2016 Oscar Nominations Thoughts

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Like last year, I am going to be posting my thoughts on the 2016 Oscar Nominations because I am a huge film buff and see A LOT of movies every year.  Last year I posted a few of these (in update form) so expect at least one more of these before the actual show.  I will present each category and then share my thoughts on each.  A few categories won’t be included in here, namely the ‘shorts’ categories due to the fact that these are next to impossible to watch.  There are a few movies that I still have yet to see, so watch for those future updates!!!

I have decided to BOLD all of the movies I HAVE seen.

BEST PICTURE

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

Alright, I confess.  I haven’t seen Mad Max: Fury Road yet (but hey, I have seen every other nominee in the most important category!) and that is simply due to the fact that I have never seen The Road Warrior and Beyond Thunderdome.  Yes, you can be upset, but for some wacky reason I somehow missed out.  I am planning on watching them before the Oscars so that I can finally watch Fury Road.

Now that I’ve shared my embarrassing movie story about Mad Max, let’s discuss these nominations because I am happy with a few, and very upset with others.  The nominations (besides Mad Max) that I don’t think deserve to be in this category are Brooklyn and The Martian.  Are you kidding me?  Everyone and their dog liked the Martian, and yes, it was a good movie, but it’s not a Best Picture movie.  Come on, Matt Damon being stuck on Mars could have been an incredible movie, but it wasn’t due to this irritating character he played that continuously made Deadpool-esque quips the entire movie.  Brooklyn was a good drama/romance; however, it was again, not a Best Picture-worthy film.  I left the theatre having enjoyed the movie, but it was nothing extraordinary or special.  It was just a good movie.  What could have taken the place of The Martian and Brooklyn?  Easily The Hateful Eight (WHY THE F was this not nominated???), Trumbo, Remember, The Danish Girl, Straight Outta Compton, I could probably find a few more that I think were more deserving than those two.  Speaking of Remember, MAJOR SNUB!  No nominations at all – incredibly disappointing.  Please check this movie out.

Now, out of the movies I did think deserved to be on this list, I think without a doubt that The Revenant should win.  It was an incredible achievement of a movie and definitely deserves to be the best movie 0f 2015.  Coming in at a close second would be Room, damn that movie was intense.  There is a scene in Room that was so thrilling and intense I felt my heart almost pumping out of my chest.  Incredible.

BEST ACTOR

Bryan Cranston | Trumbo
Matt Damon | The Martian
Leonardo DiCaprio | The Revenant
Michael Fassbender | Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmaybe | The Danish Girl

Another weird category because half of the nominees are good, half of them aren’t.  Bryan Cranston deserves to be here; although he won’t win, it was a great performance.  Eddie Redmayne’s performance in The Danish Girl was incredible, I mean the man is seriously an amazing actor.  Eddie and Bryan may have been incredible, but come on, this is Leo’s year.  He finally has given an Oscar worthy performance.  He is not the Leo you have come to know and love, he is a completely different Leo and he IS going to win the Oscar.  Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, why is Matt Damon in this category?  Please.  “I’m gonna botanist the shit out of Mars.”  I can’t handle it, Christopher Plummer should have been here for Remember EASILY and instead of Michael Fassbender, who played a good Steve Jobs for half of that movie, how about Samuel L. Jackson for The Hateful Eight?  Jeeze, even Tom Hanks could have been in this category over Matt Damon and Michael Fassbender.  Johnny Depp got the snub for Black Mass, but as much as that sucks, it means we will hopefully be seeing more great roles from him in the future instead of quirky oddball roles in bad Tim Burton movies.

BEST ACTRESS

Cate Blanchett | Carol
Brie Larson | Room
Jennifer Lawrence | Joy
Charlotte Rampling | 45 Years
Saoirse Ronan | Brooklyn

This category is actually pretty decent; I don’t really have any complaints.  I haven’t seen 45 Years yet, so I can’t comment there, but all the other performances here are solid.  The best one would be hands down Brie Larson in Room, but my second pick would be Jennifer Lawrence for Joy.  Joy may have gotten mixed reviews, but J.Law was SOLID.  Brie Larson will hopefully take the statue home though because her performance in Room was incredible.  Cate Blanchett was very good in Carol (when is she bad?), but it just wasn’t this year’s best, and Saoirse Ronan gave another top notch performance in Brooklyn.  A pretty solid category.  Carey Mulligan for Suffragette was not nominated, but could have maybe been in this category over Saoirse Ronan as she gave another really great performance that wasn’t recognized.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

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

My vote for the winner of this category would be Jacob Tremblay for Room, oh wait, he wasn’t nominated.  A damn shame considering he gave the performance of a lifetime and he is only 9 years old.  His performance in Room was beyond his years so I am disappointed that the Academy didn’t recognize his incredible talent.  I still need to see Creed – hoping to do that this week, so I can’t comment on that, and Stallone seems to be the favourite.  Having not seen Creed though, my pick would be Tom Hardy in The Revenant because holy smokes, it was hard to believe that was even Tom Hardy at all.  The man seriously got into character.  It was also maybe the most demanding out of the four that I have seen.  No Hateful Eight cast?  Walton Sanders Goggins, Jr. for The Hateful Eight could have been in here easily.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Jennifer Jason Leigh | The Hateful Eight
Rooney Mara | Carol
Rachel McAdams | Spotlight
Alicia Vikander | The Danish Girl
Kate Winslet | Steve Jobs

