Monday, February 29, 2016

by Janet J. Lawler
Host Chris Rock
The 88th Annual Academy Awards were held at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday.

Chris Rock hosted and did a great job in an award season filled with protests, boycotts and charges of racism against the Academy.  Rock delivered jabs at everyone including actress Jada Pinkett Smith for boycotting the Oscars.  Rock asked the power audience: "Isn't she on TV?  Jada Pinkett Smith boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rhianna's panties.  I wasn't invited." 

Lady Gaga stands with other survivors of sexual assault
Some of the other highlights of the show were Lady Gaga belting out her nominated song "Til It Happens to You" (from the documentary The Hunting Ground) with survivors of sexual assault joining her on stage. 
VP Joe Biden
Gaga was introduced by Vice President Joe Biden.  The Veep received a standing ovation from the Hollywood crowd.  He urged Americans and those 80 million watching around the world to take the pledge to "change the culture" of sexual assault on college campuses.

The high point of the night for many was Leonardo DiCaprio's win for Best Actor for his role in The Revenant.  He thanked his parents and addressed climate change and its impact on future generations. The Twitter universe broke records congratulating him.
Leonardo DiCaprio
British singer and Oscar winner Sam Smith won for Best Original Song for the 2015 Bond thriller “Spectre,”He dedicated his Oscar to the LBGT community.  I read an article a few months ago, by Sir Ian McKellen, and he said no openly gay man had ever won an Oscar, and if this is the case — and even if it isn’t the case — I want to dedicate this to the L.G.B.T. community all around the world.”to the LBGT community and saying he's a "proud openly gay man".  Great moment, but not quite factual.  Screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, an openly gay man, won in 2009 for his Best Original Screenplay for "Milk", among others.

There were a few upsets during the ABC show.  Spotlight nabbing Best Picture over expected favorite The Revenant.   Spotlight also won for Best Original Screenplay written by Josh Singer & Tom McCarthy.

Sylvester Stallone took a knock-out punch not winning the Oscar for his supporting role Rocky in CREED (no doubt for political reasons). Earlier in the ceremony, Chris Rock tagged CREED "The Black Rocky" even though no blacks received nominations for the hit film.  The Best Supporting Actor award instead went to Mark Rylance for his performance in "Bridge of Spies".

The Oscars closing credits played to the anti-establishment song "Fight the Power", the hip hop classic used in the 1989 iconic Spike Lee movie "Do the Right Thing".  

If the Academy didn't get the message, it's tone deaf.  Spike Lee, who refused to attend the Oscars this year in favor of a New York Knicks game, got the last word after all.

Here is a complete list of the winners.  

Best Picture

Michael Sugar, Steve Golin, Nicole Rocklin and Blye Pagon Faust, Producers

Best Actor

Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant

Best Actress

Brie Larson, Room

Best Directing

Alejandro G. Iñárritu, The Revenant, 
Best Original Song

“Writing’s On The Wall” from Spectre
Music and Lyric by Jimmy Napes and Sam Smith

Best Original Score

The Hateful Eight
Ennio Morricone

Best Foreign Language Film

Son of Saul (Hungary)

Best Live Action Short Film
Benjamin Cleary and Serena Armtiage

Best Documentary Feature
Asif Kapadia and James Gay-Rees

Best Documentary Short Subject

A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness
Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy

Best Supporting Actor

Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies

Best Animated Feature Film

Inside Out
Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera

Best Animated Short Film

Bear Story
Gabriel Osorio and Pato Escala

Best Visual Effects

Ex Machina
Andrew Whitehurst, Paul Norris, Mark Ardington and Sara Bennett

Best Sound Mixing

Mad Max: Fury Road
Chris Jenkins, Gregg Rudloff and Ben Osmo

Best Sound Editing

Mad Max: Fury Road
Mark Mangini and David White

Best Film Editing

Mad Max: Fury Road
Margaret Sixel

Best Cinematography

The Revenant
Emmanuel Lubezki

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Mad Max: Fury Road
Lesley Vanderwalt, Elka Wardega and Damian Martin

Best Production Design

Mad Max: Fury Road
Production Design: Colin Gibson; Set Decoration: Lisa Thompson

Best Costume Design

Mad Max: Fury Road
Jenny Beavan

Best Supporting Actress

Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl

Adapted Screenplay

The Big Short
Screenplay by Charles Randolph and Adam McKay

Best Original Screenplay

Written by Josh Singer & Tom McCarthy