Monthly Archives: January 2015

Jan 23

The Oscars (1929-2015)

By Kevin Roland | General

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and SciencesThe Academy Awards (Oscars) was introduced in May 16, 1929 to award winners of the 5 branches of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The branches include actors, directors, producers, writers and technicians. The American Awards which is performed annually honours cinematic accomplishments in the movie industry. It presents winners with a specially designed iconic statuette/trophy nicknamed “Oscar” in 1939. How the name, “Oscar”, came about is uncertain, but it was designed by MGM’s famous art director Cedric Gibbons. The Oscar was originally made of bronze and plated with gold. When World War II struck and materials were scarce painted plaster was used. Today, it is made from britannium and plated with gold.

The Oscar is not to be sold for profit. An agreement that can only allow winners or their heirs to offer it back to the academy for a dollar binds it. The ceremony has changed over time. When it started, winners were announced 3 months before the ceremony. Later, the list of recipients were given to newspapers for publication on the night of the ceremony at 11 pm. This was working out fine until the Los Angeles Times in 1940 published the list earlier than agreed. Hence the organisers resorted to sealing the list in an envelope until the time for publication.

The Awards’ first television broadcast was in 1953. It is now broadcasted live in over 200 countries. It is the oldest of all entertainment award ceremonies. It is also the most prestigious cinema award ceremony worldwide. The 87th award ceremony was performed on the 22nd of February this year (2015). The awards for each year are held for movies released the preceding year.

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritus, Birdman The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance2014 saw some of the most beautiful and thrilling movies including; Gone Girl, The Imitation Game, Birdman and many others. The movie that won the Best Picture for last year was Alejandro González Iñárritu’s “Birdman/The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance”. The movie also won the awards for Best Cinematography and Original Screenplay Writing. Alejandro won the award for Best Director for the movie.

The Best Actor for the year went to Eddie Redmayne for his role in the movie, “The Theory of Everything”. The Best Actress went to Julianne Moore for her role in the movie, “Still Alice”. Actor and Actress in Supporting Roles went to J. K. Simmons for the movie, “Whiplash” and Patricia Arquette for the movie, “Boyhood”. “Whiplash” also won the awards for the Best Film Editing and Sound Mixing. The Best Animated Feature Film went to the movie, “Big Hero 6”, starring Don Hall, Chris Williams and Roy Conli. The movie, “Grand Budapest Hotel” won the awards for the Best Costume Design, Best Production Design, Best Original Music Score and Best Makeup and Hairstyling. “CitizenFour”, won the Best Documentary Feature. The Best Documentary Short Subject went to “Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1”.

The award for Foreign Language Film went to the movie “Ida”. In the Music Category, the Best Original Song went to “Glory” from SELMA with the music and lyrics by John Stephens and Lonnie Lynn. The Best Animated Short Film was “Feast”. The Best Short Film with Live Action was “The Phone Call”. “American Sniper” won the movie for the Best Sound Editing. The Best Visual Effects was given to the movie “Interstellar”. The Best Adapted Screenplay Writing was given to the movie “The Imitation Game”.

The total number of awards given out since the inception of the Oscar is 2,947.