Vocabulary from Academy Award Nominees and Winners

The 88th Academy Awards ceremony was held in Los Angeles on February 28, 2016. Below are 16 vocabulary words drawn from some of the nominated and winning screenplays and from personal quotes from the winners of the acting awards.

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. stability
    the quality or attribute of being firm and steadfast
    As long as you can still grab a breath, you fight. You breathe. Keep breathing. When there is a storm and you stand in front of a tree, if you look at its branches, you swear it will fall. But if you watch the trunk, you will see its stability.
    - The Revenant, Screenplay by Mark L. Smith and Alejandro González Iñárritu
  2. hammock
    a hanging bed of canvas or rope netting
    I've been in the world 37 hours. I've seen pancakes, and a stairs, and birds, and windows, and hundreds of cars. And clouds, and police, and doctors, and grandma and grandpa. But Ma says they don't live together in the hammock house anymore. Grandma lives there with her friend Leo now. And Grandpa lives far away.
    -Room, Screenplay by Emma Donoghue
  3. flourish
    make steady progress
    If I can be of any help, Marty, don't hesitate to ask. I find that the city flourishes when its great institutions work together.
    - Spotlight, Screenplay by Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer
    Spotlight was named Best Motion Picture at the Academy Awards this year.
  4. prey
    profit from in an unethical manner
    Phil Saviano: I was eleven. And I was preyed upon by father David Holly in Wester. And I don't mean prayed for, I mean preyed upon.
    -Spotlight, Screenplay by Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer
    The screenplay for Spotlight was named Best Original Screenplay at the Oscars this year.
  5. redemption
    the act of delivering from sin or saving from evil
    I'm going to find moral redemption at the roulette table.
    - The Big Short, Screenplay by Adam McKay and Charles Randolph
    The screenplay for The Big Short was named Best Adapted Screenplay at the Academy Awards this year.
  6. fraud
    deliberate trickery intended to gain an advantage
    What bothers me isn't that fraud is not nice. Or that fraud is mean. For fifteen thousand years, fraud and short sighted thinking have never, ever worked. Not once. Eventually you get caught, things go south. When the hell did we forget all that? I thought we were better than this, I really did.
    - The Big Short, Screenplay by Adam McKay and Charles Randolph
  7. breach
    make an opening or gap in
    If the oxygenator breaks down, I'll suffocate. If the water reclaimer breaks down, I'll die of thirst. If the hab breaches, I'll just kind of implode. If none of those things happen, I'll eventually run out of food and starve to death. So, yeah... Yeah...
    - The Martian, Screenplay by Drew Goddard
  8. foregone conclusion
    an inevitable ending
    James Donovan: The death sentence is not a foregone conclusion. Don't worry.
    Rudolf Abel: I'm not afraid to die, Mr. Donovan. Although, it wouldn't be my first choice.
    - Bridge of Spies, Screenplay by Matt Charman and Joel & Ethan Coen
  9. gamesmanship
    the use of dubious methods to win a game
    OK, well, listen, I understand attorney-client privilege. I understand all the legal gamesmanship, and I understand that's how you make your living, but I'm talking to you about something else, the security of your country. I'm sorry if the way I put it offends you, but we need to know what Abel is telling you. You understand me, Donovan? Don't go Boy Scout on me. We don't have a rule book here.
    - Bridge of Spies, Screenplay by Matt Charman and Joel & Ethan Coen
  10. latent
    not presently active
    Some people believe language exists from birth. And what is learned is the ability to attach words and structure to the latent ability.
    - Ex Machina, Screenplay by Alex Garland
  11. endure
    face and withstand with courage
    You'll feel so homesick that you'll want to die, and there's nothing you can do about it apart from endure it. But you will, and it won't kill you... and one day the sun will come out and you'll realize that this is where your life is.
    - Brooklyn, Screenplay by Nick Hornby
  12. amenable
    disposed or willing to comply
    Tony: OK, so while you're being amenable. Can we go see a movie this week? When you're not at night classes?
    Eilis: I'll sign up for two movies.
    Tony: Really?
    Eilis: Yes. Even if the first date is a disaster, I'll give it another chance.
    - Brooklyn, Screenplay by Nick Hornby
  13. manifest
    clearly revealed to the mind or the senses or judgment
    Our job is to make manifest the story, to be it. In a sense, the theater is such a big star itself...that we should take the opportunity to fill it with voice and verse and movement, not interpretation.
    - Mark Rylance
    Mark Rylance won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role as Rudolf Abel in Bridge of Spies.
  14. therapeutic
    tending to cure or restore to health
    Sometimes I laugh with my parents, and sometimes I yell at them, and both are therapeutic.
    -Brie Larson
    Brie Larson won the Best Actress Oscar for her role as Ma in Room.
  15. perpetuate
    cause to continue or prevail
    The great thing about turning 30 in this business is that you get to perpetuate being young or old as long as we want.
    - Leonardo DiCaprio
    Leonardo DiCaprio was named Best Actor for his role as Hugh Glass in The Revenant.
  16. humane
    marked by concern with the alleviation of suffering
    I think I'm a big romantic, so being part of those stories, that's such a big part of anyone's life in general, that's such a humane thing.
    - Alicia Vikander
    Alicia Vikander won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role as Gerda Wegener in The Danish Girl

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