88th Academy Awards Recap & Conclusion

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And the 2015 film year has official come to a close. Last night, Tom McCarthy’s brilliant Spotlight, beat out The Revenant and The Big Short for Best Picture. Excellent! Fantastic! Could not be more happy and thrilled for a really solid, straightforward, no nonsense journalism film, portraying a horrifying series of events with value and importance,  winning Best Picture. The other two pictures are good, but Spotlight, out of the eight films nominated for Best Picture, was the cream of the crop. Alejandro G. Iñárritu won Best Director for the second year in a row, joining John Ford and Joseph L. Mankiewicz has th only directors to win Best Director in consecutive years. The usual suspects won in the acting categories, with DiCaprio winning Best Actor, Larson winning Best Actress and Vikander winning Best Supporting Actress, but there was a bit of a surprise in the Best Supporting Actor field. Almost everyone, including myself, was predicting Stallone to win, but Rylance took home the Oscar. This reminded me of when Mickey Rourke lost Best Actor to Sean Penn. The nomination is your prize, but we are not going to go all sentimental and give you an award based on some of the garbage you have done in the past. At least, that is my opinion. It would have been one of the biggest moments of the night if Stallone would have won, but sadly, it did not happen.It really could have gone to any of the five nominees, but we all know who should have won and been nominated…Idris Elba.

Mad Max: Fury Road won the most Oscars with six:  Best Film Editing, Best Costume Design, Best Production Design, Best Makeup & Hairstyling, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Sound Editing. A huge night for that film and it would have been nice for seven wins if only George Miller would have won Best Director. I kind of wish he would have, but I have no problem with Iñárritu winning again. The only huge surprise, if you can say that, other than the mystery around Best Picture and Rylance for Best Supporting Actor, was Alex Garland’s edgy and astounding Ex Machina winning Best Visual Effects. The smallest film this time took home the Oscar which usually goes to the big studio, box office success films. You also had Sam Smith’s “Writing’s On The Wall,” from Spectre, win Best Original Song. The song is easily one of the worst Bond themes and overall songs to win this award in Oscar history, and the award should have went to Lady Gaga for “Til It Happens to You” from The Hunting Ground. Her performance was the highlight of the night, especially when victims of sexual assault came out on stage while she was singing. It was a tearjerker and brought the room to their feet. Another great moment was Mr. Ennio Morricone winning his first Oscar. The standing ovation was so deserved and special!

Then we have Mr. Chris Rock as host. He delivered one of the best opening monologues in years. He hit a home run and it was not only funny, but poignant and on point. It was all about diversity, inclusion, fairness and equality in the film business. It was great and showed his genius, especially with a focus expressing that there are bigger problems in the world, more important social and racial issues, than subjective, political and ass-kissing film awards shows. The only problem was that he never let up the whole night and #OscarsSoWhite controversy began to become rather redundant. I know they wanted to pound the message home, not just to the Academy, but more importantly to Hollywood, but it just became tiring after a while. The other problem was that the show, minus Rock’s material, was horribly drab and uninspired. The show was boring overall and playing the winners off, except for Leo, was truly annoying.

2015 is officially in the books and we were awarded with one of the most compelling and exciting Oscar races in years. All of the stats kind of got thrown away when it comes to predictions. That does not mean they will not be dead on next year, but this year showed that just because your film won the PGA or DGA, does not guarantee that it will win Best Picture. Spotlight did not have an ACE Eddie nomination, but still won Best Picture.  Spotlight truly deserved it and I have no complaints at all. And, it played at Telluride and that never hurts a film going into Oscar race. Look at past Best Picture winners in Birdman, 12 Years a Slave and Argo. On to 2016 and I am really looking forward to see what comes out at Cannes in a couple of months. The season is right around the corner.

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