Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The Academy Awards: Better than Last Year...But Good?

The 88th Academy Awards have come and gone.  All I can say is PHEW...Mad Max Fury Road didn't win Best Picture.  All is right in the universe.  Though it did beat out some huge films and swept the technical categories taking home Best Production Design, Film Editing, Costume Design, Makeup, Sound Editing, and Sound Mixing.  That being said, there were some pretty big upsets.  Ex Machina, one of my personal favorite films of the year took home Best Visual Effects over popular favorites like Star Wars and The Martian which was both surprising and well deserved.  Spotlight, a true underdog in my book, took home the most coveted award of Best Picture which was a delightful shock and Leo finally secured Best Actor for his role in The Revenant.  His acceptance speech was both humble and poignant as he used his time to talk about the problem of global warming and a variety of other world issues.  Brie Larson won Best Actress for her stunning role in the emotionally powerful Room which I'm still DYING to see.  Alejandro Inarritu secured Best Director for The Revenant, his second year in a row (last year he won for Birdman).  Final highlights included Ennio Morricone winning Best Score for his soundtrack to Quentin Tarantino's Hateful Eight and Pixar's Inside Out taking home Best Animated feature.  As anyone knows though, the awards are only half the night.  Chris Rock was a great host who kept things light but decidedly topical focusing almost entirely on the lack of diversity in this years nominees.  A speech by the head of the Academy on diversifying Hollywood added a seriousness to Rock's jokes as she addressed the audience directly and called for all involved in the process of making movies to try harder to include more people of color in the film industry.  Overall, the night was just what I've come to expect from the Academy Awards.  A few upsets, some hit and miss jokes, some long winded speeches, and some poor choices.  But hey, at least they raised over $65,000 for the Girl Scouts of America by selling cookies to tipsy celebrities.

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