Oscars recap: The Shape of Water wins Best Picture at the 90th Academy Awards

The Shape of Water wins Best Picture at the 90th Academy Awards

A politically-charged but somewhat sedate Oscars nights caps off awards season

By Jedd Jong

Many presenters and winners at the 90th Academy Awards made impassioned calls for inclusivity and acceptance in the filmmaking industry and beyond, so it seemed apt that a film helmed by a Mexican director about a romance between a woman and an amphibian monster took home the top prize. The Shape of Water was nominated for 13 Oscars and took home four.

The Oscars were held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday, March 4. The stage was framed by a proscenium arch studded with a whopping 45 million Swarovski crystals. The stage design incorporated geometric art deco elements morphing as the night went on.

Jimmy Kimmel took on hosting duties for the second consecutive year, making repeated references to the infamous Best Picture mix-up that took place at last year’s ceremony, when La La Land was mistaken announced as the Best Picture winner when it was Moonlight that had won.

Kimmel spoke pointedly about the Me Too and Times Up movements, joking “We will always remember this year as the year men screwed up so badly, women started dating fish.” He quipped that the Oscar figure is “the most respected, beloved man in Hollywood,” because he “keeps his hands where you can see them, never says a rude word, and most importantly, [has] no penis at all.” Kimmel added that it was “literally a statue of limitations”.

Just as it was last year, the ceremony was a political one, but the sentiment of giving platforms to new voices and opening the playing field came across as heartfelt. Some of the lighter moments included Kimmel’s promise that the winner who gave the shortest acceptance speech would take home a Kawasaki jet ski. Later in the ceremony, Kimmel led some attendees, including Gal Gadot and Mark Hamill, over to the TCL Chinese Theatre across the street from the Dolby Theatre to surprise moviegoers who were attending a preview screening of A Wrinkle in Time.

Following the drama of the Best Picture kerfuffle last year, nothing at this year’s ceremony was quite as dramatic, and things felt a little low-key. As this was the 90th anniversary of the Oscars, there were tributes to past winners. Living legends like 93-year-old Eva Marie Saint and 86-year-old Rita Moreno were among the presenters. Moreno made a throwback fashion choice, wearing the same skirt she wore to the Oscars when she won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for West Side Story in 1962.

The show itself might not have been too exciting, but there were several rousing speeches from the winners.

One of the night’s most memorable moments came during Frances McDormand’s acceptance speech. McDormand, who won Best Actress for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, asked all the female nominees in every category to stand, sharing her spotlight with all of them. “Look around, ladies and gentlemen, because we all have stories to tell and projects we need financed,” she said. She ended her speech with the words “inclusion rider”, encouraging actresses to demand that projects draw from a more gender and race-inclusive pool of talent.

The contribution that immigrants make to America and its culture was also highlighted. “With Coco, we tried to take a step forward toward a world where all children can grow up seeing characters in movies that look and talk and live like they do,” director Lee Unkrich said. “Marginalized people deserve to feel like they belong. Representation matters.” Coco won the Oscars for Best Animated Film and Best Original Song for “Remember Me”, which was performed at the ceremony by Miguel, Natalia Lafourcade and Gael Garcia Bernal.

Allison Janney, who won Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of LaVona Golden in I, Tonya, left audiences everywhere in stitches thanks to her opening line. “I did it all by myself,” Janney said immediately after accepting the statuette. After sustained laughter from the crowd, Janney added “Nothing further from the truth”. She made special mention of screenwriter Steven Rogers, who wrote the role specifically with her in mind. Rogers and star/producer Margot Robbie got teary-eyed at Janney’s speech.

Jordan Peele, writer and director of Get Out, made history as the first African-American winner in the Best Original Screenplay category. “I want to dedicate this to all the people who raised my voice and let me make this movie,” Peele said. Peele said that he started and stopped writing Get Out 20 times, often convinced the sharply satirical horror-comedy could never get made. He dedicated the win to his mother, who taught him to “love in the face of hate”.

Roger Deakins has often been called the Leonardo DiCaprio of cinematography: after 13 previous nominations, he finally won for Blade Runner 2049. Deakins’ impressive body of work also includes The Shawshank Redemption, The Big Lebowski, Fargo, Skyfall and O Brother, Where Art Thou. “I really love my job. I have been doing it a long time as you can see,” Deakins said, motioning to his white hair. “One of the reasons I really love it is because of the people I work with in front of and behind the camera,” he continued.

The Shape of Water director Guillermo del Toro got to make two speeches, one for his Best Director win and the other when the film won Best Picture. “I think the greatest thing that does and our industry does is erase the line in the sand,” del Toro mused, exhorting that “we should continue doing that, when the world tells us to make it deeper.”

The film doesn’t fit the usual awards bait mould, but this fairy-tale for grown-ups has resonated with audiences thanks to its message of embracing the other, its beautiful visuals and its sensitive performances “Everyone that is dreaming of using fantasy to tell the stories about things that are real in the world today, you can do it,” del Toro said. “This is the door. Kick it open and come in.”

The full list of winners and nominees is below:

BEST PICTURE

The Shape of WaterWINNER
Call Me By Your Name
Darkest Hour
Dunkirk
Get Out
Lady Bird
Phantom Thread
The Post
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, MissouriWINNER
Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water
Margot Robbie, I, Tonya
Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird
Meryl Streep, The Post

BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

Gary Oldman, Darkest HourWINNER
Timothée Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name
Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread
Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out
Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq.

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Allison Janney, I, TonyaWINNER
Mary J. Blige, Mudbound
Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird
Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread
Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – WINNER
Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project
Woody Harrelson, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water
Christopher Plummer, All the Money in the World

BEST DIRECTOR

Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of WaterWINNER
Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk
Jordan Peele, Get Out
Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird
Paul Thomas Anderson, Phantom Thread

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Jordan Peele, Get Out – WINNER
Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani, The Big Sick
Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird
Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor, The Shape of Water
Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

James Ivory, Call Me by Your NameWINNER
Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, The Disaster Artist
Scott Frank, James Mangold, and Michael Green, Logan
Aaron Sorkin, Molly’s Game
Virgil Williams and Dee Rees, Mudbound

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Roger A. Deakins, Blade Runner: 2049WINNER
Bruno Delbonnel, Darkest Hour
Hoyte van Hoytema, Dunkirk
Rachel Morrison, Mudbound
Dan Laustsen, The Shape of Water

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

Alexandre Desplat, The Shape of WaterWINNER
Hans Zimmer, Dunkirk
Jonny Greenwood, Phantom Thread
John Williams, Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Carter Burwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

“Remember Me,” CocoWINNER
“Mighty River,” Mudbound
“Mystery of Love,” Call Me by Your Name
“Stand Up for Something,” Marshall
“This Is Me,” The Greatest Showman

 

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

CocoWINNER
The Boss Baby
The Breadwinner
Ferdinand
Loving Vincent

BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM

Dear BasketballWINNER
Garden Party
Lou
Negative Space
Revolting Rhymes

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

IcarusWINNER
Abacus: Small Enough to Jail
Faces Places
Last Men in Aleppo
Strong Island

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT

Heaven Is a Traffic Jam on the 405 WINNER
Edith and Eddie
Heroin(e)
Knife Skills
Traffic Stop

