Oscar goes to Iñárritu

A night of pomp and glamour proved more fruitful than most others for Alejandro González Iñárritu as he took home the top honor of Best Picture for his work on “Birdman.”

The glam and glitter of the red carpet shined through the rain in Hollywood on Feb.22 as the 87th annual Academy Awards took place at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles. There is no awards show without the electric atmosphere and endless weeks spent in preparation and anticipation.

The Oscars are notorious for the amount of time spent looking at the women of Hollywood on the red carpet before the show begins. Unfortunately, that focus seems to fall on these women’s superficial aspects, such as their outfits. Reese Witherspoon urged viewers and reports to look beyond the dresses and jewelry and take a deeper look at the artists wearing those dresses and the designers who put those beautiful outfits on those artists. This was the only thing that saved me during the time spent listening to dribble and reporters barely fit to carry that title.

Among the year’s most notable films of the year were “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “Birdman,” both taking home more Oscars than they could carry. I was especially glad to see Eddy Redmayne and J.K. Simmons come away with individual Oscars for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor for their work on “The Theory of Everything” and “Whiplash,” respectively. Patricia Arquette, who won Best Supporting Actress for her role in “Boyhood,” not only accepted her award graciously and in a state of bewilderment, but also was the first of many winners to promote awareness of global social issues. She called for equal pay in the United States for men and women.

The show’s biggest highlight was the social commentary and moving speeches given by recipients in the way of equal rights for women and acceptance of everyone regardless of sexual orientation, gender or race.

Many spoke for the awareness of young people committing suicide due to lack of acceptance among other insecurities. Many award recipients sent messages of encouragement to stay strong and “weird’ in hopes of finding one’s place in this world.

Something that stood out beside the films was the musical appearances. Kate Hudson and Lady Gaga performed, but John Legend and Common really stole the show, taking home an Oscar for their song “Glory,” which was the anchor song for the film “Selma.”

This performance managed to not only bring laughter and joy to both John Legend and Common, but brought tears to the eyes of David Oyelowo, who played the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in the movie “Selma.”

The Academy Awards, a show surrounded by pomp and extravagance, rose to new heights, remaining a beacon for messages that are both prevalent in the films honored and prevalent in the societies where these films are created.

It is more than an awards show; it is a forum where art, politics, culture and, most importantly, an audience of millions can witness and appreciate all these things.

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