Thoughts on… 2016 Academy Awards

The 2016 Oscars have come and gone, taking plenty of surprises, great moments, and diversity jokes with it. Here is our reaction to last night’s awards.

LEO!

All it took was getting attacked by a bear and eating bison liver for Leonardo DiCaprio to finally get that Oscar. He earned it, and hopefully we’ll see him win another one in the future.

Mad Max Dominates

Mad Max: Fury Road was one of the winners of the night, taking home six awards and (virtually) sweeping the technical awards, only losing out to Ex Machina in visual effects and The Revenant in cinematography.

#OscarsSoWhite

I thought Chris Rock’s opening monologue was very funny and appropriately shed light on the diversity issue. Unfortunately, he decided to beat the topic to death. All the parodies, all the jokes, EVERYTHING was about the lack of black actors at the Oscars. I’m a non-white male, but even I know that the omission of black nominees was due to the lack of good black performances. Will Smith over who, exactly? There definitely needs to be more opportunity for minority actors, but no one got snubbed for their race this year.

 

The Revenant Pulls Through

Emmanuel Lubezki has now won three straight years, first for Gravity, then Birdman, now The Revenant.  It is an incredible feat and one that has sadly flown under the radar. Alejandro G. Iñarritu has now won twice in a row, and of course Leo won Best Actor. The Revenant did very well for itself.

Lady Gaga snubbed

Lady Gaga, moments after delivering an incredibly powerful performance singing “Till It Happens to You”, lost to Sam Smith for “Writing on the Wall”, two hours after he dropped the ball with an awful performance. What a shame.

Surprises!

There were a trio of surprises outside of the Gaga upset, in my opinion. The first was Ex Machina winning Best Visual Effects, which I thought was awesome. Vikander looked great, solely because of the visuals. The second was Mark Rylance taking home Best Supporting Actor. He was the early favorite but faded out, though was obviously good enough to win Best Supporting Actor. He was really good, so I can’t complain, even though Tom Hardy winning would have been awesome. The third was…

The spotlight is on Spotlight

Mad Max and The Revenant were the stories of the night, but Spotlight ended up with the big money. I didn’t see this coming because of how momentum pointed towards The Revenant, but I was thrilled when it happened. Spotlight was a fantastic film, powerful, enlightening, and probably the most important film of the year. I am ecstatic, albeit surprised, that Spotlight was able to pull off the shocker, even though it was the favorite for a long time, and take home Best Picture.

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