Mike’s Oscars Reaction


Leonardo DiCaprio 2016 Academy Awards

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First things first, I didn’t have my best night picking the Oscars. I missed 8 out of 24, 3 to 4 more than I usually miss. I will say this, I did beat my fellow critic to the south CW Tampa’s T.M. Powell, so, at least, I have that.

The big surprise of the night was that Sylvester Stallone didn’t win the Best Supporting Actor. Instead, it was Mark Rylance from his performance as the Soviet spy in “Bridge of Spies.”  I thought was a sure thing in Stallone, and couldn’t imagine him losing to an 3 time Tony Award® winning actor that most movie fans wouldn’t recognize. I thought Stallone gave the performance of his career, and I also thought he had bought some credibility in the fact that he let his baby, the Rocky series, be written by someone else for the first time. Maybe all those crappy action films he did in the 2000’s caught up with him.

Maybe the biggest upset of the night was a very small film “Ex Machina” winning Best Visual Effects. “Ex Machina’s” total budget was only 15 million. To win against films that had over 100 million budgets like “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Mad Max: Fury Road,” which won just about every other tech award, was remarkable.

Another surprise was Sam Smith/Jimmy Napes winning Best Song for his song from the James Bond film “Spectre,” “The Writing’s on the Wall.” Matt Goldberg from collider.com ranked the song #16 out of 24, but I would put it much lower than that. The fact that Sam Smith beat out the Lady Gaga/Diane Warren song “Til It Happens to You.” from the documentary on college campus rapes “The Hunting Ground.” I imagine anyone that voted for the Sam Smith song was kicking themselves after Lady Gaga blew the top off the hall with her moving and powerful performance.

Brie Larson 2016 Academy Awards

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Here are a few things I did like from Sunday night; Brie Larson winning for her exceptional performance in “Room.” If you haven’t seen “Room” yet, go. As good as Larson is in the film, it’s Jacob Tremblay’s film, as every scene in the movie is from his character’s point of view. I loved the way Brie, throughout the night, acknowledged Tremblay, knowing she wouldn’t be there without his help. And by the way, just how cute was Jacob Tremblay on the Red Carpet?

Leo DiCaprio finally winning an Oscar, on his sixth try, though we know he didn’t win for “The Revenant” but for the body of his work. I mean, Leo has more lines in Pawnee than he does in English.

And finally, “Spotlight” winning Best Picture. I had picked “Spotlight” to win early on but then changed my mind when I heard that a bunch of members were impressed with “The Big Short.” I should have stayed with the pick, as “Spotlight” is one of those films that the Academy loves; a small ensemble group that goes against the odds and fights for the weak and the downtrodden. It helped that the cast was made up of well-liked and respected actors like Mark Ruffalo and Michael Keaton. The win just topped off a night of surprises.

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