Oscar Nomination Thoughts

By Sean Gardner

This past week, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences announced the nominations for their yearly Oscars for 2015. While the actual Oscars show is usually really boring, I enjoy watching the acceptance speeches and seeing the winners (and losers) initial reactions.  So without further ado, here are the nominees for what I think are the six major awards and who I think will win.

Best Picture

  • The Big Short
  • Bridge of Spies
  • Brooklyn
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • The Revenant
  • Room
  • Spotlight

I finally saw The Revenant just a few days ago and was blown away. The cinematography was fantastic. The on location shooting using only natural light genuinely made me wonder how this film was even possible to make. All of the performances were on point and Alejandro Inarritu has proven once again that he is one of the best at his craft working today. The Revenant was the best film I saw from 2015 and should win Best Picture making it back to back wins for Inarritu.

Best Director

  • Adam McKay – The Big Short
  • George Miller – Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Alejandro G. Inarritu – The Revenant
  • Lenny Abrahamson – Room
  • Tom McCarthy – Spotlight

Again, enough cannot be said about how good The Revenant is. While Fury Road was a feat of mastery for a 70+ year old George Miller, I believe that the fact that The Revenant with a simple story of revenge, created this visceral and ultra-realistic experience puts Inarritu in the top spot for me.

Best Lead Actor

  • Bryan Cranston – Trumbo
  • Matt Damon – The Martian
  • Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant
  • Michael Fassbender – Steve Jobs
  • Eddie Redmayne – The Danish Girl

I am glad to see Matt Damon get a nomination for The Martian. His performance carried that film. If he is not believable in his role, the film fails. However, this is DiCaprio’s year. He has to win. He hardly has any lines, and probably about half of the lines he does have are in the Native American Arikara language. His only competition I feel would be Fassbenber.

Best Lead Actress

  • Cate Blanchette – Carol
  • Brie Larson – Room
  • Jennifer Lawrence – Joy
  • Charlotte Rampling – 45 Years
  • Saoirse Ronan – Brooklyn

I’ll admit, that I have yet to see any of these movies. So I will refrain from making a choice in this category.

Best Supporting Actor

  • Christian Bale – The Big Short
  • Tom Hardy – The Revenant
  • Mark Ruffalo – Spotlight
  • Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies
  • Sylvester Stallone – Creed

My heart wants to pick Sylvester Stallone. He is the best he has been in decades in Creed and he definitely deserves the nomination. But, Spotlight has a lot of momentum from other awards and don’t count out Tom Hardy who was just as good as DiCaprio in the Revenant. Ultimately, I think Mark Ruffalo will win, but I want Stallone to win.

Best Supporting Actress

  • Jennifer Jason Leigh – The Hateful Eight
  • Rooney Mara – Carol
  • Rachael McAdams – Spotlight
  • Alicia Vikander – The Danish Girl 
  • Kate Winslet – Steve Jobs

While The Hateful Eight was not as good as I wanted it to be, there is no doubt that Jennifer Jason Leigh was a revelation. She plays her character so well, with just the right amount of snark, that she disappears into her role.

The actual awards show will be held live on ABC Sunday February 28th. Tune in to see what I got right. Which nominees do you think will take home the trophy?

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