I used to think the Oscars happened on a different planet. I mean, celebrities aren’t real people and movies aren’t real life, right?
After this year’s ceremony I’m not so sure anymore. It was different. All the glamorous people talked about real issues, there were tons of kickass women supporting each other and representing feminism, and Whoopi Goldberg wore a huge octopus bracelet. What more could I need?! I felt moved in a real way this year, almost like the awards had made me think… Almost like… I’d learned a few things…
1. Award for the best never-give-up attitude goes to: Leo.
Leo was nominated FOUR times before winning on the fifth. How many things have I tried really really hard to do FOUR times in a row, not succeeded, and still got up and tried to do again a fifth time? (Real answer to this rhetorical question: getting back to Australia and trying to recreate Magnolia Bakery cupcakes.)
Runner Up: Diane Warren
Diane missed out on an Oscar for the eighth time and I think an altogether different story can be learned from this: perspective. She made some comments about being disappointed on the night, which is understandable, but she was also partially responsible for a radical and incredibly moving tribute to abuse survivors that was televised to millions of people. One thing I’ve learnt in my creative career so far it that consistency is key. Delivering great results on time, every time. A woman with a consistently awesome career spanning decades isn’t really a “runner up” at all.
2. Award for best work-to-dinner (i.e. Oscars-to-Vanity Fair After Party) goes to: Brie Larson.
Why? Because Monse. That pale pink velvet drapery, oh man, it does things to me. Not to mention Zanita and I just saw it at New York Fashion Week. Remember this killer collage Zanita made from the Monse runway show? I sure do.
3. Award for most ballsy/gutsy/badass personal style goes to: Jenny Beavan.
A ton of dudes didn’t even clap when she walked past them to the stage (seriously look up the footage it was awful and hilarious) until she got on stage and they realised that, actually, in fact, she was the winner. Yes folks, that’s what an Academy-Award-winning costume designer looks like. She has a diamante skull on the back of her leather jacket.
Being comfortable in your own skin is one thing, wearing whatever you damn well want to literally the most fancy event in world is a whole new level of guts. New superhero status unlocked.
4. Award for best accessorising combined with yeah-I’m-still-kickin’-it goes to: Whoopi Goldberg.
Did I mention her bracelet is an octopus? And honestly, look at that smile. Anything that reminds me that Sister Act exists is deserving of an award.
5. Award for best and most important overall theme of the night goes to: Encouraging conversation and fighting stigma surrounding sexual abuse and assault.
Where do we start? Lady Gaga’s musical tribute featuring dozens of sexual assault survivors on stage with her. Kesha’s tweet thanking Gaga in response for the song. Spotlight (a film about child abuse in the Catholic Church) won best picture when just hours earlier the stars and director of the film joined a march in downtown LA for sexual abuse survivors. Brie Larson won Best Actress for Room which is a movie about a mother caring for her child whilst trapped by depraved captor for 17 years.
It’s heavy stuff to talk about next to velvet and diamantes, but hey, that’s what I think was truly beautiful about the Oscars this year. For the first time (in my opinion) it started to shift toward recognising the real spectrum of human experience.
If you didn’t see ceremony, get yourself some popcorn and grab a pen and pad to make notes. Even if all they say is: OCTOPUS.