Oscar Derby Finale

WITNESS!!!!!!!

And we’re here at the end, folks! The 88th Academy Awards were last night, and after a long derby of speculation and  ‘anything could happen!’ hand-wringing, there at the wire it was Spotlight that walked away with the top prize.

I am as guilty as anyone for the aforementioned hand-wringing (although mine was accompanied by mutterings of ‘please not The Big Short.’ Nonetheless I will here quote my very first question on my very first Oscar Derby post:

Is this race truly as “open” as everyone is hyping? Or should we be honest with ourselves and assume Tom McCarthy’s unsensationalized, slowburn Spotlight probably has Best Picture in the bag?

As seems to prove true every single year: there was little in the way of surprises. The biggest coup of the night was probably Ex Machina managing to win Best Visual Effects over the likes of Fury Road, Force Awakens, The Martian and The Revenant.

Oh. And speaking of Mad Max: Fury Road 6 total wins!! Yes, by the end of the night Fury Road had the most wins of any film of the night (even though a piece of my heart continued to hope and dream of upset wins for George Miller and the recognition of his film as Best Picture.)

Despite The Revenant going into the night with the most nominations of any film (12), it walked away with only 3. Granted, two of them are the largest “prestige” awards (specifically of Best Director and Best Actor), but that’s just the point. Alas this is Oscar politicking at its purest. The Revenant and Mad Max: Fury Road were up for many of the same ‘technical’ awards — and Furiosa absolutely trounced Hugh Glass in them all.

In other words: Fury Road can win all of the awards for the individual aspects of filmmaking, but it can’t win Best Picture. George Miller can put together a film that wins all of those awards, but he does not win Best Director.

(I am still happy for Spotlight though.)

Here is a complete list of last night’s winners:

BEST PICTURE

Spotlight
Mad Max: Fury Road
Brooklyn
Room
The Revenant
The Martian
Bridge of Spies
The Big Short 

I know Spotlight is not the sexy choice. I know it seems like the boring one. I know I know I know. I too would have loved to see Furiosa conquer here (see my whole mini rant above), but Spotlight was a damn fine, impeccably stitched together film. I can’t begrudge it.

 

BEST DIRECTOR

Lenny Abrahamson (Room)
Alejandro González Iñárritu (The Revenant)
Tom McCarthy (Spotlight)
Adam McKay (The Big Short)
George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road)

This is Iñárritu’s second Oscar in row for Best Director, and he is the first director in 66 years to win consecutively. I still feel like there wasn’t anything he did that George Miller didn’t do as well — except be crazier.

 

BEST ACTOR

Bryan Cranston (Trumbo)
Matt Damon (The Martian)
Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant)
Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs)
Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl)

::And as he walked off stage, clutching the beloved golden idol for which he’d yearned, Leo was at once aware of an unnatural bend in the shadows, the slightest shift in temperature, and the flash of one particular crooked grin from the standing crowd of applauding admirers. For a single moment he panicked. But no — it was not yet his time. Mephistopheles knew that — he was just being a dick::

 

BEST ACTRESS

Cate Blanchett, Carol
Brie Larson, Room
Jennifer Lawrence, Joy
Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years
Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn

Well deserved. And her ‘gimme five’ moment with young costar Jacob Tremblay was one of the most adorable things all night.

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Christian Bale (The Big Short)
Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies)
Tom Hardy (The Revenant)
Mark Ruffalo (Spotlight))
Sylvester Stallone (Creed)

Mark Rylance has been acting for a long time. He has won Tonys, but never an Oscar. And he is very good in Bridge of Spies. As much as I would have liked to see Hardy or Ruffalo take it, I can’t say that they outperformed Rylance to such a degree that I can be upset about this. Good for him.

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight)
Rachel McAdams (Spotlight)
Rooney Mara (Carol)
Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl)
Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs)

Pretending it was for Ex Machina… Pretending it was for Ex Machina

 

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Tom McCarthy & Josh Singer (Spotlight)
Matt Charman, Joel Coen & Ethan Coen (Bridge of Spies)
Jonathan Herman, Andrea Berloff, S. Leigh Savage & Alan Wenkus (Straight Outta Compton)
Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve & Josh Cooley (Inside Out)
Alex Garland (Ex Machina)

This was the only other award Spotlight won besides Best Picture.

 

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Emma Donahue (Room)
Drew Goddard (The Martian)
Nick Hornby (Brooklyn)
Adam McKay and Charles Randolph (The Big Short)
Phyllis Nagy (Carol)

I may have physically curled up and hissed over top of my cocktail glass…

 

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Roger Deakins (Sicario)
Edward Lachman (Carol)
Emmanuel Lubezki (The Revenant)
Robert Richardson (The Hateful Eight)
John Seale (Mad Max: Fury Road)

Yeah. No one was going to beat him. Lubezki becomes the first person ever to win Cinematography for three consecutive years.

