It’s no secret that we felt that the 2016 Oscar nominations sucked, so it was a bit of a struggle summoning up the will to sit through a four hour ceremony celebrating a very bad set of nominees. But we’re nothing if not dedicated here at Spindle, so without further ado let our film writers Stephanie Coffey and Thomas Dearnley-Davison walk you through it.
Let’s start with that monologue:
S: Chris Rock tells shiny white people that Hollywood is “sorority racist.” *crickets* shiny white people can’t deal.
T: I love the awkward close-ups to all the white actors in the audience who really, I feel, shouldn’t be applauding the idea of black people getting shot on the regs by cops but don’t know what else to do.
S: Yeah the awkward laughter is a little unbearable. It’s like we want to be supportive, we don’t know what to laugh at because Chris Rock is being too real so we’ll smile at everything.
T: Right? Least funny monologue ever, but also probably the best. What do you think?
S: I think the problem is that racism isn’t funny. He had to be real. He definitely addressed the issues but I think it was actually difficult to make light of the situation. I also think he used the platform to just tell Hollywood what is going on. You aren’t being supportive of black filmmakers, you think you are liberal but you aren’t helping.
T: Yeah like that bit about the Obama fundraiser where he said to the President all these rich white donors don’t hire black people. What is the point of giving a million dollars to a black presidential candidate when you are actively closing down avenues of opportunity for minorities?
S: He’s right. We all have to actively fix the problem. So filmmakers, writers, actors, whomever think about diversity in all your work! It doesn’t matter your background you can help tell human stories.
Best Supporting Actress: Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl
S: Alicia why do you look like Disney Princess Barbie? I love you but this Beauty and the Beast thing, I dunno. I was muttering “not Kate, not Kate” over and over and they got it right! Well, sort of: I would have preferred Ex Machina to be your win. And it should be Best Actress. But you are so talented and thank god it wasn’t that Godawful Steve Jobs performance again.
T: Oh God, I woke up this morning and scrabbled to check my phone for this very reason. Thank God it wasn’t Kate. I love you, Kate Winslet, I truly do, we’re from the same part of the world (shoutout to the Home Counties!), so I feel like in a different life we could have been close personal friends, but you did not deserve your second Oscar for this.
Best Original Screenplay: Spotlight
T: I guess the screenplay for Spotlight was fine. Just like the rest of the movie. Should have been Inside Out but they clearly they don’t care about a little girl’s feelings. Also it was written by a lady and they’re not allowed to win stuff.
S: I always get the feeling the writing award goes to something that wouldn’t win a bigger award but that was important, so I was really hoping for Inside Out or Straight Outta Compton. I guess Inside Out did win Best Animated, but still…Straight Outta Compton would have been a huge surprise and a great nod for such a shitty night.
T: Yeah but the writers were both white! The only nomination for the black movie was for the white people. That just sums up this whole shitty Academy.
S: Ugh. I can’t even…
Best Adapted Screenplay: The Big Short
S: White mansplaining wins in least diverse year. Yay! *sobs* Dear God, try harder Hollywood. At least seemingly liberal white man with large spectacles tells audience not to vote for crazy billionaires – progress?
T: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I do not need the financial crisis mansplained to me by a bunch of guys in wigs. And WHY THE FUCK did Phyllis Nagy not win for Carol? Oh yeah, because she’s gay and her movie is all about ladies.
Production Design, Costume Design, Make-up: Mad Max: Fury Road
S: Mad Max sweeps sets, costumes and make up. I feel like Thomas is going to be really upset but I’m like okay it’s fine. And the Costume Designer was so badass with her skull jacket.
T: You know what? Good for Mad Max. I hear it’s a lady picture but with added explosions. And it’s funny because there’s so many angles to it. For example, I was discussing the movie with a fellow uber-feminist, while my white straight brother was completely baffled as to what we were talking about. Quoth he: ‘all I saw were car crashes and explosions’. Something for everyone, guys. Something for everyone.
S: Sorry straight white brother but yes they snuck in the feminism so boys wouldn’t notice.
