The Oscars: The Good, the Bad and the Bizarre

The Oscars 2016 

Awards season is finally over and we can take a breather for a few months before the next crop of great movies start to hit the theaters. In the meantime, a few quick thoughts:

The Good:

  • I loved that Spotlight won for Best Picture. It was my favorite and for once, the “Preferential Balloting” (Google it – crazy complicated!) system worked! Revenant was not the best picture and did not deserve to win.
  • Mark Rylance’s win for Best Supporting Actor. I admit I did not see “Creed” although I understand Stallone’s performance was very good and he was the sentimental favorite. Mark Rylance is a brilliant actor and it is so nice to see such a humble and lovely man get an award like this after a career of toiling in obscurity.
  • Chris Rock’s monologue and general handling of the “Oscars So White” controversy. Many of his jokes were perfectly delivered and on target. I loved the sketches with the African American actors inserted into the white movies and the interviews with the Compton moviegoers who had not seen any of this years nominated films was an important revelation.  The monologue hit the right tone for the occasion although as the show went on there were some less than perfect moments (see below).
  • Leo finally gets his Oscar
  • Lady Gaga’s moving song with the sexual assault survivors coming in at the end
  • Loved the surprise win in Visual Effects for Ex Machina.

The Bad:

  • The length. This show was way too long. Movement of any acting awards to the middle of the show made for an excruciating first hour as did the long parade of technical awards all won by Mad Max.
  • Chris Rock’s monologue was brilliant and we get it but there was an overkill element to the message as the show went on though. We didn’t really need Kevin Hart hammering it in for example.
  • I must be the one person on earth who did not care for Mad Max although I did appreciate some of the special effects. That being said, its sweep of the technical awards  (except visual effects) was unfortunate. This was a place that Star Wars could have been honored and I believe it should have been. There were enough awards here to be shared and it would have been nice if there were more representation.

The Bizarre:

  • The bit with Stacey Dash fell flat. It was clear that I was not the only one who had no idea who this person is or why she was talking about Black History month. The audience had no idea what the joke was either.
  • Also the bit with the Asian kids fell flat as did Rock’s decision to make a joke about lynching.
  • Who the heck decided it was a good idea to only do three songs of the 5 nominated? I really liked the 50 Shades of Grey Song but the whole bondage/Cirque Du Soleil stuff going on was a tad strange

The Future:

A friend of mine sent this article to me about the High Tech Industry and Data Analytics being able to predict the Oscar awards without ever seeing the movies. They didn’t get the top award right this year but I suspect it has to do more with being able to control the variables for “Preferential Voting” in the top category, which with some more research could easily change. Big Data is the future and everyone doing Oscar ballots should take note!




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