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM

The Silent ChildWINNER
DeKalb Elementary
The Eleven O’Clock
My Nephew Emmett
Watu Wote: All of Us

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

A Fantastic Woman (Chile) – WINNER
The Insult (Lebanon)
Loveless (Russia)
Body and Soul (Hungary)
The Square (Sweden)

BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski, and Lucy Sibbick, Darkest HourWINNER
Daniel Phillips and Lou Sheppard, Victoria & Abdul
Arjen Tuiten, Wonder

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Mark Bridges, Phantom ThreadWINNER
Jacqueline Durran, Beauty and the Beast
Jacqueline Durran, Darkest Hour
Luis Sequeira, The Shape of Water
Consolata Boyle, Victoria & Abdul

BEST SOUND EDITING

Richard King and Alex Gibson, DunkirkWINNER
Julian Slater, Baby Driver
Mark Mangini and Theo Green, Blade Runner 2049
Nathan Robitaille and Nelson Ferreira, The Shape of Water
Matthew Wood and Ren Klyce, Star Wars: The Last Jedi

BEST SOUND MIXING

Mark Weingarten, Gregg Landarker, and Gary A. Rizzo, DunkirkWINNER
Julian Slater, Tim Cavagin, and Mary H. Ellis, Baby Driver
Ron Bartlett, Dough Hemphill, and Mac Ruth, Blade Runner 2049
Christian Cooke, Brad Zoern, and Glen Gauthier, The Shape of Water
David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce, and Stuart Wilson, Star Wars: The Last Jedi

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

The Shape of Water (Production Design: Paul Denham Austerberry; Set Decoration: Shane Vieau and Jeff Melvin) – WINNER
Beauty and the Beast (Production Design: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer)
Blade Runner: 2049 (Production Design: Dennis Gassner; Set Decoration: Alessandra Querzola)
Darkest Hour (Production Design: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer)Dunkirk (Production Design: Nathan Crowley; Set Decoration: Gary Fettis)

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

Blade Runner 2049 (John Nelson, Gerd Nefzer, Paul Lambert, and Richard R. Hoover) – WINNER
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Jonathan Fawkner, and Dan Sudick)
Kong: Skull Island (Stephen Rosenbaum, Jeff White, Scott Benza, and Mike Meinardus)
Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Ben Morris, Mike Mulholland, Neal Scanlan, and Chris Corbould)
War for the Planet of the Apes (Joe Letteri, Daniel Barrett, Dan Lemmon, and Joel Whist)

BEST FILM EDITING

Lee Smith, DunkirkWINNER
Paul Machliss and Jonathan Amos, Baby Driver
Tatiana S. Riegel, I, Tonya
Sidney Wolinsky, The Shape of Water
Jon Gregory, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

 

 

90th Academy Awards nominations announced

For inSing

90th Academy Awards nominations announced
The Shape of Water leads the pack with 13 nominations

By Jedd Jong

The nominees for the 90th Academy Awards were announced on 23 January at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) headquarters, by actors Tiffany Haddish and Andy Serkis. This will prove to be an eclectic year for the Oscars, and even before the ceremony has taken place, history has already been made. There were the usual suspects, including Meryl Streep earning her 21st nomination and Daniel Day-Lewis his sixth. There were some surprises too, and fantasy, horror and comedy films got more recognition than usual.

The Shape of Water, Guillermo del Toro’s romantic fantasy about a mute woman’s romantic relationship with a humanoid amphibian creature, earned 13 nominations. Dunkirk came in second, with eight. Christopher Nolan earned his first ever Best Director nomination for the war film.

“I share these nominations with all the young filmmakers in Mexico and Latin America who put their hopes in our craft and the intimate stories of their imagination,” del Toro said. Like Nolan, he earned his first Best Director Oscar nod this year.

The Shape of Water’s leading lady Sally Hawkins added, “It is a privilege to tell such stories and to be able to make films that show there is a life beyond the life that people know – one that is not always seen.”

Lady Bird and Mudbound, Female-centric films from women directors garnered several nods, including a Best Director nomination for Ladybird director Greta Gerwig. Rachel Morrison, the Director of Photography for Mudbound, made history as the first woman to be nominated for the Best Cinematography Oscar.

“I am struggling to find the words to express how much the nomination for best director and best screenplay means to me — in a year where there are so many brilliant films by so many of my heroes of cinema — all I can say is thank you from the bottom of my heart,” Gerwig said.

Get Out, the satirical horror comedy which has been hailed as one of the best films of 2017 but which seemed like a bit of a long shot for awards season recognition, earned four nominations, including Best Picture. Director Jordan Peele and actor Daniel Kaluuya were also nominated. “I just spoke to Daniel. You know when you’re on the phone trying to disguise the sound of an ugly cry? I failed at that,” Peele wrote on Twitter upon hearing the news of the nominations.

Other unexpected nods include a Best Adapted Screenplay nomination for Logan, seeing as comic book movies aren’t typically recognised in non-technical categories at the Oscars. Phantom Thread, seen as a bit of a long shot apart from Day-Lewis’ starring role, also picked up a Best Supporting Actress nomination for Lesley Manville.

In the snubs corner, Wonder Woman was completely shut out, even from technical categories. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri director Martin McDonagh was nominated in the Best Original Screenplay category, but not Best Director. Mudbound director Dee Rees was not nominated either. Many industry watchers felt that The Post’s Steven Spielberg was a safe bet for a Best Director nomination. Jessica Chastain also lost out on a Best Actress nod for Molly’s Game, perhaps edged out of the category by Margot Robbie in I, Tonya.

The Oscars ceremony takes place of 4 March at the Dolby Theatre, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel.

The full list of nominees follows:

BEST PICTURE:

Call Me by Your Name
Darkest Hour
Dunkirk
Get Out
Lady Bird
Phantom Thread
The Post
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE:

Timothée Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name
Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread
Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out
Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq.

BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE:

Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water
Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Margot Robbie, I, Tonya
Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird
Meryl Streep, The Post

 

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE:

Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project
Woody Harrelson, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water
Christopher Plummer, All the Money in the World
Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE:

Mary J. Blige, Mudbound
Allison Janney, I, Tonya
Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread
Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird
Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water

BEST DIRECTOR:

Dunkirk, Christopher Nolan
Get Out, Jordan Peele
Lady Bird, Greta Gerwig
Phantom Thread, Paul Thomas Anderson
The Shape of Water, Guillermo del Toro

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE:

The Boss Baby, Tom McGrath, Ramsey Ann Naito
The Breadwinner, Nora Twomey, Anthony Leo
Coco, Lee Unkrich, Darla K. Anderson
Ferdinand, Carlos Saldanha
Loving Vincent, Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman, Sean Bobbitt, Ivan Mactaggart, Hugh Welchman

 

BEST ANIMATED SHORT:

Dear Basketball, Glen Keane, Kobe Bryant
Garden Party, Victor Caire, Gabriel Grapperon
Lou, Dave Mullins, Dana Murray
Negative Space, Max Porter, Ru Kuwahata
Revolting Rhymes, Jakob Schuh, Jan Lachauer

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:

Call Me by Your Name, James Ivory
The Disaster Artist, Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber
Logan, Scott Frank & James Mangold and Michael Green
Molly’s Game, Aaron Sorkin
Mudbound, Virgil Williams and Dee Rees

 

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:

