Features

Feature: Oscar Predictions 2016

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Are you single and hate Valentine’s Day?  Do you have an intolerance to pancakes and Shrove Tuesday is just a tease?  There may be many reasons why you want February to up and vanish like a fart in the wind and for it to pass you by unnoticed, but even if you don’t own a calendar and are oblivious to the fact that it’s February, you can always tell when the Oscars are round the corner.  Around this time of year for a few months or so the superhero sludge starts to thin and the meatier cinematic heavyweights emerge for the chance of the glory of winning the golden statuette, which is arguably the most coveted of the awards available.  Bog off BAFTAs and get going Golden Globes as, whether rightly or wrongly, the Oscars are the awards that everyone working in the film industry most want on display on their toilet cistern.  Aspiring actors and directors are not pretending their shampoo bottle is an MTV Movie Award when practicing their acceptance speech in the shower!  With the winners of 88th Acadamy Awards being announced this Sunday, here are my predictions on who I think should win and who I think will win in the four main categories: Best Picture; Best Director; Best Actor and Best Actress:

Best Picture
Who will win: The Revenant
Who should win: Room

Best Picture is a tough category to call this year.  The quality of the films on offer is very high indeed, but I think The Revenant will pip every other film to the post as the cast and crew went through hell to get this on celluloid.  They only filmed during one and a half hours at a certain time of day to get the right light (there were no rigged lights during this production) and the conditions in which they filmed were cold, wet and wintry.  Apparently the Academy push their awards to those that suffer for their art (I can’t say I’ve noticed that myself, but critics who have worked in the field for a lot longer than I have been blogging and Tweeting about films seem to think so, so I’ll run with it), so if this is the case then The Revenant is a certainty to collect the award.  It’s a great film that would deserve the Oscar, but for me Room is the more complete piece of work.  It has fantastic performances from the cast and it is filmed in harmony with the story it is telling.  This can also be said of The Revenant, but Room is more or less perfect and I couldn’t fault it, whereas The Revenant is very long indeed and whilst it kept me gripped from start to finish my mind did start to wander.  There is so much more content in Room‘s story than The Revenant and it is shorter too, so for me it is the better film.  With the odds on The Big Short being suddenly cut and the quiet and confident emergence of the recently released Spotlight, nothing is certain.  Mad Max: Fury Road is a great film but surely with it being released early last year it’s out of running?  It’s a shame but the memory of the Academy isn’t the best…

Best Director
Who will win: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Who should win: Alejandro González Iñárritu (but honourable nod to George Miller)

Surely no one but Iñárritu should win this award.  Lenny Abrahamson directed Room superbly but his direction is quite rightly understated and he let the story shine through  without shoe-horning in dramatic shots and camera angles that would have been inappropriate for the theme of the film.  Ironically his selfless efforts may have produced my film of the year so far but it has done him a disservice as I think he is out of the running for this award as a result (what a hero!).  Iñárritu is a visionary director and what he put his cast and crew through to produce such a beautiful film to watch in The Revenant (see Best Picture above) puts him in pole position for Best Director.  He created such a visceral experience for the audience that most of the time you didn’t mind staring at just Leonardo DiCaprio on screen against a bleak winter’s backdrop for most of the running time.  Yet, based on this logic, George Miller must be in serious contention for his sublime and masterful direction of Mad Max: Fury Road, as he not only created a visually stunning piece of work but also used so many practical effects that his cast and crew were in danger of serious injury.  Plus it’s a thoroughly enjoyable, on-the-rails action adventure that may not have the depth of The Revenant but more than makes up for it with its no-holds-barred approach to film-making.  What goes against Mad Max: Fury Road getting any awards is the length of time between when it was released to when the awards ceremonies take place.  Then again, it’s done well to be remembered from so long ago when it was released early last year, so maybe there will be some surprises when the winners are announced…

Best Actor
Who will win: Leonardo DiCaprio
Who should win: Jacob Tremblay (but he isn’t even nominated!)

This year’s Oscars in particular are being judged on their over-sights and one of those, in my opinion, is Jacob Tremblay for his naturalistic performance in Room.  He is being recognised by receiving nominations for leading actor and supporting actor gongs  from other film awards ceremonies (I don’t know how he is a supporting actor when he is clearly the lead!), but the Oscars have passed him by.  Have they even seen Room?!  His performance is so in tune with his character you think you’re watching a documentary, and this kid is only nine!  The scenes he shares with his on-screen mother (Brie Larson) are the most powerful and effective I have seen in any film and you believe they are genuinely mother and son.  If Leo wins it then it’s hard to argue as his performance in The Revenant is Oscar-worthy, whether he has been nominated because he is overdue or not (this may be true as how The Return of the King did a clean sweep in 2004 when the previous two, and better, Lord of the Rings instalments were overlooked I’ll never know), but if Tremblay was nominated I think this category would be tougher to call.  Maybe when Tremblay reaches DiCaprio’s age he will win Best Actor because he will be overdue a win, too…

Best Actress
Who will win: Brie Larson
Who should win: Alicia Vikander (nominated, but in the wrong category!)

Alicia Vikander can do no wrong in the Film Fluff household.  She is not only the best actress of her generation but, for me, the best actor in her field.  She can do comedy, period dramas, sci-fi, the lot, and her performance is so convincing in The Danish Girl that she transcends acting and brings life to the person she is portraying.  Not to take anything away from Brie Larson’s stunning turn in Room, as that too is an Oscar-worthy performance, but Vikander is one of the few shining lights in the abysmal The Danish Girl and she stands out all the more amongst the turgid guff that is that movie.  She is clearly the lead actress in this film and some bright spark goes and nominates her in the Best Supported category!  Who is the lead actress in that film if not her?!  At least she has a nomination I suppose and I’ll be cheering her on regardless for the win, even if her entry into that category makes no sense…

We’ll find out on 28th February if my predictions are correct.  If they are then I’ll be buying a lottery ticket straight after!  Or I might start charging for Tarot readings…

 

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