February 29, 2016 @ 12:30 PM
Change was in the air at the 88th annual Academy Awards—and it was inspiring, to say the least. As expected, the Oscars packed plenty of no-holds-barred comments about this year’s controversial lack of diverse nominees. But the night had another major theme to it: girl power.
First, an emotional Alicia Vikander thanked her parents for teaching her that anything is possible while accepting her best supporting actress award for her role in The Danish Girl. Then, Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs expressed her hope for Hollywood’s future with a powerful call to action before Lady Gaga took a stand on stage, surrounding herself with survivors of sexual abuse while performing her nominated song, “Til It Happens to You.” And to wrap up the night, best actress Oscar winner Brie Larson shared some inspiring words of her own backstage.
PHOTOS: All the Looks from the 2016 Oscars Red Carpet
Press play on the video above to relive all of the night’s most inspirational moments.
[MUSIC] The 2016 Academy Awards were filled with dazzling gowns, heartfelt speeches and razor sharp jokes. But the night also delivered some powerful moments of pure girl power. Here are five inspiring wows that had us Raising a glass to the night's leading ladies. As Alicia Vikander accepted her Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, her mom beamed with pride from the audience. Backstage, the Danish girl star said she taught her to believe anything can happen. I actually on stage said to my parents who were there and who have always told me and I You can actually do it. Apparently a lot of things can be possible, things that I would never, ever, ever have believed. Pakistani filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy didn't waste a moment when accepting her Oscar for Best Documentary Short For film A Girl in the River reminded everyone about the importance of bringing untold stories to life. This is what happens when determined women get together. There are many jokes throughout the night about Hollywood's lack of racial diversity. But the President of the Academy Cheryl Boone Isaacs hit the issue head on. We must take action While change is often difficult, it is necessary. Dr. Martin Luther King once said the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. I am confident That together we can shape a future of which all of us can be proud. The nights most rousing moment came from the queen of powerful performances Lady Gaga. As the singer belted out her nominated song "Til It Happens To You" she was joined on stage by survivors of sexual abuse. When it was over, the audience gave them a standing ovation. [MUSIC] The Best actress, Brie Larson, delivered one of the night's most elegant speeches, thanking everyone from film festivals to fans. Backstage, the Room star gave advice to young women pursuing their dreams. You just have to do it. I mean, I wish that there were any sort of rules or code, but, in fact, I think the way you get there is by breaking it. By listening to what's happening inside of yourself. It took me 20 years to be standing here, on this stage. But I wouldn't want it any other way. [MUSIC]