The Revenant Leads The 2016 Academy Award Nominations – My Thoughts

The Academy Awards, the Oscars, the Golden Statues or the ‘Upper Class traditionalist old men voting on the same film year after year’…whatever you want to call them (I’d probably stay away from that last one if you were talking to a member), they are the most important, most well-revered and most exciting awards in film. The nominations for each category were released yesterday and I thought that, after a day of contemplation, I’d share some of my thoughts with you on a few of the major categories…so here we go…

Best Picture –

The Big Short – Brooklyn – Bridge of Spies – Mad Max: Fury Road – The Martian – The Revenant – Room – Spotlight

I’ve really had to have a good think about this one…the best picture category just seems so strong this year and whilst I’d love to see Mad Max win it and up until recently I thought Spotlight would (that seems to be talked about much less now), I do think that, even though last year’s went to an Inarritu film (Birdman), I do think this year’s will too. The Revenant just seems like the kind of film the Academy loves…period piece, hard hitting drama, great acting and beautiful to look at. I don’t know…it’s close…but my money is on The Revenant.

Best Actor in a Leading Role –

Bryan Cranston (Trumbo) – Matt Damon (The Martian) – Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant) – Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs) – Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl)

Give the man the goddam award already…I’ve explained why enough in my Golden Globes and BAFTA posts. They love to give people an Oscar for their body of work rather than for one individual film (look at Scorsese) and I just think that it’s Leo’s time to accept his…the world will riot if it doesn’t come true. Plus…I don’t think it’s a hugely tough category.

Best Actress in a Leading Role –

Cate Blanchett (Carol) – Brie Larson (Room) – Jennifer Lawrence (Joy) – Charlotte Rampling (45 Years) – Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn)

I wasn’t expecting J-Law to be in here, as much as The Academy love her. I highly doubt she’ll win this time though. I did originally think Blanchett would but Brie Larson has gotten more and more notice and more and more people are talking about her now…I would think she’d get it. Still don’t exactly know why Charlize Theron wasn’t nominated for Fury Road but what’s the point in ranting about it.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role –

Christian Bale (The Big Short) – Tom Hardy (The Revenant) – Mark Ruffalo (Spotlight) – Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies) – Sylvester Stallone (Creed)

Stallone, you had better take this one home. Few things would make me happier than to see him go and accept this one. I honestly don’t realistically think anyone else could…even though the Academy do sometimes pull out something from left field that can be unpopular. Sly’s got this for me.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role –

Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight) – Rooney Mara (Carol) – Rachel McAdams (Spotlight) – Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl) – Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs)

I think that The Hateful Eight was the most snubbed film in these nominations…but we’ll get onto that later. That’s why I’m wanting it to get everything it is actually up for…and let’s face it, JJL was fantastic in it. Yes, Kate Winslet may have won the Globe and whilst Rooney Mara might be in with a shot but I think it would be harsh not to give it to JJL just based on the type of film she was in…it’s a fantastic film and she is excellent in it.

Best Director –

Adam McKay (The Big Short) – George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road) – Alejandro Inarritu (The Revenant) – Lenny Abrahamson (Room) – Tom McCarthy (Spotlight)

Now I know I said before that I think an Inarritu film will win this year as well as last…and while I think he has a great shot in winning the Best Director again, I don’t think the Academy will give it to the same man twice in a row (but they might)…Inarritu did go through so much to get this film made but ultimately, I think Mad Max deserves some love and George Miller, at 71 years old, coming back to the franchise he created and creating arguably the greatest action movie of the 21st century should be given some love too…I’d love to see him grab this one.