The Big Sick, Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani
Get Out, Jordan Peele
Lady Bird, Greta Gerwig
The Shape of Water, Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Martin McDonagh

 

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY:

Blade Runner 2049, Roger Deakins
Darkest Hour, Bruno Delbonnel
Dunkirk, Hoyte van Hoytema
Mudbound, Rachel Morrison
The Shape of Water, Dan Laustsen

 

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE:

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail, Steve James, Mark Mitten, Julie Goldman
Faces Places, JR, Agnès Varda, Rosalie Varda
Icarus, Bryan Fogel, Dan Cogan
Last Men in Aleppo, Feras Fayyad, Kareem Abeed, Soren Steen Jepersen
Strong Island, Yance Ford, Joslyn Barnes

 

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT:

Edith+Eddie, Laura Checkoway, Thomas Lee Wright
Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405, Frank Stiefel
Heroin(e), Elaine McMillion Sheldon, Kerrin Sheldon
Knife Skills, Thomas Lennon
Traffic Stop, Kate Davis, David Heilbroner

 

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM:

DeKalb Elementary, Reed Van Dyk
The Eleven O’Clock, Derin Seale, Josh Lawson
My Nephew Emmett, Kevin Wilson, Jr.
The Silent Child, Chris Overton, Rachel Shenton
Watu Wote/All of Us, Katja Benrath, Tobias Rosen

 

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM:

A Fantastic Woman (Chile)
The Insult (Lebanon)
Loveless (Russia)
On Body and Soul (Hungary)
The Square (Sweden)

 

BEST FILM EDITING:

Baby Driver, Jonathan Amos, Paul Machliss
Dunkirk, Lee Smith
I, Tonya, Tatiana S. Riegel
The Shape of Water, Sidney Wolinsky
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Jon Gregory

BEST SOUND EDITING:

Baby Driver, Julian Slater
Blade Runner 2049, Mark Mangini, Theo Green
Dunkirk, Alex Gibson, Richard King
The Shape of Water, Nathan Robitaille, Nelson Ferreira
Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Ren Klyce, Matthew Wood

 

BEST SOUND MIXING:

Baby Driver, Mary H. Ellis, Julian Slater, Tim Cavagin
Blade Runner 2049, Mac Ruth, Ron Bartlett, Doug Hephill
Dunkirk, Mark Weingarten, Gregg Landaker, Gary A. Rizzo
The Shape of Water, Glen Gauthier, Christian Cooke, Brad Zoern
Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Stuart Wilson, Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick

 

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN:

Beauty and the Beast, Sarah Greenwood; Katie Spencer
Blade Runner 2049, Dennis Gassner, Alessandra Querzola
Darkest Hour, Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer
Dunkirk, Nathan Crowley, Gary Fettis
The Shape of Water, Paul D. Austerberry, Jeffrey A. Melvin, Shane Vieau

 

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE:

Dunkirk, Hans Zimmer
Phantom Thread, Jonny Greenwood
The Shape of Water, Alexandre Desplat
Star Wars: The Last Jedi, John Williams
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Carter Burwell

 

BEST ORIGINAL SONG:

“Mighty River” from Mudbound, Mary J. Blige
“Mystery of Love” from Call Me by Your Name, Sufjan Stevens
“Remember Me” from Coco, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez
“Stand Up for Something” from Marshall, Diane Warren, Common
“This Is Me” from The Greatest Showman, Benj Pasek, Justin Paul

 

BEST MAKEUP AND HAIR:

Darkest Hour, Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski, Lucy Sibbick
Victoria and Abdul, Daniel Phillips and Lou Sheppard
Wonder, Arjen Tuiten

BEST COSTUME DESIGN:

Beauty and the Beast, Jacqueline Durran
Darkest Hour, Jacqueline Durran
Phantom Thread, Mark Bridges
The Shape of Water, Luis Sequeira
Victoria and Abdul, Consolata Boyle

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS:

Blade Runner 2049, John Nelson, Paul Lambert, Richard R. Hoover, Gerd Nefzer
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Jonathan Fawkner, Dan Sudick
Kong: Skull Island, Stephen Rosenbaum, Jeff White, Scott Benza, Mike Meinardus
Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Ben Morris, Mike Mulholland, Chris Corbould, Neal Scanlan
War for the Planet of the Apes, Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett, Joel Whis

 

 

No Man’s La La Land: The 89th Academy Awards

For F*** Magazine

NO MAN’S LA LA LAND
The 89th Academy Awards saves the biggest shock for last
By Jedd Jong

oscars-best-picture-stage

And it was all going so smoothly.

The 89th Academy Awards, which took place on 26 January 2017 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, was proceeding swimmingly. Host Jimmy Kimmel was doing a fine job. Despite capping off an awards season fraught with political tension, the mood in the Dolby Theatre didn’t seem to be one of anger. Impassioned statements were made, but things were kept light enough. The musical La La Land, which had netted 14 nominations, had already clinched six awards. Moonlight, the queer coming-of-age romance, had scored two awards.

Then came the final award of the night.

oscars-stage

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Bonnie and Clyde, stars Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway presented the Oscar for Best Picture. Beatty opened the envelope, stared at the slip within, and passed it on to Dunaway, who announced that La La Land won.

oscars-jimmy-kimmel-la-la-land-and-warren-beatty

The majority of pundits had predicted as much. Another Oscars done and dusted, right?

In a flub of grand proportions, it turned out that Moonlight was the actual Best Picture winner. Jordan Horowitz, one of the film’s producers, was in the midst of his acceptance speech when he was abruptly informed that La La Land was mistakenly announced as the winner.

oscars-jimmy-kimmel-hosting

“To hell with dreams. I’m done with it. This is true,” Moonlight director Barry Jenkins said as he tried to process what had just unfolded. The luminaries that filled the theatre were noticeably aghast, with Charlize Theron glowering at the stage. Kimmel attempted to salvage the situation, looking apologetic even though it wasn’t his fault. Beatty clarified that the slip in the envelope read ‘La La Land: Emma Stone’ – a duplicate of the Best Actress envelope, which led to the snafu.

oscars-parachuting-candy

Up until that point, the proceedings had been generally pleasant. Anticipating that this would be a politically-charged ceremony, Kimmel made an effort to keep things light. “Remember last year, when it seemed like the Oscars were racist?” the talk show host quipped. Small parcels of candy and later, cookies and donuts were parachuted down from the Dolby Theatre rafters, much to the delight of the audience. A group of unsuspecting tourists were led from their Star Line tour bus into the Dolby Theatre to interact with the stars. And of course, Kimmel played up his long-standing mock feud with Matt Damon, mocking Damon for opting to star in The Great Wall, which he called a “Chinese ponytail movie” instead of Manchester by the Sea, which Damon remained on as a producer.

oscars-justin-timberlake-cant-stop-the-feeling

Justin Timberlake’s energetic performance of the cheery “Can’t Stop The Feeling!” from Trolls opened the show, which also included several other enjoyable moments. These include Michael J. Fox and Seth Rogen emerging from a DeLorean on the stage, after which Rogen broke out into the Schuyler Sisters song from the musical Hamilton, much to the amusement of Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Auli'i Cravalho

Miranda rapped an original prologue to “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana, performed by the voice of Moana herself, Auli’i Cravalho. The 16-year-old was unfazed when a dancer accidentally bumped against the back of her head with a prop meant to depict ocean waves. Sting performed “The Empty Chair” from Jim: The James Foley Story, while John Legend sang a medley of the two nominated songs from La La Land, “City of Stars” and “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)”. We were disappointed that Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone did not perform the numbers. Kimmel interacted with child actor Sunny Pawar, who played young Saroo in the biopic Lion. The host hoisted Pawar aloft, ala The Lion King, with Pawar’s father looking on approvingly.

