Review and Analysis on the 88th Academy Awards
This year’s Oscars were very boring as a ceremony, but as for the categories and awards, I must say that I was pleasantly surprised as a lot were very unpredictable with some of the choices being quite different then what was expected. But because most of my favorite movies weren’t even nominated, I wasn’t thrilled to watch the ceremony and I was so pleasantly surprised that many choices were different and done for the better. That was not only great for the more deserving movies to win, but also because the Academy is getting quite unpredictable and bold these last couple of years which I strongly appreciate.
The 88th Academy Awards ceremony was incredibly disappointing and after last year’s forgettable ceremony, this one was even worse in my opinion. Chris Rock was such a mediocre host as all he did was joke about the controversy surrounding the lack of diversity at the Oscars. To me, that would have been fine and should have been touched upon, but once again it shouldn’t be the entire focus of the show. His jokes were so uninspired and so repetitive while also being for the most part boring and unfunny.
As for some types of homage or film tributes, this was the worst year for the Academy as far as I can remember because they did not bother at all. Not any film or theme or anything film related was emphasized or brought upon this year and that was truly disappointing. As for the awards, the use of Woody and Buzz was interesting albeit not funny and some of the categories were very well realized with the sound editing and mixing showcasing the strengths of the nominees in the best way possible. As for the speeches, a couple of them were interesting, but for the most part they were either too brief or boring and too many presenters made stupid jokes that did not work at all. The whole show was paced poorly as it started in a rushed manner and ended like that as well with the middle parts being prolonged and dull. It is the most tedious and most forgettable ceremony in years.
This was one of the worst years for film and most especially for this category as most of the truly great movies of the year such as Carol, Inside Out or Ex Machina weren’t even nominated. My favorite is of course Room as it is not only the best and the only truly worthy movie of the nominees, but the year’s finest film as well. Other nominee were mostly either solid or mediocre and the winner was Spotlight which took me by surprise. But I loved that choice and was so relieved as The Revenant would have been such a bad choice and one of the worst ever for the Academy. But they thankfully went with Spotlight which is far from a great movie and is a typical Best Picture material, but at least is a good and well made film. But it is still the most unexpected and weird choice of the night as it only got one other award which is rare.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Spotlight won in this category which is just ridiculous to think about. Ex Machina had such a complex and strong original story whereas Inside Out is the most original and unique film of the year. But they went with a safe choice and made a terrible mistake in the process.
Alejandro Inarritu won the award and is the third director in history to receive an Oscar for two years in a row. That is just a travesty as The Revenant is such an awful movie and most importantly, such a badly directed and pointless movie with no sense or clear goal whatsoever. This was the worst choice of the night by far. To me any other nominee would be more deserving with Lenny Abrahamson of course being the best choice.
Leonardo DiCaprio finally won his Oscar, but for the wrong movie. His turn as Hugh Glass is so overrated and evidently so-so that I honestly think this is one of the weakest wins in this category for years. Because Jacob Tremblay wasn’t even nominated, Michael Fassbender should have won as he gave the best performance of the nominees.
Brie Larson won for Best Actress and this is the only Oscar for Room which is just horrible to think about. But she deserved this award without any doubt as she gave a powerhouse performance in such a demanding role. Nobody here comes even close to her of the either nominees and thankfully the Academy got it right.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
This is probably the biggest upset of the evening because Sylvester Stallone who was the expected winner lost to Mark Rylance. This entire category this year is an incredibly weak one, but this was still such an odd choice as Mark Ruffalo would have been a much better choice. Mark Rylance was so forgettable in Bridge of Spies and he didn’t do anything truly impressive there which is why this is one of the weirdest and most disappointing choices.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
This is one messed up category as both Alicia Vikander and Rooney Mara were leads in their movie, but ended up in this category instead. However, that only made this category stronger and is to me the strongest category this year along with the animated categories as Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kate Winslet and of course Rooney Mara would have all been perfectly fine choices, but it ended up being Alicia Vikander which was expected, but satisfying to me as she gave such a fantastic performance and overall had an amazing year.
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
And this award went to Ex Machina which was just awesome! I was so thrilled to see this happen as Ex Machina is such a great movie that benefits from some excellent special effects sparingly used. I was impressed with the Academy’s recognition of this movie here instead of the more flashier Mad Max or Star Wars. This was much deserved and such a wonderful choice.
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
This was the most impressive category this year as most of the nominees are not only great movies, but are very diverse in language and style. When Marnie Was There was probably my favorite film here, but Inside Out of course won which was a clichéd, but still satisfying choice as it is one of the best and most authentic films of the year. I just wish that sometimes their choices for the win were as interesting as their nominations slate is.
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
This wasn’t the greatest year for foreign movies as well, but Son of Saul is a perfectly fine choice as the movie is not great, but is definitely quite good and is frankly the best winning movie in this category for years.
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
I feared that Cartel Land would win, but thankfully Amy took the trophy here which was so satisfying as it is such a good and emotional movie that is at least interesting to watch and is not a political film for a change.
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT FILM
I haven’t seen any of the nominees here, but the win for A Girl in the River: A Price for Forgiveness was unexpected because Body Team 12 has such a relevant subject matter.
BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM
This was one of the most pleasant surprises of the year! I expected Shok to win (which would have been so horrible as the movie is awful) or any of the other nominees but Stutterer which in the end won in such a surprising turn of events. The fact that the most sweet and romantic film of the bunch won is great while it is also the best movie here in my opinion.
BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM
This was another unexpected choice, but the one that is very interesting to me. World of Tomorrow and Sanjay’s Super Team are both more deserving and both are superb movies, but Bear Story is also such a good movie that is beautifully crafted and animated. This was a very strong year for both feature and short animation and most of the nominees here were great which is why I found this choice to be satisfying and unique.
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
The Hateful Eight got the award for score despite having poorly incorporated music in it. Carol should have gotten this one as it is the only film of the year that has fantastic and memorable original music.
BEST ORIGINAL SONG
This was the weakest category of the year with all of the songs being boring and forgettable. Writing’s on the Wall from Spectre won which wasn’t expected, but still wasn’t satisfying.
BEST SOUND EDITING
BEST SOUND MIXING
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
This is one of the strongest aspects of Mad Max: Fury Road which is why it deserved to win this one for sure.
BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
Mad Max got this one as well and rightfully so as it had some great makeup in it and it relied on that aspect quite a bit.
BEST COSTUME DESIGN
I found this choice to be unexpected, but in an unfortunately disappointing way as both Carol and The Danish Girl have much better costumes and rely on that aspect much more. Either of those movies would have been an excellent choice, but the Academy made a big mistake.
BEST FILM EDITING
Mad Max: Fury Road received the award for editing which is a good choice because all of the other nominees aren’t particularly well edited movies with most of them even being not that great.
In the end, whereas this film year is incredibly weak and the nominees are quite problematic, the Academy at least shook things up a bit with a couple of unpredictable and interesting choices given. The ceremony itself was bad, but at least some deserved and different winners were announced and that was a great development.