Monday, February 23, 2015

BIRDMAN Soars At This Year's Oscars As Latinos Are "Presente" at the Academy Awards

When it came to this year's Academy Awards (also known as the Oscars), it was the night of the Birdman.

Academy Award winners Nicolás
, Alexander Dinelaris,
Alejandro González Iñárritu
and Armando Bó.
The feature films Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) and The Grand Budapest Hotel were both tied with nine Academy Award nominations (the most of any other film this past year). While they both ended with four each, Birdman won the categories of Best Cinematography (Emmanuel "Chivo" Lubezki), Best Original Screenplay (Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bó), Best Director (González Iñárritu) and Best Picture (González Iñárritu, John Lesher, James W. Skotchdopole). 

Two-time Academy Award winner
Emmanuel "Chivo" Lubezki.
In an evening that was criticized as being "the whitest Oscars since 1995" due to a lack of diversity in the major categories, the Oscars seemed to become the most Latino ceremony in recent memory (los Óscar, if you will).

This is the first time the Best Director Oscar was given to Mexicans in two consecutive years (Alfonso Cuarón won last year for Gravity– himself the first Latino and person of color to win the award). Cinematographer Lubezki also won the Oscar last year for his work on Cuarón's film Gravity, making him only the second cinematographer to win two consecutive Oscars (John Toll accomplished the feat for Legends of the Fall and Braveheart, respectively.) The Oscar win by the all-Latino screenwriting team of González Iñárritu, Giacobone, Dinelaris and Bó marks only the second time a Latino/Hispanic has won the Best Original Screenplay Oscar (when Pedro Almodóvar won in 2002 for Talk To Her/Hable con ella).

The Oscar.
González Iñárritu's three Oscars that evening (he had been nominated four times previously but had never won), while a lot, didn't beat the record for most Academy Awards won by one person in one night. That honor goes to Walt Disney, who won a staggering four Oscars in 1954 (for Best Animated Short Film, Best Live Action Short Film/Two-Reel, Best Documentary Short and Best Documentary Feature, respectively). González Iñárritu is also the first Latino to win the Best Picture Oscar.

The 87th Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), honored the best films of 2014 and took place on February 22, 2015, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California where awards in 24 categories were presented.

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