SPECIAL COMMENTARY: OSCARS 2016

Well, the first thing I can say about this year’s Academy Awards is this: In stark contrast to last year…the vast majority of the movies taking center stage for 2016…were movies people ACTUALLY SAW–or, at the very least, knew about.  Just look at what was nominated–Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies, Ridley’s The Martian, The Revenant, Mad Max–all excellent…and all successful.

Well, the Oscar went to Spotlight.  Sad to say, I haven’t seen it yet.  From what I’ve heard, it’s a masterpiece of acting, and making the audience feel suspense at the sight of reporters at their desks.

I’d been all but sure Best Supporting Actor was locked for Sylvester Stallone–his performance in Creed was poignant, powerful, and true…at once filling us with fond memories of days gone by, and going the extra mile to give us all the knowledge that “Yeah…I’m feelin’ it too, ya know?”  Alas…it didn’t go to Sly, but to Mark Rylance, for his masterful portrayal of the Russian spy in Spielberg’s Bridge.  I really wanted Rocky to win…but Rylance deserved it, too–so I can’t complain.

The much-celebrated Inside Out got Best Animated Feature.  Haven’t seen it, but everyone I’ve met who has sings its praises to the heavens.  And so…I tip my fedora to Disney.

Ennio Morricone got his well-deserved Best Original Score (his first after a handful of nominations!) for The Hateful Eight…and this time, he didn’t need Quentin to accept the award for him!  Snubbed as this great Western by Tarantino may have been…QT can still bask in the satisfaction that it was his movie that got The Maestro his Oscar, at long last.

Mad Max cleaned up in the “technical” awards: Costuming; Production Design; Makeup/Hairstyling (Warboys!); Editing (Oh, yes…well-deserved–can I get a witness?); Sound Editing; and Sound Mixing (Hear the Doof Warrior’s flame guitar!).  All in all…a lovely day.

“The Writing’s On The Wall” from Spectre got Best Original Sound.  James Bond strikes again.  Well done, 007.

The Revenant secured Best Cinematography (All-natural lighting, and it STILL looked beautiful!) and Best Director (TWO IN A ROW, Alejandro!  Give yourself a pat on the back.).  And at long last…ladies…and gentleman…the Oscar for Best Actor goes to…Leonardo DeCaprio.

He deserved it, folks–conveying true intensity of human emotion while barely saying a word, throughout The Revenant.  Now if only he could learn to cut the “climate change” stuff…especially in an acceptance speech.  Look, Leo…I suppose you wanted to be “unselfish” in your golden moment, but–really: 1) the joke of your having a private jet while talking about energy conservation is too old for your words on this to have much credibility, and 2) we don’t watch these ceremonies for Important Issues.  See Halle Berry’s Best Actress speech, way back when….

Speaking of Important Issues…this ceremony went out of its way to beg forgiveness from Al Sharpton and company–when, as even Chris Rock pointed out, the “whiteness” isn’t the ceremony’s fault!  It’s just that there weren’t too many Great movies this year with black actors/actresses in major roles.  Had Beast Of No Nation, starring the magnificent Idris Elba, enjoyed an initial theatrical release, it may have been different.  On my end…this is what happens when the self-proclaimed “civil rights leaders” destroy the Blaxploitation genre by condemning it as “racist” despite its popularity among black audiences.  Had the genre lived on, we’d have seen it flourish, and mature, and…

But I digress.  Kudos to Chris Rock for his use of comedy to put a big spoonful of sugar on the whole scenario–and by taking a well-aimed shot at the “micro-aggressions” nonsense of modern Political Correctness, in particular complaints about asking women at the Oscars what they’re wearing.  “Not everything is racist–and not everything is sexist!”  Good for you, Chris.

Any comments of your own?  By all means, folks, comment away.  And of course…

Stay film-friendly, my friends.

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