The three and a half hours of Hollywood patting itself on the back is now over, and the Oscars have finally answered the question on everyone’s lips for the last two months: Will Leo be snubbed again?!
Turns out no, but beyond Leo there’s also a lot of winners and surprises to unpack. Did Stallone deserve the Oscar? How on earth did Ex Machina get visual effects? All your questions will be answered. If you keep reading. Maybe.
While The Revenant seemed to be the favourite going in, turns out the true-story ensemble drama was just too oscar-bait-like for the Academy to ignore. Jokes aside though, Spotlight is still an exceptional film and absolutely one of the best from last year. Do I prefer it over Mad Max? No, but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate it winning. While I do still really like The Revenant, over the last few weeks I’ve come to appreciate it more as an achievement rather than a film and hence why I don’t feel torn up about it missing out. So good job to Spotlight. Even though it is such a standard choice.
See my breakdown of Best Picture here.
This is the one category I felt slightly disappointed for. While I recognise the incredible auteur Alejandro is and what he accomplished with The Revenant was exceptional, I was really hoping for Mad Max to get some love outside the technical categories. George Miller has an incredible legacy and struggled for years to just get the ground-breaking film made and out the door. And for it to turn out that good? Mind blowing. But nope. Had to give it to the same guy two years in a row (he may have deserved it but still, I can mope).
See my breakdown of Best Director here.
He did it! Took over twenty years but he finally won an Oscar. Disregarding the fact that he should have won about five times by now, Di Caprio’s performance in The Revenant was exceptional and the stories surrounding all the tribulations the role presented are astounding. He slept in an animal carcass to win a bloody trophy, so I’m glad the Academy finally saw the light. Twenty years late, but anyway.
See my breakdown of Best Actor here.
This one’s simple. She deserved it. She was the favourite. And she won it. Open and shut.
See my breakdown of Best Actress here.
Best Supporting Actor
And now we get to the first proper surprise of the night (and not the last). A solid category overall, but all bets said that Stallone was going to get a pseudo-legacy award for his legendary turn as Rocky Balboa. Turns out that was not the case. While Rylance was exceptional in Spies, I doubt this is going to be his last oscar nom/win, whereas Stallone will never get another shot at the gold. I can’t say which of the two performances I actually preferred, but still a little upset that Stallone missed out on his one chance.
See my breakdown of Best Supporting Actor here.
Best Supporting Actress
As I said in my breakdown, I’m happy to just shut my eyes if Vikander wins and pretend she got it for Ex Machina. Pretending that’s the case, she deserves the win (although note I still haven’t and probably never will see The Danish Girl). While I still stand by Winslett as my personal favourite, I’m far from bitter. Lets hope this is the start of a beautiful career.
See my breakdown of Best Supporting Actress here.
No wrong choice here (except for maybe The Hateful Eight) so I have no qualms with The Revenant being dubbed the prettiest. As I said in my review, it is one of the most beautiful films I have ever seen, and is filled to the brim with mind boggling shots and gorgeous scenery. Well deserved.
See my breakdown for Best Cinematography here.
Best Original Screenplay
Honestly, I’m disappointed Inside Out didn’t get it. Not only was it a great movie, I think imaginative and unique scripts should be commended, and regardless of how good Spotlight was I’d struggle to call it either of those things. While it is my second favourite, that doesn’t wash away my disappointment for Pixar.
See my breakdown for Best Original Screenplay here.
Best Adapted Screenplay
Yep, the The Big Short was the favourite and won. Pfft, I still think Steve Jobs was robbed. Although Short‘s script was also really good.
See my breakdown for Best Adapted Screenplay here.
Best Visual Effects
This surprise blew me away. Never in a blue moon did I think Machina actually had a shot at winning. Sure it was impressive and seamless, but its odds were so low. Over 50 to 1 if my memory serves. Not only that, but this win makes it the lowest budget visual effects winner since Alien. Incredible. I was certain Star Wars or Mad Max was going to grab it, but nope. And honestly, I’m happy. I’m glad Machina finally got some of the respect it deserved. Just… wow. What a surprise.
See my breakdown of Best Visual Effects here.
And with an astounding 6 wins from 10 nominations comes my favourite film of last year! And all well deserved. The technical level of Fury Road is arguably the most impressive part of the film, and it getting so much recognition is not only deserved, but just plain awesome. While I am disappointed it didn’t appear in the main categories more, 6 Oscars is still a solid effort, and makes it far and beyond the most successful film of the entire night.
I don’t have a breakdown of the Technical Categories, so just click this link instead.
So that’s another year of Oscar glory over with. Now we can finally move on into the New Year with high expectations and hopes that 2016 will be even better. But better still – we can finally put all those Leo Oscar memes to rest.