While the tone wasn’t overtly confrontational, presenters and winners alike slipped anti-Trump messages into their speeches. In the lead-up to the Oscars, hackles were raised over the travel ban instated by President Trump, which barred travel to the U.S. from seven predominantly Muslim countries. To protest this, Iranian director Asghar Farhadi boycotted the Oscars, with the other nominees in the Best Foreign Language Film category rallying behind him.

oscars-the-salesman-anousheh-ansari

When Farhadi’s film The Salesman won, Iranian-American astronaut, engineer and businesswoman Anousheh Ansari accepted the award on his behalf. “I’m sorry I’m not with you tonight,” Ansari, reading from a prepared statement by Farhadi, said. “My absence is out of respect for the people of my country and those of other six nations who have been disrespected by the inhumane law that bans entry of immigrants to the U.S.”

“As a Mexican, as a Latin American, as a migrant worker, as a human being, I am against any form of wall that wants to separate us,” presenter Gael García Bernal declared emphatically.

oscars-alessandro-bertolazzi

“I’m from Italy, I work around the world,” said makeup artist Alessandro Bertolazzi, accepting the Best Makeup and Hairstyling award for Suicide Squad. “This is for all the immigrants.”

oscars-the-white-helmets

The White Helmets, about volunteer rescue workers providing emergency relief in war-torn Syria, clinched the Best Documentary Short Subject award. Director Orlando von Einsiedel and producer Joanna Natasegara implored the audience to rise to their feet, to show the people of Syria that they have not gone unnoticed by the far more privileged.

oscars-viola-davis

Viola Davis, who was crowned Best Supporting Actress for Fences, delivered an impactful speech that left many in the theatre misty-eyed. She passionately exhorted for filmmakers to “exhume” the stories of “the people who dreamed big and never saw those dreams to fruition,” giving credit to Fences playwright August Wilson, her co-star and director Denzel Washington, and God.

oscars-emma-stone

Stone, who was nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category for Birdman, took home the Best Actress Oscar for playing Mia in La La Land. She thanked her co-star Ryan Gosling, calling him “the greatest partner on this crazy adventure.” Stone humbly acknowledged that she “still [has] a lot of growing and learning and work to do” and called the Oscar statue “a really beautiful symbol to continue on that journey and I’m so grateful for that.”

oscars-mahershala-ali

Mahershala Ali, who won the Best Supporting Actor prize for Moonlight, thanked his wife Amatus Sami-Karim, who had given birth to their daughter Bari Najima Ali just four days earlier. “I had so many wonderful teachers,” Ali said. “One thing that they consistently told me is that it wasn’t about you. It’s not about you. It’s about these characters. You’re a servant — you’re in service to these stories and these characters.” Ali became the first Muslim to win an acting Oscar.

oscars-casey-affleck

Despite rumblings that sexual assault allegations levelled against Casey Affleck a year ago would hurt his shot at the big prize, Affleck won the Best Actor Oscar for Manchester by the Sea. “One of the first people who taught me how to act was Denzel Washington, and I just met him tonight for the first time,” Affleck said. He also thanked long-time friend and producer Damon, while giving a shout-out to his famous older brother. “Ben, I love you,” Affleck said, quipping “You ain’t heavy” in reference to the song “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s Just My Brother”.

oscars-damien-chazelle-best-director

32-year-old Damien Chazelle made history by being the youngest ever Best Director winner. Making special mention of his girlfriend Olivia Hamilton, the La La Land helmer said “This was a movie about love, and I was lucky enough to fall in love while making it. And it means the world to me that you’re here with me sharing it.” He also thanked producer/composer Justin Hurwitz – the two have known each other since they were 17.

The full list of winners and nominees follows:

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

WINNER: Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)
Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water)
Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea)
Dev Patel (Lion)
Michael Shannon (Nocturnal Animals)

BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

A Man Called Ove
Star Trek Beyond
WINNER: Suicide Squad

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Allied
WINNER: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Florence Foster Jenkins
Jackie
La La Land

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

Fire at Sea
I Am Not Your Negro
Life, Animated
WINNER: OJ: Made in America
13th

 

BEST SOUND EDITING

WINNER: Arrival
Deepwater Horizon
Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land
Sully

BEST SOUND MIXING

Arrival
WINNER: Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
13 Hours

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

WINNER: Viola Davis (Fences)
Naomie Harris (Moonlight)
Nicole Kidman (Lion)
Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures)
Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea)

 

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Land of Mine
A Man Called Ove
WINNER: The Salesman
Tanna
Toni Erdmann

BEST ANIMATED SHORT

Blind Vaysha
Borrowed Time
Pear Cider and Cigarettes
Pearl
WINNER: Piper

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

Kubo and the Two Strings
Moana
My Life as a Zucchini
The Red Turtle
WINNER: Zootopia

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

Arrival
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Hail, Caesar!
WINNER: La La Land
Passengers

 

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

Deepwater Horizon
Doctor Strange
WINNER: The Jungle Book
Kubo and the Two Strings
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

BEST FILM EDITING

Arrival
WINNER: Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
La La Land
Moonlight

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT

4.1 Miles
Extremis
Joe’s Violin
Watani: My Homeland
WINNER: The White Helmets

BEST LIVE-ACTION SHORT SUBJECT

Ennemis Interieurs
La Femme et le TGV
Silent Nights
WINNER: Sing
Timecode

 

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Arrival
WINNER: La La Land
Lion
Moonlight
Silence

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

Jackie
WINNER: La La Land
Lion
Moonlight
Passengers

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

Audition (La La Land)
Can’t Stop the Feeling! (Trolls)
WINNER: City of Stars (La La Land)
The Empty Chair (Jim: The James Foley Story)
How Far I’ll Go (Moana)

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Hell or High Water
La La Land
The Lobster
WINNER: Manchester by the Sea
20th Century Women

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Arrival
Fences
Hidden Figures
Lion
WINNER: Moonlight

BEST DIRECTOR

Denis Villeneuve (Arrival)
Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge)
WINNER: Damien Chazelle (La La Land)
Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea)
Barry Jenkins (Moonlight)

BEST ACTOR

WINNER: Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea)
Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge)
Ryan Gosling (La La Land)
Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic)
Denzel Washington (Fences)

BEST ACTRESS

Isabelle Huppert (Elle)
Ruth Negga (Loving)
WINNER: Emma Stone (La La Land)
Natalie Portman (Jackie)
Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins)

BEST PICTURE

Arrival
Fences
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
Hidden Figures
ANNOUNCED AS WINNER IN ERROR: La La Land
Lion
Manchester by the Sea
WINNER: Moonlight

The 88th Academy Awards: It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad Year

For F*** Magazine

The 88thAcademy Awards: It’s a Mad Mad Mad Year
By Jedd Jong

Best Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio for The Revenant
Best Supporting Actor: Mark Rylance
for Bridge of Spies

The culmination of the 2015-2016 awards season, the Academy Awards ceremony, took place on 28thFebruary at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. The Oscars may be often labelled “stale” and “lame”, but this year, a balls-to-the-wall, high octane, genuinely insane action movie took home the most trophies – an anomaly, to say the least. Mad Max: Fury Road bagged six little golden men, with Spotlight and The Revenant taking two each. And yes, it was sixth time lucky for Leonardo DiCaprio, whose hitherto fruitless Oscar pursuit has finally concluded with rousing victory.

