By Christian DiMartino
Man, what a year for film it has been. A year so great, that great films like Love & Mercy, Sicario, and Youth will probably go nearly unrecognized. A pity, yes, but it is the truth.
This race is all over the place, considering the fact that two of the main contenders, Joy and The Revenant, went un-seen up until this past week. Now that they have been seen, it is pretty set in stone that Jennifer Lawrence, David O. Russell, and the gang will be making it back to the Oscars, and as will Leonardo DiCaprio, Alejandro G. Inarritu, and co. will also probably be walking the red carpet as well.
Granted, it is still early. But I think it is safe to say that DiCaprio isn’t going home empty handed this year. I mean, the man slept in a dead animal carcass. Clearly, he’s ready too. I feel like the reason why they kept him in the dark so long is because he never pushed himself to the limits.
He never starved himself for a role or nothing (though I’d say what he’s done for us is spectacular enough). If he doesn’t win this year, expect cries of terror from the audience. I wouldn’t say count out Michael Fassbender’s tour de force performance in Steve Jobs either. He has my vote as of now, but DiCaprio should change that.
As for Lawrence and O. Russell, they probably won’t be triumphant. Who knows, they could very well be a wildcard. The Academy obviously loves O. Russell. He still has yet to win. I feel like if he is going to win, he is going to win for Best Original Screenplay, which he co-wrote with Annie Mumolo (Bridesmaids). That said, that is a crowded field.
Right now, Spotlight appears to be the frontrunner for… well, everything. Tom McCarthy’s masterpiece has been on a roll since it’s premiere. Could the arrival of Joy and The Revenant be enough to boot it out of the lead? Only time will tell.
What else is in the running? I feel like an outsider, since I still have yet to see a lot of the movies being discussed, but Brie Larson will win for Room. Again, haven’t seen it yet, but it sounds like it goes without saying. There is also Brooklyn, which sits at a 99% on Rotten Tomatoes. Then there’s also Steven Spielberg’s latest masterwork Bridge of Spies, which sadly isn’t really getting the backing it should be. It’s a wonderful film, dammit.
And then… there’s The Martian. The Martian is no doubt a wonderful film, featuring a delightful performance from Matt Damon. It’s easily Ridley Scott’s best film in nearly a decade, and since it raked in the dough at the box office, it certainly has a shot at scoring a Best Picture nomination. However, some people think it might win, and with that we have another story.
I’m thinking it, so I’m going to say it: If Gravity and Interstellar couldn’t win Best Picture, then there is no way in hell that The Martian is going to win. No sirree Bob. Also, does the box office really make a difference? Last year, they ignored pretty much every money-maker and went with the prestige pictures (coincidentally, one of those, American Sniper, ended up the highest grossing film of the year).
The box office thing also ties into Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs. Some don’t believe it will get a Best Picture nomination due to its poor box-office performance. Um, no. Money isn’t everything. Steve Jobs is amazing, and if it doesn’t get a Best Picture nomination, I’m forming an angry mob.
And what of Mad Max: Fury Road? One of the most critically acclaimed films of the year, and yet no Best Picture talk? Of course not! Because those pretentious ass-clowns don’t believe in that sort of thing. Why would they dream of nominating a visually stunning, badass thrill ride for Best Picture?! If it is snubbed in all categories, again, expect a mob.
Speaking of summer entertainment, Pixar’s Inside Out could and should get in there. It’s their best film in five years, and it’s flawless. Don’t fight it. Then there’s also Charlie Kaufman’s Anomalisa, another one of the most critically acclaimed films of the year. Will it score a Best Picture nomination, or is it too out there for them this year?
Will Quentin Tarantino get yet another Best Picture nomination for The Hateful Eight? Yet another one of the December contenders yet to be seen, Tarantino is usually someone you shouldn’t count out. But with a year this jam packed, I am not so certain this time.
Some people believe The Big Short will get nominated. Amazing cast, yes, but nah. This ties back to that “2015 is jam packed” thing.
Creed should definitely score a Best Picture and Supporting Actor nomination, but will it? I feel like it would be poetic justice, since it is the best of the series since the original. But whether or not it will gain enough traction remains to be seen.
And how about Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens? Probably not Best Picture worthy, but who knows? Nostalgia may get the best of them.
Judging from the fact that literally nobody is talking about In the Heart of the Sea, I take it that we won’t be seeing Ron Howard at the Oscars this year. Just a guess.
I’m honestly running out of energy trying to think of all of the films that have a shot at the top prize. We can’t really know anything until The Golden Globe nominees and so on are revealed. What I do know that this has been a wild season, and that it is only going to get crazier.
I can’t wait.