By John Rocker
February is a month full of fun events. There’s the Super Bowl, and then there’s something I always look forward to, The Academy Awards (aka The Oscars). Sure, the show is just an over-glorified contest, but I’m always intrigued to see who or what will win. This year is very exciting for me because this is the first year I’ve seen all the Best Picture nominees before the show has happened. So I figured I would make a list of the Best Picture nominees and rank them. Please keep in mind this is my opinion, so if you disagree, that’s fine. More power to you.
- Bridge of Spies: When the nominations were being announced, this was the film that confused me the most. I thought Creed had a better chance over this. I thought it was a well-made film with decent performances, but the pacing was slow, and it felt like it was two different films (when you hit the changing point, you’ll know). This film is fine, but to me, it wasn’t anything fantastic.
- Mad Max: Fury Road: What I believe to be one of the most overrated movies of the year. Is it good? Yes, I believe so. The amount of work that had to go into those effects and action sequences was incredible, and this film deserves all the technical nominations it’s getting. When it comes to my film preference, I want a good story with depth. Mad Max: Fury Road’s was very simple, and that’s fine, but to me, I wanted more out of the film.
- The Big Short: This is not your typical film. There are a lot of unconventional things that happen in this film, such as fourth wall breaks, and the storylines that happen never really mesh together. While I thought the performances were good, and what was revealed was certainly shocking, there is a lot of information to take in. The film tries to simplify things as best as it can, but in the end, my head was still spinning from trying to comprehend what I had just watched.
- Room: This film tells a powerful tale, and the performances were fantastic. I’m surprised that Jacob Tremblay wasn’t nominated at all: his was one of the best child performances I had seen in a long time. There is a lot of good in this film, but for me, there is one moment that took me out of it. I won’t go into detail. I want you to experience the film for yourself. It certainly is an incredible one.
- Brooklyn: As people have probably noticed in my review, I really enjoyed this film. It tells a very charming love story that doesn’t feel entirely forced. It was well paced and had some great humor. It’s just a solid movie. There’s no other way of explaining it (unless you want to check out my review of it, then by all means, please do).
- The Revenant: This film is why people say this medium is art. The things this film was able to accomplish, like filming in natural light (which is an extremely difficult thing to do I might add) and being able to coordinate those long takes is simply incredible. That being said, the film was a little bit slow, and I found myself zoning out at points.
- The Martian: I haven’t read the book, but something tells me I would enjoy it. The Martian is Castaway in space, but the solid performances and the clever, yet hilarious dialogue kept me interested throughout the entire film. It was a lot of fun.
- Spotlight: This film encompasses a lot of aspects of what makes a great film in my opinion. The acting was great, the writing was clever, the story was engaging, the pacing was on point. I could go on and on why I think this film is phenomenal and is a must see whenever it comes out on DVD. Well, come to think of it, any of these films are worth seeing. That way you can decide for yourself what your favorite is. Maybe your favorite isn’t even in the Best Picture list, and that’s fine. There is no denying that these films are of high caliber and are worthy of being nominated for the award
Next, I’ll be predicting the major categories’ winners, discussingwho I think will win and who I think should win. Again, as with the previous list, it’s my personal opinion. If you want somebody else to win, more power to you.
Will Win: Spotlight
Want to Win: Spotlight
I say Spotlight has the best chance, but if The Revenant were to win, I wouldn’t be surprised. Is there personal bias for my choice? Possibly, but leading up to the Oscars, this film has been winning multiple awards
Will Win: Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant)
Want to Win: Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant)
I honestly can’t see anybody else winning this. What DiCaprio had to do for his role, which didn’t include much dialogue, and his ablility to convey emotion so well is the main reason I want him to get the award.
Will Win: Brie Larson (Room)
Want to Win: Brie Larson (Room)
Brie Larson is a lock for sure. The story of Room is a powerful one, and Larson’s performance only enhanced the story. There’s not much else to say.
Best Supporting Actor
Will Win: Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies)
Want to Win: Sylvester Stallone (Creed)
This one is more of a toss up. I can’t say with certainty who will win, but would I love to see Stallone win for Creed, one of my favorite films of last year? Absolutely. Also, this is one of Stallone’s best performances in a long time. Creed was one of the films, in my opinion, that got snubbed in multiple catergories. The slightest acknowledgement would go a long way.
Best Supporting Actress
Will Win: Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs)
Want to Win: Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl)
Again, I’m honestly not sure. I feel like Kate Winslet falls under this “Meryl Streep” thing where the Academy gives the award just because ofthe actor. I haven’t seen The Danish Girl, but Alicia Vikander’s performance has been highly praised by critics and viewers. I also liked Vikander’s performance in Ex-Machina, so I’m hoping she wins.
Will Win: Alejandro G. Iñárritu (The Revenant)
Want to Win: Alejandro G. Iñárritu (The Revenant)
This is one of the reasons I could see The Revenant winning best picture. What Iñárritu was able to pull off with this film was simply incredible. It’s clear when watching The Revenant that Iñárritu had a vision and that vision was very clear to me. From the stylizing of the shots, to the realistic looking costumes and props, there’s a lot of work that went into this film, and Iñárritu pulls it off exceptionally.