The night contained two significant surprises: a Best Supporting Actor win for Bridge of Spies’ Mark Rylance when it was assumed that Creed’s Sylvester Stallone would emerge victorious, and Best Picture for Spotlight, with The Big Short pegged as the favourite because it won the Producer’s Guild Award. Also unexpected was Ex Machina’s victory in the Best Visual Effects category over the likes of Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Ex Machina was by far the film in that category with the lowest budget. Double Negative, the main effects vendor on the film, has a facility in Singapore which was responsible for a portion of the Oscar-winning effects work.
Best Picture: Spotlight
For the first time, a ticker listing the names the winners would like to thank scrolled at the bottom of the screen. The winners who went over time with their thank you speeches were chased off by Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries.
Host Chris Rock
The lead-up to the ceremony was fraught with controversy, as fiery discussions regarding the lack of diversity in the acting nominations swirled. Host Chris Rock, who also presided over the 77th Oscars in 2005, got his chance to address this right out the gate. The majority of his material was dedicated to this issue. After a highlight reel of 2015’s films played, Rock took the stage, opening with “I counted at least 15 black people in that montage!”
He admitted that he thought about quitting after facing considerable pressure to do so, justifying his decision to remain as host with “the last thing I need is to lose another job to Kevin Hart!” Rock pointed out that there probably were no black nominees for long stretches of the 50s and 60s, saying “Black people didn’t protest the lack of nominees in the 60s because we had real things to protest at the time. We were too busy being raped and lynched to worry about who was going to win Best Cinematographer!”
“The ‘In Memoriam’ segment will just be black people who got shot by the cops this year,” Rock said to gasps. It was the edgiest he got before backing away from said edge. “Rocky takes place in a world where white athletes are as good as black athletes, so Rocky is a science fiction movie,” he said, dubbing CreedBlack Rocky”. Throughout the ceremony, Rock referenced convicted record producer Suge Knight, with an actor playing Knight wheeled into the hall accompanied by police officers and strapped to a Hannibal Lecter-esque gurney. In a taped segment, Whoopi Goldberg played a janitor who steals Joy Mangano’s thunder in Joy, Leslie Jones replaced the bear mauling DiCaprio in The Revenant, Tracy Morgan was a “Danish Girl” munching on pastry and Rock himself was a black astronaut whom NASA decides to just leave on Mars.
Tracy Morgan as the Danish Girl in a sketch
To say the ceremony was politically-charged would be an understatement. Another taped segment featured Rock visiting a local movie theatre in Compton, California to interview moviegoers, where the predominantly black audiences had not heard of any of the films nominated for Best Picture, but had all watched Straight Outta Compton. In a segment entitled the “Academy Awards Black History Month Minute”, Angela Bassett spoke of an “actor, producer, comedian, musician,” who starred in the likes of Enemy of the State and Shark Tale, with the implication being that the figure in question was Will Smith, who had boycotted this year’s ceremony alongside his wife Jada Pinkett. It was a bait and switch, and she was referring to Jack Black instead.
Taking a more serious tack, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the director of the Academy, said in her speech that “concrete action” was being taken to re-evaluate the membership of the organisation, giving the imperative that “Each of you is an ambassador who can help influence others in this industry. It’s not enough to listen and agree.” She did not specifically explain what said measures were.
Best Original Song nominee Lady Gaga performing Til It Happens to You
In addition to issues of race, sexual assault on college campuses received attention. Vice-President of the United States Joe Biden made an appearance to introduce Lady Gaga, who performed the song Til It Happens to You from the documentary The Hunting Ground, a song she wrote with Diane Warren. As Gaga’s stirring performance at the piano drew to a close, she was joined on stage by a number of male and female survivors of sexual assault. Each had words and phrases such as “It happened to me”, “not my fault” and “survivor” written on their arms in sharpie. The song lost to Writing’s on the Wall, the Bond theme by Sam Smith and Jimmy Napes.
Best Director Alejandro G. Iñárritu,
The Revenant
Noted conservationist DiCaprio slipped an environmental message into his acceptance speech, recounting how 2015 was the warmest year on record and that Global Warming caused the production to venture from Canada to Argentina in search of snow. “Climate change is real, it is happening right now,” DiCaprio proclaimed. “We need to work collectively right now and stop procrastinating.” He encouraged viewers to withdraw their support for big corporations known to be major polluters.
Similarly, The Big Short writer Adam McKay exhorted “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: Stop!” McKay and Charles Randolph shared the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay; McKay was also nominated for Best Director but lost to Alejandro G. Iñárritu. The director of The Revenant took home his second Best Director Oscar in as many years.

In his acceptance speech, Iñárritu quoted a line from The Revenant: “They don’t listen to you. They see the colour of your skin.” He highlighted the opportunity to “make sure for once and forever that the colour of skin becomes as irrelevant as the length of our hair.” The last time a director took home back-to-back Oscars was when Joseph L. Mankiewicz won for A Letter to Three Wives (1949) and All About Eve (1950).
The In Memoriam segment, which featured tributes to actors Leonard Nimoy, Alan Rickman, Christopher Lee and David Bowie in addition to behind the scenes figures like cinematographer Douglas Slocombe, composer James Horner and film critic Richard Corliss, was set to Dave Grohl’s acoustic rendition of Blackbird by the Beatles.
Best Actress Brie Larson,
Room
While last year’s ceremony feature a wacky performance of Everything is Awesome from The LEGO Movie as a light-hearted break from the heaviness of hot-button political issues, the closest this year’s ceremony came to that was the appearance of Star Wars droids C-3PO, R2-D2 and BB-8. “Actually, I do not look like him. He happens to look rather like me,” the worrywart Protocol Droid said in reference to the golden Oscar figure. The Minions, and Buzz and Woody from Toy Story, would later take the stage to present the Best Animated Short and Best Animated Feature awards.
BB-8, R2-D2 and C-3PO
When it came to the theme of “comedians keeping it real,” Louis C.K. stated flatly that the nominees for Best Documentary Short Subject would never go on to the fame and fortune of their counterparts nominated for other categories. “These people will never be rich for as long as they live,” he said to laughter. “This Oscar is going home in a Honda Civic…it’s going to give them anxiety to keep it in a crappy apartment.” Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy took home the prize for her film The Girl In the River: The Price of Forgiveness, about the victims of honour killings in Pakistan.
Best Documentary Short Subject:
The Girl In the River: The Price of Forgiveness
Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
DiCaprio was not the only winner who had waited a while for his moment of glory. Legendary composer Ennio Morricone, 87, had been nominated five times prior and was presented with an honorary Oscar in 2007. Morricone spoke in Italian, with a translator on-stage interpreting. He gave a special acknowledgement to fellow nominee John Williams. Morricone, who the Best Original Score Oscar for Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, has written the iconic scores for films like The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, The Missionand Cinema Paradiso.
When the time came to introduce the accountants from Price Waterhouse Coopers, three young Asian children walked onto the stage. “Anyone who’s offended by that joke, just tweet about it on your phone that was also made by these kids,” Rock quipped. Rock also had his daughters’ girl scout troupe going through the audience selling girl scout cookies, in an obvious riff on Ellen DeGeneres’ pizza-ordering bit two years prior.
Sacha Baron Cohen presented in character as Ali G, alongside Olivia Wilde. “how come there’s no Oscar for very ‘ardworking yellow people with tiny dongs?” he wondered aloud in the character’s signature ‘Jafaican’ accent. “You know, the minions!” Ali G also gave props to “The amazing black bloke from Star Wars – Darth Vader!” Introducing Best Picture nominee Room, he remarked “Now check out a movie about a room full of white people!”