 

BEST FILM EDITING

Hank Corwin (The Big Short)
Margaret Sixel (Mad Max: Fury Road)
 Tom McArdle (Spotlight)
Stephen Mirrione (The Revenant)
Maryann Brandon & Mary Jo Markey (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)

What Margaret Sixel put together from all of George Miller’s footage was incredible. I read someone describe it as a masterclass in cohesion. I consider that an accurate statement — in a film as high-octane bonkers as Fury Road, you never lose sense of what’s going on and where people are. A well-deserved win.

 

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

Ex Machina
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

I still can’t believe it. My jaw dropped when Ex Machina was announced. The subtle never wins this category. The rest of these films all had budgets of 100+ million dollars. Force Awakens had 200 million. Ex Machina? 15 million.

 

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

The Danish Girl
Mad Max: Fury Road
Bridge of Spies
The Martian
The Revenant 

 

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Sandy Powell (Carol)
Sandy Powell (Cinderella)
Paco Delgado (The Danish Girl)
Jenny Beavan (Mad Max: Fury Road)
Jaqueline West (The Revenant)

Well whadaya know… Richard Madden’s tight pants did not win the Oscar! Bit surprised. Bit disappointed (but literally only because I really wanted to declare that Richard Madden’s tight pants did win the Oscar!) But go Jenny Beavan! More wins for Fury Road.

 

BEST MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING

The Revenant
The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out a Window and Disappeared
Mad Max: Fury Road

 

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

Carter Burwell (Carol)
Johann Johannson (Sicario)
Ennio Morricone (The Hateful Eight)
Thomas Newman (Bridge of Spies)
John Williams (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)

 

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

“Earned It” (Fifty Shades of Grey)
“Manta Ray” (Racing Extinction)
“Til It Happens to You” (The Hunting Ground)
“Simple Song #3” (Youth)
“Writing’s On the Wall” (Spectre) 

BUT THE SONG IS TERRIBLE! And so my Sam Smith Befuddlement now begins to take on a life of its own…

I am fairly convinced it was just the only song anyone knew. “Oh — it’s a Bond song. That one, I guess.”

Oh — and two of the nominees were not even invited to perform. One of which was Anohni (of Antony and the Johnsons) for “Manta Ray.” That will jumpstart a whole host of mini-rants that I will not get into here at this time… but if you want the gist, you can read a full statement on Antony and the Johnsons website.

 

BEST SOUND EDITING

Mad Max: Fury Road
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
The Martian
Sicario
The Revenant

 

BEST SOUND MIXING

Bridge of Spies
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

 

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Son of Saul, Hungary
Mustang, 
France
A War, 
Denmark
Embrace of the Serpent, 
Colombia
Theeb, 
Jordan

 

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

Inside Out
Anomalisa
Shaun the Sheep Movie
Boy and the World
When Marnie Was There

I knew it was coming. I am at peace with it. Mostly. But honestly — is Disney/Pixar going to just keep winning this award no matter what else is nominated? It’s a joke that ‘Pixar always wins.’ And this is actually true. For the past 15 years that this award has existed, every time Pixar has had a film up for nomination, it has won. With two exceptions. One in the very first year of the award (2001, Monsters Inc. lost to Shrek. Because insane.) And the most recent exception? Why that would be in 2006 when Cars lost to George Miller’s Happy Feet.

 

BEST DOCUMENTARY

Amy
Cartel Land
The Look of Silence
What Happened, Miss Simone?
Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom

 

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT

Body Team 12
Chau, Beyond the Lines
Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of Shoah
A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness
Last Day of Freedom

 

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT

Ave Maria
Day One
Everything Will Be Okay
Shok
Stutterer

 

BEST ANIMATED SHORT

Bear Story
Prologue
Sanjay’s Super Team
We Can’t Live Without Cosmos
World of Tomorrow

 

Four final random thoughts:
  1. Chris Rock seemed like he was going to go at #OscarsSoWhite head-on. Making people uncomfortable was a good thing for him to do. Because it’s a big fucking important deal, and an uncomfortable situation that needs to be approached head on. But unfortunately the more he talked, the more off the rails he went… until it was just a mess of other problems. Sigh.
  2. Ava DuVernay and Ryan Coogler were running the #JusticeForFlint benefit opposite the Academy Awards last night, and it should also be getting some attention. Check it out.
  3. On a completely different note… 9 year old Jacob Tremblay jumping up to see the Star Wars droids on stage was The Most Adorable Thing Ever
  4. Are you seriously telling me that our Most Valuable Supporting Player of The Year, Domhnall Gleeson, could not even get an Oscar invite?? BUT HE WAS IN FOUR NOMINATED FILMS! If he was there, I did not see him! Grr.

 

And on that note… We’re done, darlings! The Oscar Derby has concluded… until a few months from now where everyone will start trying to get a jump on early predictions for next year. 

Keep watching movies.