It's official. I'm pleased to say that I correctly predicted 18/24 awards last night including Spotlight as Best Picture which made me too happy for words. Aside from the incessant shoving of the host's agenda with complete disregard for the other important social issues that were being honored by proxy through the awards, it was a wonderful ceremony. Here are my favorite moments and best-dressed picks:
Jacob Tremblay's reaction to the Star Wars droids
Honestly, he is my favorite thing about this entire award season.
Mad Max sweeping the categories
I was half expecting to see the Doof Warrior ascend the stage to take his award for best thing to ever happen in cinema, but I'm pleased that the Mad Max crew deservedly won the most awards.
Alicia Vikander's existence
The yellow dress was a disappointment following the flawless Louis Vuitton at the Globes but she pulled it off because she is Alicia Vikander. While I had hoped she would have been nominated for Ex Machina, I was happy to see her win for The Danish Girl just so that I could hear her acceptance speech.
Leo DiCaprio's acceptance speech and the presence of The Revenant's Native American cast
It was a testament to great character that Leo used the bulk of his very first Oscar's acceptance speech to speak out about climate change and the importance of honoring our environment. I also enjoyed seeing some of the Native American cast members in the audience whose reactions proved that a win for Leo was a win for them as well.
Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy's win for short subject documentary.
First, I recommend that everyone watch the winning short subject documentary A Girl in the River (HBO). The film is the story of one girl, Saba Qaiser, who miraculously survived an attempted honor killing at the hands of her father and uncle---one of 5,000 honor killings that happen per year internationally. I won't give away Saba's entire story because you really should watch the documentary. However, the standout moment to me was when director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy announced that, upon seeing the film, Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif made a public statement denouncing honor violence and vowed to take action to eliminate the practice from Pakistani society.
The indicators were all over the place this year, so it was difficult to pinpoint a predicted winner for Best Picture. I knew that it would either be The Revenant or Spotlight. Once Inarittu won for Best Director, I had an inkling that The Revenant may take the prize. However, as Morgan Freeman took the stage to announce the winner, I had this weird supernatural feeling that Spotlight would win and I've never been more happy to be right. This film is so much more than an Oscar win. Cinematically, it's flawless. There was not one bad scene nor one poor performance. More importantly, it brings to light an incredible, systemic injustice whose victims deserve to be heard. My hope is that Spotlight's recognition will follow the path of The Girl In The River and help to make lasting change in and beyond the Catholic community.
Emerald was killing the game last night. I've followed Saoirse Ronan's career since Atonement and have never seen her look better than in this Calvin Klein dress with the dark eye and messy hair. The same praise goes to Rachel McAdams whose minimalist approach was elevated by the jewel tone. Honorable mentions go to Charlotte Rampling, Cate Blanchett, and Charlize Theron.