Oscars: What I Thought

Neither LW’s Oscar expert Rex Okpodu nor I did especially well in the predictions this year. Neither of expected “Mad Max” to do as well as it did. Neither of us expected a Rylance upset of Stallone, but I for one am glad it happened. Neither of us got Best Picture right: Rex chose “The Big Short” and I chose “The Revenant.” The broadcast was its usual endless self — the only thing more predictable is people complaining about it. I loved the “minor” moments — the young filmmakers from Chile winning a statue, and the director from Hungary winning Best Foreign Film for “Son of Saul.” For such people from the far corners of the world, winning an Oscar is an enormous honor for themselves and for their home countries. In fact, the winners’ circle was especially non-American this year, reminding us that diversity is not only about race but about ethnicity and national origin. DiCaprio gave a shining movie-star acceptance speech, though allow me a moment of slight cynicism when I say: every time DiCaprio gives a speech about the environment I ask myself: just how small is his carbon footprint? (I doubt he flies commercial very often.) For me the low point of the night was the segment in which host Chris Rock interviewed patrons of a cinema in a black neighborhood — it wasn’t funny and just reinforced a black-people-are-too-uncurious-and-dumb-to-see-anything-but-black-themed-movies stereotype. My favorite moment was the Best Score win for 87-year-old Ennio Morricone, who has composed so much of my favorite film music (“The Mission,” “1900”). As Morricone slowly made his way to the stage, you could feel all of Italy rising to its feet.

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