Oscars Reaction: 2016
I've had a week to digest. I'm ready to reflect. Here are my gripes and greats! re: the 88th Academy Awards, aka #OscarsSoWhite, hosted by Chris Rock, directed by Glenn Weiss, produced by David Hill and Reginald Hudlin. "We all dream in gold."
- •Chris Rocked it.He had the unenviable yet necessary task of hosting one of if not the most controversial telecasts in history, and he did so by candidly addressing #OscarsSoWhite with humor and hope. In fact, clap it out that the Oscars (shout out Weiss) did the opposite of tiptoeing around or 'white-washing' the issue. Every clip montage, presenter, every moment of the show was geared toward addressing an absolute equality fail on Hollywood's part. 10 points for the Actor/Actress gender call out too Chris.
- •Whoopi!I invariably enjoy the show more when certain people are there. Whoopi Goldberg is one of those people.
- •Sound Category MontagesThese categories have it tough. Every telecast, the Academy tries to both counter the myth that these are "boring" awards and educate the uninformed masses just what the hell Editing vs. Mixing actually means. This year, they hit it outta the park. From the cacophony of crisp chrome clanks and clangs of Mad Max to the sudden shots and shocks of Sicario, the distinct aural atmosphere of each film was as clear as the categories (for once). Top marks! 👏👏🏿👏🏽👏🏻
- •Presenter Sarah SilvermanNot only was ragging on her former lover James Bond predictably hysterical from the comedian turned actress, but it was lovely recognition for her given that she missed (imho was snubbed) for a nom for her staggering work in I Smile Back. As a longtime fan of both her comedic and dramatic chops, I can't wait to see what she does next.
- •WTF?! momentsThere were a couple of these, and a few a year is to be expected (let us never forget the infamous Rob Lowe/Snow White 'Proud Mary' duet of '89...shudder). But the biggest and baddest goes to Stacey Dash for that where the hell did that come from peppy punchline without a punch: "Happy Black History Month!" She deserves a Razzie for that Oscar performance.
- •Brie Larson's speechBrie Larson's shoutout to Jacob Tremblay, who was only 8 when filming Room, was justice for me - HE SHOULD'VE BEEN NOMMED & imho won. There are so many underrepresented identities at the Oscars, but ageism really irks me. Child actors are often seen as 'being' instead of acting. If you've seen Room, you know that that performance required true skill and craft. Which he has in spades. Also, see: Tatum O'Neal, Dakota Fanning, Haley Joel Osment, Jaden Smith, Ayush Mahesh Khedekar, Anna Paquin, etc.
- •NOMINEE CLIPSFor me, the best part is seeing the clips. Whether it's in the acting categories or documentary short, the longer the clips, the better the show. They did a great job with selection and editing this year too.
- •I'll have the Spotlight Surprise!Yaaaasss, Spotlight, yaaaasss! Growing up in a devout Roman Catholic family/community (I was forced into Catholic school for a decade and made to serve as an altar boy in Albany - the first of the cities listed in Spotlight's final credits as one of the major epicenters of the scandal of sexual abuse), this was like JFK assassination, 9/11 big in terms of the collective local impact. To me, this is what filmmaking is about: not just artistic and technical excellence, but also social advocacy. 🎬