Wow…this year not only did I hit the red carpet, but was able to report LIVE from the Oscar Press Room backstage! What a thrill!!!! When this year was touted as the one of the most unpredictable awards season, trust me that was an understatement!
Chris Rock’s monologue was on point, classy and of course…hilarious. Being a straight shooter myself, I could totally appreciate his candor. Baby, when he joked about how people who have no job are always advised you to quit, I hollered!
Kevin Hart and Rock joked around with each other all night, but Hart took a serious tone when he encouraged black actors to “…beat the negativity, keep doing what you’re doing and work hard”. Hart ought to know, he is the most in demand person of color in Hollywood!!
Other than Rock’s opening monologue, highlights of the night for me were the Black History Month Minute, Rock’s field trip interviewing people in the hood about the nominated films. It was hysterical because they knew not a one!! While holding Oscar and giving her “speech” one woman declared, “…give Black actresses more work because they work hard and deserve it…now take THAT America!”
The Girl Scout cookie moment was brilliant, sold a ton of cookies and raised a lot of money!!! Clearly, this was a take off of Ellen’s now infamous pizza moment. What the hell, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it!
Max Max: Fury Road swept the night very much in the way that Lord of the Rings: Return of the King did some years back! They had the technical awards on lockdown for sure.
The press room erupted with shock, dismay and disappointment when Sylvester Stallone was not the winner for Best Supporting Actor. Not that they were hating on Mark Rylance, who is very well respected, but since Stallone had been sweeping the season, it was a natural assumption he would be taking home the gold.
However, when Leonardo DiCaprio was named Best Actor, the press room seriously lost their minds!! You would’v e thought the President had arrived!!! Then, when Inarritu and Leo hit the press interview room together, well, there are just no words for the electricity that flew across the room.
Lady Gaga, once again, easy gave the best performance of the night, so shockwaves hit the room again when Sam Smith was announced the winner for Best Song. This would be the second year in a row that a “Bond” song won an Oscar. Conveying his excitement, Smith said that he believed he was the first openly gay man to win an Oscar and was very proud of that fact. Sorry Sam, Elton John got you beat on that one with his win for “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” from The Lion King. I should know…I was Shenzi in The Lion King for three years.
When Spotlight won for Best Picture, I was personally elated. Clearly, I wasn’t the only one as the press room erupted one final time! Backstage the team thanked the room full of journalists for all we do to “tell the story”.
I was beyond thrilled after holding my arm up to ask a question for what seemed like an eternity to finally speak with Best Actress Brie Larson. Miss Brie, who is as down to earth as they come, wanted to have a one-on-one session about my gorgeous lavender beaded gown. We joked for a minute and I got to the question before they dragged me out of the room..lol
On that note, another Oscar Sunday is in the history books and time for this Cinderella to get back in the pumpkin before midnight.
Thanks for taking this journey with me and hopefully it’s the beginning of many more to come.
In closing, I would like to quote Best Director Alejandro Inaaritu…
“…make sure once and forever that the color of our skin becomes as irrelevant as the length of our hair”
Here’s hoping the subject of diversity in our industry becomes a 365 day discussion, more people of color obtain green lighting power and that next year and every year thereafter the word “diversity” becomes a distant memory of days gone by.
Here are the big winners
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY – SPOTLIGHT, Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY – THE BIG SHORT, Charles Randolph and Adam McKay
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS- Alicia Vankander, ROOM
BEST COSTUME DESIGN – Jenny Beavan, MAD MAX: FURY ROAD
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN – Colin Gibson, Lisa Thompson MAD MAX: FURY ROAD
BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING – Lesley Vanderwalt, Elka Wardega, Damian Martin MAD MAX: FURY ROAD
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY – Emmanuel Lubezki. THE REVENANT
BEST FILM EDITING – Margaret Sixel, MAD MAX: FURY ROAD
BEST SOUND EDITING – Mark Mangini and David White MAD MAX: FURY ROAD
BEST SOUND MIXING – Chris Jenkins, Gregg Rudloff and Ben Osmo MAD MAX: FURY ROAD
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS – Andrew Whitehurst, Paul Norris, Mark Ardington and Sara Bennett – EX MACHINA
BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM – BEAR STORY
BEST ANIMATED FILM OF THE YEAR – INSIDE OUT
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT – A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
BEST DOCUMENTAY – AMY
BEST LIVE ACTON SHORT FILM – STUTTERER
BEST ORIGINAL SONG – Writings On The Wall, Sam Smith and Jimmy Napes SPECTRE
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE – Ennio Morricone, THE HATEFUL EIGHT
BEST DIRECTOR – Alejandro G. Inarritu THE REVENANT
BEST ACTRESS – Brie Larson, ROOM
BEST ACTOR – Leonard DeCaprio, THE REVENANT
BEST MOTION PICTURE – SPOTLIGHT