The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced the winners of the 71st Annual Academy Awards. The biggest winner of the night was the film The Great Gatsby, which won five awards including Best Picture.
It was a night of upsets as Jurassic World, a dinosaur movie, took out the Best Picture and Director awards, while another of the night’s biggest winners, The Wolf of Wall Street, was denied the award for Achievement in Music by a technical error. However, the Academy corrected the mistake and Wolf of Wall Street walked away with the award.
The Great Gatsby, directed by Baz Luhrmann and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, is one of the greatest American films of all time. It tells the story of Jay Gatsby, a man who decides to remake himself and live in the moment. Gatsby’s decision leads him down a path that surprises everyone, especially himself.
The supporting cast of The Great Gatsby were all nominated for Oscars, with the exception of Tobey Maguire who appeared in the hit movie Spiderman and was only nominated for a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actor. It’s a star-studded cast and they all delivered amazing performances.
The Dark Knight Rises, the final installment of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, is another great American movie. The film follows Bruce Wayne, who is now retired, as he deals with things in his life and tries to help those in need. As a result of being exposed to toxic waste as a child, Wayne now has cancer.
The Academy Award for Best Picture went to 12 Years a Slave, directed by Steve McQueen and starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, and Sarah Paulson. The film tells the story of Solomon Northup, a free black man who is abducted and held for ransom by the Ku Klux Klan. He is then forced to become a cotton farmer in the South. Twelve Years a Slave is one of the greatest American films of all time, and it shows the true depths of human cruelty.
Willem Dafoe won the Best Director award for The Florida Project, a film adaptation of the novel of the same name by Stephen King. The novel follows the story of Charlie, a 13-year-old girl who is determined to have a normal life and spends her time hanging out with her imaginary friends and playing in her backyard.
It’s a quiet and subtle movie that explores the troubled childhoods of its characters. The film explores the horrors of child abuse and neglect, as we watch Charlie’s parents struggle to provide for her and give her a better life. Unfortunately, things go terribly wrong and Charlie is left without a family.
Joel Edgerton won the Oscar for Best Director for the western The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. The film is an adaptation of the Elmore Leonard novel of the same name, which follows a former Confederate soldier who sets out to rob various stages of a railroad in order to provide for his family. The movie mostly focuses on the relationship between the main character and his young son, who is determined to follow in his father’s footsteps. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is an amazing movie that contains one of the most heart-breaking scenes ever put on film.
Best Writing (Original Screenplay)
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is a dramatic adaptation of the Elmore Leonard novel of the same name. While the book revolved around train robberies, the film adds a new element to the story: romance. Joel Edgerton’s character attempts to woo a young woman (Carey Mulligan) who is related to the young son he has sworn to protect. The result is a dramatic story of love and betrayal among outlaws.
For her part, Carey Mulligan won the Best Supporting Actress award for her performance in the movie. Her character lures Buster Scruggs (Edgerton) into a trap and then betrays him once he’s captured. Mulligan is fantastic in the role, adding an element of sexuality to an already dramatic story. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is a movie that will stay with you for the rest of your life.
While the aforementioned roles won their Oscars, the awards for Best Actor went to Leonardo DiCaprio for his role as Jay Gatsby in The Great Gatsby and Tom Hardy for his portrayal of a conflicted husband in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The Great Gatsby is one of the greatest American films of all time and DiCaprio gives an incredible performance as the mysterious and enigmatic Jay Gatsby. We know very little about Gatsby, other than the fact that he is wealthy and lives in a grand mansion with a fancy guest list. A lot is on the line for Gatsby when he invites the gang from his childhood to his extravagant mansion party. Hardy’s performance as his character’s bumbling assistant, who also happens to be his best friend, is heartbreaking. Hardy gives a tremendous performance and makes us feel sorry for his character, even though he’s been the best man at several of his friend’s weddings.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood marks the end point of a tumultuous year for DiCaprio, as he finally received the accolades he deserved for his performance in The Great Gatsby. The year 2022 will mark the centennial anniversary of DiCaprio’s birth and it’s clear he won’t stop acting now that he’s reached his mid-century.
While we can’t talk about top honors without mentioning the incredible performance of Will Smith in BlacKkkKlansman, Smith was not nominated for an Oscar for his role as the hilarious and obnoxious Flip. The actor has won many accolades over the years, including four consecutive Oscars for his work in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, but he’ll have to settle for being a part of the 71st Annual Academy Awards season’s grand finale.
While Smith walked away with the award for Best Actor, Toni Collette won the Best Actress award for her performance in The Second Mother. Collette plays the mother of a young girl struggling with clinical depression. It’s a harrowing performance as she wrestles with her daughter’s mental illness while trying to care for her and provide a better life for her family. The Second Mother is one of the greatest American movies of all time and Collette’s performance is the epitome of portraying a strong and independent woman. Her character suffers from a condition that makes her excitable and over-sensitive. When a child of Collette’s age is diagnosed with the same condition, she hopes the experience will help her raise awareness and funds for research.
Best Supporting Actress
The Supporting Actress award went to three incredible performances, with Regina King winning for her role as a drug-addicted mother in the family drama If Beale Street Could Talk, Sarah Paulson taking home the bronze for her portrayal of a housemaid who conspires against her employers in the family drama The Housemaid, and Janelle Monáe, who won the award for her performance in the biopic Dirty Wars.
The great thing about these performances is that they do not rely on physical comedy or histrionics to get the joke. Instead, they rely on their actors’ skilled and subtle performances, as we see in King’s case, an ability to convey a large amount of information with just a few facial expressions. We also see this in Paulson’s and Monáe’s cases, as they display a subtle and intuitive grasp of their characters’ emotions, all while keeping the audience engaged with their performances.
Best Supporting Actor
While we were saddened that Tobey Maguire did not receive a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role in Spiderman, the award went to another fantastic performance by an actor we’ve all come to know and love, Jon Voight. Voight plays Roy Tucker, a Republican senator from North Dakota who is determined to uncover a conspiracy surrounding Native American land rights and the legacy of Warren G. Harding, who was the 21st President of the United States. There is a lot of information to digest in Voight’s performance, but one important fact sticks out: he is an amazing actor who has been able to play various roles with ease.
Even though his performance was for the most part comedic, Voight’s portrayal of Tucker, who represents the white man’s burden in Native American Country, is an important and timely role for our time. While we know little about Voight’s political views, it is safe to assume that he holds many of the same beliefs as Senator Tucker.