2016 has been undoubtedly one of the most controversial years that the Academy Awards have ever seen. With the build up to the ceremony dominated by racial controversy and the #OscarsSowhite campaign, poignant issues could hardly be avoided on the night and award winners used the platform to vocalise the issues closest to their hearts.
Host Chris Rock made several topical jokes about the lack of opportunity for black actors; Sam Smith dedicated his award to the LGBT+ community; Lady Gaga performed a song about sexual assault to a standing ovation and Leonardo Di Caprio used his long awaited Best Actor acceptance speech to bring the issues of climate change to the forefront of the evening. Students applying for Law, PPE, HSPS or Anthropology should consider the vital and changing role that celebrities and film makers can play in publicising causes and equality for all, and philosophy students should think about whether those in the public eye are morally obligated to take a stand on such issues.
However, one of the biggest shocks of the evening was saved until the end, with Spotlight sweeping in to take Best Picture Award despite high expectations that the Revenant would be victorious. It’s no secret that Oscars are won through campaigns before the ceremony, and some have speculated that the big push this year for Leo to win his Oscar may have detracted from the film itself when it came to the Best Picture category. Meanwhile, the Spotlight cast focused their efforts fully on reinforcing the film’s message, encouraging important people to watch it and continuing support for the child abused protests that first energised the film. Before the ceremony itself Spotlight actor Mark Ruffalo, director Tom McCarthy and writer Josh Singer joined a protest outside a Catholic Church and on winning the award, McCarthy called for Pope Francis to restore faith in the Catholic Church and ‘protect the children’.
Students applying for Law, PPE, HSPS, History or Anthropology should consider the vital role that celebrities can have in publicising important issues and Philosophy students should think about whether those in the public eye are morally obligated to use the platform they are given to affect change. English applicants should consider the changing role of film as a medium, and its parallels to literature in the way it can work with controversial topics to reach a wider audience as well as consider the question: should the messages of such films be taken into account when judging such awards as the Oscars, or should we consider the films as solely art for art’s sake?
- What’s so special about Oxford and Cambridge? Both Oxford and Cambridge have fearsome reputations. The Oxbridge system... Read more >
- The Architecture of an Education: what are colleges all about? Explaining the difference between Oxford and Cambridge colleges and the... Read more >
- LNAT ‘So you want to go to Oxbridge’ Answers If you have been reading our book ‘So you want... Read more >
- What’s the Most Important Part of Your Application? An application to Oxford or Cambridge involves various different elements,... Read more >
- Information on choosing a course at Oxford or Cambridge “Perhaps it is because Oxbridge encourages more ‘traditional’ A Level... Read more >
- Personal Statement Solution: Brainstorm Sheet Writing your personal statement may just be the grimmest part... Read more >
- Oxford college snapshots With 35 colleges and Permanent Private Halls, choosing how to... Read more >
- What Results Do You Need In Your Exams? At the heart of every Oxbridge offer is an excellent... Read more >
- ELAT overview If you’re applying for English, or its joint schools, you... Read more >
- March’s Top News Stories Read more about some of the biggest news stories to... Read more >
- Your Open Day Guide Open Days can be an extremely useful way of finding... Read more >
- Download a Philosophy Personal Statement “Philosophy of the mind is my particular interest, especially the... Read more >
- January’s Top News Stories Read more about some of the biggest news stories to... Read more >
- UKCAT mini mock paper & answers If you are applying for Medicine or Dentistry, many of... Read more >
- Science Puzzle: experimenting with mice… We asked our Medicine graduate Jennifer to tell us a... Read more >
- University Admissions Tests: How Would You Reply? Here we have a few questions and answers to sample... Read more >
- Law: answer like a pro Law is a notoriously competitive subject; this, along with the... Read more >
- PAT mini mock paper & answers The Physics Aptitude Test or PAT is required by Oxford... Read more >
- Sports psychology for interviews Channel your inner champion Major sports personalities use these techniques... Read more >
- What You Need To Know About A Level Reforms The A Level system that has been in place since... Read more >
- The Great Collection of Past Oxbridge Interview Questions The great thing about an Oxbridge interview is that it... Read more >
- Statistics: 2015 Annual Survey Want to find out what your chances are of getting... Read more >
- Mathematics Reading List Studying Mathematics at university requires a different approach to studying... Read more >
- Funding Your Oxbridge Degree Many people are under the impression that it is more... Read more >