the set of The Freshman, came in a close second with her performance in The Truthfulness. In an interview afterwards, Close said it was “difficult to put into words” what had happened.
“When I heard the news, I was devastated,” she said. “But then I tried to think about it from Jessica’s point of view. What would I want in that situation? I would want someone to take care of me and love me and tell me that everything is going to be okay. She did that.”
The Moment That Made Everyone Feel Old
It was said to be the moment that made everyone feel old. As the camera panned across the audience and the spotlight settled on one particular person, everyone in the room could feel it. It was that moment in the show when we were all thinking, “Damn, that’s Paul Rudd.”
As much as we love Paul Rudd, this isn’t the first time that he’s graced our screens. In fact, he’s appeared in some of the most iconic films of all time. As the camera panned around, the audience spotted Paul Rudd in Back to School, Stripes, Eighties-Style, and many more. But it wasn’t just his appearance in some of the greatest films that made us feel old – it was everything about his performance as Scott Lang in Ant-Man, which is one of the most difficult movie roles to emulate. Even now, two years after the film’s premiere, Paul Rudd is still regarded as one of the best – if not the best – character actors in Hollywood. And let’s be honest, let’s allow Paul Rudd to bask in those accolades just a bit.
Deadpool’s R-Rating Was More than a Little Accidental
The biggest surprise of the night came from the Best Animated Feature category, where Deadpool surprised audiences with a PG-13 rating. Before the film was released, it was rated R, which means its content was considered “very intense” by the MPAA. Perhaps the studio underestimated the film’s humor or just didn’t realise how dark it could get. Whatever the case may be, it’s clear that audiences will have a chance to see Deadpool not just as an action film, but as a comedy, as well. While the PG-13 rating may not seem like a big deal, the fact that it was an upset is. Deadpool was the last film to be rated R before this year’s edition and the studio didn’t expect it to make it to the big screen. That it did, however, is a testament to how well it was received by audiences and critics alike.
The Costumes Were Iconic And Iconic On Purpose
Black was certainly the colour of the night as the big-name designers paid homage to the film classics that they were invited to dress. From Gatsby to Bride of Frankenstein, Black was a theme that was repeated throughout the awards. While it’s great to see films receive kudos for their cinematic styles and iconic wardrobes, we have to wonder if this is where the fashion industry’s fascination with the movies ends.
It’s no secret that the fashion industry and movie-makers have a special relationship. After all, many of the film classics that we love so much were actually costumes designed by fashion houses. It was also reported that the designers invited to these awards wanted to show off their film-related credentials by paying homage to the styles of all of the films they’d had the opportunity to dress. While we can’t fault them for wanting to prove their worth, we hope that they don’t take this interest too far.
The Moment Michael Bolton’s Voice Drowned Out The Oscars
The biggest upset of the night came from the Original Song category, where Michael Bolton’s version of “My Way” from the Moulin Rouge! soundtrack took the top prize over Jay-Z’s “Family Dinner”. Bolton had previously won an Oscar back in 1992 for Best Original Song from Moon Over Miami and received a Grammy in the same category in 2006 for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture or Television Show. It was said to be the most memorable upset of the evening, but that could easily be said about the entire awards show. As we’ve established, this was a night of big changes, but one that will be repeated as many times as necessary.
It’s not often that we get to witness such a massive shift in the industry and it’s something that will likely repeat itself as the world becomes more aware of problems caused by climate change. As we strive for a more sustainable future, perhaps it’s time for us to reflect on all of these changes and understand where this year’s Oscars fit into the grand scheme of things.