Oscar night celebrates success, recognizes best of Hollywood

Growing up, maybe you imagined yourself wearing a gorgeous dress or dashing tux, while standing on your bed, hair brush in hand as your trophy, envisioning the moment when someone says “And the Academy Award goes to…” Then you recite your speech, perfecting your fake cries, as you take home the award for best actor or actress. Or maybe you’ve never once cared.

Whether you’re the former or the latter, we all can admit that the night dubbed as “Hollywood’s Most Glamorous Night” has a presence in this world that’s not easily ignored.

The 86th annual Oscars premieres this Sunday, hosted by comedian and television personality, Ellen DeGeneres.

The Nominations Include:


Best Picture:

American Hustle

Dallas Buyers Club

Captain Phillips




12 Years a Slave

The Wolf of Wall Street



Actor in a Leading Role:

Christian Bale, American Hustle

Bruce Dern, Nebraska

Leonardo Dicaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street

Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave

Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club


Actress in a Leading Role:

Amy Adams, American Hustle

Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine

Sandra Bullock, Gravity

Judi Dench, Philomena

Meryl Streep, August: Osage County


Actor in a Supporting Role:

Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

Bradley Cooper, American Hustle

Jonah Hill, The Wolf of Wall Street

Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips

Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave


Actress in a Supporting Role:

Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine

Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle

Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave

Julia Roberts, August: Osage County

June Squibb, Nebraska


Other categories include awards in Best Animated Feature, Costume Design, Directing, Cinematography, Short Films, Foreign Language Film, Documentary Film, Makeup and Hairstyling, Production Design, Sound Mixing, Original Score, Original Song, Visual Effects and many more.

Senior Alison Monaco, production manager of Casting Hall, said she has mixed feelings about the Oscars. On one hand, she feels they are a fantastic way to acknowledge people in the fine arts/media world and the hard work they dedicate to film. On the other hand, speaking as an actor, she feels award shows, like the Oscars, promote the notion that artists must strive to receive a trophy instead of changing the world.

[Fans] want to be at the Oscars one day, dress in a beautiful outfit, have a speech, and be on top of the world. What people don’t realize is that there are 355-plus days of grueling work that go into being invited and attending such a lavish evening.

— Alison Monaco

“On a fun, superficial level, I love watching those who get rewarded for their hard work,” Monaco said. “On a deeper level, I know that artistry must go beyond the glamour of Hollywood.”

Monaco’s favorite movie up for nomination is “definitely” American Hustle this year.

“The soundtrack, the vintage style, the bold costumes, and acting choices worked so well together (in it),” Monaco said. “I love the ensemble casting and I think David Russell is a wonderful director with a great eye for talent.”

Monaco has her preferences for Actress in a Leading Role and is excited to see whose name gets called.

“Any time Meryl is nominated, I want her to win simply because she is the best,” Monaco said. “But I do think Amy Adams is one of the most versatile actresses of our day, so I would be happy with either winning.”

Monaco also thinks people like to watch the Oscars because it gives them something to believe in.

“They want to be at the Oscars one day, dress in a beautiful outfit, have a speech, and be on top of the world,” Monaco said. “What people don’t realize is that there are 355-plus days of grueling work that go into being invited and attending such a lavish evening.”

A popular desire by SUNY Buffalo State students was to see Leonardo DiCaprio finally take home an Academy Award. The actor has never won, despite his influential roles over the past few decades. He is up for leading actor in The Wolf of Wall Street.

“If Leonardo DiCaprio doesn’t win there is something wrong with the academy,” Monaco said.

“That man has paid his dues and has worked incredibly hard and deserves to be recognized.”

Taylor Stuewe, a sophomore television and film arts major, is a diehard Oscars fan. She watches every year and has even gone to see the nominated shorts for the Oscars this year in theaters and loved them. Some of her top choices are, Helium for short film, Jonah Hill for supporting actor in The Wolf of Wall Street, and Frozen, for best animated feature, up against The Croods, Despicable Me 2, Ernest and Celestine and The Wind Rises.

“I’m rooting for Leo, because Leo never wins, so I’m hoping he will do well,” Stuewe said.

Stuewe normally watches at a party that her professor hosts, but he is now away on sabbatical, so she will have to make other plans. She insists her eyes will be glued to the screen come Sunday night, and thinks she’s not alone in this.

“I think people watch because there’s this fascination with entertainment, actors and celebrities, and I think it makes people feel like they are getting a glimpse into Hollywood glamour life,” Stuewe said. “I think it’s really fun and they always put on a really big show.”

Grace Philips, a sophomore film major, has a different opinion, and thinks that ultimately the Oscars are overrated.

“They (people) get caught up in the glamour of it, or whatever,” Philips said. “I feel the way things turn out, it’s more political usually. It’s just one body’s opinion, the Academy’s opinion. It doesn’t set in stone a good film from a bad film. People like to argue, ‘this one won the award, so it’s the best,’ and I’m like ‘No, not necessarily.’”

Despite her dislike for the night in general, as an aspiring director herself, Philips really liked the films Her and Philomena, both up for multiple nominations.

”I felt like they were really down to earth and really had something to say that was meaningful.” Philips said. “They were beautiful films.”

The show premieres live at 7 p.m. March 2 on ABC.

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