Presenters Sacha Baron Cohen as Ali Gi and Olivia Wilde
The night’s one moment of swearing came courtesy of Mad Max: Fury Road sound editor Mark Mangini. “F*** yeah Mad Maxxers!” he cheered.
While the jokes were certainly weighted with political intent and host Rock kept an undercurrent of tension as he attempted to bring the funny, this proved to be a bearable and relatively memorable ceremony. Besides the entire film industry getting a slap on the wrist for failing to be more inclusive, the 88th Academy Awards will also be remembered as the year a post-apocalyptic action adventure drove away with six trophies and Leonardo DiCaprio clinched that coveted statuette.
THE FULL LIST OF WINNERS AND NOMINEES
BEST PICTURE

Spotlight WINNER
The Big Short
Bridge of Spies
Brooklyn
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Room

BEST DIRECTOR

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, The RevenantWINNER
Lenny Abrahamson, Room
Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
Adam McKay, The Big Short
George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road

BEST ACTOR

Leonardo DiCaprio, The RevenantWINNER
Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
Matt Damon, The Martian
Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl


BEST ACTRESS

Brie Larson, RoomWINNER
Cate Blanchett, Carol
Jennifer Lawrence, Joy
Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years
Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Mark Rylance, Bridge of SpiesWINNER
Christian Bale, The Big Short
Tom Hardy, The Revenant
Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight
Sylvester Stallone, Creed

Best Supporting Actress Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl


BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Alicia Vikander, The Danish GirlWINNER
Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
Rooney Mara, Carol
Rachel McAdams, Spotlight
Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

Best Original Screenplay:
Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy,
Spotlight
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Spotlight, by Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy – WINNER
Bridge of Spies, by Matt Charman and Ethan Coen & Joel Coen
Ex Machina, by Alex Garland
Inside Out, by Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve and Josh Cooley; original story by Pete Docter and Ronnie del Carmen
Straight Outta Compton, by Jonathan Herman and Andrea Berloff; story by S. Leigh Savidge & Alan Wenkus and Andrea Berloff
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

The Big Short, Charles Randolph and Adam McKay – WINNER
Brooklyn, Nick Hornby
Carol, Phyllis Nagy
The Martian, Drew Goddard
Room, Emma Donoghue
BEST COSTUME DESIGN

 Mad Max: Fury Road,  Jenny Beavan – WINNER
 Carol,  Sandy Powell
 Cinderella,  Sandy Powell
 The Danish Girl,  Paco Delgado
 The Revenant,  Jacqueline West
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

Mad Max: Fury Road, production design by Colin Gibson; set decoration by Lisa Thompson – WINNER  Bridge of Spies, production design by Adam Stockhausen; set decoration by Rena DeAngelo and Bernhard Henrich
The Danish Girl,  production design by Eve Stewart; set decoration by Michael Standish
The Martian,  production design by Arthur Max; set decoration by Celia Bobak
The Revenant,  production design by Jack Fisk; set decoration by Hamish Purdy
BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

Mad Max: Fury Road, Lesley Vanderwalt, Elka Wardega and Damian Martin – WINNER 
The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared,  Love Larson and Eva von Bahr
The Revenant,  Siân Grigg, Duncan Jarman and Robert Pandini
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

The Revenant, Emmanuel Lubezki – WINNER 
Carol, Ed Lachman
The Hateful Eight, Robert Richardson
Mad Max: Fury Road, John Seale
Sicario,  Roger Deakins
BEST FILM EDITING

Mad Max: Fury Road, Margaret Sixel – WINNER
The Big Short, Hank Corwin
The Revenant, Stephen Mirrione
Spotlight, Tom McArdle
Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Maryann Brandon and Mary Jo Markey
BEST SOUND EDITING

Mad Max: Fury Road, Mark Mangini and David White – WINNER 
The Martian, Oliver Tarney
The Revenant, Martin Hernandez and Lon Bender
Sicario, Alan Robert Murray
Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Matthew Wood and David Acord
BEST SOUND MIXING

Mad Max: Fury Road, Chris Jenkins, Gregg Rudloff and Ben Osmo – WINNER 
Bridge of Spies,  Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom and Drew Kunin
The Martian, Paul Massey, Mark Taylor and Mac Ruth
The Revenant, Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño, Randy Thom and Chris Duesterdiek
Star Wars: The Force Awakens,  Andy Nelson, Christopher Scarabosio and Stuart Wilson
Best Visual Effects: Ex Machina

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

Ex Machina, Andrew Whitehurst, Paul Norris, Mark Ardington and Sara Bennett – WINNER 
Mad Max: Fury Road,  Andrew Jackson, Tom Wood, Dan Oliver and Andy Williams
The Martian,  Richard Stammers, Anders Langlands, Chris Lawrence and Steven Warner
The Revenant,  Rich McBride, Matthew Shumway, Jason Smith and Cameron Waldbauer
Star Wars: The Force Awakens,  Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Neal Scanlan and Chris Corbould
BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM

Bear Story,  Gabriel Osorio and Pato Escala – WINNER 
Prologue,  Richard Williams and Imogen Sutton
Sanjay’s Super Team,  Sanjay Patel and Nicole Grindle
We Can’t Live without Cosmos,  Konstantin Bronzit
World of Tomorrow, Don Hertzfeldt
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

Inside Out,  Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera – WINNER 
Anomalisa,  Charlie Kaufman, Duke Johnson and Rosa Tran
Boy and the World,  Alê Abreu
Shaun the Sheep Movie,  Mark Burton and Richard Starzak
When Marnie Was There, Hiromasa Yonebayashi and Yoshiaki Nishimura
BEST DOCUMENTARY, SHORT SUBJECT

A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness,  Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy – WINNER 
Body Team 12,  David Darg and Bryn Mooser
Chau, Beyond the Lines,  Courtney Marsh and Jerry Franck
Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah,  Adam Benzine
Last Day of Freedom,  Dee Hibbert-Jones and Nomi Talisman
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

Amy, Asif Kapadia and James Gay-Rees – WINNER 
Cartel Land,  Matthew Heineman and Tom Yellin
The Look of Silence, Joshua Oppenheimer and Signe Byrge Sørensen
What Happened, Miss Simone?  Liz Garbus, Amy Hobby and Justin Wilkes
Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom, Evgeny Afineevsky and Den Tolmor
BEST LIVE-ACTION SHORT FILM