Best Original Screenplay –

Bridge of Spies (Matt Charman, Joel Coen, Ethan Coen) – Ex Machina (Alex Garland) – Inside Out (Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley, Ronnie Del Carmen) – Spotlight (Josh Singer, Tom McCarthy) – Straight Outta Compton (Andrea Berloff, Jonathan Herman, S. Leigh Savage, Alan Wenkus)

Don’t get me started on why Hateful Eight isn’t in this one…it should be winning it…but it’s not even nominated. That’s why I’m going with Straight Outta Compton. With the whole #OscarsSoWhite thing (that is perfectly true in fairness), I think they’ll have to give it to the only film of diversity they’ve nominated. But Aaron Sorkin’s non-inclusion is also a massive blunder. This category is certainly a funny one this year…and by funny, I mean incorrect.

Best Adapted Screenplay –

The Big Short (Charles Randolph, Adam McKay) – Brooklyn (Nick Hornby) – Carol (Phyllis Nagy) – The Martian (Drew Goddard) – Room (Emma Donoghue)

Room is getting progressively more love as the days and weeks go on and I really do think that Donoghue will grab herself this one. For me, it’s not a hugely competitive category…I haven’t heard any other name mentioned in the Adapted Screenplay category than Donoghue.

Best Animated Film –

Anomalisa – O Menino e o Mundo – Inside Out – Shaun The Sheep Movie – Omoide no Mani

This is the surest bet of any category…I’ll continue to say that Inside Out is easily one of the best Pixar films and probably their most interesting…plus, it takes a lot to make me like a Disney related film these days (besides Star Wars) and I loved Inside Out.

Best Cinematography –

Carol (Edward Lachman) – The Hateful Eight (Robert Richardson) – Mad Max: Fury Road (John Seale) – The Revenant (Emmanuel Lubezki) – Sicario (Roger Deakins)

This is another tough category…but I just can’t get over how beautiful Mad Max was to look at. While Lubezki has won the past two years and certainly has a shot again with The Revenant and the inclusion of the legend Roger Deakins…I just think that Fury Road is the best looking film…and that’s what cinematography is all about. Also, it’s a win for something a bit different.

Best Original Score –

Bridge of Spies (Thomas Newman) – Carol (Carter Burwell) – The Hateful Eight (Ennio Morricone) – Sicario (Johann Johannsson) – Star Wars: The Force Awakens (John Williams)

I explained this in my BAFTA post…I am finding it so difficult to choose between Williams and Morricone…easily my two favourite film composers (yes Tarantino, I’m talking about that ‘ghetto’). Two of the biggest legends in film scores…I would be very happy if either of them won (and if neither of them do, I expect I’ll smash a wall), but the reason I choose Williams is that he made me shed tears during Star Wars…granted that was probably due to the whole Star Wars experience but still. Ennio, as brilliant as your score was, I have to go with John on this one.

Best Visual Effects –

Ex Machina – Mad Max: Fury Road – The Martian – The Revenant – Star Wars: The Force Awakens

As far as I’m concerned, Star Wars should be nominated for more…but we’ll get onto that below. Basically, I say give Star Wars every award it’s up for…because it’s a rightful winner. While all these films had incredible effects and it’s so tough to choose between, my, and I hope the Academy’s hearts, say Force Awakens.

SNUBS

Now the snubs…and I think it’s fairly clear from the image who I think came off the worst. How the hell is Hateful Eight not up for Original Screenplay…I mean seriously. Sam L. Jackson has a right to be up for an acting award too…so much more than a usual great Jackson performance. I’d argue it should be up for Best Picture too…perhaps the weak hearts of the old men in the Academy couldn’t handle the violence (or am I being too harsh on them).

I also was surprised to see Carol not up for Best Picture…I think Theron should be there for Actress and arguably, Ryan Coogler for Best Director, replacing Adam McKay. (I think the idea of the guy who makes Will Ferrell comedies being nominated for an Oscar makes me feel sick). Coogler took a much loved franchise and made what everyone’s considering the best since the original and even matching it up to that…even with the negativity Creed had surrounding it before it was released.

Anyway, that’s it for now.

Be sure to let me know your thoughts on the Oscar Noms in the comments and check me out on Twitter and Instagram!

Creed Discussion Tomorrow

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