A Rundown of the Oscars


Searchlight Pictures

The photo above depicts the cover for the winner of “best documentary”, in the background, the audience for a huge Soul festival in the sixties is faded, depicting the culture behind the style of music.

Anvi Bhagavatula, Photojournalist

The Oscars, one of the world’s largest movie competitions, serves as a way for critics and audiences alike to dictate what movie, actor, actress, cinematographer, etc. truly deserves the most merit in their category. For most people, even if they don’t watch the Oscars in its entirety, they at least watch to see what won for best movie or who won for best actor, or they look for the articles buzzing around in the days following the event. This year, however, much of the media following the Oscars was about Will Smith slapping Chris Rock. Although that topic is inherently interesting, the array of musicians, actors, and engineers that won, just as in other years, deserve media coverage for such a big accomplishment. 

One of the most popular categories, if not the most, is “best movie”. This year, the movie that won was CODA. The title means Child of Deaf Adult as well as a music theory coda which refers to the repetition of a specific set of lines. The movie is about a 17 year old daughter of an all deaf family that works to make sure her family business stays afloat while also following her passion for singing. The movie breaks walls with its features of deaf actors, allowing it to be the first movie of its kind with that authenticity.  The movie that won best foreign film is less of a drama and more of a journey of personality sort of movie. Adapted from world renowned author Haruki Murakami’s short story, Drive My Car is about two people, one a middle-aged man, Yusuke, and the other, a woman in her twenties, Misaki, cross paths during the production of a famous play. Yusuke, saddened by the sudden loss of his wife, goes on a journey to find the haunting secrets about his wife, along with the help of Misaki, who takes up the role of being Yusuke’s chauffeur. During this journey, the movie accurately and harrowingly portrays the stages of grief and peace. With a more light-hearted theme, the winner for best documentary is Summer of Soul, which gives a much needed spotlight on Soul music, especially its unnoticed highlights during the same summer as Woodstock, in 1969. Soul music, which is African-American originated, holds centuries of culture, so this documentary is well deserved. 

With every amazing movie, comes amazing actors and actresses. They bring the characters of the plot to life, whether that be a supporting or main character. This year, the winner for best actor was Will Smith, for his role as the father in the biopic that follows the story of Serena and Venus Williams on their journeys to become two of the biggest players of all time. For best actress, Jessica Chastain, who’s been nominated multiple times for academy awards, won for her role as the dramatic, cultish, television personality Tammy Faye in The Eyes of Tammy Faye.

As usual, the Oscar winning lineup was diverse, unique, fun, and creative. No two movies portrayed the same themes, let alone plot details. The actors shared this same individuality, diving into their roles and absorbing into their characters like they were born to be them. The movies showed everything from death to music to racism and history. Of course, this year, the main gist of the Oscars went unnoticed for a short time due to Will Smith slapping Chris Rock, Nandini Trivedi (10) explained, “I watch the Oscars sometimes, but I usually just look up a quick rundown of what happened after, but this year everything was blocked by the whole Will Smith thing.” Whether its Moonlight vs. La La Land, or Jennifer Lawrence falling on the stairs, the Oscars bring drama, talent, and creativity into one night, and although there’s no specific algorithm for what movies win and what don’t, we can be sure that next year’s Oscars are sure to be entertaining.