Brie Larson took home the Academy Award for Best Actress at the 88th Oscars, making a lot of safe-bet takers very happy with their Oscar pool choices. The favored front-runner followed through and earned the award for her steely but vulnerable performance as Joy “Ma” Newsome in Lenny Abrahamson’s adaptation of Emma Donoghue’s novel Room. An awards-season MVP this year, Larson was gracious as she took the stage, taking time in her speech to specifically acknowledge both the folks involved with the making of the film, but also the larger mechanisms of film culture that keep the art form so vital. She specifically cited the crews at the Telluride and Toronto film festivals, where Room first gained critical traction, and the film’s distributor A24, which has practically made a reputation of taking chances on mid-budget, artistically challenging pieces.
Larson also specially cited the audiences who took the time to see her film and keep the valuable act of moviegoing alive: “Thank you for going to the movies and seeing our films,” Larson said. A first-time nominee, Larson made a big splash with her win this evening. At this time last year, she was a relative unknown, having won a few hearts with key roles in Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, The United States Of Tara, and Short Term 12. Now, she’s on the fast track to the top of the A list.