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Yes! It takes Balls to wear that Dress… And Say that in Public! -How the Oscars were about so much more than just the movies… As told by the winners!-

The Oscars started with Neil Patrick Harris’ … interesting monologue. While the monologue was alright, the constant reminder of the ‘moving picture show’ made it borderline annoying. However, guest appearances by Anna Kendrick and Benedict Cumberbatch (with his flask) told the audience, the Academy Awards had started.

While the Oscars gave the viewers a glimpse into the highlights of the motion picture industry in the past year, it was the winners who truly stood out… and not just for their work.

Pawel Pawlikowski shuts the music … momentarily!

When the Best Foreign Film was won by Ida from Poland everyone applauded. Probably not for how great the movie was but because he had one. For him, however, the win was worth it. From thanking everyone he could think of till the start of the music, to thanking everyone he could think of at twice his initial speed till the music stopped…and started again……any viewer could tell just how much it meant to him. Sure, winning an Oscar is big, but it is big enough for him not to care about what others think and have pride in his accomplishments

Losing Loved Ones…and Having the Courage to Speak About It!

When Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1 won and Oscar for Best Documentary – Short Subject, everyone in their heads thought wow, that is interesting….(or WOW, that is deep)…. as they heard about the topic of the documentary. When the two women (Ellen Goosenberg Kent and Dana Perry) came on stage and talked about the subject, the message and their families, you understood the importance of the documentary. More importantly, everything was normal… or atleast normal for the Oscars. In fact, you probably concentrated a little bit more on THAT dress, which is totally fine. But then something happened… the women with the dress said something that you could not ignore or brush off as ‘normal’. While thanking her family, Dana Perry thanked her son. She then mentioned how she lost him to suicide and how important it is to talk about suicide out loud! It is important to note that she did not say he committed suicide… but that she lost him to it…

From Boyhood …to Equality for All!

Patricia Arquette won the award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Boyhood, and she dedicated her award to all women… the mothers who give birth… the tax payers…everyone. She also pushed for equality, stressing that now was the time for equality, for women to be treated as equals, and for equality in wages as well! While the audience might have overlooked the issue, or thought it ill-timed, J-Lo and Meryl Streep’s reactions highlight just how important the issue truly is, and how even THEY cannot ignore it or be unaffected by it.

Be Weird, Stay Weird…. and Let Everyone Else Be Weird Too!

When Imitation Game won for Best Adapted Screenplay, a young (relative to the other winners) man walked up on stage. Mind you, Eddie Redmayne had still not won, so he was one of the youngest to have been up there so far! However, instead of being afraid, or nervous, he knew what he wanted to say, and boy did he say it! Graham Moore told the audience how he felt weird, that this feeling of not belonging had almost cost him his life. He shared with them how it was a struggle, and even with the ‘weirdness’ he was able to stand there and talk to them, an award in hand. Another person who was thought of as ‘weird’, Alan Turing, a man who could quite possibly be the reason that World War II ended the way it did, was not as fortunate. He was not able to hold an award in hand and have this conversation. Moore then went on to stress to everyone out there that does feel ‘weird’ and like they do not belong that it is alright… and if it isn’t, it will be. One day they too will be standing there, holding their own award, and all he asked was for them to hang on till then, and when their day did come… to kindly pass the message!

John Legend’s Glory…makes Grown Men Cry!

When Oscar winners John Legend and Common’s won the award for Best Original Song for Glory from Selma they took their time on stage to highlight the inequality that exists in America today and how, in certain aspects, African Americans are worse off today than they were during the Civil Rights movement. He asked for change and stressed how today was the time for it. While the duos speech was met with applause, it was their performance that left many with tears. Don’t believe me, check the pictures below!

 The Best Actor and Actress highlight the effects of ALS and Alzheimer’s 

When Eddie Redmayne won the Oscar for Best Actor for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, he was ecstatic. In fact, he refused to let go of his Oscar, holding it with both hands, hugging it, and just keeping it close to him. Through all the excitement, he was able to dedicate his award to all the people suffering from and battling ALS, and especially to the family that battled ALS and shared their story with the world, the Hawking family.

When Julianne Moore won the award for Best Actress in Still Alice she took her time to talk about Alzheimer’s and how grateful she was to be able to raise awareness for the cause. She also spoke about ALS, and how one of the film’s director, Richard Glatzer, was diagonosed with ALS while they were making the movie and was unable to make it to the awards due to his health. She also mentioned how when Richard was diagnosed, he was asked what he wanted to do, (travel, etc.) and he said he wanted to make movies.

Alejandro González Iñárritu, The Winner Takes Them ALL

Alejandro González Iñárritu won three Oscars in one night, a feat that lead Sean Penn to joke “who gave this son of a b*tch a green card”. However, for the Mexican born director, screenwriter, producer and composer, that was the cue to take a stand. The Birdman director won for Best Screenplay, Best Director and Best Picture. The first two times he came on stage, he thanked his crew, here and back home, his family, friends, etc (the usual). However, the third time he came on stage, once everyone was done saying their part and someone kindly reminded him to thank his wife,  Iñárritu took the time to address the an issue close to home. While joking how “Two Mexicans (won) in a row, that’s suspicious I guess” he shared his hopes for a better Mexican government that treats its citizens well and for better treatment for recent Mexican immigrants in the US; the same treatment that previous generations of immigrants had been privlidged with in a country that is made from immigrants.

In an event that had the best and brightest of ‘stars’, the winners taking the time out of their time crunched speech to talk about causes that are close to their heart and that have inspired their work shows how important equality, acceptance and awareness truly is. Even the big fish in the world of glamour do not avoid these problems, and in their moments of glory, they take their time to help address the issues that are so often overlooked or forgotten.

Through the laughs on the “ … eat her up with-her-spoon” joke and Neil Patrick Harris laughing at his own bits, it was these issues and the light brought upon them that will make the 87th Academy Awards truly memorable.

And now, on a lighter note:

I am currently senior majoring in Business Administration and Statistics with a track in Finance at Carnegie Mellon University. Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Enid Blyton and J.K Rowling are a few of my favorite authors. I also love watching British TV shows (Sherlock is my favorite!). On campus, I am involved in several activities, including Carnegie Mellon Business Association and Smart Woman Securities.
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