“This year, in the in memoriam package, it’s just going to be black people that were shot on their way to the movies.”
There is no analysis of the Oscars needed beyond reading transcripts of Chris Rock’s monologue, and subsequent bits through the evening. (Stacey “Clueless” Dash was a you-got -it, or you-didn’t joke.) I’ll cover all 24 awards presented.
Stacey Dash at Oscars Feb 28: “Happy Black History Month!”
Stacey Dash on FOX Jan 20: DOOCY: “Are you saying there shouldn’t be a Black History Month because there isn’t a white history month? ” DASH: “Exactly. Exactly.”
“Tonight we honour someone who has shattered barriers with his ground-breaking performances, whether in serious dramas like Enemy Of The State, or in whimsical animated productions like Shark Tale, or as part of an iconic musical duo where he was a fresher talent.” Black History Month Minute: Oscars Edition
There was a definite theme: To afflict the comfortable and to comfort the afflicted.
“This film gave a voice to survivors, and this Oscar amplifies that voice, which we hope will become a choir that will resonate all the way to the Vatican. Pope Francis, it’s time to protect the children and restore the faith.” Best Picture Spotlight producer Michael Sugar. (also Best Original Screenplay)
“If you don’t want big money to control government, don’t vote for candidates that take money from big banks, oil, or weirdo billionaires.” The Big Short screenwriter Adam McKay (adapted from Michael Lewis’ 2010 novel The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine)
Joe Biden: “Despite significant progress over the last few years, too many women and men on and off college campuses are still victims of sexual abuse, and tonight, I’m asking you to join millions of Americans…to take the pledge: a pledge that says that I will intervene in situations when consent has not or cannot be given. Let’s change the culture.”
Lady Gaga holds hands with survivors of sexual abuse after singing her Oscar-nominated song “Til It Happens to You” at the 88th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California February 28, 2016. . REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni – RTS8HSO
“what a great opportunity to our generation to really liberate ourselves from all prejudice and, you know, this tribal thinking and make sure for once and forever that the color of our skin become as irrelevant as the length of our hair.” The Revenant director Alejandro González Iñárritu
“Climate change is real. It is happening right now. It is the most urgent threat facing our entire species and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating. We need to support leaders around the world who do not speak for the big polluters, the big corporations, but who speak for all of humanity, for the indigenous people of the world.” actor Leonardo diCaprio
“I just want to say one quite serious thing. I’ve been thinking about this a lot, but actually it could be horribly prophetic, ‘Mad Max,’ If we’re not kinder to each other, and if we don’t stop polluting our atmosphere, so you know, it could happen.” Mad Max: Fury Road costume designer Jenny Beavan
Every category, every introduction, every thank you was material for Chris Rock.
“Please welcome Emily Blunt and someone even whiter, Charlize Theron!”
The first African presenter of the evening: Charlize Theron.
Sam Smith, NOT the first openly gay man to win Best Song for “Writing’s On The Wall” from Spectre.
Chris Rock riffing on an all white-gay-Brits-singers-are interchangeable joke “Love your song ‘Father Figure‘”
Mad Max: Fury Road won 6 out of 8 artistic and technical awards presented – a multicultural crew and a female Film Editor. (Also Makeup, Sound Mixing and Sound Editing.)
“It never ceases to annoy me how many people it takes to make me look competent. To get one of these, you got an idea of the multitudes, the multitudes of Australians, New Zealanders, Brits, Americans, South Africans, Namibians, who all came together under George’s vision to bring you a tale about a man with mental health issues, an amputee Amazon and five runaway sex slaves … so, uh, I’d like to chalk this one up as the first Oscar for diversity.” Mad Max: Fury Road production designer Colin Gibson
Cinematography for the very publicized The Revenant: man’s relationship with the natural world.
Shooting in Canada and Argentina, cinematographer Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubezki: “We wanted to make a movie that was immersive and visceral. The idea of using natural light came because we wanted the audience to feel, I hope, that this stuff is really happening.”
Visual Effects for the underknown Ex Machina: man’s relationship with machines.
