Monday, February 29, 2016

2016 Academy Awards Part 1

Photo: Chris Rock, presenting at the 2016 Academy Awards, from Patrick Fallon for the New York Times.

A lot of quick things to say about the 2016 Oscars--so much, it may take a few posts.

--Not to be lost in the controversy is that Chris Rock unequivocally said that Hollywood IS racist.

--The scroll of names the winners want to thank is not working for me. At all.

--The pop-up info about the presenters works for me only if I'm interested in the presenter.

--The producers and directors of this telecast are clearly working hard to improve the ratings. The ticker of names, the pop-ups, the displays, the pictures of the nominees behind the presenters, and the tricky camera angles centering those pictures as the presenter describes that person's performance...lots of changes. Many of them aren't bad, but the presenters aren't enjoying the moving camera in front of them. They just want to read the teleprompter and get the hell offstage.

--Nominated Best Picture films I've seen this year: The Revenant; The Martain; Bridge of Spies; Mad Max: Fury Road. I really wanted to see Spotlight, and I wouldn't have minded seeing The Big Short.

--Ten films can be nominated for Best Picture, but only eight were. Two of the many overlooked: Sicario and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Those two, and The Revenant, were the best ones I saw.

--Anyone see Andrew McCarthy in the many ads for his new TV show, The Family? It's been a long time since Weekend at Bernie's and Pretty in Pink, I guess.

--Lots of good cinematography this year, more than usual, from my movie-going experience. Emmanuel Lubezki's third consecutive win for Best Cinematography is unheard of. Probably the first time ever, in Oscar history. But his work in Gravity, The Birdman, and now The Revenant makes him worthy.

--By the way, Mr. Trump, the past three Best Director Oscar winners--all Mexican. Just sayin'.

--It's been long-predicted that Mad Max: Fury Road would sweep the technical awards. Well-deserved.

--I like the music the Academy chose to play to shut down the winner's over-long speech: The Ride of the Valkyries.

--I also like seeing celebrities taking selfies with their celebrity fans.

--I blogged about Mark Rylance's performance in (the otherwise underwhelming) Bridge of Spies earlier this year, and I've said he deserves the Award for Best Supporting Actor. (Full disclosure: I have not seen Creed.) Rylance had not received a single award from the other places (Screen Actors Guild; New York Film Critics, etc.) and I didn't expect him to get this one. Neither did anyone else--except for all the Academy's actors who didn't vote for Sylvester Stallone here. I thought this award, the Best Actor to Leonardo DiCaprio and the Best Actress to Brie Larson were all locks tonight.

--DiCaprio and Larson are still locks, though.

--And Stallone won't have another chance to win another Oscar.

To be continued...


  1. The producers and directors did work hard to make this telecast fresh and modern with the pop ups and scrolling names...but guess what? I just read last night's Oscar ratings took a nosedive hitting an 8 year low. It was down 6% from last year.

    My advice to make the ratings improve? Make this show at least an hour shorter! With today's ever present social media it's just not necessary to watch the telecast. Twitter and Facebook are there to give instant and constant updates. YouTube will be there to post the speeches. There's no reason to actually sit and watch the show unless you're a movie geek like myself.

    The biggest upset was Sly Stallone losing out and you're right he won't ever get another chance. As much as I think Mark Rylance deserved to win, I can't help but be disappointed Rocky didn't take the prize. Those movies have been a major part of cinematic culture for 40 years. But in the end did Stallone give the better performance? Apparently not.

    It has been a long time since Pretty In Pink. Thirty years to be exact. The wrinkles on his Andrew McCarthy's face show it, but honestly he could look so much worse. Take Kate Capshaw for instance. She went from blonde beauty to the Joker! Spielberg need not look far for an idea on his next script idea if wants to dabble in the horror genre.

    Hollywood IS racist, but it's not just black lives that matter. All lives matter including all races.

    Leonardo DiCaprio has always been king of the world in my book so I couldn't be happier with his Oscar win. It made my night. He should have thanked the bear, though.

    1. The Academy's full chorus of voters are now overall so young, I don't think they care too much about sentimentally honoring the likes of Stallone or Michael Keaton. Remember Redmayne last year? He's younger and more well-known amongst that set.

      I fear the ratings dipped because everyone knew the show was going to be a bit racial. Also, the Academy didn't do itself any favors here by not using up one of those last two slots for Best Picture by nominating Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Had it done so, many more would've watched just to see if it would win Best Picture.

      And, yeah, Capshaw looked like The Joker. I actually said that very same thing in my next blog entry about the Oscars, Part 2. But you're right. Shocking!