Politics, Fashion and Stars are always a guarantee on and off the red carpet for the Academy Awards and this year was no exception. Before the ceremony, diversity was the big topic and now the day after, the discussion has continued regarding equal pay for women, rights for the LGBT community and like John Legend so eloquently pointed out in his speech,"...there are more black men incarcerated than there were slaves brought to America". Eloquent, provocative and jaw dropping speeches were definitely trending and given by winners Patricia Arquette, Common. John Legend and Graham Moore. Moore, who won for The Imitation Game dropped a bomb that detonated the Dolby Theatre, but his words were needed and heartfelt. "When I was 16 years old, I tried to kill myself because I felt weird and I felt different and I felt like I did not belong. And now I’m standing here and, so, I would like for this moment to be for that kid out there who feels like she’s weird or she’s different or she doesn’t fit in anywhere. Yes, you do. I promise you do. You do. Stay weird. Stay different. And then when it’s your turn and you are standing on this stage, please pass the same message to the next person who comes along."
The stars showed up and showed out for the red carpet. The pale pallete was a popular hue worn by Viola Davis, Jennifer Lopez and Oprah Winfrey to name a few. My personal favorite was Gone Girl nominee Rosamund Pike in a red lace number that made her look like a lovely, statuesque bouquet of roses.
I had the opportunity to chat and meet some of my media idols such as "Entertainment Guru" for LA ABC7 - George Pinnachio, my good girlfriend, supermodel Roshumba Williams and made new friends like kitsch queen Esther Goldberg and TrendyMii.com's Keira Renee (who really helped a sister out on the red carpet)!
Some powerful performances that will remain etched in many minds after last night include Lady Gaga's tribute around the the 50th Anniversary of The Sound of Music, which Oscar Winner Julie Andrews with much emotion thanked Gaga and said the tribute "warmed her heart"; Common and John Legend accepting their little bald gold guy and insighted tears from the audience. Here is an excerpt from their acceptance speech:
Common: "John and I got to go to Selma and perform “Glory” on the same bridge that Dr. King and the people of the civil rights movement marched on 50 years ago. This bridge was once a landmark of a divided nation but now is a symbol for change. The spirit of this bridge transcends race, gender, religion, sexual orientation and social status. The spirit of this bridge connects the kid from the South Side of Chicago dreaming of a better life to those in France standing up for their freedom of expression, to the people in Hong Kong protesting for democracy. This bridge was built on hope, welded with compassion and elevated by love for all human beings."
John Stephens (John Legend): "Nina Simone said it’s an artist’s duty to reflect the times in which we live. We wrote this song for a film that was based on events that were 50 years ago but we say that Selma is now because the struggle for justice is right now. We know that the Voting Rights Act that they fought for 50 years ago is being compromised right now in this country today. We know that right now the struggle for freedom and justice is real. We live in the most incarcerated country in the world. There are more black men under correctional control today than were under slavery in 1850. When people are marching with our song, we want to tell you we are with you, we see you, we love you, and march on. God bless you."
After the ceremony the stars partied till the sun came up. I joined my fellow AAFCA members at a soiree sponsored by our organization and Mercedes Benz at the Four Seasons. Black Hollywood was in full effect with numerous 'Selma" castmates including Niecy Nash and "my brother from another mother" Omar Dorsey. Other attendees included Colman Domingo, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Beverly Johnson, Robi Reed, Star Jones, Vanessa Bell-Calloway and many others.
It was an exciting and exhilarating year for film that have inspired a lot of long overdue conversations. In moving forward, let's just not talk...but act. Make a Change...Make a Difference...Starting NOW!!!
Check out my Pre-Oscar Red Carpet Coverage and see you next year!!!
Here is full list of the winners from the 87th Annual Academy Awards:
Best supporting actor - JK Simmons for Whiplash
Achievement in costume design - The Grand Budapest Hotel – Milena Canonero
Achievement in makeup and hairstyling - The Grand Budapest Hotel – Frances Hannon, Mark Coulier
Best foreign-language film- Ida – Paweł Pawlikowski
Best live-action short film -The Phone Call – Mat Kirkby, James Lucas
Best documentary short subject -Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1 – Ellen Goosenberg Kent, Dana Perry
Achievement in sound mixing - Whiplash – Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins, Thomas Curley
Achievement in sound editing -American Sniper – Alan Robert Murray, Bub AsmanBest Supporting Actress ...Patricia Arquette for Boyhood
Achievement in visual effects - Interstellar – Paul J Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter, Scott R Fisher
Best animated short filmFeast – Patrick Osborne, Kristina Reed
Best animated feature film - Big Hero 6
Best production design - The Grand Budapest Hotel: Adam Stockhausen, Anna Pinnock
Achievement in cinematography -Birdman: Emmanuel Lubezki
Achievement in film editing - Whiplash – Tom Cross
Best documentary feature -Citizenfour – Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy, Dirk Wilutzky
Best original song - Glory from Selma – Lonnie Lynn (Common), John Stephens (John Legend)
Best original score -Alexandre Desplat – The Grand Budapest Hotel
Original screenplay- Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo – Birdman
Adapted screenplay -Graham Moore – The Imitation Game
Best director- Alejandro González Iñárritu for Birdman Richard Linklater for Boyhood
Best actor -Eddie Redmayne for The Theory of Everything
Best actress - Julianne Moore for Still Alice
Best picture - Birdman