2016 Oscars Got Rock’ed, Still Offered Few Surprises

“Hollywood liberal” guilt, Chris Rock, and ] technical difficulties made up the Oscars this year. The usual boring ceremony was broken up with fairly enjoyable jokes, moments, and so many “sorries” it would annoy Justin Bieber. Chris Rock opened the night breaking up the #OscarsSoWhite with some solid jabs at the controversy including a crack at Jada Pinkett-Smith, joking about her anger at Will’s “snub” for Concussion. Rock’s comedy was welcomed, though that should have been the end of it.

Chris Rock

By mid-show Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs was out on stage proudly exclaiming the Academy’s intention to keep things fair and well represented in the Hollywood culture. It was gaudy and overdone; Rock should have been allowed to deliver his show as the writer, comedian, and actor he is without the reassurances from his handlers. As for the technical difficulties, there were weird camera angles, camera slips, and the occasional sound cut out which quite honestly felt like the censors doing their best to make sure the host they hired wasn’t too outrageous.

The awards themselves had a nice little mix-up of upsets along with what we as an audience would describe as unsurprising, and inevitable in some cases. Alejandro Iñárritu won his fourth Oscar tonight followed closely by Leonardo DiCaprio’s first ever Oscar win, both for the stunning The Revenant. Though it was an exciting moment for our dear DiCaprio, his subsequent long awaited speech was horribly boring and included an agenda that made all tree-hugging femme types blossom in a way the young ones are just beginning to understand. In fact, the usual list of agendas was primped and pushed as is the Oscar way. Upsets included Best Supporting Actor Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies) and a blazing series of deserved wins by Mad Max.

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There was a general lack of women’s rights mentions that was addressed by Rock as he brought up the gendered categories. We could argue over the merits behind judging gendered categories for days, but the awards were already 3.5 hours long and we only have so much of the reader’s attention when it comes to these recaps. Rock bringing in the Girl Scout troupe was Ellen-esque and cute for about thirty seconds until it was filler.

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The film shorts with black actors were pretty great, adding another humorous element past hosts were unable to grasp with their chosen (or rather, suggested) styles. The Stacey Dash joke was puzzling, though quickly explained on the Twitter-sphere as being Rock’s nod to “Black Twitter” and Dash’s earlier comments on eliminating Black History month. The Black History Minute was fantastic, and the tribute to Jack Black was hilarious in its parodied accuracy. Ali G put on a great show, and Sacha Baron Cohen continues his unpredictable reign of characters that mostly delight when brought out of their world into ours.

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The new ticker name system was distracting and grew increasingly hilarious as the it appeared that those who were not projected to win did not have one readily available. It’s like a reminder that your coach didn’t believe in you but cheered along with the crowd when you became an underdog champion.

Brie Larson took home her rightful Oscar for Best Actress for Room, a moment that looks like it will define her career. Spotlight came out as the surprise victor with Best Picture, one of two during the evening. Emmanuel Lubezki took home his third Oscar in three years for The Revenant, and the million-year-old demi-god Ennio Morricone finally got his gold for his beautiful The Hateful Eight score. Joe Biden’s appearance was surprising but welcomed as shown by the standing ovation; it’s a weird world we live in when our Vice President is introducing a pop-star at an awards ceremony. Gaga’s performance was inspiring if not a little dull, and she was robbed of her potential EGOT (she’ll be the next one we all know it).  With that said, all in all it was another perfectly bland year at the Oscars.

88th Annual Academy Awards - Show

Check out our Oscar predictions from January and compare our guesses to the winners (hint- out of ten we got six right). Turns out it’s funny to read assurances of victory after a heavy loss. We’ve got the full list of winners below, take a look and start putting your hens in a row for 2017 with (probable) host Kevin Hart; who would say no to Rock’s endorsement after this year’s prominent white guilt?

Best picture

“Spotlight”

Best actor

Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Revenant”

Best actress

Brie Larson, “Room”

Best supporting actor

Mark Rylance, “Bridge of Spies”

Best supporting actress

Alicia Vikander, “The Danish Girl”

Best director

“The Revenant,” Alejandro G. Iñárritu

Best original screenplay

“Spotlight,” by Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy

Best adapted screenplay

“The Big Short,” Charles Randolph and Adam McKay

Best costume design

“Mad Max: Fury Road,” Jenny Beavan

Best production design

“Mad Max: Fury Road,” production design by Colin Gibson; set decoration by Lisa Thompson

Best makeup and hairstyling

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

Best cinematography

“The Revenant,” Emmanuel Lubezki

Best film editing

“Mad Max: Fury Road,” Margaret Sixel

Best sound editing

“Mad Max: Fury Road,” Mark Mangini and David White

Best sound mixing

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

Best visual effects

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

Best animated short film

“Bear Story,” Gabriel Osorio and Pato Escala

Best animated feature film

“Inside Out,” Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera

Best documentary, short subject

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

Best documentary feature

“Amy,” Asif Kapadia and James Gay-Rees

Best live-action short film

“Stutterer,” Benjamin Cleary and Serena Armitage

Best foreign-language film

“Son of Saul,” Hungary

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

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