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And the Oscar goes to…

Christina Balram | posted Thursday, Jan 15th, 2015

The Academy Awards are just over a month away and it’s easily one of the most prestigious awards to receive as it recognizes Hollywood’s annual celebration of the best that its creative artists have to offer over the previous year.

The Oscars are the oldest entertainment awards ceremony and have paved the way for its equivalents like the Emmy Awards celebrating the best in television, Tony Awards for theatre, and the GRAMMYs for music.

The 1st Academy Awards ceremony took place on May 16, 1929 at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. The show was publicly broadcast via radio through 1953 when it was televised in black and white. In 1966, the broadcast of the Academy Awards took place in colour, allowing viewers to see the dazzle and allure of the event. Today, the Oscars are telecast internationally, reaching movie fans in over 200 countries, through the Internet and social media.

The main difference between the Academy Awards and other movie award shows is its voting process, which is done by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). Essentially, actors are voting for other actors which can sometimes result in funny stories.


Oscar the Statuette

The most recognized trophy in the world is the Oscar statuette which stands proudly on the mantels of many legendary filmmakers.

The statuette stands 13-and-a-half inches tall and weighs in at a heavy eight-and-a-half pounds. The film reel features five spokes, signifying the five original branches of the Academy: actors, directors, producers, technicians, and writers. There has been over 2,809 statuettes presented since the initial awards banquet in 1929.

Officially named the Academy Award of Merit, the statuette is better known by its nickname, Oscar. While the origins of the moniker are not clear, it is rumored that upon seeing the trophy for the first time, Academy librarian Margaret Herrick remarked that it resembled her Uncle Oscar. The Academy didn’t adopt the nickname officially until 1939, but it was widely known by 1934 that columnists used it upon referring to Katharine Hepburn’s win for Best Actress.

Achievements in up to 25 regular categories will be honored on February 22 at the 87th Academy Awards presentation at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. However, the Academy won’t know how many statuettes it will hand out until the envelopes are opened on Oscar Night. Although the number of categories are known in advance, the possibility of ties and of multiple recipients sharing the prize in some categories makes it impossible to predict the exact number of statuettes to be awarded.

Surplus awards will be housed in the Academy’s vault until the following year.

My Picks

  • Best Picture: The Theory of Everything

The Academy has a tricky habit of giving Best Picture to a film that audiences may have not seen coming. The Theory of Everything looks at the life of Stephen Hawking, his wife, and his lifetime achievements. The Theory of Everything won two Golden Globes for Best Performance by an Actor, Drama and Best Original Score. With momentum like that, I would be surprised if this movie leaves the Oscars empty handed.

  • Best Actor: Benedict Cumberbatch for The Imitation Game

If you are familiar with Alan Turing, then you will know that his life was full of discoveries and tribulations, which is why Cumberbatch should get the award for best actor. The British actor’s performance was extraordinary and brought audiences back in time through an intricate, roller-coaster journey.

  • Best Actress: Julianne Moore for Still Alice

The character development throughout the movie makes Moore a serious contender. Still Alice is about a linguistics professor that is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimers testing the bonds within her family. Moore eloquently captures the mental frustration that accompanies the deterioration of one’s memory. This illness is one that hasn’t been thoroughly exposed by the Hollywood industry, and the portrayal of the character leaves audiences wanting more.

Click here for the full list of 2015 nominations, click here.


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