Ranking the 88th Academy Awards

Stacey Dash the Girl Scout was robbed of more money!

A simple ranking where I rank all 24 Oscar wins based on how much happiness they brought me. I reserve the right to factor in speeches/performances/etc. but I will also probably be harsher on them if I already didn’t like the choice!

24. Best Song for Writing’s on the Wall
My Pick: Simple Song #3, but this entire lineup is a lowpoint.

Between this cauterwauling asshole’s complete inability to carry a fucking tune, his whitesplaining racism (too lazy to hyperlink-Google it) in a year where two nominees couldn’t perform live because they’re Asian or trans/not aimed at teenage girls, and the fact that it takes a whole lot of narcissism/victimhood to think that you are the first gay man to win an award for a movie no matter what that Sir Ian article said…fuck off? Sam Smith was the Stonewall movie’s exact audience, I’m sure. Also, I’m kind of sick of Gaga because of moments like Sam Smith saying “All the nominees are amazing…Gaga you are amazing!”, but she made Til It Happens To You tolerable live with a legitimately inspiring moment even if she sang like she was getting electrocuted.

23. Best Adapted Screenplay for The Big Short
My Pick: Literally any other nominee? (Carol.)

This witless screenplay is written by douchebros for douchebros, with McKay’s speech underscoring that. BernieBro? Check. Claims a movie about financial esoterica is a risk? Yeah, okay, it’s so hard to be the director of Stepbrothers. Forcing me to endure “Tell me the difference between illegal and stupid…” again in the clips, one of the least funny lines of the year? Stop! Not to mention the movie’s complete tonal whiplash, but hey, at least this movie (my most hated BP nominee) only got this Oscar! This year had a pretty good winner’s circle, spoiler alert.

22. Best Documentary for Amy
My Pick: Look of Silence (once again, all four nominees were better)

While Amy has some legitimately interesting footage, the entire movie is grossly exploitative and a violation of Amy Winehouse’s privacy. Pure vulture cinema, and it’s all the more exhausting when you consider the fact that we had four good choices up for grabs.

21. Best Animated Short for Bear Story
My Pick: World of Tomorrow (haven’t seen all nominees)

I actually went and watched this short after it won. It was fine, but…World of Tomorrow, you guys. FUCK YOU BEARS! ESPECIALLY JUDY FROM THE REVENANT FOR NOT KILLING DICAPRIO PROPERLY! (That was originally not going to say killing.) Bonus points for randomly dragging their dates up, though.

20. Best Actor for Leonardo DiCaprio
My Pick: See below

On the one hand, Leo winning shuts up his fans. On the other hand, it means no more memes. On another hand, he’s really never deserved an Oscar but especially not for this. On a fourth hand, this was as shitty a lineup as I can remember, with the only passable performance being Damon’s boringly pleasant one. On a fifth, Fassbender actually does deserve a career Oscar. And on a sixth, Redmayne winning would have blown up the Internet even if he’s terrible. (No way am I ever supporting Cranston, an overrated ham in everything who I am dreading getting perma-nominated for all he does just like the Emmys did.) Soooo…whatever.

19. Best Director for Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
My Pick: George Miller

“Hey, let’s give all the technical awards to Mad Max and then say The Revenant was better directed.” (Most depressing Tweet of the night pointed out that AGI, who seems like a real jerk even if I actually like his work outside of this movie and occasionally love [Birdman <3], has more Best Director awards than every woman in existence.)

18. Best Supporting Actress for Alicia Vikander
My Pick: Rooney Mara (if you can’t deal with category fraud: Jennifer Jason Leigh)

Let’s just close our eyes and pretend it’s for Ex Machina, a fact underscored by her thanking Oscar Isaac. Hated this movie passionately, but she was the one person who resembled a human. Good for her.

17. Best Cinematography for The Revenant
My Pick: Mad Max, but…(see below)

Remember when Chivo getting recognized was refreshing? Love him and the movie really is pretty, but three in a row is ridiculous. To make matters worse there were three better choices here in Mad Max revolutionizing orange and teal, Carol’s green-with-envy grains, and especially a well overdue Roger Deakins for the silhouetted SWAT team of Sicario. (Hateful Eight was fine too. Good lineup!)

16. Best Original Screenplay for Spotlight
My Pick: Ex Machina

Whatever, it’s fine.

15. Best Live Action Short for Stutterer
My Pick: Haven’t seen any nominees

Well, yeah.

14. Best Documentary Short for Girl in the River
My Pick: Haven’t seen any nominees

See #15, bonus points for the best speech of the night.

13. Best Score for The Hateful Eight
My Pick: Carol

Glad for Ennio to win an Oscar, and I like all five nominees, but admit it: you hum the Carol theme. Or…think about the Sicario theme when driving? (Speaking of which, Mad Max getting snubbed here was tragic.)

12. Best Picture for Spotlight
My Pick: Mad Max Fury Road

“Oh god, it’s between The Big Short and The Revenant, the only two nominees I dislike! Please be The Revenant!……OMG! RELATIVE VICTORIES!” (This probably won’t age well otherwise.)

11. Best Actress for Brie Larson
My Pick: Charlotte Rampling

In a lineup of three of the year’s very best performances, one very good one, and JLaw’s best work since Winter’s Bone…fourth best is nothing to be ashamed of! She seems like a lovely person too, and has turned out great work in the past. I just wish they’d picked a better Oscar clip. She’s acting a smidge too hard in hers.

10. Best Foreign Film for Son of Saul
My Pick: Of all of them, Girlhood. Of the noms that I’ve seen (just this), agree with this (lol).

Not a film I’ll likely ever rewatch but probably one of the year’s most formally brilliant? I watched through my fingers, so…

9. Best Sound Editing for Mad Max Fury Road
My Pick: Sicario

That montage of sound effects for the clip! *sprays paint in mouth* But Sicario not getting into both sound categories makes me sad.

8. Best Costumes for Mad Max Fury Road
My Pick: Carol

On paper this should be my favorite win of the night. A woman named Jenny Beavan! Wearing a bedazzled Immortan Joe jacket that she showed off as she slowly ambled to the stage! And Inarritu was all pissed at her winning over Revenant’s ugly furs! AND she had a much better speech about the environment, LEO! And yet…Carol’s costumes, you guys. I do think Mad Max is the better movie by a hair…but CAROL’S OUTFITS!

7. Best Animated Film for Inside Out
My Pick: Correct winner

Even in a lovely nominee slate, this was the clear standout. It felt weird to support Pixar over Ghibli or the indie Brazilian film, but I had to sell out eventually.

6. Best Makeup for Mad Max
5. Best Sound Mixing for Mad Max
4. Best Production Design for Mad Max
My Picks: Hooray x 3

Sound Mixing outranks Makeup because I thought the sound guilds would split it and give that one to Revenant (plus no Sicario nom here), while Production Design is fourth for being just that good and having a great speech. Either way: WHAT A LOVELY DAY! Now let’s listen to the chase theme six times in a row to celebrate.

3. Best Visual Effects for Ex Machina
My Pick: Correct

One of the most shocking picks in a very long time combined with that Get Down Saturday Night instrumental was heaven enough. Factor in the fact that it was the subtle choice and the only other interesting work in the lineup was Mad Max’s sandstorm, and you have a truly satisfying tech win.

2. Best Supporting Actor for Mark Rylance
My Pick: Correct, and the only good choice to boot


1. Best Editing for Mad Max Fury Road
My Pick: Duh

The battle for this category was truly good versus evil even with the hindsight that Spotlight won BP. You had Mad Max’s revolutionary editing, some of the finest I’ve ever seen, done by the goddess who married George Miller (wanting her to edit it so it didn’t look like any other action movie <3) and in service of visual storytelling. And then you had The Big Shit’s, an incoherent grab bag that was certainly the MOST edited movie of the year, in service of…celebrating rich white men and showing off?

And then she WON, and the world was happy that arguably the year’s most accomplished work was recognized, but none moreso than me, I’m sure. I plan on forcing her to edit my life story. WE LOVE YOU MARGARET!


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