Additional analysis to come later this week, but here are some quick thoughts about this year’s Oscars that you can use to impress/intimidate your colleagues at work today:
1. Spotlight wins Best Picture
Though Spotlight was the early Best Picture frontrunner out of Telluride and the SAG ensemble winner, it had last a lot of momentum going into last night’s ceremony: The Big Short won the PGA award, The Revenant took the DGA award, BAFTA and Golden Globe and Spotlight had just six nominations compared to The Revenant’s 12. But for the first time since Crash upset Brokeback Mountain in 2005 (and second since Shakespeare in Love upset Saving Private Ryan in 1998), neither the Producer’s Guild nor the Director’s Guild winner emerged victorious. Instead, a movie about the Boston Globe journalists uncovering rampant child sex abuse among the Boston clergy pulled off a big win. Best Picture was one of just two awards for Spotlight last night (the other being original screenplay), making this the first time a Best Picture winner won fewer than three statuettes since 1952’s The Greatest Show on Earth.
2. Leo wins Best Actor
After four previous acting nominations (and one previous produced-his-own-movie nomination), Leonardo DiCaprio finally won an Oscar for his lead role in The Revenant. The Internet promptly exploded, as the moment generated “a whopping 440,000 Tweets per minute, making it the most-tweeted moment of an Oscars telecast ever, the social media platform announced Sunday evening.”
Two small points I want to get off my chest:
First of all, I think that it’s difficult to say that Leo was snubbed before. His four prior nominations (for What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, The Aviator, Blood Diamond and The Wolf of Wall Street) were never really expected to land him a golden statuette. Instead, we can be talking about the roles that he was not nominated for, such as Django Unchained, J. Edgar, Revolutionary Road, Catch Me If You Can and Titanic.
3. Chris Rock and a very political ceremony
According to the New York Times review, “For the second year in a row, no acting nomination went to a minority performer. Hollywood was guilty, and Chris Rock was deputized to carry out the sentence.” He did so in spades in his opening monologue (transcript here) and beyond. He started by welcoming the audience to the Academy Awards, “otherwise known as the White People’s Choice Awards.” Near the end of the segment he asked, “Is Hollywood racist? You’re damn right. Hollywood is racist, but it ain’t that racist that you’ve grown accustomed to. Hollywood is sorority racist. It’s like, ‘We like you Rhonda, but you’re not a Kappa.’”
Chris Rock’s take on diversity was largely black-focused. As the New York Times wrote, “One of the few acknowledgments of Asians in the broadcast was an awkward gag in which Mr. Rock introduced three Asian children as the PricewaterhouseCoopers accountants.”
5. Other snubs, stats and upsets
Alejandro González Iñárritu won best director for The Revenant, following his win last year for Birdman. Back-to-back directing wins have happened twice before, but not for about 65 years: John Ford won for The Grapes of Wrath and How Green Was My Valley in the early 1940s and, most recently, Joseph Mankiewicz won for People Will Talk and All About Eve around 1950.
Sylvester Stallone was the frontrunner for Best Supporting Actor, but he lost to first-time-nominee Mark Rylance, who powerfully underacted the role of a Soviet spy in Bridge of Spies.
Mad Max was the big winner of the night, taking home six (largely technical) awards: Best Film Editing, Best Costume Design, Best Makeup, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing and Best Production Design.
Cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki became the first cinematographer in history to win three Oscars in a row, scoring last night for The Revenant after previously winning for Gravity and Birdman.
6. Jacob Tremblay had a really good time
Someone we all can aspire to.
Have a great day,