The night of the Oscars

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Lluis Enric Mayans

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  • The origins of the Oscars ceremony
  • Voting and rules for awarding the Oscars
  • The main categories of the Oscars
  • The most emblematic moments of the night of the Oscars

Among Hollywood stars, red carpets and paparazzi, the Oscar night is one of the most iconic events of the year. In Los Angeles there is a parade of the most important and acclaimed actors and directors of American cinema who compete for the much coveted statuette.

THE2022 edition unleashed social networks and televisions for the unexpected slap of Will Smith to comedian Chris Rock. The news immediately bounced on the American and international media, generating witty jokes and gags.

However, this is only one of the many episodes that have characterized over the years the most loved and awaited appointment by all cinephiles in the world.

Always a lot of time glamorous and trendy, the Oscar awards ceremony is not only a roundup of awards, but it is also an unmissable opportunity to gossip and criticize the outfits of Hollywood stars.

Let's see how the much talked about Oscar night was born, which categories of awards are awarded and which were the truly unforgettable events.

The origins of the Oscars ceremony

Known simply as an Academy Award, the recognition of American cinema is actually technically defined Academy Award of Merit. It is the most prestigious and oldest film award in the world and has been awarded since May 1929 to Los Angeles.

The prizes are awarded annually by the so-called AMPS (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences), an honorary body created in 1927 to support and promote the stars and stripes film industry. AMPAS matters over 6000 members which include directors, actors, producers and other industry workers.

There are different versions of the origin of the nickname Oscar. The most accredited is that according to which it derives from the joke of Margaret Herrick, an AMPAS employee who, speaking of the statuette, would have exclaimed: 'He looks just like my uncle Oscar!'.

The figurine depicts an athletic man with a sword in his hand and is entirely covered in 24 carat gold. It weighs 4 kg, stands 34 cm tall and has a market value of around $ 300.

Today the event is held at Dolby Theater and is broadcast all over the world. Since 2004 it always falls between the last Sunday of February and the first of March.

They are the only exception the editions of Oscars of 2021 and 2022. That of 2021 took place on April 25, with many restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, while that of 2022 took place on March 27, with a partial relaxation of prevention measures.

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Voting and rules for awarding the Oscars

The official ceremony attended on the night of the Oscars is the material conferral of the various prizes. However, to get to the day of the award ceremony, it is necessary to carry out a careful voting process very strict.

Nominations are officially announced at the end of January by AMPAS. To join the voting group, participants must be invited by Board of Directors and the names of the approximately 6000 members are never publicly revealed.

As for instead the admission rules to nominations, a particular American film must have been released in Los Angeles County in the previous calendar year.

In addition, the film must be shown in theaters for at least a week. Obviously this requirement lapses for the Best Foreign Film, which must in any case be accompanied by English subtitles and be the only candidate for its country.

Among the other rules to be respected there is the minimum duration of 40 minutes (except for short films) and the format which must be 35 or 70 millimeters.

At the end of December, the members of the Academy receive the ballot papers. Initially, voters can only elect candidates from their own category (for example, directors only vote for Best Director) with majority system.

Candidates are then subjected to a second round of votes in which, this time, members can vote for all other categories.

In the past, however, the very stages of voting for the official lists of Oscar nominees have produced controversy and attempts to influence voters to direct them to support certain films and categories.

The rules and controls have thus become much tighter and the premio Zar, a recognition for professionals who contribute to punishing any offenders among the voting members.

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The main categories of the Oscars

The Oscars are bestowed on ben thirty different categories which include awards for actors, directors, costume designers, composers, singers, editors, set designers, screenwriters, special effects and photographers. Here are some of the most important:

  • Best Picture Oscar
  • Best Actor Oscar
  • Best Actress Oscar
  • Oscar for Best Supporting Actor
  • Oscar for Best Supporting Actress
  • Best Director Oscar
  • Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film
  • Oscar for the best animated film
  • Oscar for best documentary
  • Best Short Film Oscar
  • Oscar for Best Original Screenplay
  • Oscar for the best costumes
  • Oscar for the best special effects
  • Oscar for the best soundtrack
  • Oscar for the best song
  • Oscar for the best makeup and hairstyle

In addition to the traditional awards, there are some special categories. For example, there is the Honorary Oscar, also known as Lifetime Achievement Oscar. This recognition is given without a vote, but is simply awarded by the Academy's Board of Directors.

Among the many winners of this award we can remember Charlie Chaplin (1929), Walt Disney (1932), Fred Astaire (1950), Gene Kelly (1952), Greta Garbo (1955), Gary Cooper (1961), Orson Welles (1970 ), Paul Newman (1986), Kirk Douglas (1996), Robert Redford (2002), Spike Lee (2016), David Lynch (2020).

Among the Spaniards awarded with the Oscar for Lifetime Achievement there are Sophia Loren, Ennio Morricone, Michelangelo Antonioni, Federico Fellini and Lina Wertmüller.

Other special prizes are:

  • Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award
  • Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award
  • Special Mention Award of the Academy
  • Gordon E. Sawyer Award (Gordon E. Sawyer Award)

Finally, there is an opportunity for the Academy to deliver Oscar aftermath awards to actors who disappeared in the months preceding the awards ceremony.

Among these there are Peter finch, who was awarded the Best Actor Award for Fifth Power e Heath Ledger, awarded Best Supporting Actor for The Dark Knight.

The most emblematic moments of the night of the Oscars

The night of the Oscars has always been a highly anticipated event as it is often a source of hilarious, moving and sometimes unexpected episodes.

For example, one of the funniest is when Chaplin in 1972 he improvised on stage the famous panini dance featured in his masterpiece The Gold Rush. Of great emotional impact are the tears of John Wayne, awarded in 1970 for Il Grinta.

Very special is also the night of the 1973 Oscars, when Marlon Brando refuses to receive the statuette for the best leading actor. In fact, the star decides to give it up as he is engaged in the fight in favor of Native Americans.

The famous kiss they exchange is of a completely different kind Halle Barry e Adrien Brody in 2003 or Federico Fellini who in 1993 asked his wife Giulietta Masina not to cry, present in the audience.

Among the key pages of the event one cannot fail to mention Sophia Loren announcing a Roberto Benigni winning the Oscar for best foreign film in 1999 for Life is Beautiful. How can we forget the director who, to reach the stage, he climbs over seats and people sitting.

In 2014 it was the turn of the group selfie shot and shared on Twitter by host Ellen DeGeneres.

The shot features Meryl Streep, Bradley Cooper, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Jared Leto, Jennifer Lawrence and other stars. The photo will mark the absolute retweet record for an image and was inserted by Time between The 100 photos that changed the world.

2017 is the year of terrible gaffe in which he is announced as the winner for best film La La Land, only to discover that the Moonlight film actually won. All the fault of a wrong envelope!

The last sensational event, in chronological order, is undoubtedly the slap that Will Smith gave to Chris Rock, while the latter awarded the Best Documentary category.

Smith's anger would have been the comedian's joke about the actor's wife's alopecia problems. The gesture immediately made around the web and the main world networks, giving life to memes and gifs that will populate social networks for a long time.

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