2016 Oscar Results

2016 Oscar Results

The 2016 Academy Awards have come and gone and the results are in. There were not a great deal of surprises, but when there were, they were BIG. I guess the Academy wants to keep us guessing. I think we all just wish they would do that by surprising us with selecting the best choice instead of the most shocking. Or, maybe a better way of looking at things would be to realize that figuring out Academy voting is really a guessing game.

Without further ado, here are your nominees, winners (in bold), and a thought or two about each category.


Best Picture

The Big Short
Bridge of Spies
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Spotlight **WINNER**

Notes: Spotlight? Really? An important film for sure, but this film succeeds because it was simply ‘good’ and not ‘spectacular.’ I don’t think I will be alone in asking the ironic question six months from now, “Who won Best Picture in 2016?” We will all be wondering how Mad Max: Fury Road didn’t take this one home five years from now.

Best Actor

Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
Matt Damon, The Martian
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant  **WINNER**
Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl

Notes: As expected. DiCaprio was practically standing on stage by the time his name was called. I still think Fassbender would have won if DiCaprio had already tasted gold before.

Best Actress

Cate Blanchett, Carol
Brie Larson, Room **WINNER**
Jennifer Lawrence, Joy
Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years
Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn

Notes: Her performance was incredible. But those of us who fell in love with her skills in Short Term 12 or on COMMUNITY realized this was inevitable.

Best Director

Adam McKay, The Big Short
George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road
Alejandro G. Iñárritu, The Revenant **WINNER**
Lenny Abrahamson, Room
Tom McCarthy, Spotlight

Notes: Big fan of what Alejandro has done these past two years in film, but Mad Max isn’t Mad Max without George Miller putting all those pieces together.

Best Original Song

“Earned It” from Fifty Shades of Grey
“Manta Ray” from Racing Extinction
“Simple Song #3” from Youth
“Til It Happens to You” from The Hunting Ground
“Writing’s on the Wall” from Spectre **WINNER**

Notes: Lady Gaga’s performance made people think twice about this one, but the song was not near as good as the issue was important. Not to defend Sam Smith and his terrible, terrible Spectre song. All the nominees in this category made this the worst category of the night. Terrible, terrible options.

Best Original Score

Thomas Newman, Bridge of Spies
Carter Burwell, Carol
Ennio Morricone, The Hateful Eight **WINNER**
Jóhann Jóhansson, Sicario
John Williams, Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Notes: Lots of people saw this one coming. Unlike Original Song, this category may have been one of the best of the night. All were deserving.

Best Foreign Language Film

Colombia: Embrace of the Serpent
France: Mustang
Hungary: Son of Saul **WINNER**
Jordan: Theeb
Denmark: A War

Notes: Heard great things about most of these films– especially Son of Saul. Hopefully now we’ll actually be able to find and watch any of these films with this exposure.

Best Live-Action Short

Ave Maria
Day One
Everything Will Be Okay (Alles Wird Gut)
Stutterer **WINNER**

Notes: Nothing clever to say here. Failed to get out to see the shorts this year, but nothing was really buzzed about before the Oscars.

Best Documentary Feature

Cartel Land
The Look of Silence
What Happened, Miss Simone?
Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom

Notes: Everyone I know who has seen Amy raves about it. Not as much as the people who have seen The Look of Silence.

Best Documentary Short

Body Team 12
Chau, Beyond the Lines
Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah
A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness **WINNER**
Last Day of Freedom

Notes: Going to have to agree with my fellow critics and point out that Louis CK’s introduction to this category was one of the best parts of the night. Cutting. Honest. Too honest, maybe?

Best Supporting Actor

Christian Bale, The Big Short
Tom Hardy, The Revenant
Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight
Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies **WINNER**
Sylvester Stallone, Creed

Notes: Second biggest surprise of the night. Rylance was the lone great thing about an otherwise simply solid film. That said, no reason Tom Hardy shouldn’t have taken this trophy home if it wasn’t going to be given to Stallone as a lifetime achievement type award.

Best Animated Feature

Boy and the World
Inside Out **WINNER**
Shaun the Sheep Movie
When Marnie Was There

Notes: Another tough category. Inside Out was game-changing though. Probably the best part of this category is the omission of The Good Dinosaur (which was not ‘good’ at all).

Best Animated Short

Bear Story **WINNER**
Sanjay’s Super Team
We Can’t Live Without Cosmos
World of Tomorrow

Notes: World of Tomorrow is the most insightful film about the human condition I may have ever seen. It should have been recognized as such.

Best Visual Effects

Ex Machina **WINNER**
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Notes: It was pointed out that this makes sense because it is about the BEST visual effects, not the MOST. While I would buy that argument normally, Mad Max set the bar for action visual effects.

Best Sound Mixing

Bridge of Spies
Mad Max: Fury Road **WINNER**
The Martian
The Revenant
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Notes: Mad Max takes home lots of technical awards, no surprise really.

Best Sound Editing

Mad Max: Fury Road **WINNER**
The Martian
The Revenant
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Notes: If Star Wars was going to win, I figured it’d be this one. Any other year.

Best Film Editing

The Big Short
Mad Max: Fury Road **WINNER**
The Revenant
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Notes: I think this was a lot closer than people think. Lots of great work in the editing room this year.

Best Cinematography

Ed Lachman, Carol
Robert Richardson, The Hateful Eight
John Seale, Mad Max: Fury Road
Emmanuel Lubezki, The Revenant **WINNER**
Roger Deakins, Sicario

Notes: Was really rooting for Roger Deakins here. Maybe not the strongest of the group, but it’s about time he was recognized for what he’s done.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Mad Max: Fury Road **WINNER**
The 100-Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared
The Revenant

Notes: It just seemed like it couldn’t be anything else.

Best Production Design

Bridge of Spies
The Danish Girl
Mad Max: Fury Road **WINNER**
The Martian
The Revenant

Notes Hard to imagine anything, from top to bottom, beating the production design of Fury Road.

Best Costume Design

Sandy Powell, Carol
Sandy Powell, Cinderella
Paco Delgado, The Danish Girl
Jenny Beavan, Mad Max: Fury Road **WINNER**
Jacqueline West, The Revenant

Notes: I guess since there were no true 18th century period pieces, Mad Max wins again!

Best Supporting Actress

Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
Rooney Mara, Carol
Rachel McAdams, Spotlight
Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl **WINNER**
Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

Notes: If this would have been for Ex Machina, I would tend to agree. Even though her work in The Danish Girl was one of the only bright spots of the film, Kate Winslet was the humanizing soul of Steve Jobs.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Charles Randolph and Adam McKay, The Big Short **WINNER**
Nick Hornby, Brooklyn
Phyllis Nagy, Carol
Drew Goddard, The Martian
Emma Donoghue, Room

Notes: In the absence of Aaron Sorkin for his brilliant Steve Jobs script, very nice to see Adam McKay take home an Oscar for the very impressive The Big Short.

Best Original Screenplay

Matt Charman, Joel Coen, and Ethan Coen, Bridge of Spies
Alex Garland, Ex Machina
Pete Docter, Megg LeFauve, and Josh Cooley, Inside Out
Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy, Spotlight **WINNER**
Jonathan Herman and Andrea Berloff, Straight Outta Compton

Notes: Assumed Straight Outta Compton‘s inclusion on this list would push it to the top. Outside of that, Spotlight would have been my third choice on this list behind Inside Out and Ex Machina. I guess we see where voters would eventually end up on this one, however.

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