Avi’s Oscar predictions
Oscar season is now soon coming to an end. For the last 3 months, big studios have been burning the midnight oil promoting their crème de la crème movies for a shot at winning some Oscar bling — and on Sunday night, we shall see whose efforts paid off.
But let’s start with *that* elephant in the room.
In the weeks leading up to the film industry’s biggest event, talk has been not so much on the nominees and possible winners, but on #OscarsSoWhite, the hashtag slamming an archaic and out-of-touch Academy for yet again nominating only all-white acting nominees. A few prominent figures — most notably filmmaker Spike Lee and actor Will Smith announced that they will not be part of the proceedings. Others questioned the relevance of the Academy, in light of its overwhelmingly male and white membership.
In response to the scathing criticism, Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs soon announced major modifications to membership rules, as well as new measures designed to double the numbers of “women and diverse members” to the Academy by 2020.
So we can gleefully look forward to what the consistently sharp and acerbic host Chris Rock might have to say Sunday night about this. Having said that, let’s remember that some awesome movies were released in 2015. Here are my thoughts on the major categories.
The Best Picture category is more of a muddle than usual this year. The Big Short won the Producers Guild Award; the Directors Guild went with The Revenant and Spotlight took the SAG ensemble acting award. My money is riding on The Revenant, however. It is like the Donald Trump of the trio—it’s vain, highly visceral, and larger-than-life, and, therefore, stands in contrast to the other two contenders, which are decidedly more ‘establishment’ like fare. It also appears to have the most forward momentum going into Sunday night.
Alejandro Iñárritu will almost certainly march on to the podium to collect his second Best Director prize in a row for this year’s the Revenant (after last year’s Birdman).
No two ways about it: Brie Larson, so fragile and wondrous in Room has swept up every imaginable award this season, and will do so again. No one else has a shot — not even Saoirse Ronan, whose subtle, beautiful work in Brooklyn might have won in a different year.
Of course, Leo will win Best Actor, for The Revenant; he ate the raw liver for fuck’s sake. What eating that bloody liver has to do with acting remains to be seen—it’s certainly not in evidence in the movie itself, despite DiCaprio’s increasing thespian craftsmanship and his Brando-esque devotion to Method acting. He obviously works hard for the money—and maybe that’s the point. I still believe his co-star Tom Hardy outshone him in this movie, though.
Best Supporting Actress
Alicia Vikander will win Best Supporting Actress for The Danish Girl though it’s not as seminal as her brilliant performance in the underrated Ex Machina which is what she should have actually been nominated for.
Best Supporting Actor
Coming back to that elephant, you may have heard that Idris Elba, who is so magnificent in Beasts of No Nation and won the Screen Actors Guild Award in this category wasn’t even nominated by those useless buggers in the Academy. Surely you have. Anyhoo, Sylvester Stallone will, I think, win Best Supporting Actor for his reprise of the role of the legendary Rocky Balboa. But I am pissed off that the movie didn’t get a Best Picture nomination; that its director, Ryan Coogler, wasn’t a Best Director finalist; and that the Academy failed to nominate its bonafide star, Michael B. Jordan, for Best Actor.
Elsewhere, I’m thinking that the incredible Mad Max: Fury Road will sweep most if not all the technical awards and that Emmanuel Lubezki might make history by becoming the first cinematographer ever to win three Oscars in a row (he’s nominated for The Revenant and previously won for Birdman and Gravity).
Full prediction list
Best Picture: The Revenant
Best Director: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, The Revenant
Best Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
Best Actress: Brie Larson, Room
Best Supporting Actor: Sylvester Stallone, Creed
Best Supporting Actress: Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl
Best Original Screenplay: Spotlight
Best Adapted Screenplay: The Big Short
Best Cinematography: The Revenant
Best Costume Design: Mad Max: Fury Road
Best Film Editing: Mad Max: Fury Road
Best Makeup and Hair: Mad Max: Fury Road
Best Production Design: Mad Max: Fury Road
Best Score: The Hateful Eight
Best Song: “Til It Happens to You”, The Hunting Ground
Best Sound Editing: Mad Max: Fury Road
Best Sound Mixing: Mad Max: Fury Road
Best Visual Effects: Mad Max: Fury Road
Best Animated Feature: Inside Out
Best Documentary Feature: Amy
Best Foreign Film: Son of Saul