T: Boys are stupid. I’m so glad The Revenant did not win for production design. As one Oscar voter put it, ‘The whole movie is set outside. Who’s the Production Designer? God?”
Also, yes that’s Jenny Beavan – she’s a Brit and she’s amazing. Stephen Fry described her as a bag lady at the Baftas, and everyone went mental. He had a point. Also check out how literally no-one claps as she walks down to collect her award…
Best Editing: Margaret Sixell, Mad Max: Fury Road
S: This Mad Max editing woman has a great Diane Keaton thing going on. Love her.
T: That’s Margaret Sixel, who – fun fact – is married to Mad Max director George Miller!
S: Ooh, power couple!
Best Visual Effects: Ex Machina
S: LITTLE VICTORIES, GUYS. Maybe this will fuel my Ex Machina sequel idea: hot robot in the city. It’s like 9 to 5 and Working Girl except she keeps murdering everybody so it’s always really awkward.
T: I’m dying. That’s fucking hilarious.
S: Like, she gets passed over for a promotion so just stabs that person at the copier…
T: I would watch the shit outta that movie. The best visual effect in Ex Machina was them making Dreamboat Oscar Isaac slightly less attractive. Oh, who am I fucking kidding, he was a dreamboat from start to finish, weird 80s professor glasses and all. What were we talking about? Oh yeah, good for this movie! It’s about ladies!
Best Supporting Actor: Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
S: Again, I was chanting “not Rocky not Rocky not Rocky”…I heard Mark R – and I was like, RUFFALO! Rylance…what?
T: I’m so fucking glad Sly did not get this for Creed, or ‘Black Rocky’, as Chris Rock put it. I did not care about Black Rocky, I did not go and see Black Rocky. If you want to see a great movie directed by Ryan Coogler and starring Michael B. Jordan then I’d recommend Fruitvale Station. Finally watched it this weekend, it’s utterly brilliant and I cried and cried and cried. Also Octavia Spencer is the stoic Mom so there’s just like a whole bunch of reasons to watch it. Instead of Black Rocky.
Also, hold up, Mark Rylance is brilliant. I haven’t seen Bridge of Spies – why the hell would I have seen Bridge of Spies? – however he’s a Brit and a hugely talented theatre actor. Does occasional TV – he was amazing in Wolf Hall. Did you see Wolf Hall?
S: No I didn’t see Wolf Hall. And that’s not the point. NOBODY saw Bridge of Spies. I cannot even adjudicate his performance because I will NEVER see Bridge of Spies. This movie doesn’t exist. So just give it back to Mark Ruffalo and be done with it.
T: Oh man, I hated Mark Ruffalo in Spotlight. Seriously, bullshit performance. 0 stars. However, I rewatched The Kids Are All Right the other day to remind myself that he’s actually brilliant. He shouuld have won for that.
S: The whole category was a joke. You know what, maybe that’s it. Maybe they were bribed to care about Sylvester Stallone and Mark Ruffalo and what’s his name in a wig, and then the Academy went rogue and was like all these people suck let’s at least give it to the guy who was good in Wolf Hall.
Best Original Song: Sam Smith, Jimmy Napes, ‘Writing’s On The Wall’
S: Gaga killed it.
T: Gaga went full on Tori Amos in her song, piano bench humping and all. I liked it.
S: Sam Smith I love you and your message but I loathe Spectre: the film, the song, Daniel Craig’s foot face. To quote The Weeknd, Spectre isn’t worth it, you don’t deserve it. Lady Gaga worked it.
T: So this is a thing now? The Bond theme song automatically goes on to win the Oscar? Fuck you, Sam Smith. The best nominated song was Simple Song #3 from ‘Youth’. I listen to that in my flat all the time, it’s beautiful. But it’s opera and it’s sung by an Asian lady so of course they weren’t going to vote for it.
S: Or like give it to Gaga for The Hunting Ground. Super relevant issue and she’s still a pop star. Just care a little. James Bond is so misogynistic and outdated and terrible.
