Saturday, February 27, 2016

Who Should Win? Who Will Win?

We have arrived at the big day!  First, thank you to all of you who read, shared, tweeted, and social media-ed the s**t out of the blog (thank you, The Martian, for that joke).  This day is always the one that gives me the most anxiety, because I know some of you use my picks, and I desperately don't want to let you down.  Fair warning, sometimes in the moment I go with my gut and change my choice, so my results may differ from what I share in this blog.  

Best Picture:
Should Win: Spotlight
Go back and look at the list of nominees - find a story that is more important to be told.  You can't do it.  Like All the Presidents Men before it, Spotlight highlights the tremendous work of a journalist team that uncovered one of the most important issues of the day.  It deserves to win.
Will Win: The Revenant
This is a film whose charm escapes me.  Does this movie really belong in a list of films that includes the likes of great cinema like On the Waterfront, In the Heat of the Night, The Godfathers, 12 Years a Slave?  NO, it does not.  Fair warning on this prediction - more often than not the PGA winner for Best Picture is the Oscars winner too, and this year, that film was The Big Short.  So for statistical safety, you may want to choose The Big Short.  It's going to be a tight race.

Actor in a Leading Role:
Should Win: Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl
This man changed how his body moved, how his voice sounded, to convincingly become a woman. It is an important film to boot. This performance was beautiful and heartbreaking.  No contest.
Will Win: Leonardo DiCaprio
Unlike other years when the best performance has not been recognized, I will actually be ok with this win.  In my mind, though, I'll be filling in the words "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" when the announcers say, "Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant."  I have a dear friend who is still quite angry that Leo didn't win back then, and he has been excellent in other roles like the one in Blood Diamond, and a "career Oscar" is certainly deserved in this case.

Actress in a Leading Role:
Should Win: Brie Larson, Room
Will Win: Brie Larson, Room
Everything about Larson's performance in this difficult film was flawless.  She won the SAG award which is usually a strong predictor (and almost every single other award this season), and the gold will be the final addition to her mantle.

Actor in a Supporting Role:
Should Win: Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight
Again and again, Mark Ruffalo manages to walk, talk, look, and sound different with every role he plays.  I don't even remember what real Mark Ruffalo looks and sounds like, after these last few years of roles.
Will Win: Sylvester Stallone, Creed
And ok, who doesn't love the sentimental favorite?  This is a closer race too.  And this time around we can't use the SAG Awards as a predictor because the studio didn't get their nomination in to SAG in time for Sly to be eligible.  But I was so moved by this performance that I think this one is going to Stallone.

Actress in a Supporting Role:
Should Win: Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
I know I'm the only one saying this, but she was really outstanding in this film, and should be getting more attention for the role.
Will Win: Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl
This performance was indeed my second favorite of the category.  She won the SAG Award and she is seriously hot in Hollywood right now.  I saw her this year on a panel talking about this film, and she spoke so beautifully about this film and this role.

Should Win: Three way tie between Adam McKay (The Big Short), Lenny Abrahamson (Room), Tom McCarthy (Spotlight)
So so so hard to choose.  If I were voting, this would be the category with which I would struggle most.  When all bets are even, I would go with the Director who led the movie I felt was the most important, and that is Tom McCarthy for Spotlight.
Will Win: Alejandro Inarritu, The Revenant
Interesting tidbit, Inarritu will only be the third Director in history to nab this prize two years in a row.  There is no question he is an uber talented Director.  I just don't agree with this, but it is extremely rare (4 times in history) that the winner of the DGA Award didn't win the Oscar too.

Animated Feature Film:
Should Win: Inside Out
Will Win: Inside Out
And all of the little people in my head agree to this!  Even anger, who is upset that no one asked her for her opinion.  Or maybe that's disgust.  But I digress.  My "Joy" is already happy for Inside Out.

Should Win: The Revenant
Will Win: The Revenant
This is one of the only films in the category that deserves this nomination.  Inarritu knows how to do Cinematography right (see: Birdman) and he gets how movies should be filmed.

Costume Design:
Movie critic idol Steve Pond recommends sticking with Best Picture nominees when it's a close race and there is doubt.  Costume happens to be the one rare exception to this rule, and the most beautiful costumes usually win.  This category is down to three choices, Carol, Cinderella, and Mad Max:Fury Road.
Should Win: Cinderella
Will Win: Cinderella
I just can't predict against the tremendous beauty of the costumes in this film.  Given that all of the experts are divided almost evenly among the three films, I decided to take a look at all of the winners in this category in modern history.  A sci-fi film has never beaten a period piece/elaborately decorated costume film.  So even though I'm defying my idol and not going with Mad Max according to the formula, doesn't mean you should consider the error of my ways.

