So after all the build-up, the Academy Awards 2016 are officially over, but once again the ceremony proved to be the occasion of the year (even if it’s almost impossible to watch here in the UK). As with any awards ceremony, there are the obvious winners and winners that may shock or surprise us and so I’m going to separate this blog into two halves; what I feel were the obvious and the not-so-obvious winners of the 2016 Oscars.
The Revenant: Only 3 Oscars?
Yes, The Revenant took arguably three of the biggest awards of the night, but I was also expecting this feature to take away the majority of the technical and design awards (such as Editing, Sound, Costume,Make-up , etc.), or even take the award for Best Picture overall. However, the Academy decided only to once again reward Best Director to Alejandro G. Inarritu, making him the 3rd director ever to have won this award two years in a row. They also finally gave Leo Di Caprio his first oscar for Best Actor, after six previous nominations and over 2 decades in the industry he was long overdue the award. Finally, Emmanuel Lubezki won the award for Best Cinematography, which again was highly deserved as the camera work in The Revenant is unlike anything I’ve ever watched in other features; this award also makes this his 3rd award in a row for Cinematography – another Oscar record.
Mad Max: Fury Road – 6 Oscars!?
Yes, really, a lot of people are surprised that this feature clocked up so many awards at the ceremony. However, I did expect this feature to be quite the competitor because of how much positivity it received from critics, despite it being a crazy and intense cinematic experience. The fourth instalment to the classic 80’s franchise won awards for Sound Editing and Mixing as well as Film Editing, Costume Design, Hairstyling and Make-Up and finally Production Design. I was particularly pleased that Margaret Sixel, the only nominated female editor won the award, up against some very strong competition from other features. Overall, this feature was the winner of the most awards during the 2016 ceremony.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens walks away empty-handed
Out of the 5 awards that the latest instalment of the franchise was nominated for, Star Wars: The Force Awakens didn’t take any more Oscars home to add to its collection. I had predicted that John Williams would take home his 6th academy award for Original Score in the feature. After all, what can be more deserving of the award than the classic Star Wars theme music; The Hateful Eight‘s soundtrack obviously(?) I also expected the feature to take the award for Visual Effects, however independent feature Ex Machina took everyone by surprise, taking the award away from big-budget features such as The Martian and Mad Max as well as Star Wars.
Best Picture goes to……Spotlight?
Although I did enjoy this feature when watching it there were points when I found it slow-moving and I didn’t tremendously enjoy all of the cast’s acting; aside from Mark Ruffalo who always manages to impress me with his passion for getting into character. When looking at the other nominees I’m surprised that The Revenant or Mad Max didn’t win, since they were so highly acclaimed by critics and Spotlight was the movie equivalent of Marmite; critics seemed to either love it or hate it. The Original Screenplay written by Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer also won an award, bringing the feature’s total to two awards. Overall, the feature is not completely undeserving of their awards, after all it does bring to light one of the most important yet widely unknown subjects that the US and as a consequence, the world dealt with in the previous decade.
British Winners 2016
2016 was another good year for the British film industry with Mark Rylance winning Best Supporting Actor for Bridge of Spies, Sam Smith winning Best Original Song with “Writing’s on the Wall” written for recent James Bond feature Spectre and controversially, Amy won Best Documentary Feature for its portrayal of the late soul singer, Amy Winehouse. This was awarded to the filmmakers Asif Kapadia and James Gay-Rees, despite the fact that the film was criticised by members of Amy’s family for not representing her in the correct way.
Newcomer Actresses steal the show….
New girls on the scene Brie Larson and Alicia Vikander, took away the awards for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress – both were extremely deserving of the awards and looked absolutely stunning on the night, powerful role-models for any females in the industry.
‘Is the Academy Racist?’
Chris Rock, being an extremely talented african-american male in the industry had the difficult task of hosting the Oscars in a year of so much political and social controversy. However, I think the way he tackled the issue was extremely successful; he spoke openly about the subject with his bold witty humour right at the beginning of the ceremony, in his opening monologue. I hope that some change will come out of all the controversy but, at the end of the day, as long as other minorities are still given the same opportunities as white males in the industry that’s all we can ask for.
Oscar Ramble Over.