Academy Aftermath

And just like that, another award season is behind us.  As was anticipated, the 88th Oscar ceremony on Sunday was infused heavily with politics, mostly the #OscarsSoWhite controversy.  I, however, want to focus on what the Academy Awards are truly about; a celebration of cinema.  I was pleasantly surprised at Chris Rock’s hosting job who’s monologues did yield a number of laughs.  I thought he did a good job and handled the persistent feeling of controversy in the air very well.

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First, the most deserving of the night.  People all over the world held their breath in nervous anticipation as Julianne Moore opened the envelope containing the winner for best actor.  Predictions were right and prayers were answered; Leonardo DiCaprio at long last won his first Oscar!  Not only did he fully deserve it for his work in The Revenant but that Oscar was long overdue for his large and diverse body of outstanding performances starting with What’s Eating Gilbert Grape when he was merely 19.  Leo received a standing ovation, showing what a genuinely loved and respected actor he is.

I predicted either Brie Larson or Cate Blanchett would win for for actress in a leading role and Larson took home the award for her performance in Room which was wonderful.

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The two biggest surprises for me were Mark Rylance winning best supporting actor and ‘Writing’s on the Wall’ winning for best original song.  I was sure it would be Christian Bale taking home the award for best supporting actor and I wanted Tom Hardy but Rylance won.  This wasn’t a surprise to me on account of Rylance’s acting but rather because he was never really talked about to be in the running.  I’m actually very happy he won; his acting was superb and I wanted Bridge of Spies to take home something.  As for best original song, I think Lady Gaga should have won for ‘Till It Happens to You’.  Not only is it a beautiful song but it addresses such a serious subject, making it emotional and powerful.  Gaga’s performance left many audience members with tears in their eyes.

I also was not expecting Alicia Vikander to win supporting actress.  She was the heart of The Danish Girl and her acting was no less deserving of the award then the other nominees but I predicted that the Academy would pick Kate Winslet and I personally was rooting for Jennifer Jason Leigh.

Mad Max: Fury Road(the biggest winner of the night with six wins out of ten nominations who shockingly beat The Revenant who had a total of 12 nominations and only three wins) took home the awards that would be expected for such a visually chaotic and jarringly noisy film; costume design, film editing, production design, sound mixing and editing and makeup.

I am so glad that Ennio Morricone won for best original score as well as Alejandro G. Inarritu for directing; both immensely deserved and rightfully earned their awards.

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The race for best picture boiled down to ‘The Revenant’ vs ‘Spotlight’ with a small chance of The Big Short sneaking in.  Spotlight, along with winning best original screenplay, took home the big award.  Spotlight is exceptional; a puissant film that was both educational and entertaining, insightful and gripping.

I can truly say that, though not every one was my first choice, I am delighted with the winners of this years Academy Awards.  I think this last year was a really good time for film; giving us amazing films (Room, The Revenant, Carol to pick only a few of my favorites), producing roles to throw little known actors into stardom ( Jacob Tremblay, Saoirse Ronan) and giving Leonardo DiCaprio an Oscar.

 

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