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The best moments from the 88th Academy Awards

87th Annual Academy Awards Set Up
Now that a little bit of time has been removed from the actual ceremony, I think it’s only right to look back on the 88th Academy Awards for a moment. Yes, I’m going to be looking at the positives of the event, as opposed to the negatives. We can always pick out what we don’t like about something, but today is a day for positivity. We follow the awards season, all the way up to Oscar night, because we enjoy it, so it’s prudent to focus on that. There will never be a perfect Academy Award telecast, but each and every single year we see things that make us laugh, smile, or just feel good about film. Below you will see the five things that I took away from the show in the most positive light. Your choices might be different, obviously, but these are mine. I suspect you’ll all agree with some, but that’s neither here nor there. Anyway, enjoy…

Here are the five best moments from the Oscar ceremony:

5. Chris Rock’s opening monologue – All eyes were on Rock as he opened the show. We knew he would address the racial controversy about the acting lineups, and while he touched on that pretty directly, he also just came up with an effective and entertaining monologue. Rock is a very solid host and I hope we see him do this again soon. He wasn’t the comedy highlight of the evening, but he wasn’t far off, that’s for sure. Rock knew what he needed to do and did it quite well.

4. Ex Machina winning Best Visual Effects – One of the biggest upsets I’ve ever seen, the presumed least likely winner in the Visual Effects category wound up taking the prize. It wouldn’t have been my personal choice, but I loved seeing this sort of shock happen. Moreover, Ex Machina is, without question, one of the most unique winners to date here, so that’s a real plus as well. I’m not sure what it means for the future of the category, but in general I’m all for surprise upsets.

3. Leonardo DiCaprio’s speech after winning Best Actor – At long last, folks got to see DiCaprio win an Oscar. Not only that, but they got to see him give a powerful speech at the Academy Awards, centered around climate change. Politics and the Oscars can be an odd mix, but DiCaprio made it work, considering the nature aspect inherent in The Revenant. He gets a thumbs up from me here, even if I would have preferred him to have won in the past for a different role instead. Alas.

2. Louis C.K.’s presentation – From a purely comedic perspective, my favorite moment of this telecast was C.K. presenting the Best Documentary Short category. His explanation/rant about it and the lack of respect that the filmmakers receive was biting, funny, and most of all, completely on point. I already wanted him to host the Oscars one day, but now I think he more or less has the job if he ever wants it. That remains to be seen, but C.K. certainly proved that he can be hilarious at the Academy Awards…

1. Spotlight winning Best Picture – What’s better than seeing your favorite film of the year take the top prize of the night? Nothing here, that’s what! Spotlight was the best thing I saw in 2015, so while I would have been absolutely delighted for it to have won Best Picture this year, having it emerge with the biggest Oscar as a relative dark horse was even better. This was an Academy Award upset of the most pleasing kind and I’ll remember it for some time.

Stay tuned for the new awards season to come over the course of 2016!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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