Stutterer,  Benjamin Cleary and Serena Armitage – WINNER 
Ave Maria,  Basil Khalil and Eric Dupont
Day One,  Henry Hughes
Everything Will Be Okay  (Alles Wird Gut),  Patrick Vollrath
Shok,  Jamie Donoughue
BEST FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM

Son of Saul, Hungary – WINNER 
Embrace of the Serpent,  Colombia
Mustang,  France
Theeb,  Jordan
A War, Denmark
BEST ORIGINAL SONG

Writing’s on the Wall from SpectreWINNER
Music and lyric by Jimmy Napes and Sam Smith
Earned It from Fifty Shades of Grey
Music and lyric by Abel Tesfaye, Ahmad Balshe, Jason Daheala Quenneville and Stephan Moccio
Manta Ray from Racing Extinction
Music by J. Ralph and lyric by Antony Hegarty
Simple Song #3 from Youth
Music and lyric by David Lang
Til It Happens To You from  The Hunting Ground
Music and lyric by Diane Warren and Lady Gaga
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

The Hateful Eight, Ennio Morricone – WINNER
Bridge of Spies, Thomas Newman
Carol, Carter Burwell
Sicario, Jóhann Jóhannsson
Star Wars: The Force Awakens, John Williams
Photo credits: A.M.P.A.S.

Thanks to HBO Asia 

87th Academy Awards: A Birdman In the Hand is Worth Two In The Bush

For F*** Magazine

THE 87TH ACADEMY AWARDS: A BIRDMAN IN THE HAND IS WORTH TWO IN THE BUSH

By Jedd Jong



The 87th Academy Awards took place on February 22nd2015 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. Birdman (Or The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance) and The Grand Budapest Hotel bagged four wins each, with Whiplash clinching three. Both Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel were the most-nominated films of the evening, with 9 nods each.
Neil Patrick Harris hosted the ceremony for the first time. Having been the master of ceremonies at the Tony Awards four times and at the Primetime Emmys twice, NPH is no stranger to strutting his stuff in front of showbiz A-listers. His opening number, titled “Moving Pictures”, was a joyous tribute to cinema, the lyrics weaving in references to everything from The Godfather Part II to Basic Instinct to Back to the Future as well as all the Best Picture nominees that night. The song was penned by Robert and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, the pair behind the songs in Disney’s Frozen. Anna Kendrick, clad in her Cinderella gown from Into The Woods, joined Harris for a duet, working in a spoilerific jab at his role in Gone Girl. The two were interrupted by Jack Black in full Tenacious D mode, Black giving voice to critics of the Oscars and the current state of movies in Hollywood.
For most of the show, Harris’ joke delivery style was that he knew the lines were silly and revelled in it. A notably painful pun was his introduction of presenter and Best Actress nominee Reese Witherspoon: “This next presenter is so lovely you could eat her up with a spoon.” Hur hur. The claws did come out for a few more digs – after the Edward Snowden documentary Citizenfour clinched the Best Documentary Feature prize, Harris mentioned that the subject of the film “could not be here for some treason”. “American Sniper focuses on a soldier with 160 kills, or as Harvey Weinstein calls it, a slow morning,” Harris quipped, referring to the notorious producer.
For a parody of Birdman, Harris pretended to be locked outside his dressing room, running onstage wearing only his underwear before declaring “acting is a noble profession”. The bit paid homage to the jazz drums soundtrack of Birdmanas well as Whiplash, with Whiplash star Miles Teller drumming backstage, Harris jokingly interrupting him with “not my tempo”. An extended bit in which Harris drew attention to his Oscar predictions being kept in a locked box, repeatedly reminding Octavia Spencer to have her eye on said box, was not so successful. The pay-off was that the envelope contained humorous recaps of the happenings at the ceremony which couldn’t have been written before the ceremony began, allowing Harris to show off a spot of magic. Harris also drew flak for cracking a joke about the “balls” that decorated Best Documentary Short Subject winner Dana Perry’s dress – right after Perry dedicated her win to her teenage son who had committed suicide.

There was no shortage of emotional moments during the acceptance speeches. J.K. Simmons, winner of the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role as a hellish music teacher in Whiplash, showed a much softer side than he did in the film, exhorting “if you’re lucky enough to have a parent or two alive, call them. Don’t text, don’t email. Call them. Listen to them for as long as they want to talk to you.”
“I’ve heard it said that winning an Oscar means you live five years longer. If that’s true I want to thank the Academy because my husband is younger than me,” Julianne Moore quipped after winning the Best Actress Oscar for her role as a professor fighting early-onset Alzheimer’s disease in Still Alice. Many feel this is a long-overdue victory for the prolific actress, who also paid tribute to Still Alice directors Wash Westmoreland and Richard Glatzer. The co-directors are married and Glatzer is battling ALS, which likely inspired the honest, moving depiction of illness in Still Alice.  
Eddie Redmayne took home the Best Actor statue for his turn as physicist Stephen Hawking in the biopic The Theory of Everything. The English actor was visibly and quite endearingly flabbergasted. “I’m fully aware that I am a lucky, lucky man,” he said, dedicating his Oscar to ALS sufferers around the world. “It belongs to one exceptional family, and I will be its custodian and I promise you that I will polish him, and wait on him hand and foot,” he said of the shiny statuette. For many who had pegged Michael Keaton to win for what is being called the role of his lifetime, Redmayne’s triumph was something of an upset, though not completely unexpected.
John Legend and Common, taking home the Best Original Song award for “Glory” from Selma, spoke on racial harmony in the United States. “Once a landmark of a divided nation, the spirit of this bridge now for all people regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or social status. This bridge was built on hope and welded with compassion,” Common said, recounting his experience performing the song on that same bridge in Selma, Alabama on which Martin Luther King Jr. marched. When Legend stated the United States was the most incarcerated country in the world, an awkward cheer came from an unidentified member of the audience.
Patricia Arquette, named Best Supporting Actress for her role as Mason’s mother Olivia in Boyhood, brought attention to wage equality for women. She proclaimed, “To every woman who gave birth, to every citizen and taxpayer, it’s our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for women of the United States of America!” Meryl Streep reacted by pumping her fist in the air. Arquette also mentioned the ecological sanitation charity project she is involved with.
Alejandro González Iñárritu, named Best Director for Birdman, tempered the serious with the funny in his acceptance speech. “Maybe next year the government might impose some immigration rules on the academy. Two Mexicans in a row is suspicious,” he quipped, in reference to good friend and fellow Mexican Alfonso Cuarón’s Best Director win for Gravity at last year’s ceremony. Speaking about Mexican immigrants in the US, Iñárritu added ”I hope they can be treated with respect of the ones who came before and built this incredible immigrant nation.” Commenting on the competitive nature of awards ceremonies like the Oscars, he said true art and individual expression “can’t be compared or labelled or defeated because they exist, and our work will only be judged by time.”
Of course, the ceremony had its moments of outright, unabashed fun. The LEGO Movie may have been shut out of the Best Animated Feature category and it lost Best Original Song to “Glory”, but the flick based on those colourful construction toys made its presence felt with an exuberant live performance of “Everything is Awesome”. The immensely catchy ditty was sung by indie pop duo Tegan and Sara with musical comedy group The Lonely Island. They were joined by break-dancers dressed as construction workers, while dancers dressed as cowboys and spacemen handed out Oscar statuettes made out of LEGO to audience members – including a particularly thrilled Oprah Winfrey. Composer Mark Mothersbaugh had a keyboard solo, Questlove of The Roots was on drums and Will Arnett put the cherry on top by performing as Batman, complete with the Bat-symbol on his costume built out of LEGO bricks.
The other notable musical performance of the night was a tribute to The Sound Of Music, performed by Lady Gaga and a string ensemble. Julie Andrews took to the stage afterwards to thank Gaga and speak about the tremendous legacy of the film, which commemorates its 50th anniversary this year. John Travolta’s flub, in which he infamously mispronounced Idina Menzel’s name as “Adele Dazeem”, remains one of the most memorable moments of the 86th Academy Awards. This year, Travolta presented alongside Menzel as the two poked fun at the gaffe. We’re also pretty sure that this is the first time anyone has thanked their dog in an Oscars acceptance speech – Birdmanco-writer Nicolás Giacobone expressed his gratitude to his canine pal, Larry.
The full list of winners and nominees follows:
BEST PICTURE
Birdman WINNER
American Sniper
Boyhood
The Imitation Game
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Selma
The Theory of Everything
Whiplash

