Though SPOTLIGHT ultimately stole the spotlight from THE REVENANT, and BRIDGE OF SPIES’ Mark Rylance KO’d the finishing touch on CREED star Sylvester Stallone’s comeback, Oscar night 2016 in some ways belonged to MAD MAX: FURY ROAD.
The Australian dystopian steampunk thriller snagged the most awards of any film. Though they were in technical categories (critical categories but not considered the Big Ones — Best Picture, Director, Actress, Actor, Supporting Actress, Supporting Actor, Screenplay [original or adapted]) — the film knocked STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS right off the stage, sweeping to such a degree, part of me started to think it had a chance of taking Best Director and maybe even Best Picture.
Though that wasn’t to be, it still took six statues: Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Production Design, Best Sound Editing, and Best Sound Mixing.
Host Chris Rock opened the show with a monologue that took on the diversity issue plaguing the Academy head-on. Sadly, the rest of the show was a classic example of beating a dead horse. It was awkward and unwieldy with too many skits and painful moments:
• Why was Sarah Silverman rambling about James Bond being a poor lover … ????
• Did we need to spend time selling Girl Scout cookies when winners were being played offstage because there wasn’t enough time?
• Did we need to go to Compton to find out your average moviegoer hasn’t seen SPOTLIGHT or BROOKLYN? Seemed more like a skit for a late-night talk show.…
• Could Stacey Dash’s appearance following her controversial remarks about Black History Month have been a more resounding thud of failure? (But, hey, who knew she could poke fun at herself!)
Regardless, there were shining moments, too:
• EX MACHINA’s Alicia Vikander capped off her coming-out year with a little gold man for Best Supporting Actress for THE DANISH GIRL.
• EX MACHINA itself was a surprise winner in the Best Visual Effects category.
• INSIDE OUT, to no one’s surprise, won Best Animated Feature Film.
• And supermodel Chrissy Teigen expressed what essentially we all were thinking through most of the show.