From Spotlight to Brie Larson The Fan Carpet’s Federica Roberti shares her thoughts on the 88th Academy Awards Winners
After months and months spent watching all the movies nominated, writing down my usual predictions for the year and finally pulling an all-nighter to watch the ceremony live and realising that, once again, I got 18 out of 21 winners correct, now it's time to write down my commentary on the most anticipated evening in Hollywood, and more specifically on the winners for the 88th Academy Awards.
The night started out with a bang thanks to the powerful intro delivered by Chris Rock. Everyone was expecting at least a handful of jokes on the Oscar so White controversy, and, oh boy, he delivered with everything he had. The monologue was equal part funny and clever, and it made most of the audience uncomfortable, except for David O'Russell, who was laughing out loud and having a blast. However, what started out as some well delivered jabs to the Academy, it soon became exploited, when the jokes kept on coming throughout the evening and became more of a parody of the problem itself instead of a way to make people talk about it in a useful way. With that being said, luckily Chris Rock didn't do as bad as Neil Patrick Harris did last year, and that was a bonus.
Moving on to the awards itself, I have to say that, apart from some of the unexpected wins, I was pretty satisfied with the overall results. But let's proceed in order.
This year the Academy began the honours with what is at the foundation of every film, by awarding first and foremost all the technical category, starting with Screenplay.
The Best Original Screenplay was awarded to Spotlight, and without a shadow of a doubt it was well deserved, because this story was worthy of being told and Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy did an outstanding job in finding the right way and angle to tell it to the whole world.
For most, it came as a surprise when Spotlight won Best Picture as well. However, I believe that, among all the movies recognised this year, this was the one that deserved it the most because it had content, a great ensemble cast working together effortlessly, great plot's quality and an impressive leadership in directing.
The Big Short wasn't among the great winners of the evening, however, it got awarded Best Adapted Screenplay. The runner ups for this category were for sure Room, Brooklyn and maybe even The Martian, as all the screenplays were able to translate to the screen the emotions from the respective books.
I personally wanted Room to win because it was the most soulful and gripping movie among all of them, but I have to say that making arid subjects like economy and statistic interesting and entertaining required skills that needed to be recognised, so The Big Short deserved this particular award.
In the technical department it didn't come as a surprise that Miller's Mad Max: Fury Road received 6 Oscars out of the 10 nominations that it had garnered this season. Winner of Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, Production Design, Makeup and Hairstyling, Film Editing and Costume Design, Miller's visionary film lost Best Visual Effects to the underestimated Ex Machina. However, the 6 awards that it did gain were all well deserved. The artistry with which the cast and crew brought this story to life was astonishing and extraordinary.
Many fans believed that Miller should have been awarded for Best Director as well, however, even though Mad Max: Fury Road could have been a winner, The Revenant was nominated in those categories and, without any doubt, both Alejandro G. Iñarritu and Emmanuel Lubezki deserved their Oscar for Directing and Cinematography.
Their effort, hard work in the worst condition and their vision for this movie needed to be recognised, especially for Lubezki's commitment in shooting a film with natural light in brutal and challenging conditions. Once again this powerful duo pushed the boundaries of film making and they were rightly rewarded for it.
The other aspect that makes or breaks a movie is the cast and in particular the lead Actors and Actresses working to bring to the screen the words written in the screenplay.
This year, for me, there was no competition and the actual winners of Best Actress in a Leading Role and Best Actor in a Leading Role deserved the recognition. Both Brie Larson and Leonardo DiCaprio already brought home several awards throughout this season, and it didn't come as a surprise when their names were called on stage to receive the ultimate prize.
Brie Larson was Room's pillar. She holds the whole movie on her shoulders with the formidable help of her co-star Jacob Tremblay. Her deep understanding of her character was astonishing and she was able to portray both her strength and vulnerability throughout the movie.
Leonardo's commitment to the project, his character and the story itself, was finally recognised and it is safe to say that this victory was cumulative for all his hard work in The Revenant, a movie that he carried forward with his facial expressions and only a handful of lines, but also for all the past performances that were snubbed by the Academy.
I wasn't at all surprised when at the beginning of the night Alicia Vikander finally brought home her first Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. I was one of the few people that was angry with The Danish Girl, because it was a movie with huge potential that unfortunately, because of a weak and spotty screenplay, didn't reach its full potential.
However, Alicia Vikander's performance was one of the few things that saved this movie in my opinion. She portrayed Gerda's fragility, vulnerability, but also strength, fortitude and loyalty to her husband effortlessly. Her performance easily exceeded Eddie Redmayne's, even though he also had some great scenes throughout the movie.
The two shocking winners of last night were instead Best Supporting Actor and Best Original Song. I personally believe that for the first category Tom Hardy or Mark Ruffalo deserved to win the award, however, according to the Academy, Mark Rylance's performance as a Russian spy in Bridge of Spies was the one deserving of the Oscar.
For Best Original Song I was convinced that Lady Gaga and Diane Warren were going to win the award for their song “Till it Happens to You” for The Hunting Ground. I was also more convinced after the heartbreaking and heartfelt performance that Lady Gaga gave on the Dobly Theatre's stage. However, the winner was instead Sam Smith and Jimmy Napes' “Writing's on the Wall” for James Bond's twenty fourth adventure SPECTRE. This came as a surprise to me, since Sam Smith's performance last night was a little bit dull and the song's lyrics don't hold as strong a message as Warren and Gaga's song does.
What didn't come as a surprise at all was the Oscar to Ennio Morricone for Best Original Score for Tarantino's The Hateful Eight. Much like Leonardo DiCaprio, Morricone was finally awarded an Oscar for his sensational work as a Composer. The recognition was well deserved and everyone in the room was happy to see him on that stage.
For Best Foreign Movie I was sure that Son of Saul was going to win, even though, among the nominees a possible runner-up could have been Mustang. Both stories were gripping and honest, so I wasn't disappointed when Son of Saul won the Oscar last night.
Same goes for Inside Out, Disney•Pixar's film about what goes inside everyone's head which won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film and no one was surprised or unhappy about it.
All in all, last night was a great night to celebrate once again an amazing year in film, performance and art and I honestly can't wait to see what next year will bring to the table.
Written by Federica Roberti