Best Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu, The Revenant.
S: Iñárritu ignores the stick man for ages and gives a diversity speech.
T: That’s fucking rich – he’s just made an epic movie where natives are solely depicted as savages or noble tree-whisperers, and the only female character in the whole goddamned thing is a silent native woman who gets repeatedly raped by white men. Sort. It. The. Fuck. Out.
S: Yeah it’s interesting that Iñárritu has now made a career of white male protagonists, and his female characters have actually be terribly stereotypical. He’s talented but definitely not changing the status quo. I might have just had an epiphany that he’s a good TECHNICAL director. But the content is f-ing stereotypical.
T: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Jason Moore was snubbed for ‘Sisters’. Who else do you think should have been nominated?
S: Sean Baker for Tangerine. God that was a great film. Shot on iPhones and it looks amazing, such a feat. Champion that direction, Hollywood.
T: Oh God, I’m a big racist transphobe and I have not seen Tangerine. I will endeavour to watch it this week as it’s on UK Netflix.
S: Do it tonight. It’s brilliant. If you are reading this, finish the article because we spent a lot of time on it and then you go watch Tangerine too. Unless you did already and then good for you, Glen Coco.
Best Actress: Brie Larson, Room
S: Brie takes it. No surprises here. We love her. She’s perfect. That’s it, that’s all.
T: But dude, what the fuck is she wearing?
S: I kinda wanted to sweep that under the rug…
T: It should be about the art, not the fashion, but by God that’s the elephant in the room.
S: …but okay you opened the bag: The fashion was the worst it’s ever been. Like I know the 90s are back but guys, not terrible 90s prom dresses. The belt with the matching hair piece and a twist? I’m just going to need to accept that she’s talented and fashion isn’t really her thing. Her stylist should be fired immediately though. Also random side bar did you see Reese Witherspoon with like flouncy poofs across her chest. Like WHO dressed these people?
T: I have no idea what Reese was doing, however I find it brilliant that she and Tina Fey turned up wearing the same thing. And Tina wore it best. Boom.
Best Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
S: Imagine if they snubbed Leo, again, for, like, Matt Damon on Mars. He’d quit Hollywood. He’d die. But he won. Why does every keep giving him standing ovations? It’s sort of annoying. Like I get he got snubbed but hasn’t this night taught us that so do a lot of people? Sorry Leo. There’s bigger fish to fry now. I don’t care about your big important manly film.
T: You know who should have been nominated instead of these losers? Those Ex Machina guys. Probably Domhnall over Oscar but either one really.
S: And Michael B. Jordan. Like if you’re going to nominate Stallone then nominate Black Rocky too. If this is a good movie he clearly contributed to it.
T: You know what was completely snubbed? Macbeth. That movie was fucking incredible. Michael and Marion are a dream team and should have won every award going. So we’re saying the best actor list should have been Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, Michael B. Jordan, Michael Fassbender (but for Macbeth) – and who’s the 5th?
S: IDRIS ELBA! Bam!
T: FUCKING NAILED IT. Of course. Can you imagine that line-up would have been 3 out of 5 people of colour. And every one of them so much more deserving than any of the dull white dudes who actually got nominated.
Best Picture: Spotlight
S: Oh fuck this, I’m going to bed.
T: Spotlight? Okay I have a lot of feelings about this. Firstly, I fucking hated The Revenant so literally any other movie could have taken it and I’d be super happy. In theory, Spotlight is such a damned Important Film which shines a Spotlight (GEDDIT?) on a really horrible and pervasive issue in society. So, good for it. It was just lifeless as a piece of entertainment. Sorry guys.
S: You know what I’m realizing? This actually was a time warp. No diversity, Spotlight, weird 90s prom dresses. Like wasn’t this the year that Marty Mcfly and Doc go to the future? Something happened with the Delorean and we totally transported back to 1993 and so that’s why this is all happening. MYSTERY SOLVED. You are all welcome.
T: Holy fuck! Who knew? I’m so glad you’re here on this journey with me.