The Academy Awards are today and, despite a few exceptions that prove the rule, listing off this year’s crop of nominees is like a schoolteacher taking attendance. “An American making tough choices at war time?” “Here!” “Man-versus-nature suffer-fest?” “Here!” “The courageous LGBT role, performed by a straight person?” “Here!” “Heart-wrenching family drama?” “Here!” “White people?” “Here!” “Here!” “Over here!!”
The 2016 ceremony is not expected to be overly surprising. And despite recent promises of change coming to the make-up of the Academy, the Oscars will continue to hand out awards for the same types of performances in the same categories year after year. Here at The Pop Culture Reference, we’re more partial to the specific moments, trends, and details that continue to go unacknowledged by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. And even though our voting committee is only two people, we’re still a more diverse crowd than the entire Academy. While we’re looking forward to seeing rich, beautiful people pat each other on the back (seriously, we are), we’ve put together our own picks: The 2016 Pop Culture Awards for Excellence in Film or Something.
Best Use of Nostalgia to Elicit Emotions
Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Rey and the lightsaber. So. Much. Feels.
Best Chase Scene
Mad Max: Fury Road‘s into the storm cloud scene. Still waiting to catch our breath from that one.
(Honourable Mention goes to the first chase scene in Jupiter Ascending)
Best Performance by an Altered Skin Colour
Ryan Gosling’s tan, The Big Short.
(Honourable Mention goes to Tilda Swinton’s Orangeface in Trainwreck)
Best Moment Pulled Right Out of a Comic Book
Avengers: Age of Ultron, first scene. That splash page, tho.
Best Costume Design That Was Just SO 2000s
Spotlight, Rachel McAdams’s comical wide-legged trousers.
Best Sequel That Was Actually a Rehash of the Plot of the First Movie
Pitch Perfect 2, all hail director Elizabeth Banks!
Best Use of Grey on Grey on Grey Fashion
Mockingjay, President Coin. Our girl was LIVING for her grey look.
Best “Daaaamn, Tom Cruise on the Side of a Plane!” Moment
Tom Cruise on the side of a plane, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation.
Melissa McCarthy’s Wiggist, Spy. We hope Bean Bag the bird wasn’t harmed.
Best Creepy Creepy Patriarchal Maniac
Immortan Joe, Mad Max: Fury Road. Thanks for providing so many new characters to populate my nightmares, George Miller.
Best Character We Need to See More of Right Now, Pls
General Leia Organa, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Best Heartbreaking Performance by Phyllis from The Office
Best Traffic Remake That Had Oscar Buzz
Sicario. How dare you make me think this was an Emily Blunt movie, and then have it be a Benecio del Toro Traffic remake. How. Dare. You.
Best Movie We Didn’t See, But Sure Are Happy Exists
Sisters, sorry Tina and Amy! We feel terrible about this.