And the Oscar Nomination Goes to…
2016 Academy Awards Predictions
It’s that time of year again, when everyone is chomping at the bit to find out who will get a special invite to the biggest industry party of the year: The Academy Awards! Since I just can’t wait for the nominations to be announced, I’ve put together my predictions for the grand prize nominees. While historically there were always 5 nominations in the Best Picture category, in 2009 the rules changed. There can now be anywhere from 5 to 10 films recognized in this category and I’m predicting that 9 will enter the race this year. So here goes:
Innaritu was the baby of the 2015 Oscars with his unexpected hit, Birdman, and he has yet to disappoint in 2016. This year he teamed up with Leonardo DiCaprio to bring life the epic survival story of a 17th century explorer left for dead after a devastating bear attack. Highlights include: Ennio Morricone’s strikes gold again with his poignant musical score and Leo is gunning for his first Oscar.
The Big Short
I’m just as surprised as the rest of you that a movie about Credit Default Swaps and CDOs managed to keep me engaged for 120 minutes. It probably helps that they enlisted Margo Robbie in a bathtub and Selena Gomez playing black jack to explain it to me. Highlights include: They managed to make Ryan Gosling NOT look hot and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain uses old fish to make his seafood soup.
Everyone loves a good sci-fi film. Especially one as great as The Martian. The Martian has been lauded for it’s realistic science and was even promoted by NASA as the most realistic interpretation of how we might execute an expedition to Mars. The dialogue is witty and the science is beautifully explained. Highlights include: Donald Glover uses a stapler to explain earths gravity and Matt Damon colonizes Mars.
Spotlight tackles the Boston Globe’s investigation into abuse allegations in the Catholic Church. From start to finish, it’s a riveting story and the controversial topic is handles with grace and tact. One of those rare films you can both admire for it’s on-point production as well are wholeheartedly enjoy. Highlights include: Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, and Brian d’Arcy James give stand out performances as they struggle with the long process of building a rock solid story alongside the desire to warn and comfort their loved ones against their findings.
While I wouldn’t rate Carol among my favorite films of 2016, this story of a magnetic and forbidden love in the 1950s has resonated with many. Highlights include: I’m going to give a shout out to the detective masquerading as a traveling salesman who lightened the mood before our protagonists storyline took a turn for the worst. You keep doing you.
Room is told from the point of view of a captive 5-year-old who knows nothing of the world outside the room in which he was born and raised. I know, it sounds devastating but it is beautifully executed and full of emotional devastation, unconditional love, and quiet hope. Highlights include: Jacob Trembley is a goldmine child actor.
Of course Pixar had to make the list. And in my opinion, Inside Out is unwaveringly original and is among one of Pixar’s best creations. It’s smart, playful, and entertaining in the way it transforms the complexity of the human brain into a visual game. Highlights include: It’s the most entertaining emotional roller coaster you’ll ever hop on. While Sadness (the character not the feeling) steals the show, you’ll feel joy, disgust, fear, anger, and maybe even a little love.
Brooklyn is a beautiful portrait of an Irish immigrant discovering herself in a new country. While might be an underdog in the Best Picture category, Saoirse Ronan gives a heartfelt performance that is worthy of at least one nomination. Highlights include: the costume design is lovely and Saoirse Ronan is as lovable as ever.
While Mad Max: Fury Road is without a doubt and action film, it upends all expectations that come with the genre: everything from how an action sequence is composed to the types of themes that can be explored. It’s vivid, raw, and exhilarating. Highlights include: The flaming guitar player steals the show. Perched atop a giant rolling stage, he embodying the batshit insanity that is Mad Max: Fury Road.