2016 Academy Awards: The Recap

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Brace yourselves…..it’s a brave new world… a world, in which, LEONARDO DICAPRIO IS AN OSCAR WINNER!  (more on this below)

Awards season is over, and I, like the bear from The Revenant, will most likely go into [blog] hibernation for a short while.

Chris Rock hosted the 88th Academy Awards – addressing, amongst some awards, the lack of diversity in Hollywood. His SAVAGE monologue felt more like a standup routine – there were serious hits (Tracy Morgan as The Danish Girl), and uncomfortable misses with the jokes (and it did drag on…and on) – but, Rock covered EXACTLY what the collective audience wanted to hear in plain words.  While diversity (or the lack thereof) was a major theme of the night, the accomplishments of the nominees and winners were worthy of such as auspicious occasion.

 

What a fantastic year for film (I know, I say this every year) – such a variety of genres, such a range of performances, and such depth of talent! The Oscar race was so incredibly close between nominees this year.

Mark Rylance, Brie Larson, Leonardo DiCaprio and Alicia Vikander with their Oscars
Mark Rylance, Brie Larson, Leonardo DiCaprio and Alicia Vikander with their Oscars

The winners for screenplays – adapted to The Big Short, and original for Spotlight – were expected and held gravitas amongst the other nominees. As predicted, Brie Larson deservedly won Best Actress for her phenomenal work in Room, and Alicia Vikander took home the Oscar for her lovely supporting performance in The Danish Girl. Alejandro G. Iñárritu made history by becoming the first back to back winner for best director (The Revenant), as did Emmanuel Lubezki (the first three-peat winner) for cinematography (The Revenant).

Most of the technical categories were gloriously taken over by the shiny and chrome crew behind Mad Max: Fury Road.

Sam Smith’s James Bond ballad, “The Writing’s On The Wall”, upset both Lady Gaga’s “Til It Happens To You” and The Weeknd’s “Earned It” – for a major “WHAT?!” moment.  Ennio Morricone finally won a competitive Oscar for The Hateful Eight.

The biggest surprise for the acting came from the supporting actors, with Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies) winning over the heavily favored Sylvester Stallone (Creed). This category (my favorite of the night) was full of amazing performances – and was awarded to the best performance. Rylance gave one of the most humble and lovely speeches of the night – a true class act – and seriously, he is absolutely fantastic in Bridge of Spies.

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“Spotlight” wins Best Picture at the 2016 Academy Awards

Best picture was the closest race for the entire program. Spotlight (the Best Picture winner) was the heavily favored choice early in the awards season. The momentum of The Revenant and The Big Short at the Golden Globes, the Producers Guild Awards and the Directors Guild Awards, quickly pushed Spotlight to the position of underdog.  Spotlight is a fantastic, measured and unpretentious – bolstered by a phenomenal ensemble. It’s an engrossing film that completely deserved the win.

…..AND THEN….

LEO WON THAT OSCAR

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Now…for the biggest win of the night. Leonardo DiCaprio won his first Oscar – all he had to do what get mauled by a bear, drag himself through the Canadian tundra, eat raw bison, sleep inside a horse carcass, and of course, ACT THE HELL OUT OF HIS ROLE. Some argue that Leo’s win was granted because he was overdue. Well, he WAS overdue, but FORGET THAT NONSENSE! DiCaprio delivered his most impressive performance to date – an astonishing and exhausting physical feat.

 

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Even though DiCaprio was heavily favored to win – I still sat there watching the announcement with bated breath. It was a sweet vindication for a man who has earned himself legendary meme status with his Oscar-less exploits.

He gave a wonderful speech – which I’m sure he’s had time to practice – and to top it all off, a very astute camera operator panned to a teary-eyed Kate Winslet to let us all collectively have a “Jack and Rose” moment.

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There you have it, a recap of the biggest hits and misses of the night. Here’s the full list of winners for the 2016 Academy Awards:

Best picture
“Spotlight”
“The Revenant”
“Mad Max: Fury Road”
“The Big Short”
“Bridge of Spies”
“Brooklyn”
“Room”
“The Martian”

Actor in a leading role
Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Revenant”
Matt Damon, “The Martian”
Michael Fassbender, “Steve Jobs”
Bryan Cranston, “Trumbo”
Eddie Redmayne, “The Danish Girl”

Actress in a leading role
Brie Larson, “Room”
Saoirse Ronan, “Brooklyn”
Cate Blanchett, “Carol”
Jennifer Lawrence, “Joy”
Charlotte Rampling, “45 Years”

Best director
Alejandro Iñárritu, “The Revenant”
George Miller, “Mad Max: Fury Road”
Tom McCarthy, “Spotlight”
Adam McKay, “The Big Short”
Lenny Abrahamson, “Room”

Actress in a supporting role
Rooney Mara, “Carol”
Jennifer Jason Leigh, “The Hateful Eight”
Alicia Vikander, “The Danish Girl”
Kate Winslet, “Steve Jobs”
Rachel McAdams, “Spotlight”

Actor in a supporting role
Sylvester Stallone, “Creed”
Mark Rylance, “Bridge of Spies”
Mark Ruffalo, “Spotlight”
Christian Bale, “The Big Short”
Tom Hardy, “The Revenant”

Best foreign language film
“Son of Saul”
“Mustang”
“A War”
“Embrace of the Serpent”
“Theeb”

Best animated feature film
“Inside Out”
“When Marnie Was There”
“Anomalisa”
“Boy and the World”
“Shaun the Sheep Movie”

Best adapted screenplay

“Carol”
“The Big Short”
“Brooklyn”
“The Martian”
“Room”

Best original screenplay
“Spotlight”
“Bridge of Spies”
“Ex Machina”
“Straight Outta Compton”
“Inside Out”

Best original score
“The Hateful Eight”
“Sicario”
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”
“Carol”
“Bridge of Spies”

Best film editing
“The Revenant”
“Mad Max: Fury Road”
“Spotlight”
“The Big Short”
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”

Best cinematography
“The Revenant”
“Mad Max: Fury Road”
“Carol”
“Sicario”
“The Hateful Eight”

Best production design
“Mad Max: Fury Road”
“Bridge of Spies”
“The Martian”
“The Danish Girl”
“The Revenant”

Best visual effects
“Mad Max: Fury Road”
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”
“The Revenant”
“The Martian”
“Ex Machina”

Best original song
“Simple Song 3,” “Youth”
“Manta Ray,” “Racing Extinction”
“Writing’s on the Wall,” “Spectre”
“Til it Happens to You,” “The Hunting Ground”
“Earned It,” “Fifty Shades of Grey”

Best documentary short subject
“Body Team 12”
“A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness”
“Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah”
“Chau, Beyond the Lines”
“Lasy Day of Freedom”

Best documentary feature
“Amy”
“What Happened, Miss Simone?”
“The Look of Silence”
“Cartel Land”
“Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom”

Best costume design
“Carol”
“Cinderella”
“Mad Max: Fury Road”
“The Danish Girl”
“The Revenant”

Best sound mixing
“The Revenant”
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”
“Mad Max: Fury Road”
“The Martian”
“Bridge of Spies”

Best live action short film
“Ave Maria”
“Shok”
“Day One”
“Stutterer”
“Everything Will Be Okay”

Best animated short film
“Sanjay’s Super Team”
“Bear Story”
“World of Tomorrow”
“Prologue”
“We Can’t Live Without Cosmos”

Best makeup and hairstyling
“Mad Max: Fury Road”
“The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out a Window and Disappeared”
“The Revenant”

Best sound editing
“The Revenant”
“Mad Max: Fury Road”
“The Martian”
“Sicario”
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”

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