This year’s Oscar telecast was dominated by the issues, but these seven less attention-getting moments captured our hearts.
The serious issues of the day seemed to dominate last night’s 88th Academy Awards, but there were other, quieter and often sweeter moments that snuck through during Hollywood’s brash, boisterous party. Here are some of the evening’s overlooked highlights.
Yes, everyone who takes the stage at the Oscars remembers to thank their cast members and the Academy, but there’s something particularly gracious about the speech Brie Larson gave when she accepted her award for Best Actress last night. Brie not only showed love for her husband, as well as her young co-star Jacob Tremblay, but she also subtly reminded the audience just how many people it takes, both on and off the screen, to create a full film: “I want to start big because the thing that I love about movie making is how many people it takes to make it,” the Room star said. Many movies on IMDB credit roughly 2,000 to 3,000 people per film crew to make the magic happen, and it’s nice that a talented actress holding gold can acknowledge that. In some ways, Brie knows she’s really only a small part of a big production. (And, in life, aren’t we all?)
Jenny Beavan’s leather jacket
Want a snapshot of unshakeable confidence? That’d be Jenny Beavan, who accepted an Oscar (for Best Costume Design, no less) wearing pants, a leather jacket, and a scarf not out of place in Dr. Who. Not everyone was pleased with Beavan’s style for the oh-so-formal ceremony (the Twitterverse noted how many people failed to clap for her), but considering that she’s now won two Academy Awards (including this one for Mad Max: Fury Road) and been nominated for eight others, perhaps she’s earned the right to dress down a little. “What another lovely day,” she said, riffing on one of Mad Max’s most memorable lines.
The nine-year-old star of Room dominated this star-studded gala with his unremitting adorableness. Impeccably dressed in a dapper tux, he reportedly spiced up his wardrobe with Darth Vader socks and Millennium Falcon cufflinks. He stood up in his seat to get a better look at C-3PO, R2-D2 and BB8 when the Star Wars robots took the stage. And when it was his turn to present an Oscar himself (with Beasts of No Nation star Abraham Atta), he was given a box to stand on by host Rock. Though Tremblay’s normal bedtime is 8 p.m., he admitted on the red carpet he planned to stay up a bit later.
Suddenly rich Girl Scouts
In a running gag, Oscars host Chris Rock turned Oscar night into a Girl Scout fundraiser, trotting out his daughter’s troop to sell cookies to members of the audience. “Leo,” he scolded Leonardo DiCaprio, “you made $30 million—come on!” The pitch worked: according to a later tally during the telecast, the troop sold $65,243 worth of cookies—money that funds local programs and camps.
In his introduction of Best Documentary Short, the comedian took a category that hardly anyone cares about and reminded the audience that these, in a sense, are the awards that really matter. “You came here winners and you’ll leave here millionaires,” he told the rich-and-powerful room. But to the makers of short documentaries, he said, these awards mean something entirely different. “This is documentary short film!” He said. “It’s not even documentary feature! You cannot make a dime on this. These people will never be rich as long as they live.” It was a joke, of course—but deeply earnest, as well. “This Oscar is going home in a Honda Civic,” he said—a reminder to us, and to the stars gathered, that we shouldn’t feel too bad for Sly Stallone going home empty-handed.
His appeal to halt climate change aside, many were thrilled that Leonardo DiCaprio claimed the Best Actor Oscar for his work in The Revenant—his first win after five nominations. He called out his co-star (and fellow nominee) Tom Hardy: “Tom, your talent on screen can only be surpassed by your friendship off screen … thank you for creating a transcendent cinematic experience.” And he showed humility even as he toted away one of Hollywood’s highest honors. “Let us not take this planet for granted,” he concluded. “I do not take tonight for granted. Thank you so very much.”
While Sylvester Stallone was the odds-on favorite to win the Best Supporting Actor Oscar, it was Mark Rylance who took a well-deserved stroll to the podium for his work in Bridge of Spies and gave perhaps the classiest acceptance speech of the night. “I’ve always just adored stories, hearing them, seeing them, being in [them],” Rylance said. “So for me to have the chance to work with I think one of the greatest storytellers of our time, Steven Spielberg, it’s such an honor.” He called out his fellow nominees as well. “I don’t know how they separate my acting from your glorious acting and these wonderful films that you’re in which everyone must see. I don’t know how they separated us from all the other fine supporting actors who are making films at the moment. It’s a wonderful time to be an actor and I’m proud to be part of it.”
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