Another year, another historic night of the Oscars in the books.
Many may remember it as the year that got the Academy to start to fix its diversity issue, but we’ll see about that. Regardless, there were plenty of surprise winners that kept the night very interesting. How did you do with your picks? I went 16/24 – not my best work.
This year’s host Chris Rock started off with an opening monologue that tackled the race issue head on with plenty of cheek, leaving no one unscathed throughout the night (including Jada Pinkett Smith and those poor Asian children). This was a heavy theme of the night with many segments (Whoopi Goldberg, Rock interviewing movie-goers in Compton, and Straight Outta Compton’s R. Marcos Taylor as Suge Knight), and although the theme was a bit too heavy-handed (we also got a speech from Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs), it was no surprise and hopefully will bring some more diversity to the show in the future.
Spotlight, the early Best Picture favorite back in the fall festival season, lost some steam recently with the rise of The Revenant, The Big Short, and even Mad Max: Fury Road in recent months. However, the journalist-centered story of Spotlight ended up living on that early promise, surprising most people with its Best Picture win.
There were no surprises to be found when it came to Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Supporting Actress, as Alejandro González Iñárritu, Leonardo DiCaprio, Brie Larson, and Alicia Vikander cleaned up their categories (that Leo speech, though!). One of the biggest surprises of the night was that it was Mark Rylance taking home Best Supporting Actor, and not Sylvester Stallone. Again, it was Rylance who was the original favorite before the other awards kicked in and Stallone took the lead.
History was made as The Revenant cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki picked up his historic third straight win for Best Cinematography, and 87-year-old Italian composer Ennio Morricone won his first Oscar for his work on The Hateful Eight, providing for one of the night’s most emotional moments, along with Lady GaGa’s performance of “Til It Happens To You,” which ended with survivors of sexual assault taking over the stage.
Max Max: Fury Road won an impressive six Oscars, mostly for all the technical fields. While I would’ve liked to see it take home some of the night’s more central categories, six trophies has got to feel good. The only technical prize that it lost was a major upset to Ex Machina for Visual Effects, but now in hindsight, it does make total sense.
After a few recent missteps in past years, Best Animated Feature finally went to the right film, with Inside Out taking home the expected trophy, while Bear Story’s upset victory for Best Animated Short was surprising as the World Of Tomorrow or even Sanjay’s Super Team seemed like the sure thing. Son Of Saul won Best Foreign Language Film, and the writing categories rightfully went to The Big Short (for Adapted) and Spotlight (for Original).
Overall, the telecast was an enjoyable experience, thanks to the new order of the awards that were given out, as well as the more modern feel that it was all handled very well (camera angles, information tickers for the winners). Rock was fine, but I’m pretty sure Louis C.K. just gave the best unplanned audition to host next year’s Oscars.
If there’s one thing to take a way from last night shows, it’s that Louie needs to be next year’s host.
Find the complete list of winners below.
Best Picture: Spotlight
Best Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu (The Revenant)
Best Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant)
Best Actress: Brie Larson (Room)
Best Supporting Actor: Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies)
Best Supporting Actress: Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl)
Best Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki (The Revenant)
Best Original Screenplay: Josh Singer & Tom McCarthy (Spotlight)
Best Adapted Screenplay: Charles Randolph & Adam McKay (The Big Short)
Best Animated Film: Inside Out
Best Documentary: Amy
Best Foreign Language Film: Son of Saul (Hungary)
Best Original Score: Ennio Morricone (The Hateful Eight)
Best Original Song: “The Writing’s on the Wall” by Sam Smith (Spectre)
Best Film Editing: Mad Max: Fury Road
Best Production Design: Mad Max: Fury Road
Best Sound Editing: Mad Max: Fury Road
Best Sound Mixing: Mad Max: Fury Road
Best Visual Effects: Ex Machina
Best Costume Design: Mad Max: Fury Road
Best Makeup and Hairstyling: Mad Max: Fury Road
Best Animated Short Film: Bear Story
Best Live Action Short Film: Stutterer
Best Documentary Short Subject: A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness