Oscars 2016: Nonwhite Presenters Present Bright Spots in White Cinema

Chris Rock!

“I counted at least fifteen black people in that montage!”

Thus did emcee Chris Rock kick off the 88th Academy Awards after an animated intro full of lamps with adjectives on them and Oscar statuettes being imbued with all the colors of the rainbow. After the actors and actresses of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences offered up their second consecutive slate of twenty white nominees in a row, the Academy faced an online onslaught of #OscarsSoWhite criticism and went into full damage control mode, enlisting writer/director and former BET CEO Reginald Hudlin as an additional producer and basically giving second-time host Rock a free pass to do whatever came to mind. This served him well for a surprisingly outrageous monologue and a few later comedy bits, until later in the ceremony when he threw away a significant chunk of goodwill on a quick, pointless, unfunny, racist gag that had nothing to do with anything.

It was one surprise in a night full of several, some of them not so tasteless. A few movies I really liked in 2015 came away with bragging rights, so I got that going for me.

Right this way for the list of winners and rundown of memorable moments!

The 88th Oscars Nominations: Initial Thoughts, Lists, and Stats


Original working title for this entry: “I’m Sorry the Academy Thinks Michael B. Jordan Sucks”.

The Academy Award nominations are in! But you already knew that because chances are you’ve had more time for internet than I have today. You’ve already been surprised at how many of the nominees you’ve seen, not surprised that the theme of the 88th Academy Awards will be the Year of the White Guy, and probably up in arms that Star Wars: The Force Awakens wasn’t nominated in nineteen different categories including Best Foreign Language Film on behalf of the one scene with the two guys from The Raid. Ha! Sorry you got your hopes up, you FOOL. The guys from The Raid weren’t nearly white enough.

(If you had to work today like I did, here’s the complete list in showy poster format, or you can do like I do and skip to the “Printable List” button on the right side of that page for a handy PDF. I have zero interest in copying ‘n’ pasting the entirety from someone else’s site, or in typing every single title from scratch. It’s not like I’m paid by the word.)

Momentary pause here to signify my disappointment that Creed likewise failed to be nominated for all the awards ever. I’m sincerely cool with Stallone’s nomination and expected no less, but much more love needed to go out to Michael B. Jordan, director Ryan Coogler, Ludwig Goransson’s score, screenplay, editing, the works. I already went through this frustration two years ago with Fruitvale Station, and yet here we go again. A few things went my way, but seeing Creed seated at the kiddie table wasn’t one of them.

(Same goes to a certain extent for Inside Out, my favorite film of 2015, but I’m used to Hollywood underrating its animated films. To its credit, it received nods for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Screenplay, which means it got twice as many nominations as Creed did. Congrats?)

The following lists and other thoughts popped into my head throughout the day while I mulled over this year’s honorees:

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