The 88th Academy Awards are Officially in the Books

Posted by Leah on 2/29/2016 12:17:16 PM

        And thusly, we have reached the supposed end of Hollywood’s awards season this year (although really, at this point it has no end). The Academy Awards aren’t usually as rowdy as other awards shows, (such as the Golden Globes), but this year it seemed everyone had an issue to raise when they gave their acceptance speeches. There was a LOT about diversity, but also mentions of climate change, sexual abuse, support for the LGBT community, abuse within the Catholic Church, the importance of journalism, who to vote for and more. It seemed like everyone who stood at the microphone used the time to push whatever issues they hold dear. But I’m getting ahead of myself! Let me start from the beginning.
        Chris Rock was host of the 88
th Academy Awards, and while some were nervous about how he’d handle the #OscarsSoWhite issue, he knocked it out of the park. As soon as Rock stepped on stage he began tackling the diversity issue. The first thing he said was “Well, I'm here at the Academy Awards, otherwise known as the White People's Choice Awards.”

        And that was just the beginning. He used the ten minute monologue to not only address the elephant in the room, but also to bring up a variety of good points on other issues as well. At one point he said “Now the thing is, why we protesting? That's the big question. Why
this Oscars, you know? It's the 88th Academy Awards, which means this whole black nominees thing has happened at least 71 other times. OK? You've got to figure that it happened in the '50s, in the '60s, you know? In the '60s, one of those years Sidney [Poitier] didn't put out a movie. I'm sure there wasn't no black nominees some of those years, say '62 or '63. And black people did not protest. Why? Because we had real things to protest at the time. We had real things to protest!”

        A little later on Rock brought up something that I can’t really believe hadn’t been brought up before, “Hey, if you want black nominees every year, you need to just have black categories. That's what you need. You need to have black categories. You already do it with men and women. Think about it. There's no real reason for there to be a man and a woman category in acting. There's no reason. It's not track and field. You don't have to separate them. Robert De Niro has never said, “I better slow this acting down so Meryl Streep can catch up.” Personally, I couldn’t agree with Rock more and I think that’d be a great place to start. I’m not saying that there shouldn’t also be more diversity; just that men and women should be treated as equals as well.

        Overall I think Rock did a great job hosting, considering all of the controversy, but it still doesn’t seem to have been enough. I found the show itself to be kind of boring and barely entertaining. I know that it’s supposed to be about the awards, but if they’re going to add in musical acts and such as entertainment, it’s probably time for a major overhaul. Apparently a lot of the country agrees with this view, because this was the second lowest rated Academy Awards ever and the numbers have been in general decline for the past 9 years. I’m not entirely sure what they could do to fix it, but whatever it is they’ve now got a year to come up with it!

        Another problem that seems to now be an annual occurrence is the omission of several names during the “In Memoriam” segment.  Last year there was uproar when they left out Joan Rivers’s name, to which the Academy responded, “Joan Rivers is among the many worthy artists and filmmakers we were unfortunately unable to feature in the ‘In Memoriam’ segment of this year’s Oscar show. She is, however, included in our ‘In Memoriam’ gallery on” That, of course, did nothing to quiet people and instead made them angrier. And now, it seems, they’re at it again. This year’s “In Memoriam” segment had two glaring omissions, Abe Vigoda and Geoffry Lewis. Many thought that Vigoda’s omission had to do with the fact that he died too close to the ceremony, (he died in late January), but I don’t think that’s a very good excuse. They managed to include David Bowie and Alan Rickman, both of whom also died in January. As for Lewis being left out, there’s absolutely no excuse for that. He passed in April 2015 and has 220 acting credits to his name.

        Anyhow, enough about the controversies and such, let’s get on to what the show is really all about, the awards! Usually, when I bring you my predictions and hopes I don’t do all that bad. This year I did terrible! Out of the 24 award categories, I was only right in my predictions 4 times. Unfortunately
Mad Max: Fury Road took home 6 awards, none of which I feel it deserved (I wasn’t going to bother writing a review of it because it was so terrible, but after seeing it win over and over again I decided I will review it in order to explain better why I hate it so. I’ll bring you that review soon).
        For Best Animated Feature I had predicted the winner to be
Anomalisa, but Inside Out ended up taking home the golden statue. I don’t think that’s a bad thing, Inside Out was a great film and very well done. Really, it’s a film that both kids and adults alike should see.
        For Best Supporting Actress I didn’t really have a solid pick, but I had hoped that Rachael McAdams would win for her role in
Spotlight. Instead, Alicia Vikander won for her role in The Danish Girl. I don’t have any real feelings about this one since, of the films nominated here, I’ve only seen Spotlight.
        For Best Supporting Actor I had predicted and hoped Mark Ruffalo would win for his role in
Spotlight, but I wouldn’t have been surprised if Christian Bale took it for The Big Short. It turns out I was wrong in both cases. The award went to Mark Rylance for his role in Bridge of Spies. I guess I’ll be adding that one to my “must see” list!
        In the Best Actress category I didn’t have a pick since I haven’t seen any of the films. Brie Larson ended up winning for her role in

        For Best Actor I had hoped that Bryan Cranston would win for
Trumbo, but everyone (myself included) thought that Leonardo DiCaprio was a shoe in for his role in The Revenant. Apparently he was, because he finally won his long awaited Oscar.  Does he deserve an Oscar? Yes. Should he have won one for this particular role? I don’t think so, but at least that can finally be put to rest!

        And finally, the one category I mentioned in my predictions that I was right about, Best Picture.
Spotlight was the big winner here, which although this is what I’d hoped for, I didn’t really think they’d win. I really thought that The Revenant was going to take home this prize as well, but I’m glad I was wrong. Spotlight is a film that everyone, not just those of Catholic faith, should see, and I’m very eager to bring you my review of it.

   Here are the rest of the winners:

  • Best Cinematography: The Revenant
  • Best Costume Design: Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Best Directing: The Revenant
  • Best Feature Documentary: Amy
  •  Best Short Documentary: A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness
  • Best Film Editing: Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Best Foreign Film: Son of Saul
  • Best Makeup and Hairstyling: Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Best Music (Original Score): The Hateful Eight
  • Best Original Song: “Writing’s on the Wall” from Spectre
  • Best Production Design: Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Best Animated Short: Bear Story
  • Best Short: Stutterer
  • Best Sound Editing: Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Best Sound Mixing: Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Best Visual Effects: Ex Machina
  • Best Adapted Screenplay: The Big Short
  • Best Original Screenplay: Spotlight