Documentary Feature:
Should Win: Winter on Fire or Amy
Will Win: Amy
I hope you will take the time to see this film.  Heartbreaking.

Documentary Short Subject:
Should Win: The Girl on the River: The Price of Forgiveness
This film hurt my heart.  I dearly hope that people will see it on a broader scale.  Watching a father say that he is justified in murdering his daughter because she embarrassed him by not listening to him is truly beyond the pale.
Will Win: Body Team 12
I'm not certain about whether this one will be the winner, but I can tell you that this is also a brilliant film.  Most of the critics are choosing Body Team 12 to win.  And bravo to the young heroes of this movie who bravely care for the dead in Liberia.

Film Editing:
Should Win: The Big Short
So cleverly edited.
Will Win: Mad Max: Fury Road
Quick bit of trivia, this film had the greatest number of cuts to piece together, making it an editing darling.

Foreign Language Film:
Should Win: Son of Saul (Honorable Mention to A War)
Will Win: Son of Saul
First, let's agree that when it comes to the Oscars, no one messes with the Holocaust.  Second, this film is unique in finding a new story that I don't think has been told before.  Finally, there is no question that this way of filming the lead character so closely is a new way to make the tragedy so personal.

Makeup and Hairstyling:
Should Win: Mad Max: Fury Road
Will Win: Mad Max: Fury Road
*Every year I give the "Hidden Gem" award to a film that I hadn't heard of before it was nominated for an Oscar, but which I find to be incredibly endearing.  This year, The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out A Window and Disappeared, nominated for Makeup and Hairstyling, is the winner of the Hidden Gem Award.

Original Score:
Should Win: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
I'm loyal to the master of all time, John Williams.
Will Win: The Hateful Eight
I'm ok with that.  It was a beautiful score.

Original Song:
Should Win: Til It Happens to You, The Hunting Ground
Will Win: Til It Happens to You, The Hunting Ground
DO NOT get me started on why this film is not nominated for Documentary Feature.  This song is haunting and important.  Listen to it on a loop. Here is a link to a gorgeous performance of the song.  I defy you not to cry.

Production Design:
Should Win: Mad Max: Fury Road (Honorable Mention to The Danish Girl)
Will Win: Mad Max: Fury Road
Even I have to give props to the design of this post-apocalyptic world.

Animated Short Film:
Should Win: Bear Story
Just the sweetest little short film.
Will Win: Sanjay's Super Team
Fair warning, Pixar doesn't usually do well in this category and I keep getting this category wrong, year after year.  Still, most of my research points to Sanjay, the adorable little boy who finds his way to tradition through modern interpretation.  If you saw The Good Dinosaur, you saw this animated short.

Live Action Short Film:
This is a very hard category to predict, but on the whole, the Live Action films are generally chosen from the lighter, more whimsical options.  There have certainly been exceptions.
Should Win: Shok
Truly, this film reminds us that genocide continues in the modern world, and that children who are not taught to hate, don't hate.
Will Win: Ave Maria
I'm not certain with this one, but it was a very funny film that allowed both Israelis and Palestinians to be their better selves.  I suspect Hollywood liberals will delight in seeing a film in which these two peoples aren't killing each other.  (Stutterer has a good chance too, difficult to call!)

Sound Editing:
Should Win: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Will Win: Mad Max: Fury Road
This was a pretty loud and crazy movie with a huge wall of sound.  I think it's going to be between this and The Revenant.  Hard to know what to expect, and so I'm going with Steve Pond's instincts here.  He has great instincts.  Fair warning - I may change my mind on this one!

Sound Mixing:
Should Win: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Will Win: The Revenant
About 40% of the time the Sound Editing and Sound Mixing winners are not the same film. However, in this case, I don't think you can ignore the momentum of the likely Best Picture winner.

Visual Effects:
Should Win: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Will Win: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Seriously Academy voters.  I'm not kidding on this one.  Don't mess with the nerds. (Speaking as a Star Wars nerd myself.)

Adapted Screenplay:
Should Win: The Big Short
Will Win: The Big Short
Sadly, I think this will be the only recognition this terrific film receives.  If you review the screenplay winners of the past, the one selected is usually NOT the Best Picture winner.  More often than not, it is the runner up for Best Picture that wins the screenplay awards in both Adapted and Original categories.  Isn't that strange?

Original Screenplay:
Should Win: Spotlight
Will Win: Spotlight

Good luck to all of you prognosticators out there!  I hope to have been helpful and apologize if I'm way off.  Still, should be a great night, and I'll be live tweeting from @JodiBee.

No comments:

Post a Comment