The Oscars, winners and post mortem



The days after the Oscars are often difficult for me.  For different reasons than they used to be.  Many of my friends still live in New York and LA...and watching them tweet and instagram from inside the Dolby Theatre last night really hit home when I woke up at my parents in Mississippi.  Don't get me wrong.  It's been a great weekend.  Although I still needed to watch "Straight Outta Compton" my parents and I watched "Spotlight" on Saturday night.  Something that made the win even more special for them.  When Lady Gaga performed, my parents and I had a little more background having just watched "The Hunting Ground" that morning.  The 41st of the 41 nominated features that I watchedAn accomplishment, yes.  And something most Academy members do not do.  

One thing is for certain.  2015 was an unpredictable Oscar year.  I can't remember a year when the initial frontrunner came back to win the award for Best Picture.  The likes of "The Social Network" and "Boyhood" almost always peak early and lose their steam.  Not the case with 2015.  "Spotlight" (not surprising to some, it seams) took the top honor.  It started the night and ended the night.   

I will say this, Chris Rock was great.  The monologue was sharp, biting, and thought provoking.  And funny!  Let's not forget that.  


The girl scout cookie moment was cute...and the Compton interview was a highlight for me.  The Oscars always loses steam.  And without those moments, it would be worse.  There is no solution.  It is what it is.  Even last's night's surprises couldn't save that deflation...especially when moments like a Stallone win would've livened things up.  

In the end I correctly predicted 16 out of 24 awards.  Two worse than last year.   Let's look at what happened.

There were 3 awards that I correctly predicted that saved me from complete embarrassment.

Costume Design, "Mad Max: Fury Road"
This was one of my first risks of the night.  Several people were going with a Sandy Powell win...but I had a feeling about this.

Live-Action Short, "The Stutterer"
This was my big win for the night.  As far as I know, only Kris Tapley with Variety was picking this.  It was my favorite.  I knew it would be the Academy's as well.

Documentary Short, "A Girl in the River"
This one was pretty much split amongst everyone.  And almost all the doc shorts were great.  It was an HBO doc, the director had won before...and it had incredible moments that I knew, if the Academy watched couldn't be denied.

Now...the goofs

Best Editing

I went with "The Big Short.  The Academy went with "Mad Max: Fury Road"  and with George Miller's wife.  I knew I was taking a risk there.  But I thought the showiness of "Short"'s editing would prevail

Best Sound Editing/Mixing
Yeah...these two I should have gotten.  On the day the ballots were due I believed "Mad Max: Fury Road" would win...I even wrote a piece about it!  I'm glad it won.

Best Visual Effects

So happy that Ex Machina won this.  It had the smallest budget and almost no one thought it was going to win.  (Maybe something to take note for next year?)

Animated Short
"Bear Story" beats "World of Tomorrow."  I kind of saw this coming.  But I could not vote for the weakest entry when "World of Tomorrow" almost made my Top 10.

Actor in a Supporting Role
OK...so, this one I also saw coming.  I even wrote about it.  I could feel the tides shifting for Rylance, who is fantastic in the role...but I couldn't imagine the Academy not awarding Stallone.  But that's NOT how they operate, and I forget every year.  They didn't give Mickey Rourke and Oscar because they wanted to give it to Sean Penn.  Plain and simple.  Same thing here.  It has nothing to do with sentiment.

Song
NO!!!!  Not the Sam Smith song!  I will say...that terrible song has been stuck in my head for a bit...so maybe there's something to be said for it?  The only reason I can think of that Smith is now closer to an EGOT than Gaga?  They don't put the names of the songwriters on the ballots.  Which is ridiculous.

Picture
"Spotlight" wins.  I was wrong.  Big time.  I was so sure that "The Revenant" was an Oscar-y movie, simply based on my feelings that I ignored how many people disliked the film.  Dislike being the key work.  The Oscars use a preferential ballot and the film everyone likes wins.   That can be a film everyone LOVES too.  But EVERYONE has to love it.  I bet you that "Mad Max: Fury Road" was a bit closer than we all thought as well.  Definitely something to take note of for next year.  Although it seems we already have a frontrunner with "Birth of a Nation" a film almost no one has seen.  But here's the deal.  Hollywood and the Academy have a short term memory.  And they vote for what they want to vote for.  No matter the issue at hand.

OK...that's it.  Hiatus time.  Thanks again to everyone who took this journey with me.  See you this Summer!!!

The WINNERS:
Best Picture: Spotlight
Direction: The Revenant,” Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Revenant”
Actress: Brie Larson, “Room”
Supporting Actor: Mark Rylance, “Bridge of Spies”
Supporting Actress: Alicia Vikander, “The Danish Girl”
Adapted Screenplay: The Big Short,” Charles Randolph and Adam McKay
Original Screenplay: Spotlight,” Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy
Cinematography: The Revenant,” Emmanuel Lubezki
Production Design: Mad Max: Fury Road,” Colin Gibson and Lisa Thompson (set decoration)
Film Editing: “Mad Max: Fury Road,” Margaret Sixel
Visual Effects: Ex Machina,” Andrew Whitehurst, Paul Norris, Mark Ardington and Sara Bennett
Costume Design: Mad Max: Fury Road,” Jenny Beavan
Makeup: Mad Max: Fury Road,” Lesley Vanderwalt, Elka Wardega and Damian Martin
Sound Editing:  "Mad Max: Fury Road,” Mark Mangini and David White
Sound Mixing: Mad Max: Fury Road,” Chris Jenkins, Gregg Rudloff and Ben Osmo
Score: The Hateful Eight,” Ennio Morricone
Song: Writing’s on the Wall,” from “Spectre,” Jimmy Napes and Sam Smith
Foreign Language Film: Son of Saul” (Hungary)
Animated Feature: Inside Out
Documentary Feature: Amy
Animated Short: Bear Story
Documentary Short: A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness
Live Action Short: Stutterer


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