88th Academy Awards – Winners and Near Winners

There are no losers, only winners!

There are no losers at the Oscars, only winners and those who almost won. As every gracious nominee says, (while smiling as much as they can possibly smile when their dreams are crushed in an instant as the other guy’s name is announced), “It’s just such an honor to be nominated”. I often cringe when watching any awards show when the camera just has to go to the faces of the people who didn’t win. They all try to smile like they’re genuinely happy for the winning member of their category. Some of them are friends, others just rivals, Perhaps they’re all frienemies, but only one gets to go home happy.

The white oscars

the white oscars

This year at the 88th Oscars was not too much different from previous years, except for the two global causes involved. They were, of course, racial inequality in Hollywood and the touchy subject of abuse. Currently, the Academy is working on a permanent solution for the inequality issue by populating the voting membership with more diverse groups.

And the winner for best picture is…

oscars 2016 best picture

The winner for best picture, “Spotlight”, shines a light on the worldwide problem of insidious abuse of all kinds, but especially on the huge child molestation scandal and Catholic church cover-up that was ultimately exposed by the Boston Globe. With an impressive cast led by veteran actors Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Stanley Tucci, and Liev Schreiber, and brilliant writing by Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy, (which won them the Best Original Screenplay award), and masterful direction by Tom McCarthy, this is a mesmerizing film about a very difficult subject.

The other nominees for best picture were no slouches either. There was, of course the odds-on favorite, “Revenant”. It surprised a great many viewers that this Leonardo DiCaprio blockbuster didn’t win Best Picture. Just as at the Golden Globes, Leo won the Best Actor for his performance as a mountain man who, against all odds, lives through a mauling by a bear and being left for dead by his friends. The very talented director, Alejandro González Iñárritu, won the award for Best Director. The film also won the Best Cinematography award, and well it should have for all that majestic scenery.

Mad Max: Fury Road


Mad Max: Fury Road may not have won any best pic, director, actor or actress awards, in spite of numerous nominations, but this film did take home awards for Editing, Costume Design, Makeup and Hairstyling, Production Design, Sound Editing and Sound Mixing. So, it’s a visually stunning action/adventure/post-apocalyptic extravaganza with amazing sound and excellence in those particular areas. If you enjoyed the previous Mad Max movies, you’re sure to love this one.

So, although Oscar night was a great one for Leo (finally), “Spotlight”, Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy, Alejandro González Iñárritu, a handful of supporting cast members, and in no small way, much of the very creative “Mad Max: Fury Road” crew, not everyone was happy. Will Smith and his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, boycotted the Oscars due to the racial inequality issue, as did well-known director, Spike Lee, and the nominated singer of Best Original Song “Manta Ray”, which was in a documentary called “Racing Extinction”. These folks didn’t even have to be nominated and then lose to be unhappy. Well, there’s always next year!

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