BEST DIRECTOR
Alejandro González Iñárritu – BirdmanWINNER
Richard Linklater – Boyhood
Bennett Miller – Foxcatcher
Wes Anderson – The Grand Budapest Hotel
Morten Tyldum – The Imitation Game

BEST ACTOR
Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of EverythingWINNER
Steve Carell – Foxcatcher
Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game
Bradley Cooper – American Sniper
Michael Keaton – Birdman

BEST ACTRESS
Julianne Moore – Still AliceWINNER
Marion Cotillard – Two Days, One Night
Felicity Jones – The Theory of Everything
Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon – Wild

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
JK Simmons – WhiplashWINNER
Robert Duvall – The Judge
Ethan Hawke – Boyhood
Edward Norton – Birdman
Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Patricia Arquette – Boyhood – WINNER
Laura Dern – Wild
Keira Knightley – The Imitation Game
Emma Stone – Birdman
Meryl Streep – Into the Woods

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Birdman – Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo – WINNER
Boyhood – Richard Linklater
Foxcatcher – E. Max Frye, Dan Futterman
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Wes Anderson, Hugo Guinness
Nightcrawler – Dan Gilroy
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
The Imitation Game – Graham Moore – WINNER
American Sniper – Jason Hall
Inherent Vice – Paul Thomas Anderson
The Theory of Everything – Anthony McCarten
Whiplash – Damien Chazelle
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
Big Hero 6WINNER
The Boxtrolls
How to Train Your Dragon 2
Song of the Sea
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

BEST FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM
Ida (Poland) – Paweł Pawlikowski – WINNER
Tangerines (Estonia) – Zaza Urushadze
Leviathan (Russia) – Andrey Zvyagintsev
Wild Tales (Argentina)– Damián Szifrón
Timbuktu (Mauritania)– Abderrahmane Sissako
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Citizenfour – Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy, Dirk Wilutzky – WINNER
Finding Vivian Maier – John Maloof, Charlie Siskel
Last Days in Vietnam – Rory Kennedy, Keven McAlester
The Salt of the Earth – Wim Wenders, Juliano Ribeiro Salgado, David Rosier
Virunga – Orlando von Einsiedel, Joanna Natasegara
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1– Ellen Goosenberg Kent, Dana Perry – WINNER
Joanna – Aneta Kopacz
Our Curse – Tomasz Sliwinski, Maciej Slesicki
The Reaper – Gabriel Serra
White Earth – Christian Jensen
BEST LIVE-ACTION SHORT FILM
The Phone Call – Mat Kirkby, James Lucas – WINNER
Aya – Oded Binnun, Mihal Brezis
Boogaloo and Graham – Michael Lennox, Ronan Blaney
Butter Lamp – Wei Hu, Julien Féret
Parvaneh – Talkhon Hamzavi, Stefan Eichenberger
BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM
Feast – Patrick Osborne, Kristina Reed – WINNER
The Bigger Picture – Daisy Jacobs, Chris Hees
The Dam Keeper – Robert Kondo, Daisuke “Dice” Tsutsumi
Me and My Moulton – Torill Kove
A Single Life – Joris Oprins
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Alexandre Desplat – The Grand Budapest HotelWINNER
Alexandre Desplat – The Imitation Game
Hans Zimmer – Interstellar
Jóhann Jóhannsson – The Theory of Everything
Gary Yershon – Mr. Turner

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
“Glory” from Selma – Lonnie “Common” Lynn, John Legend – WINNER
“Everything Is Awesome” from The Lego Movie – Shawn Patterson
“Grateful” from Beyond the Lights – Diane Warren
“I’m Not Gonna Miss You” from Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me – Glen Campbell, Julian Raymond
“Lost Stars” from Begin Again – Gregg Alexander, Danielle Brisebois
ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND EDITING
American Sniper – Alan Robert Murray, Bub Asman – WINNER
Birdman – Aaron Glascock, Martín Hernández
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – Brent Burge, Jason Canovas
Interstellar – Richard King
Unbroken – Becky Sullivan, Andrew DeCristofaro
ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND MIXING
Whiplash – Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins, Thomas Curley – WINNER
American Sniper – John T Reitz, Gregg Rudloff, Walt Martin
Birdman – Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño, Thomas Varga
Interstellar – Gary Rizzo, Gregg Landaker, Mark Weingarten
Unbroken – Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño, David Lee
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Adam Stockhausen, Anna Pinnock – WINNER
The Imitation Game – Maria Djurkovic, Tatiana Macdonald
Interstellar – Nathan Crowley, Gary Fettis
Into the Woods – Dennis Gassner, Anna Pinnock
Mr. Turner – Suzie Davies, Charlotte Watts
ACHIEVEMENT IN CINEMATOGRAPHY
Birdman – Emmanuel Lubezki – WINNER
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Robert D. Yeoman
Ida – Lukasz Zal, Ryszard Lenczewski
Mr. Turner – Dick Pope
Unbroken – Roger Deakins
ACHIEVEMENT IN HAIR AND MAKEUP
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Frances Hannon, Mark Coulier – WINNER
Foxcatcher – Bill Corso, Dennis Liddiard
Guardians of the Galaxy – Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou, David White
ACHIEVEMENT IN COSTUME DESIGN
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Milena Canonero– WINNER
Inherent Vice – Mark Bridges
Into the Woods – Colleen Atwood
Maleficent – Anna B. Sheppard
Mr. Turner – Jacqueline Durran
ACHIEVEMENT IN FILM EDITING
Whiplash – Tom Cross – WINNER
Boyhood – Sandra Adair
The Imitation Game – William Goldenberg
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Barney Pilling
American Sniper – Joel Cox, Gary Roach
ACHIEVEMENT IN VISUAL EFFECTS
Interstellar – Paul J Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter, Scott R Fisher – WINNER
Captain America: The Winter Soldier – Dan Deleeuw, Russell Earl, Bryan Grill, Daniel Sudick
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett, Erik Winquist
Guardians of the Galaxy – Stephane Ceretti, Nicolas Aithadi, Jonathan Fawkner, Paul Corbould
X-Men: Days of Future Past – Richard Stammers, Lou Pecora, Tim Crosbie, Cameron Waldbauer