The buzz surrounding the 87th Annual Academy Awards is reaching a fever pitch, but denim has been making star-studded onscreen appearances for decades — spanning from James Dean’s captivating performance in Rebel Without A Cause right up to this year’s big winners. In anticipation of the big event, we think its only fitting to present our first-ever LS&Co. Denim Academy Awards honoring the silver-screen moments we think are worthy of a denim-clad Oscar statue.
Ready the ice buckets and pop the champagne. No need to put on your sequins for this one — Levi’s will do.
And the Denim Oscar goes to…
BEST BLUE JEAN BRAWL
Heath Ledger And Jake Gyllenhaal – Brokeback Mountain
For tortured cowboys Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist, it was a fine line between love and hate. The two got their Levi’s all tangled in this epic brawl, which begins with playful horsing around and transforms into an expression of the difficulty of their situation, and Ennis’s reluctance to commit to Jack.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN JEANS
Billy Crudup – Almost Famous
Stillwater’s guitarist Russell Hammond gave the performance of a lifetime with a rant that not only captivated and warranted applause from the audience off-screen, but from those standing underneath him. The grand finale? A daring leap from a rooftop into the pool below. Do not try this at home.
BEST DENIM-CLAD ROMANCE
Kristin Stewart/Robert Pattinson — Twilight
The entire film is shot through an indigo-colored lens, and Bella and Edward’s blue jeans are the perfect durable attire for a thrilling flight through the forest followed by a romantic moment in the treetops.
MOST CREATIVE GETAWAY IN JEANS—TO THE BEST SOUNDTRACK
Eddie Murphy – Beverly Hills Cop
We all know that denim has endured thanks to continual innovation. Axel Foley knows he’s being followed by the detectives and sticks bananas in their car’s tail pipe to slow them down. Now that’s creativity! Throughout the film, Foley’s standby denim uniform emphasizes his opposition to the stodgy Beverly Hills Detectives.
BIGGEST BULLY IN A JEAN JACKET
Judd Nelson – The Breakfast Club
Five students, five different cliques. In John Hughes’ cult-classic, the ‘brat pack’ reports to detention, including the rebellious criminal in the bunch, John Bender. Like the others in the movie, Bender’s bad boy stereotype breaks in the film, earning him an unforgettable kiss from Claire — and a diamond earring, to boot.
BEST DRIVING IN DENIM
Michael J. Fox – Back to the Future
Marty McFly puts the pedal to the metal — donning a denim tuxedo, no less — in this iconic ‘80s flick. His skilled maneuvers — plus, a well-timed lightening strike — ensure that he winds up back in 1985 where he belongs.
MOST DEFIANT DENIM
Jesse Eisenberg — The Social Network
We know that jeans are the uniform of Silicon Valley, and Mark Zuckerberg dressed true to form in David Fincher’s 2010 blockbuster. In a sea of suits before the Harvard disciplinary committee, Zuckerberg, sentenced to academic probation, stands up proudly in his denim and demands recognition for his accomplishment.
BEST SCRIPT IN BLUE JEANS
Mike Myers — Wayne’s World
Okay, so this might not have been the most scholarly of scripts, but what other denim-clad characters besides Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar coined as many modern language staples? “Not!” “Schwing!” “Exqueeze me?” and “We’re not worthy!” — to name just a few.
BEST COMEDIC DENIM
Adam Sandler – Billy Madison
In this slapstick gem, Billy Madison comforts a distraught 3rd grader who had an accident on the school field trip, and thus starts a new — luckily, short-lived — denim trend at Polly Fector Elementary. Again, do not try this at home.
BEST JEAN TEAM
The Sandlot gang — The Sandlot
What pants define childhood revelry and sunny days at the baseball field, while at the same time having the durability required to overpower a terrifying mastiff, foaming at the mouth? Blue jeans, of course. In this feel-good flick, the boys show that denim is an essential component of being the coolest gang in the neighborhood.