Monday, February 27, 2017

PIPER wins Best Animated Short

 
Well, I didn't have my computer when watching the Oscars so I didn't have any way to make this post, so it's probably a few hours delayed, but being that this is a blog about the Best Animated Short category, I might as well report it. Most of the news tomorrow (or rather later today) will probably be about the fiasco with the Best Picture category, but there's no doubt about what went down in the Best Animated Short film category (which is clearly the most important category anyways). After 13 years of heartbreak and eight previous losses, Pixar finally went back to the winner's circle (at least in this Best Animated Feature category) with their first win since For the Birds in 2001.

That's right, Piper takes home the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.

This is only their fourth win in this category, with Tin Toy (1988) and Geri's Game (1997)

Other thoughts after the break

Now that I look at it, Pixar has won in this category four times in four decades. And they've won once and only once in each decade. Pear Cider and Cigarettes was one I thought might pull off the upset (kind of like how La Maison en Petits Cubes and The Lost Thing did in other times Pixar went in as front-runners). Instead, it only stands as the only animated short longer than 30 minutes to lose the Oscars (as The Man Who Planted Trees, A Close Shave and Peter and the Wolf all won). Pearl was another film given the possibility of an upset, considering it was highly touted as a VR experience. Although I figure the version that was voted on was probably not the 360 experience but the 2D film that was shown in the Oscar showings, which I felt made more cinematic sense although loses out on a lot of the technical vision. Anyways, I'm sure there won't be any tears shed for Robert Valley or Patrick Osborne. Osborne has his Oscar from two years ago for Feast. I'm not entirely sure what Robert Valley has other than the fact he's still living and can claim to be an Oscar nominee, which is better than his friend Techno. (Yes, I just went there.)

Anyways, I figure I might as well go over some of the other categories, because I have to wake up in 5 and a half hours. I felt certain that La La Land was going to win Best Picture on top of a whole bunch of other Oscars. It's a film about Hollywood, and we all know the Academy loves self-congratulating themselves. It did win 6 Oscars, but in a last-minute stunner it was revealed that Moonlight took home the coveted Best Picture award. I actually liked La La Land more, but the storytelling was a lot stronger in Moonlight, in both the screenplay and the use of the film medium to tell the story. It's just a shocker that the film about a gay, black boy growing up in Liberty City won, although the preferential ballot probably helped. Damien Chazelle did become the youngest man to win Best Director, breaking the record held by Norman Taurog (1899-1981) held for 85 years since winning for Skippy all the way back in 1931 (which was incidentally the year before they debuted the Short Film categories.) La La Land also won in Cinematography (which should have gone to Moonlight, but Pan's Labyrinth over Children of Men), Production Design, Original Score, Original Song (Moana was robbed) and Best Actress.

No real surprises in the acting categories. There were some buzz about possible upsets, but all of the front-runners ended up winning: Casey Affleck for Manchester by the Sea, Emma Stone for La La Land, Mahershala Ali for Moonlight and Viola Davis for Fences. The fact that two black actors won was a nice touch (the first time that happened since Forrest Whitaker [The Last King of Scotland] and Jennifer Hudson [Dreamgirls] 10 years ago.)

For craft categories that didn't go to La La Land, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them became the first film in the Potterverse to win an Oscar by claiming Best Costume Design. Hacksaw Ridge captured Best Editing. Kevin O'Connell ended his 0 for 20 streak by being part of the Oscar winning team behind Hacksaw Ridge for Best Sound Mixing, only a few days after fellow perennial Oscar loser Greg P. Russell got his latest nomination revoked for illicit campaigning. (Russell is now the record holder for most nominations without a win). Arrival won for Best Sound Editing. And Suicide Squad can join the illustrious group of films that can claim that it won an Oscar when it won for Best Makeup and Hairstyling. (Most doesn't always equal best...Star Trek Beyond was robbed...)

OJ: Made in America unseats War and Peace by becoming the longest film to win an Oscar when it wins for Best Documentary Feature. (People complain about how it was made in five parts and qualified for the Oscar by playing in theaters, but War and Pace was four feature length films strung together). Meanwhile, Zootopia won Best Animated Feature, The Salesman won Best Foreign Language Film, The White Helmets won Best Documentary Short, and Sing won Best Live Action Short.

Anyways, I can talk about the politically charged nature of many of the speeches, but I am choosing not to. Because it's late, and IDGAF anymore.

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