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 Revenant”: Furrier Road

The Revenant!

Through the rigorous weeks of shooting, Leonardo DiCaprio burned hundreds of unsold Growing Pains: Season 7 sets to keep warm.

With a week to go till the Academy Awards, I’ve seen all eight Best Picture nominees as part of my annual Oscar Quest. I’ve only written about five of them so far and have some catch-up to do. Usually the AMPAS voters love at least one film I’d rather not see, but I’m relieved to report the 2015 lineup gave me the best Oscar Quest I’ve had in over a decade. Early on, I’d gotten the impression that if any nominee would annoy me more than the rest, it would be Alejandro González Iñárritu’s next film stunt The Revenant. I decided to see it anyway and form my own opinions, whether justified or flawed.

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