88th Academy Awards Recap

88th academy awards oscars 201688th Annual Academy Awards 2016 Photo courtesy of Forbes.com

The 88th Academy Awards aired last night on ABC! If you followed the On Wisconsin guide to fill out your Oscar ballot, you probably did pretty well in your pool. Our picks were correct for 16 out of 24 categories. Not too bad.

The night was certainly full of surprises, tears, jokes and, of course, a few awkward moments. Let’s break down everything that went down at the 2016 Oscars.


The Expected

Leonardo DiCaprio wins Oscar 2016

Leonardo DiCaprio accepts the Oscar for Best Actor. Photo courtesy of ABC News

With any awards show, there were some things that we all saw coming. Inside Out was, unsurprisingly, a slam dunk, winning the award for Best Animated Feature Film. The #OscarsSoWhite remarks were a plenty, with Chris Rock’s monologue packed with comments about the lack of diversity. And, alas, we said a fond farewell to an internet favorite, because Leonardo DiCaprio finally got his Oscar. But fear not, you can still relive all your favorite “Leo wants an Oscar” memes.


The Surprises

Probably the biggest shock of the night was Lady Gaga losing to Sam Smith for Best Original Song. Jimmy Napes and Sam Smith won for “Writings on the Wall,” which they wrote for the new James Bond movie, Spectre. Lady Gaga was nominated with Diane Warren for “‘Til it Happens to You,” a song about rape and sexual assault against women on college campuses, written for The Hunting Ground. Gaga was introduced before her performance by our old pal, Vice President Joe Biden. “‘Til it Happens to You” was a powerful anthem about an important topic to raise awareness, and when it came to the live performances, Lady Gaga knocked it out of the park, while Sam Smith paled in comparison. This one was a disappointment, but Brie Larson gave us some serious feels after Lady Gaga’s performance by hugging every survivor of sexual assault as they came offstage.

Another surprise came in the Visual Effects category. Ex Machina surpassed Mad Max: Fury Road and Star Wars: The Force Awakens to take home the award. This was the only win of the night for the film, which was a cult favorite.

Mark Rylance Oscar New York Daily News

Mark Rylance wins for Best Supporting Actor. Photo courtesy of New York Daily News

The last big surprise came with the race for Best Supporting Actor. Sylvester Stallone seemed like a sure win for his performance in Creed. If not Stallone, there was a lot of other great talent in the category: Tom Hardy showed crazy versatility as an 1800s fur trapper in the north woods in The Revenant, and Mark Ruffalo delivered with tear-inducing lines as reporter Mike Rezendes in Spotlight. And Christian Bale was also solid in The Big Short. But, out of nowhere it seemed, Mark Rylance took home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for his portrayal of a captured Soviet in Bridge of Spies.


Hot Takes

Overall, the awards played out pretty much as expected. Per the On Wisconsin predictions, both The Martian and Star Wars: The Force Awakens walked away empty-handed. Mad Max hauled home the bronze in barrels, winning six awards throughout the night. The award for Best Picture went to Spotlight, in a pleasant not-so-surprising surprise, showing that journalism still holds a bit of a place in America’s hearts.

Now, with the 2016 Oscars firmly behind us, we retreat to our daily lives. With no more movies to fervently binge watch, nor ballots to fill or predictions to second guess, we’ll be taking time to continue to appreciate the simple things in life. And we await the arrival of a new great meme. Let us hope that day arrives soon.



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