2015 Oscars Winners, and More

2015 Oscars Winners, and More

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The Story Behind the Oscars

by Grace Bickel

The Academy Awards, or the Oscars, is one of the biggest social events in today’s society. Actors and actresses come from all over the world to see if they’ll be taking home an Oscar, yet many go home disappointed.

But what draws such prestigious guests to the Academy Awards anyways? And why is it an important event. Most importantly, why are the awards called Oscars?

The Academy Awards began on May 16, 1929. The award ceremony was a very private event with only award winners, their family and members of the Academy, and lasted a total of 15 minutes. At the time, the winners were announced three months in advance, so recipient’s speeches were short and to the point.

photo from cinema.nl

photo from cinema.nl

The very first Oscar statuettes were made of gold-plated bronze. Currently, the award statuettes are made of gold-plated britannium, an alloy made of tin. The statues themselves are 13 ½ inches tall and weigh 8 ½ pounds.

The myth is the awards were nicknamed “Oscars” by Academy Award librarian and future Director of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Margaret Herrick. The story goes that when she first saw the statues in 1931, she said it looked like her Uncle Oscar. After that, employees began referring to it as ‘Oscar.’

The Academy has strict rules to regulate which people and films can be nominated. To submit a film, a movie’s producer, or distributor, must sign and submit “Official Screen Credits” by December 2. The composition needs to be more than a full list of credits. Plus, the person nominating the film would need proof the film meets the criteria.

In order to be eligible, the film must be over 40 minutes long (with the exception of mini films and animated shorts). It also must be publicly viewed with paid admission in Los Angeles County (the name of the theater where it was viewed needs to be included), and it also must run for at least seven straight days. In addition, the film cannot have its premiere on television or the Internet, because it renders the film ineligible.

Then, ballots are sent out. Only members of the Academy are allowed to vote. At the moment there are about 6,000 members. Members of the Academy are previous Oscar winners, nominees and important members of the film industry.

According to Entertainment Weekly, “Voters are asked to list up to five names, ranked in order of preference. Voters are told to ‘follow their hearts,’ because the voting process doesn’t penalize for picking strange choices. But listing the same person or film twice doesn’t help their cause, it actually diminishes the chance that the voter’s ballot will be counted.

Once members send back their ballots, PricewaterhouseCoopers, a company that provides consulting services for the elite, begins the process of counting. They’re looking for the amount of votes in each category that turns a potential nominee into an official nominee. The counting of the ballots is still done by hand. To determine the “magic number”that turns a potential nominee into a choice, PricewaterhouseCoopers takes the total number of ballots received for a category and divides it by the total possible nominees, plus one.

The Academy Awards are then presented to those who earn the most votes. The winners have the prestige of being recognized by the academy. Some of the well-known awards are Best Actor, Best Actress and of course, Best Picture.

Today, the show lasts over three hours and includes many performances from the movies or musicals nominated for awards. There is even a host to entertain guests and viewers.

This Year’s Winners Are…

by Caitlin Bammerlin

The oscars were held February 22, 2015 at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles. As expected, there were many famous celebrities in attendance. Most notably were iconic host Neil Patrick Harris, as well as actors and actresses including, Dakota Johnson, Reese Witherspoon, John Legend, Channing Tatum, and Jennifer Aniston.

Oscars winner (photo from Business Insider)

Oscars winners from left to right: J.K. Simmons, Patricia Arquette, Julianne Moore, and Eddie Redmayne (photo from Business Insider)

There were many surprises at this year’s Oscars, including the lack of major awards given to American Sniper, a film that did well in the box office. However, movies such as Birdman, released on October 17, 2014, walked away with numerous awards including, best picture, best director, and best original screenplay.

Big Hero 6 took home the prize for best animated feature film. Big Hero 6 is a 2014 released PG movie that was expected to win an Oscar, mostly because of how well it did in the box office. According to forbes.com, Big Hero 6 earned about $55 million at the box office, less than the 2014 best animated feature film Frozen, which earned $67 million at the box office.

Best supporting actor and actress winners were J. K. Simmons, for his role in Whiplash, and Patricia Arquette from Boyhood. The best original song, Glory, written and sung by iconic artists, John Legend and Common, was written for the movie Glory.

The most important awards of the night were presented to Julianne Moore and Eddie Redmayne.

Julianne Moore received an Oscar as Best Actress for her role in Still Alice. Moore played a science professor at Columbia diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. Moore has been been previously nominated 5 times for an Oscar, with this being her first win.

The best actor award went to Eddie Redmayne who played Stephen Hawking in the film, The Theory of Everything. Redmayne plays the ex husband of Jane Wilde Hawking, played by Felicity Jones. Redmayne’s character is diagnosed with motor neuron disease. This is the first Oscar nomination and win for for Redmayne.



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