‘Tis the Season: “2016 Academy Awards: Winners”

Tonight is the night. The big night for films has finally arrived and it’s still largely up in the air. So many films and actors and other creatives are all vying for the top prize, and it couldn’t be any more nerve racking. Who will win? That’s the big question, and now it’s only a matter of minutes until we find out.

The 88th Academy Awards are about to start (two minutes from the time of this writing) and I’m as anxious as ever. How do I manage so much, when all I want to do is watch the ceremony and type this paragraph? I’ll figure it out. What I do know is that I’ll be writing this live. I don’t usually type these out ahead of time, but I will this time. Like with yesterday’s Independent Spirit Awards, I’ll be typing out the winners and reactions as they occur!

And now, live, it’s time for the show to begin!! Here we go!!

Hopefully host Chris Rock (“The Jim Gaffigan Show”, “A Very Murray Christmas”) does a good job. I’m skeptical.

The winners of the 2016 Academy Awards are:

But before I get into the winners, let me comment on what Rock has said so far in his monologue. One time he said, “No black nominees.” I’m not too sure if there were no black nominees, among 24 categories, but to only single out black creatives as the only ones not nominated is ridiculous. There are so many other minority groups that deserve recognition, but apparently, Rock can only mention black people not recognized. I hope he doesn’t continue to only cite black people, or references them (he did it just now, once more), otherwise I’m going to have a problem. Make that five references to black people being kept out of something. I’m regretting deciding to put in my comments as this show goes on.

Best Original Screenplay

Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy- “Spotlight”

This crawl for who they’d like to thank is annoying.

“… continue to hold the powerful accountable. … We have to make sure this doesn’t happen again.” Brilliantly said! Loved this speech. But it did feel too quick. Glad they won.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Charles Randolph and Adam McKay- “The Big Short”

I had no doubt in my mind they’d win! This is amazing! I really should rewatch the film and see if it makes more sense. Also, seriously love what they’re doing with this script scene and reading it while it is presented on screen. Brilliant!

While I tune out the song “Writing’s on the Wall” from “Spectre”, being sung by Sam Smith, I’m going to update with a note on Rock. He’s still only referencing black people/actors. Yes, this one minority group does deserve more opportunities for work and recognition, but they’re not the only ones. It’s really quite sad that he’s only referencing black people, and simply changing the dynamic of racial inequality, instead of helping to correct it. Putting one minority group on top, as if to say they’re superior, isn’t the solution. It’s part of the problem.

Best Supporting Actress

Alicia Vikander- “The Danish Girl”

Another certain winner! Okay, it really could be called the first guaranteed winner. The other two winners, thus far, could’ve really gone to any of the other winners. Love that she was voted as the winner! Her performance has always interested me in this film. From the moment I saw the first trailer, I just was blown away. I knew that what I was looking at was going to be an incredible experience with powerful performances. I still believe this and am okay with her winning. Now, if only I could get a copy of this and see it for myself.

Best Costume Design

Jenny Beavan- “Mad Max: Fury Road”

Presenter Cate Blanchett really had a great way to introduce this category. I’m amazed at the writers for this.

I can’t believe she won! She did do a good job. Good speech too. Nothing too memorable, but I’ll take it!

Best Production Design

Colin Gibson and Lisa Thompson- “Mad Max: Fury Road”

Okay, I chose correctly. So glad! That’s two for “Mad Max: Fury Road”!!

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Lesley Vanderwalt, Elka Wardega, and Damian Martin- “Mad Max: Fury Road”

Pleasant speech. Love hearing from these three. Can’t wait to see what they do next, if I even recognize it.

Best Cinematography

Emmanuel Lubezki- “The Revenant”

He won for the third time!! Third win!!! Oh my god!!! This is incredible!! First time and he’s a Hispanic man!! Unbelievable. His work took the film to a whole new place!

Best Film Editing

Margaret Sixel- “Mad Max: Fury Road”

“… endure six months in the Namibian desert.” LOVED IT!!! She certainly deserved this!! Unbelievable work she did. Made this film work so well.

Best Sound Editing

Mark Mangini and David White- “Mad Max: Fury Road”

“Sound artists are storytellers.”

He said it quite well. I’m not sure which one it was, but it was brilliant. I also lost in this category. Damn it!

Best Sound Mixing

Chris Jenkins, Gregg Rudloff and Ben Osmo- “Mad Max: Fury Road”

I’m surprised a bit. But I can live. Except now I have two wrong. I’m sad.

Best Visual Effects

Andreew Whitehurst, Paul Norris, Mark Ardington, and Sara Bennett “Ex Machina”

First major surprise!! A fantastic surprise!! I loved the work and the film in this film, but I just got so caught up in thinking that it didn’t stand a chance in winning. I’m sad I got this category wrong, but I’m also quite glad. It certainly deserved to win!

Best Animated Short Film

Gabriel Osoria and Pato Escala- “Bear Story”

Apparently a first win for Chile! Amazing!! And another category wrong for me. This year may be the worst I’ve done since I really started doing this.

Best Animated Feature Film

Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera- “Inside Out”

YES!!! I love this film!! Definitely deserved to win!!

“But you can make stuff.” This speech, from both winners, were amazing!

Best Supporting Actor

Mark Rylance- “Bridge of Spies”

Wow! Well deserved, but I truly didn’t know that this was possible. Okay I did. I guess I just fell into the hoopla that surrounded Sylvester Stallone and the film “Creed”.

