Recap: Oscars 2016!

Following tradition of the last two years, here’s a little recap! I wasn’t sure if I’d end up catching Oscars but we changed up our plans and ended up joining my mom for sit down and dinner together to enjoy the ceremony. My conclusion is that I make better guesses when I haven’t seen any of the movies than when I do.  I guess bias comes into play at that point and it affects my judgement.

I am glad that Mad Max: Fury Road did so well because it was well deserved.  I gave a personal standing ovation in my mom’s dining room to Ex Machina for winning Visual Effects.  There was a bit of cringing when I felt like Sam Smith was about to go off-tune and he looked nervous as heck to be up there but his speech was inspiring and he looked genuinely enthused to win it even if probably Lady Gaga’s song would have been the win that was deserved but I don’t care much for the “Original Song” category.  The only one I was genuinely a little angry at was Mad Max winning Costume Design because Cinderella may not have been a great movie but it was all about costumes while I mean how many costumes were there for Mad Max.  On a happier note, I am happy that Mark Rylance won for supporting actor.  Even if I didn’t see The Revenant, I was fairly certain Innaritu would win for Best Director and Leo for Best Actor because just from the trailers, it looked like the sort of movie that had the calibre and achievement to rightfully earn it. However, I did end up catching Spotlight over the weekend right before Oscars and even posted my review for it and I’m telling you that to me, it was a justified Best Picture winner.  I don’t think I’ve agreed much to these winners in the last few years but then I haven’t caught up with the majority of them either but Spotlight really connected with me in presenting their story and the content.  Out of all those movies, as wonderful and fantastic as they were, Brooklyn didn’t stand a chance in my book and even The Revenant probably wouldn’t have the depth of telling a story that reflected an issue that is maybe probably unfortunately still present today. For none of the other movies I saw in the Best Picture did have as much of a discussion at my home than Spotlight either and we finished that movie at 2am on Saturday night or something (just to give you an idea).

This year I decided to do my Oscars recap of the winners in advance and now, let’s check out the Top 5 Best Dresses.

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Cate Blanchett

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Charlize Theron

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Alicia Vikander

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Saoirse Ronan

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Priyanka Chopra

Elegant, beauty, grace: These ladies all had it.  Not to mention, Cate Blanchett picked the perfect dress for the category she was presenting for: Costume Design. Just look at the intricate flowers on her dress! Its amazing! And kudos for Charlize Theron pulling off that style because normally, I’m not a fan of that cut of the deep V plunge (or whatever you call it) but she accessorized well and made it look very nice.

And then for some great moments that I liked quite a bit.

Jacob Tremblay & Star Wars

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Mark Ruffalo Winking for his Nomination

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Michael Keaton Fist Pump for Spotlight Win

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I was equally as happy as Michael Keaton was when I heard that Spotlight won.  This reaction is just priceless!

Brie Larson in Awe

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And her speech thanking everyone including the movie-goers! It warms my heart even if I didn’t see it in theatres and bought it on the Play store 😉

Leonardio diCaprio Winning Speech

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Leonardo diCaprio winning was *almost* set in stone.  I was pretty sure he made a solid performance even if I only saw trailers.  However, he didn’t just win an Oscar.  He also delivered a meaningful speech and the best part was his final line about not taking the planet for granted, he wouldn’t take his Oscar win for granted.

I think to wrap it up this year, Lady Gaga’s song deserved more recognition.  I haven’t found the time to watch The Hunting Ground but it does intrigue me. While I can’t find the video for the Oscars performance she made and I only saw a snippet as I left my mom’s at that point and only had snippets online.  The song holds true meaning that deserves to be heard.

That’s it for Oscars 2016! It was a great year with some outstanding movies this year! 🙂
Did you watch the Oscars 2016? What were your fave moments? Did any winners surprise you? Any disappointments?

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Room (2015)

During the duration of the Ultimate 80s Blogathon, it will be my chance to do a lot of 2015 movies catch-up.  Focus will mostly go to Oscar nominated films.  The choices are limited as some are stuck in between home release and theatres.  Still, I’m going to try my best to get to as many as possible.  Moving right along with the Oscar nominations (since I already looked at Bridge of Spies before, Room is nominated for 4 Oscars including Best Picture. Its also filmed in Toronto and the little boy Jacob Tremblay has been on The Ellen Show recently.  I read Room (review HERE) a few years ago in my earlier blogging days so maybe that review is not a fun read.  Still, it is a great book.

Let’s check it out! 🙂

Room (2015)

room

Director: Lenny Abrahamson

Cast: Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Sean Bridgers, Joan Allen, William H. Macy

After five-year-old Jack and his mother escape from the enclosed surroundings that Jack has known his entire life, the boy makes a thrilling discovery.-IMDB

Room is very good movie.  Its a well done adaptation of the book.  Watching endangered kids always has this somewhat manipulative aspect to it but Room and its cast rearranges (or at least I think of what I remember) the screenplay so that it makes it a little more cinematic.  IMDB’s description is a little skewed.  Room focuses on entrapment in the first half and escape/rehabilitation in the second half, almost through the eyes of a five year old.  During the movie, I was a little shocked that they split the movie almost down in the middle, allocating more time on Ma and Jack recovering and adapting to the real world.  It felt like the source material spent more time building it from Room.  Is that a good choice? Let me tell you that when the credits rolled, I couldn’t help but compare the enjoyment I had of this movie to Gone Girl (also one I loved the novel and was not sure how they’d make it work in a movie).  With that said, the credits listed the author of the book Emma Donoghue also to be responsible for the adapted screenplay and for that, I think is the similarity of what keeps the content true to what the heart of the novel is about.  I’m not one to nitpick on details on expanding or diminishing of the source material.  It honestly doesn’t bother me too much but how they dealt with it held my attention for the movie.  The tension, the urgency, the sacrifice, the fear of adapting, and other feelings were all apparent in this drama.

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One of the best things was giving us a believable story lead by an extremely competent cast. There is no doubt of the exceptional performances of Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay playing Ma and Jack respectively.  Their attachment and relationship was depicted beautifully. The part I loved the most was those little monologues where the audience got to get an honest glimpse of what Jack was thinking of from the little world he lived in to his transition into a bigger world.  In a story like this, even being saved is still a struggle to heal for everyone and not just the victims.  Jack has the bigger world and building a connection with others and not just his Ma.  On the other hand, Ma has to get over the years she’s lost and people questioning the decisions she made.  Joan Allen is fantastic as Grandma, especially when contrasted with a much shorter appearance of William H. Macy as Grandpa, who for that short time sent out his feelings perfectly. However, among all the praise, I truly think that Sean Bridgers was casted wrong.  I don’t know who could have done it better or maybe its not even a casting issue but the lack of build-up for the villainous character of Old Nick.  It seemed a little rush and there was really one scene that gave him a more menacing feeling.

Room

Room is a truly eye-opening experience, especially when the movie does a fantastic job of opening and closing it the way it did.  Its an experience of really seeing what two sides of the coin (or the other side of the wall?) is all about. Room may be a prison for Ma because she knows what else is out there but for Jack, its not.  This is his world and he is happy because he has Ma.  That attachment takes time to maintain and it won’t be easily broken.  Does leaving Room behind mean that they are free? The amazement and fear in Jack as he learns to connect with others but still have that unbreakable bond with Ma is a precious one.  In all the hardships they’ve gone through, Room isn’t completely a depressing movie.  Its a thrilling and tense but weaved in with some genuine heartfelt moments that give hope and a different point of view.  Maybe sometimes, the eyes of a five year old can see more because they know less.

Have you seen Room? How did you like the performance of Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay?