Oscars 2016 – The Good, the Bad and the Leo

The dust has settled, the tuxedos and ballgowns sent to the dry cleaners, and the commiserations for the losers are in full swing, as another months long Oscars circus comes to a close. There were cheers, tears, and more than decent amount of racial ribbing, as Chris Rock steered a wild and sometimes surprising ship into the history books.

The Good

The choice of Chris Rock as host in a year that brought us the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag seems inspired now, and Rock didn’t disappoint. Those expecting a few small mentions here and there were greeted by an endless chorus of “Oscar, you so racist!”, from the opening monologue which tackled the controversy endlessly, to the pre-taped segment that diversified some of the nominated films with hilarious results. Some were hit and miss, but most landed with stinging precision. He even made the audience buy Girl Scout cookies!Chris Rock reveals that $65,243 USD was raised when Girls Scouts of the USA sold cookies to the Oscars audience at the 88th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California February 28, 2016. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni - RTS8GRXAlejandro Iñárritu and Emmanuel Lubezki both made history last night as they took home their 2nd and 3rd consecutive Oscars respectively for their work on The Revenant. For Iñárritu, this makes him only the third director ever to win back to back Oscars for directing, joining the elite company of Joseph L. Mankiewicz (All About Eve) and John Ford (The Grapes Of Wrath). Lubezki scales an even higher mountain, as he becomes the only cinematographer ever to pull off a three-peat in the same category. He previously won for Gravity and Birdman.

The first real upset came in the acting categories, from the Supporting Actor race, where well-regarded Brit Mark Rylance prevailed over sentimental fav Sylvester Stallone. Rylance was by all accounts superb in Bridge Of Spies, and his career is just going from strength to strength this year with a starring role as the title character in Steven Spielberg’s The BFG.oscars-ceremony-ry_3585120bIf you had told me 6 months ago that Mad MaxFury Road would end the night as the most awarded film, I would have probably laughed in your face. Indeed it did though, and the first hour or so of the ceremony it was just a never-ending cavalcade of wins for the most unlikely of Oscar winners. It all but swept the craft categories, raking in 6 awards out of it’s 10 nominations. It wasn’t able to convert it’s Directing and Best Picture noms though.

And speaking of Best Picture, Spotlight pulled off a slight upset in the big category, dethroning the presumed champ The Revenant when all was said and done. The only other award it took home from it’s 6 nominations was Best Original Screenplay, the first award of the night, and it becomes the only Best Picture winner since The Greatest Show On Earth in 1952 to win with only one other category win.1024x1024

The Bad

Thankfully, this Oscars telecast was actually quite light on the terrible moments. There was some presenter banter that fell a bit flat (*cough* Ryan Gosling *cough*), and as per usual it went far too long, but overall it was a pretty solid, if somewhat boring affair. There were a couple of truly terrible moments however:

As I said earlier, Chris Rock was good overall but some of his bits landed with a thud, especially the part where they wheeled out Clueless actress Stacey Dash as the fictional Ambassador for Diversity. Dash looked awkward, the audience in the theatre didn’t know what to do, and everyone at home just squirmed. Apparently it had something to do with Dash being an outspoken critic of the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, but it just didn’t translate.1456776713829The second bad moment came from the winner of the Best Original Song category, British warbler Sam Smith. Putting aside for a second that he won for a terrible song (Spectre theme “The Writing’s On The Wall), Smith went on use an article he read written by Sir Ian McKellen (!) to announce that he may be the first openly gay man to win an Oscar. I think Oscar winners Dustin Lance Black (screenwriter of Milk) and Sir Elton John might have something to say about that. He did go on to dedicate the award to the LGBT community, which was nice, but the whole speech came off as smug especially following Lady Gaga’s stirring rendition of her nominated song “Til It Happen’s To You”. Bleh.

The Leo

The only thing people were talking about today was the biggest, and yet weirdly least shocking moment of the show. Leo has finally done it, ladies and gents. His predicted and expected win finally came to fruition after 4 previous nominations, and it brought the audience to their feet as they celebrated not only his Revenant win, but also his long-spanning career. He was gracious and humble, and spent the majority of his speech calling for environmental action. His mum beamed, Kate Winslet cried, it was very emotional.Leonardo DiCaprioSo overall, it wasn’t a bad show, not the best but it was no Hathaway/Franco fiasco either. As for my Oscar picks, how’d I do? Well, so so. I took my first picks for all the categories, just to keep it fair and you can see the results below:


As you can see I managed 15 out of 24, which isn’t bad, but probably isn’t enough to win your Oscar pool (although I did win the So, Is It Any Good? one, but that was after technical difficulties and a tie-breaker round). I got killed in the short film categories, and didn’t predict the Mad Max sweep to the degree that it eventually happened. Interestingly though, if I’d switched my pick for the “Possible Spoiler” in some of the categories that I missed, my total would’ve shot up to a whopping 21. So the pundits are close, but no cigar it seems.

What did you think of the Oscars this year? How’d your predictions go? Did you do better than me? Let us know in the comments below!