Saturday, March 5, 2016

Obligatory Oscar Reaction Post

...soooooooooooooooo you may have noticed that don't tend to do these things right away. I'm no good at snap judgments - I tend to not know when to stop. I did manage to spit out something over at The Film Experience about the Best Song performances that we got (don't get me started on the ones the fucking producers decided to cut...), but happily my reaction to the show overall was much stronger than that.

Chris Rock did a valiant job as host. The monologue was killer, except for the Stacey Dash bit (it took me a good minute to remember why anyone would think having her do that would be funny, by which point Rock had already moved far beyond it). The Compton cinema bit went on a bit too long but it was pretty funny, and really a good reminder of what the public in general, NOT just black people, think about the Oscars. No one knows most of the films that get nominated for the Oscars. One of my co-workers even said to me on Monday that he had no clue the Oscars were even on this weekend, and when he saw The Revenant recently, he had no idea that it was even nominated.

Oscar watchers have now become an insular, self-selecting group, and I for one am perfectly fine with that.

I'm also perfectly fine with most of the winners from 2015. I was hoping against hope that Todd Haynes's near-perfect Carol wouldn't walk away empty-handed (I predicted it for Costume Design), but I can't get mad at Mad Max's sweep of the tech categories. That fucker is one superbly, often ingeniously, well-crafted film. It's so balls-to-the-wall creative that it's amazing it even got nominated, so I'm thrilled that AMPAS members recognized that great craft can be found anywhere. I was happiest for its wins in Production Design and Editing, the two elements that I thought contributed most to the film's narrative and adrenaline rush.

Weirdly, I correctly predicted ALL of the Short winners this year. That NEVER happens. Of course, my predictions elsewhere kind of sucked the big one. For which I mostly couldn't be happier. I honestly thought they were going to go whole-hog for The Revenant in the techs instead of Mad Max. And though I had Spotlight as my Best Picture prediction for a while, I ended up switching it to The Big Short for some reason. Probably because it won the PGA.

This year's ceremony was actually suspenseful for once, in part because of the seeming three-way race for Best Picture (thank you, guilds!), and in part because the Mad Max sweep really did make it feel early on like that film might be a huge spoiler. But then Lubezki made history by winning his third Best Cinematography Oscar in a row, the acting categories all went as expected (Mark Rylance in Supporting Actor being only a mild surprise, as he was the only person nominated for every single precursor award), and Alejandro Gonzalez Iñàrritu became the third person to win back-to-back directing Oscars.

I dunno. I'm commentaried out. I'm fine with the Best Picture winner, the Acting winners are all deserving (if not all for their winning performance), the crafts winners were entirely on point, and the ceremony itself was fun to watch (although it really is a pity about Stacey Dash, Sam Smith, and that fucking thank you scroll).

Coming soon: Oscar's Ballot vs. My Ballot vs. My Oscar Ballot


  1. I switched my Best Picture prediction too! I changed from Spotlight to The Revenant, even though Spotlight was what I actually wanted! Definitely sticking to my guns next year :P
    - Allie

    1. Yeah, with the preferential ballot I figured The Revenant would be too divisive. I just figured more people would have Big Short in combined 1, 2, and 3 positions that Spotlight. I overthought it.

  2. I have to say my biggest beef was not having all the best song nominees sung at the Oscars. If I was one of the noms who was basically cast aside I would be so pissed off. That is very unfair. I truly thought The Revenant would win BP

    1. I am right there with you, and the performers of both non-televised songs have spoken out about how disappointed they were. I was so angry about that. I was a little afraid Revenant would win, especially after Iñarritu won Best Director. So when Morgan Freeman said "Spotlight", I did a little jump for joy, even if it wasn't my personal pick.