Well, Oscar season has come and gone. This year was a ridiculous year, good and bad, for films of all ranges of quality. The final showcase of such occurred on February 28th and landed with a few surprise aces up its pre-packaged sleeves.
Chris Rock made his monologue count with a takedown of the accusations of institutional racism by outside critics earlier when the nominations were announced. The only issue I had with his hosting was I could have done with less of the easy race jokes he made every time he was on-screen. Apparently everyone else thought he went far enough with his prodding of the stodgy Academy demographic, but I remain dubious in my belief that he could have been a bit more cutting in his commentary. That being said, I loved the payoff of the Girl Scout cookies gag with Michael Keaton scarfing them down after Spotlight stuck the landing, winning Best Picture. Long Live Betelgeuse!
Aside from Rock, I won’t be commenting on the presenters and various cameos spurred by his hosting (*cough* Stacey Dash), but I will say that there was still fat that could have been trimmed from the telecast. I noticed certain advertisements were repeated throughout the commercial breaks, showing there is an overlong amount of advertising time, which needs depleting, or the red carpet ceremony needs to start way earlier. I like my beauty sleep, thank you very much.
As for my personal ballot, I nailed 16 of the 24 categories, surprisingly getting the non-animated shorts and documentaries correct, though I was least sure of their chances. I missed both the Supporting categories, due to the surprise upset of sneaky spy Mark Rylance stealing the thunder from Sylvester Stallone’s gracefully aged perfromance in Creed. Alicia Vikander ended up impressing audiences and Academy voters who still rewarded her for the least of her work released last year, over Kate Winslet’s solid performance in Steve Jobs.
In addition, I lost faith in Mad Max: Fury Road over Costuming and VFX at the last minute, voting for The Martian in the latter category through my mLive ballot on Saturday night. Turns out Ex Machina had an effect on people after all, which is more than acceptable. I am more than happy to lose to a film I willingly support even though I made the mistake to count it out of my personal nominations.
Of all the surprises, the most pleasant was George Miller’s own wife, Margaret Sixel, winning Best Film Editing. In hindsight this makes sense, as Fury Road‘s breathless pace and structure deserved recognition. I still feel it was wrong that while the majority of the crew under Georgie was recognized, the Academy didn’t have the guts to give it to the director for organizing those people. Meh, I know in my heart who the real hero of the night was.
Regarding Best Song, I admit I was shocked to see the Spectre song “Writing’s on the Wall” win over the likes of Lady Gaga’s sexual assault survivor ballad “‘Til it Happens to You”. I was sure Gaga was on her way to finalizing her EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony), but apparently that was not to be. D’oh! I’m pretty sure Gaga and Weeknd split the vote, leading the way for Sam Smith to sneak his way onstage and snatch it away.
With Best Animated Short, I’ll admit it was neat to see someone besides the soulless company that is PIXAR win the Oscar. I still wish Cosmos or World of Tomorrow had won, but a loss for PIXAR is a win for those of us who want more diversity in Academy Awards nominees.
It was an okay ceremony. I am sure that everyone else and their dog has written up better summaries of the ceremony than I could at the moment, as I am content that The Revenant didn’t win Best Picture. That being said, I am still upset that it won Best (Hamhanded) Director, considering how much of a sore loser Iñárritu is.
FINAL SCORE: 227/ 300