“If you stand with the machine, which is where I stand, then this film becomes about a creature, indistinguishable in any meaningful sense from a human being, who is trapped and wants to get out.” Ex Machina writer-director Alex Garland
And the offscreen technical awards, and Munn’s referencing the future of technology leads to a Disney commercial disguised as homage.
Acknowleging the 11 offscreen presented science and technical awards. Olivia Munn was happy to “bask in the achievements of Hollywood’s top engineers, programmers, and scientists to find out the exact day that robots take over.”
BB-8, R2-D2, C-3PO from ‘Star Wars’. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Disney owns Stars Wars, Disney owns ABC, ABC hosts the Oscars this year. Merchandise in the lobby.
The Supporting white guy in the black film didn’t win, a different Supporting white guy did in a white film. The Supporting white girl won for The Danish Girl. The big star won for the big film. Brie Larson, pre- her win for Room for playing a kidnapping and sexual assault survivor, stood up to hug every single sexual assault survivor that performed with Lady Gaga.
Ennio Morricone didn’t win for his spaghetti western scores in the 60s, but he catches up with the score for Quentin Tarantino’s post-modern faux-nostalgia western The Hateful Eight.
Only 3 of 5 nominated songs were performed which seems highly unusual. Often my least favourite category (because songs played over credits are not always integral to the film itself), but at least it should be a fair playing ground.
Transgendered artist ANOHNI’s song “Manta Ray” – about ecocide – from the film Racing Extinction, and David Lang and Sumi Jo’s operatic “Simple Song #3” from Youth were not performed. That’s not right. They would benefit from the exposure more than the over-exposed Lady Gaga, Sam Smith, or The Weeknd.
The other winning films, in the speciality categories, intrigue me just by the IMDB synopsis:
Son of Saul (Best Foreign Film -Hungary): Two days in the life of Saul Auslander, Hungarian prisoner working as a member of the Sonderkommando at one of the Auschwitz Crematoriums who, to bury the corpse of a boy he takes for his son, tries to carry out his impossible deed: salvage the body and find a rabbi to bury it.
Stutterer (Best Live Action Short): A lonely typographer with a cruel speech impediment but an eloquent inner voice must face his greatest fear.
Animation brings film to places it couldn’t otherwise be.
Inside Out’s (Best Animated Feature) Pete Docter: “Anyone out there who’s in junior high, high school, working it out, suffering — there are days you’re going to feel sad. You’re going to feel angry. You’re going to feel scared. That’s nothing you can choose. But you can make stuff. Make films. Draw. Write. It will make a world of difference.”
The only useful ticker tape thank you of the night.
Documentary, Seekers of truth.
And the single most important film of the year: “A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness”. Louis CK pointed out the passion required to produce documentary short films. While they may not be lucrative, they can change the world.
“This is what happens when determined women get together,” said Obaid-Chinoy in her Oscar acceptance speech. “This week the Pakistani Prime Minister has said that he will change the law on honour killing after watching this film. That is the power of film.”
Saba Qaser, the subject of her film, survived being shot in the head by her father and uncle because she dared to elope for love at age 18. (Filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy won her first Oscar in 2012 for a documentary short “Saving Face” about acid attacks on women, also set in Pakistan.)
“The impact of her story is tremendous, because it is going to change lives, and it’s going to save lives, and there can be no greater reward than that.
“The power of being nominated for an Academy Award really does mean for a country like Pakistan that you can change laws.”
“From Saba, the woman in my film who remarkably survived an honour killing and shared her story, to Sheila Nevins and Lisa Heller from HBO, to Tina Brown, who supported me from day one. To the men who champion women, like Geof Bartz in my film, who’s edited the film, to Asad Faruqi, to my friend Ziad, who brought this film to the government.
“To all the brave men out there, like my father and my husband, who push women to go to school and work, and who want a more just society for women.”
Pakistani-Canadian journalist and filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy accepts the award for Best Documentary Short Subject Film for “A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness” at the 88th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California on February 28, 2016. Photo: Reuters
Chuck D. and Professor Griff of Public Enemy have complained about the use of their song “Fight The Power” as the outro music.
“I wanna invite everybody here to the BET Awards this summer, and I just want to say goodnight, this has been an amazing experience. Congratulate all the Oscar winners, buy some Girl Scout cookies — Black Lives Matter. Thank you.”