Best Documentary Short Film

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy- “A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness”

“… who want a more just society for women.” She also said, “This week, the Pakistani Prime Minister has said that he will change the law on honor killing after watching this film. That is the power of film” That is incredible!! Such an inspiring speech and great to hear how a short film can be that impactful!

Best Documentary Feature

Asif Kapadia and James Gay-Rees- “Amy”

“About showing who Amy really was.” He said some other great things too, but I couldn’t type fast enough. Great Speech! Seriously need to see this film, and the other nominated films as well.

Best Live Action Short Film

Benjamin Cleary and Serena Armitage- “Stutterer”

WOW!! And, I’ll be doing a count later, but this year might be the first year, in some time, if ever, that a lot of women have won! Of course, outside of the actress categories.

Best Foreign Language Film

“Son of Saul”- Hungary

Laszlo Nemes accepts as he’s the director. Can’t wait to see this film!

Best Original Score

Ennio Morricone- “The Hateful Eight”

He’s speaking in his native tongue of Italian! Wow! I think it’s Italian. I don’t know my languages all that well. Regardless, it’s an exciting and one of a kind speech! The score is also incredible and definitely deserved to win.

Best Original Song

Jimmy Napes and Sam Smith- “The Writing’s on the Wall”- “Spectre”

Oh my god! Another semi-surprise/surprise! I’m not actually sure. I certainly wasn’t expecting it, but then again, I hate this song. It’s mostly the vocals. Smith’s vocals are terrible in this song. And I don’t know if it’s just this song, because it’s in a key that’s too high, or because his vocals overal suck. Funny too, because I impulsively bought it on iTunes. I was really hoping for Lady Gaga and Diane Warren. Can’t believe it. Also, is Smith really gay? I don’t know, so this is huge if true. Nominee Anohni, who wasn’t invited to perform, is transgender. WOW! Diversity is truly alive. And yes, I looked it up, and in 2014 it looks like he came out as a gay man. So, in this category alone, a gay man and a transgender woman were nominated. That’s probably never going to happen again. But again, since it’s a different aspect of the diversity conversation, so the majority of people probably won’t talk about it.

Best Director

Alejandro G. Innaritu- “The Revenant”

I wasn’t even listening to his speech. Whoops! Thank god for the DVR and rewinding! Inarritu said, among other things, “I very lucky to be here tonight. But unfortunately many others haven’t had the same luck.” He continued, “So what a great opportunity to really liberate ourselves from all prejudice…” Capping it all off, he said, “To make sure that the color of our skin becomes as irrelevant at the length of our hair.” I don’t think I need to say anything else on this. He did amazing work!! He deserves this and has one twice in a row!! Also, for those paying attention to diversity, he’s the fourth person of color, third Hispanic, to win in this category! AMAZING!!!

Best Actress

Brie Larson- “Room”

“The thinks I love about movie making is how many people it takes to make it.” She’s so right! She later added, “Thank you to the moviegoers. Thank you for going to the theater and seeing our films.” I love this the most. She truly gets how films are able to succeed and fail, especially the smaller indie films that otherwise would go mostly unseen. I had no doubts that she’d win. When thinking about the complexities of all five of these characters, she truly had the most to worth through and bring to life. Her performance was the most difficult to watch and be inspired by. Incredible!!!

Best Actor

Leonardo DiCaprio- “The Revenant”

He’s getting a standing ovation!! Wow! He’s really giving a phenomenal acceptance speech. He also managed to include a climate change bit, which isn’t surprising, but absolutely welcome! “Let us not take this planet for granted.” Love this!!

Best Picture

Michael Sugar, Steve Golin, Nicole Rocklin, and Blye Pagon Faust- “Spotlight”

“We would not be here without the heroic efforts of our reporters. Not only do they affect global change. But they absolutely show us the necessity for investigative journalism.” Not sure which female winner said this, but she’s 100% correct on that! I may have officially selected a different film to win (“The Revenant”), but this win is just as deserving!! Any film nominated in this category would’ve been fine with me. This film is an incredible film and should be seen by as many people as possible!

And there you have it fellow cinephiles!!! The winners of the 88th Academy Awards!!! So many amazing and deserving winners, plus a few surprises, well at least to me. I enjoyed the majority of it and a lot of it was actually quite creative. Thank god for that. Rock was okay, still annoying, but still, as I’ve pointed out during my live commenting in this post, he only mentioned black people, be they actors or other creatives. If we’re truly going to be able to talk about diversity in the entertainment industry or at awards shows like this, and how to make change, we can’t just talk about black people as if they’re the only ones that exist after white people. It’s beyond sad. It’s offensive. Sure Rock can make his point and deliver a few quick jokes, like other comedians/comediennes, but that merely distracts from the larger issue.That being said, tonight, I must say had a lot of diverse winners. I think that the number of female winners outside the acting categories was quite high, and Smith won Best Original Song as an openly gay man. If that’s not diverse, I don’t know what is. It’s certainly a start for a complex issue not yet being taken seriously.

Okay, okay, my spiel is over. Now on to the next most important thing. How well did I do. Not that well. Compared to last year, quite badly. I’ve only been keeping track like this for now three years, and this is the worst. I’m ashamed of myself. Most of you should’ve been able to do considerably better than me. Let me know.

My score this year: (15/24). Too many bad choices and a few genuine surprises.
Last year: (19/24). I hope that doesn’t mean you’ll view me any less than you may already. I’d cry.
And apparently I didn’t keep track three years ago. Well, at least not on paper, but I believe it was something like (18/24), I could be wrong. I’m still disappointed about this year either way.

And that’s it for awards season! See you in the Fall and all through the year.

And once more, just in case you thought you were dreaming.


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