Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Oscars 2016: Winners and Losers


That's a wrap! The Academy Awards are done or another year and, as usual, there are a whole host of talking points to chat about. So, without further ado, here are some musing on the winners, losers and everything in between...

Leo in the limelight


We all knew it was coming, but that didn't make the moment that Leonardo DiCaprio became an Academy Award winner any less satisfying. Something of a poster boy for unrewarded actors everywhere, Leo's crusade to win an Oscar has been well documented - but now we can all rest easy. It has happened, finally. The memes can be laid to rest. The Internet can now bandwagon for another multi-nominee who has gone home empty handed (may I suggest Amy Adams?)

It's probably not his most deserving career performance, but it's certainly the most deserving from the crop this year - in all honesty, it was never going to go to anyone else. Whilst Leo is a bit young to receive 'career award' like his buddy Martin Scorsese did for The Departed, I think we can all appreciate Leo's win as the culmination of an extraordinary career; from What's Eating Gilbert Grape to Catch Me If You Can, The Aviator, Blood Diamond, Inception, The Wolf of Wall Street and now The Revenant. Congratulations Mr. DiCaprio - you certainly earned it. 

Spotlight sends shockwaves


Well that was a bit of shocker, wasn't it? All night long it looked certain that The Revenant's momentum would crescendo with the Best Picture win; not even the surging Mad Max: Fury Road looked set to sweep the rug from underneath its feet. 

But, at the final second, Tom McCarthy's Spotlight swooped in to snatch the big prize in what some would describe as an upset. But you know what? They couldn't be more wrong. Spotlight may not have won anything else other than Best Original Screenplay, but it does have something extra special up its sleeve - relevance. 

It's timing, on the same day as Australian Cardinal George Pell was questioned in the Vatican over his alleged association with other members of the Catholic Church who're accused in sexually abusing minors, is impeccable. The very same shockwaves the film hopes to help propagate are quite literally being felt in the very same moment across the Atlantic. Under scrutiny for the same offences investigated by the Spotlight team, Cardinal George Pell would probably feel a little burned by the irony of it all - though I doubt he cares much about the Academy Awards at the present moment.

Don't let anyone tell you that Spotlight is meaningless Oscar bait, because it's message and subject is just as important in 2016 as it was back in 2001 when the film is set. Just ask Tim Minchin...

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie!


The 2016 Oscars may go down in history as a ceremony surrounded by controversy over racial diversity, but to Australian's it'll be remembered as our most successful year to date. George Miller may have missed out on his deserved Best Director Oscar, but his film Mad Max: Fury Road swept the vast majority of the technical categories winning Film Editing, Costume Design, Makeup and Hairstyling, Production Design, Sound Editing and Sound Mixing. 

Even though it could (and should) have racked up even more, six awards is still a record for an Australian film - and a record number for Australians at an Oscars ceremony. Miller's film might have been about celebrating everything that is 'shiny and chrome', but his crew were golden on the night.

Vikander victorious, but Sly gets snubbed


The ultra-competitive supporting actor/actress categories weren't short on shocks; Academy fave and Golden Globe winner Kate Winslet missed out on another win. Instead, Alicia Vikander rounded out a stellar year with a well-deserved win for her lead performance in The Danish Girl

In the supporting actor category, the Academy passed on the opportunity to honour Sylvester Stallone with what would've been an overwhelmingly popular award; instead, thespian Mark Rylance took home the statue for his work in Bridge of Spies. Like I said in my predictions piece, I think this category was probably the toughest - I mean, any category where Mark Ruffalo and Tom Hardy are barely getting a mention has got to be competitive!

Congratulations to Rylance - but part of me feels like Stallone or Ruffalo would've been nicer choices.

Rock smashes race debate


We all knew that Chris Rock wouldn't pull any punches when it came to addressing the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, and he definitely didn't disappoint. Whether it was introducing the ceremony as the 'White People's Choice Awards' to causing almost everyone in the audience to grimace and shift in their seats during his scathing opening monologue, Rock came out all guns blazing and barely let up for the entire show.

Highlights included the segment where Rock interviews regular moviegoers in Compton about what films they saw in the past year ("Do you think Trumbo should have been a bigger hit?"..."Whuut?") and the star-studded compilation that placed black actors like Tracy Morgan and Leslie Jones in nominated films ("I'm the Danish Girl! These danishes are good, gurl!")

That being said, I felt like Rock focused on the controversy almost too much. We all knew he'd run wild with it, but around the halfway mark I thought it would've been funny to see him tackle another issue - especially when his joke about asking women more on the red carpet was such a hit. 

Feeling Fuzzier's Fashion Corner


I'm not going to pretend like I'm so sort of fashion aficionado. But, a large part of the Oscars is all about what frocks are paraded around on the red carpet, so I decided to pluck my five favourites from the night. Feel free to tell me how horrible they all look in the comments! 

Left to right: Rachael McAdams, Kerry Washington, Alicia Vikander, Saoirse Ronan, Margot Robbie

On the whole, I quite enjoyed the Oscars this year - a few shocks and a handful of surprises but, for the most part, it was an entertaining show that saw the right people receive recognition. What did you guys think? Let me know in the comments down below!

4 comments:

  1. I am SO happy that Spotlight won. I'm almost exhausted, I've spent weeks being laughed at by friends and family for daring to think it stood a chance! :D
    - Allie

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    1. Me too! I'd almost given up hope that it would win after all the buzz surrounding The Revenant and The Big Short. I've been telling all my non-cinephile friends that they should check out Spotlight because they might not have heard of it before now - and now they have an extra reason to! :)

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  2. I love that Spotlight came through. I've been hoping it would take Best Picture this entire season, and I was sure The Big Short or The Revenent would usurp it.

    Leo's win was deserved. I don't even see it as a "career" award because he legitimately had the strongest performance of the contenders.

    Saorise in that green dress! Gorgeous.

    I'm glad it was such a great night for Aussies. They were all so excited.

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    1. Likewise, I would've been a little disappointed if The Revenant had won. Yay for Spotlight!

      True! I think Fassbender came close, but it was always going to be Leo's.

      The Aussie news went a little bit mental over all the Oscar love this year, it was great to see :)

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