What was the biggest part of the Oscars last night?
S: I could see a definite argument being made about the Minion’s appearance, it truly was the unexpected triumph of the night. All kidding aside, I would have to go with obvious choice here and pick Leonardo DiCaprio finally getting his Oscar. He was nominated five times over and he has definitely earned it at this point, not to mention that he was the obvious fan favorite. As the Oscars try to be more inclusive this year more than ever, it was a big step for them to finally give DiCaprio his due, if only to show everyone that they aren’t as out-of-touch with regular audiences as people think. I’ll definitely miss seeing those disappointed Leo memes, though.
D: Spencer, I’d have to say that your fear of disappearing Leo memes is not required. There has already been a new meme created for Leo. (https://i.imgflip.com/100oko.jpg) I’d have to say that even though it was the biggest, most anticipated part of the night, it seemed to be very anticlimatic. He won the award and sure it was exciting, but it didn’t live up to all the hype that it seemed to have built up with it. To the people who were running the Oscars the biggest part was that there was sooooo much emphasis on was their personal diversity, but it didn’t impact my opinion of the academy much regardless.
Which win was the most surprising to you?
D: I don’t really have a big surprise win as I do a couple of surprise losses. How does Star Wars not win award for visual effects or any of the sound categories? Sure Mad Max was a big success too, but Star Wars is an unexpected reboot of one of the most beloved franchises in the history of movies. The Oscars are voted by Hollywood for Hollywood. Why wouldn’t they celebrate a cinematic masterpiece that is Star Wars? The whole thing just threw me off. Gah!
S: I’m taking a risk putting my name out there in print saying this, but freedom of press is all about speaking your mind. I don’t think Star Wars is Oscar-quality. It was a movie by a fan, for the fans, so it is far more suited to a People’s Choice Awards win than to being handed a golden trophy reserved for timeless pieces of cinematic art, but to each their own. The most surprising wins for me were definitely the Mad Max ones, as I get into in more depth below. Who would have thought that a fast-paced action movie that I saw with one of my buddies for a good time during blockbuster season would take home six Oscars within a year? Not this guy, that’s for sure.
Were you surprised that Mad Max: Fury Road came home with the most Oscars?
S: Mad Max was the biggest surprise of the night for me. While I loved it, it always seemed out of place to have a popular action movie on the Best Picture list alongside Spotlight and the rest, so I consistently underestimated the Academy’s seriousness about it. Ultimately, I think if it was going to win in any categories it would be the ones it did. A technical marvel it is, a well-plotted thinkpiece it is not.
D: To be honest, I haven’t seen Mad Max. Sure it’s the continuation of a famed franchise, but it doesn’t have the following that Star Wars has (sense a pattern here). Maybe I’m just a hypocrite. Regardless, as someone looking to go into the industry, it’s great to see a movie that has seen a lot of success. It can act as an example for myself and others on the technical craft required for a movie. Sure many of the awards were in effects department, but these categories are still a critical part of a movie.
How do you feel about Star Wars: The Force Awakens not winning any awards for sound or visual effects?
D: As I mentioned earlier it was a travesty that Star Wars did not win any awards. My theory is that George Lucas is just secretly blacklisted by the academy after the creation of Jar Jar Binks. The whole fight scene between Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi is just a recreation of an epic battle between George Lucas and John Williams. They were locked in combat swinging high above the stage on catwalks when John Williams crescendoed the music and George Lucas slipped and was hanging on by one hand. George Lucas screamed about branding! Williams shouted that he was, “suppose to elevate the movie industry, not sell out.” Lucas then fell to his death, which is exactly why they sold the Star Wars series in the first place. Trust me, any people walking around pretending to be George Lucas is clearly a clone (or at least a droid).
S: Accused Star Wars hate mongering aside, this was a weird one in my opinion as well. To give the visual effects award to Ex Machina was unexpected and to lose to Mad Max in both sound categories, while less surprising, still caught me a little off-guard. I suppose the Academy’s cold, cold heart is simply immune to nostalgia.
Now that Leo has an Oscar, what’s next?
S: Another one? I honestly could not say, he is a prolific actor so I am certain he will have more on his plate before long, especially with a Best Actor award to whip out every time a director makes the mistake of doubting his abilities. Who knows, maybe this could be the beginning of a new meme about how Leonardo DiCaprio can’t stop winning Oscars for a change.
D: Yeah I don’t think that I have anything different to say then you Spencer. Leo has already proven that he is an accomplished awarded actor. I hope that he doesn’t sit on his laurels and continues to make movies that mimic the quality and craftsmanship of Django, Great Gatsby, the Revenant, etc.
Was there anyone that deserved an Oscar and didn’t receive one?
D: I think there were many deserving movies in the Best Picture category. You could make an argument for any of the movies, really. I’m kind of disappointed that not only did Hateful Eight not win the original screenplay category, but it wasn’t even nominated. What?! Now I know that Hateful Eight was not the best Tarantino movie that he’s ever written but it’s still of incredible quality in my opinion. Speaking of which, I thought that Jennifer Jason Leigh was amazing in Hateful Eight. The character that she had to become to sell that role, crazy. I don’t understand how she didn’t win. There was a lot of good competition though, so maybe she was just unlucky.
S: Makes you think that the real Hateful Eight at the Oscars were the eight nominees that took Tarantino’s awards, huh? As far as missed awards go, I think that the biggest disappointment for me was Brooklyn going home arms empty. It’s probably the nominee people have heard of the least, it’s the nominee that I least looked forward to watching, yet it ended up being one of my favorites. It featured one of the best performances (snaps to Saorise Ronan) and an engrossing tale of twin loves, both with flaming hearts of passion burning equal bright, bound to one fascinating girl who must make the ultimate choice and pick between them, in doing so making an ultimate choice between her old life and the new life she is struggling to build. Yikes, I got caught up in the moment and started waxing poetic there for a second. Rest assured, it deserved some recognition at least, be it Oscar or iTunes rental.
How do you rate the performance of Chris Rock?
S: Met and exceeded my expectations. If I am honest, this is the first Oscar ceremony that I have watched live in its entirety and I am certain that that was due at least in part to Chris Rock’s energetic hosting. I had heard that he rewrote his monologue to be representative of the #oscarssowhite controversy and I am happy to say that those relatively last minute adjustments were not a mistake. It was funny, it was relevant, and it was tasteful. What more could you want from the guy?
D: I knew that as soon as they announced it, that they would have many controversial quotes from Chris Rock. Really, you have issues of diversity and you set yourself up for jokes coming from the man whose stand up routine was so crazy, they wrote an entire episode of the Office off of it. I thought that as long as they wanted all the self depreciating jokes, the Oscars made a great choice. That one chinese racist joke was a bit much though, but that happens when you hire Chris Rock as a MC.
Favorite girl scout cookies?
D: Tag-alongs. I’m eating them right now. But I wouldn’t pay $63,000 for them though.
S: Not even for a good cause? Come on, man. Rah-Rah Raisins for me. The raisins make them the healthier option……. right?