2016: An Oscar Commentary
Okay, here we are on Oscar night, strapped in and not quite ready to go, but it’s time so we’re going. I’m feeling a lot of trepidation about tonight’s ceremony, and the outcome, but at the end of the night, it doesn’t really mean a whole heck of a lot, so it’s time to just enjoy it for what it is and let go of the rest.
Let’s see how many #oscarsowhite jokes Chris Rock can cram into one monologue . . . Wow, I would have guessed lower than that. It’s turning into his entire opener.
Best Original Screenplay: Charlize Theron and Emily Blunt are here to do Best Original Screenplay. A lot of worthy nominees in this category, so I feel like I have no major horse in this race, just a lot of worthy possibilities. I’d be happy with any of these. Though, if I had to pick one: Inside Out. But Spotlight picks up it’s first win of the night, hopefully of many. This is the one I’m rooting for to win the big award, so that’s a satisfying beginning.
Best Adapted Screenplay: Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe are doing this one, presumably as a stunt to promote their forthcoming film (which I’m quite excited about). And it’s a win for The Big Short! I’m not sure who I would have given this to, but probably not this film. Although, it did take an absurdly complex and dry subject and make an engaging and informative comedy about it, so . . . Maybe it is well-deserved.
Sarah Silverman is introducing the Spectre song performance in that special Sarah Silverman way . . . For probably way too long. I feel like the Best Song category is extremely weak this year, but of the nominees I guess I’m rooting for this one. Maybe one of the other live performances will change my mind, but if there was ever a year to skip this part of the program, this is probably it.
Kerry Washington and Henry Cavill introduce very brief montages celebrating The Martian and The Big Short, which feels like a really weird follow-up to another lengthy no-award segment. We’re almost 40 minutes into the show, and they’ve given out 2 statues. Pick it up!
Best Supporting Actress: J.K. Simmons is giving this, reminding me of how much I loved Whiplash last year, and how amazing he was in it. I really didn’t expect it to be Alicia Vikander. She’s great, but . . . I’m not sure I’d have picked her.
Best Costumes: Cate Blanchett is presenting. I feel like this is definitely going to Carol, just because it has so many other nominations. It should go to Mad Max, though, along with all of the other visual awards. And it does! So exciting! So, I think I like this scrolling “People the winner would like to thank” thing . . . A great idea, but what if they have nothing to say in their speeches?
Best Production Design:Tina Fey and Steve Carell presenting . . . This clearly needs to be another Mad Max win. There are some great nominees on this list, but it’s head and shoulders above the rest.
Best Make-up and Hairstyling:Another film tie-in with Margot Robbie and Jared Leto. I wonder if they’ve done this kind of thing in previous years, and I just haven’t noticed. Anyway, let’s go Mad Max hat trick! Yay! I don’t know how many more it will win, but these are so clearly deserved.
Benicio del Toro and Jennifer Garner are introducing montages for The Revenant and Mad Max: Fury Road. They could have (and should have) just run the trailer for this film. Definitely the best trailer of last year.
Best Cinematography:Rachel McAdams and Michael B. Jordan announce. It’s time for a Deakins win, although perhaps not for this film. That’s still who has my vote, just because after 13 nominations it’s just his freaking turn. But I’d be happy with anything but The Revenant, so of course that’s where it goes. This is Lubezki’s 3rd win in a row, and I’m not sure that’s ever been done before. It certainly shouldn’t have been done this time. He did some amazing work in this film, but there are other very deserving cinematographers who should have gotten this.
Best Editing: Liev Schrieber and Priyanka Chopra. A younger part of me wants this to go to Star Wars, but the rest of me knows it has to go to Mad Max. Which it does . . .
Best Sound Editing & Sound Mixing: Chad Boseman and Chris Evans presenting . . . another award for Mad Max? Or maybe for Star Wars? This is a killer montage, by the way. Nope, Mad Max, which is almost sweeping tonight, but for the minor and annoying hiccup of the Cinematography award. Another great montage! Love it! They should do this every year. Mad Max wins again, so Star Wars is officially shut-out this year. Ah, well. There will be other years for Star Wars (so many), maybe not for Mad Max.
Best Visual Effects: Andy Serkis gives the award to Ex Machina which . . . What? Huh? Really? I can’t even. Okay, I need to calm down, because it’s actually really exciting to see this win. But . . . that’s just not what I would have given this award to. It clearly needed to go to Mad Max. Someday maybe a Star Wars film will win a visual effects Oscar (it never has since visual effects became its own official category).
Olivia Munn and Jason Segel are talking about the sci/tech awards. Good time for a break. Oh, wait, it’s . . . C-3PO, R2-D2, and BB-8! Geeking out now.
The Minions are presenting the Oscar for Best Animated Short. Which just pisses me off so much, I’d better move on. They give it to “Bear Story,” which I did not see, so I shouldn’t comment. Really thought this would definitely go to either Pixar or the amazing “World of Tomorrow.”
Best Animated Film: Buzz Lightyear and Woody presenting. Which is . . . a cool idea, and way better than having freaking minions . . . Shouldn’t get started again. No surprise the award goes to Pixar for Inside Out. It’s such a non-surprise that they even had Pixar animate their own characters presenting the award. So . . . (Nepotism!) Seriously, though, glad this at least got something, as my favorite film of last year.
Kevin Hart is being funny and introducing the performance of the song from Fifty Shades of Grey, which . . . Oh, nothing. I’m going to go do something else for awhile.
Kate Winslet and Reese Witherspoon introduce the montages for Bridge of Spies and Spotlight. Great pairing!
Best Supporting Actor: Patricia Arquette presenting, reminding me of the awesomeness of Boyhood. I know Stallone is the popular favorite to win, but I’d love to see this go to Mark Rylance. Which it does! Yes! Such a great performance in a great film. Highly-deserved.
Louis CK presenting Best Documentary Short. I didn’t see any of them.
Best Documentary: Daisy Ridley and Dev Patel presenting. I saw them all, for once, and this has to go to The Look of Silence! But, on the other hand, Cartel Land was amazing, and I’d be happy to see it win, even though it deserves it less. But they gave it to Amy, which although I enjoyed it, was the absolute last doc that should have won. Oh, well.
Louis Gossett, Jr. is introducing the in memoriam montage.
The kid from Beasts of No Nation and the kid from Room are presenting Best Live-Action Short. I didn’t see any of these. I didn’t see any of the Best Foreign Film nominees, either, though I want to see them all. In an ideal world, obviously, I’d be able to see nominees from countries other than America sooner than several months to several years after they start slowly circulating through festivals or whatever.
And now Joe Biden emerges (to the Indiana Jones theme, which . . .?) to announce Lady Gaga’s song from The Hunting Ground. Politically-speaking, maybe this will be the winner? Like that song from An Inconvenient Truth (although this is at least a better song than that).
Best Original Score: Quincy Jones and Pharrell Williams present. The award goes, as it must, to Ennio Morricone. Honestly, I assumed he had already won one at some point. This is really the only outcome that can make it okay to watch Thomas Newman lose his 13th nomination. When are they gonna give that guy a freaking Oscar? When he’s as old as Morricone . . .?
Best Original Song: Common and John Legend announce. The award goes to Spectre. Yay, I guess.
Olivia Wilde and Sacha Baron Cohen (in character as Ali G . . . why?!) introduce montages for Room and Brooklyn. Both fantastic!
Best Director: J.J. Abrams is announcing. This award should go to George Miller, but really anyone but Inarritu would be okay. It feels like a feeble hope, at best. And it is. What a total crock. I wasn’t rooting for him last year, but at least his win made sense then. This is just absurd. Even though I saw it coming, any win this bad can threaten to ruin a whole show for me.
Best Actress: Eddie Redmayne announcing. I don’t know who I want to see win. In terms of actresses, I’ll be thrilled to see any of these women win. In terms of performances, the award should probably go to Brie Larson. And it does! Hooray!