This category is alright, and I do have my favourites, but nothing stands out to me (aside from Jennifer Jason Leigh in The Hateful Eight) as being absolutely outstanding.  JJL in The Hateful Eight was actually pretty incredible, so my vote would be for her to win.  Rooney Mara was very good in Carol, but nothing amazing.  Rachel McAdams in Spotlight was solid, but again, nothing to blow my mind away.  Alicia Vikander was actually quite good in The Danish Girl, so I would probably put her as my second pick to win. Kate Winslet though, absolutely not.  I didn’t enjoy Steve Jobs and her roles was just ‘okay’ for me.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

Anomalisa
Boy and the World
Inside Out
Shaun the Sheep Movie
When Marnie Was There

I have seen three in this category, which is decent so far.  Inside Out was an incredible Pixar film, in fact, I would go so far as to say it has become one of my favourite Pixar movies.  When Marnie Was There was a beautiful film period.  It’s not just an animated film, it’s a film; one that is dark, deep, and full of many surprises.  It truly ‘wow’d’ when I saw it.  And yes, I watched it in its true language, Japanese.  Anomalisa was a very interesting film that gives the watcher a lot to think about afterwards.  It is an arthouse film, so a lot of people are going to get turned off by it, but give it a shot.  It’s very unique and leaves you with so much to think about.  At this point, I would say Inside Out will win just simply because it’s the Disney/Pixar movie and that tends to win no matter what, AND because half the voters don’t even watch the movies in this category which I find appalling.  I am REALLY excited to see it.  Boy and the World looks intriguing due to the fact that it isn’t just some American animated movie, and Shaun The Sheep Movie just looks fun.  I can’t wait to complete this category.

CINEMATOGRAPHY

Carol
The Hateful Eight
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant
Sicario

My vote for this would be for the Revenant hands down, although I have heard the cinematography was great in Fury Road.  Having said that, I feel like the nominations in this category are pretty solid especially with The Hateful Eight.

COSTUME DESIGN

Carol
Cinderella
The Danish Girl
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant

All solid choices, but my vote would be for The Revenant due to the realism of the costumes, the grittiness of the costumes, and just the overall feel it gave to the movie.  They truly did an incredible job.  Star Wars: The Force Awakens could have potentially been in this category due to the fact that a lot of the characters were real and not CGI, thus lots of costumes.

BEST DIRECTOR

The Big Short
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant
Room
Spotlight

Is it even a debate?  Inarritu should get this award for directing The Revenant due to the pain stacking efforts he took to get the best film he could get.  He may have had crazy demands, but look at what he achieved.

BEST DOCUMENTARY

Amy
Cartel Land
The Look of Silence
What Happened, Miss Simone?
Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom

Clearly I have some work to do, but I think it’s possible!  Amy was a good documentary, but it was also a disappointing one, thus it does not deserve to win.  Cartel Land was actually really solid though; so far, it has my vote.

FILM EDITING

The Big Short
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant
Spotlight
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Gahhh, a tough one for me.  From what I’ve seen, I would vote for The Revenant or Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  I’m not exactly an expert here…

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Embrace of the Serpent
Mustang
Son of Saul
Theeb
A War

So happy to say that I have seen at least two of these.  I am making my goal to watch all of them in time for the Oscars.  Theeb was really good and something completely new for western audiences.  I definitely recommend giving it a watch.  Son of Saul on the other hand is something completely different altogether.  The subject matter is something that I have never seen tackled before on film and the style of filming is incredibly different.  I have to say that I enjoyed Theeb more, but Son of Saul was very important and the unique filming alone should make you want to watch it.  It seems to be the favourite to win, but I still have three to see.

MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

Mad Max: Fury Road
The 100-Year-Old-Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared
The Revenant

No Star Wars: The Force Awakens?  Granted, most of the main characters didn’t exactly have crazy makeup, but still, it was pretty awesome and believable so I would at least include it here.  Haven’t seen The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window and Disappeared, so it sounds like I need to see that.  My vote would go to The Revenant, but I know many of you will say it should go to Fury Road.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

Bridge of Spies | Thomas Newman
Carol | Carter Burwell
The Hateful Eight | Ennio Morricone
Sicario | Jóhann Jóhannsson
Star Wars: The Force Awakens | John Williams

Alright, now we are in my territory.  This is probably one of my most favourite awards and something I know a lot about.  I am a huge score buff, as I am sure you know, and so this category is what I look most forward to.  All in all, I am incredibly upset and frustrated that certain scores were nominated over others or that certain scores were nominated altogether.  Let’s go over them and then I will discuss what I thought should have been nominated.  Bridge of Spies was a great score and Thomas Newman is an INCREDIBLE composer.  It may have been incredible, but it was not my very favourite out of this year’s picks.  Carol by Carter Burwell was very simplistic and repeated the same theme over and over; the be frank, it just wasn’t a great score.  From the first few notes I thought it had potential, but then having listened to it in its entirety, it just doesn’t qualify as an amazing score.  The Hateful Eight by Ennio Morricone is hands down the most unique score on the list and probably the best.  This was a fantastic score that was very different and suited the movie to a tea.  It can standalone as a great piece of music.  Ennio Morricone is long overdue for an Oscar too.  Sicario by Jóhann Jóhannsson is quite good, but it’s more of a background score.  It’s great, but it’s not something you want to listen to on its own over and over.  Although I enjoyed it, it should not have been a nomination.  Finally, John Williams’ brilliant score for Star Wars: The Force Awakens was nothing short of amazing.  He never disappoints and he brought all our favourite themes back plus some great new ones.  I would definitely have put this here.  So besides Morricone, Williams, and Newman, who else would I have put here?  Simple!  Let’s name some actual award-worthy scores that I enjoyed:

  • Trumbo by Theodore Shapiro (this was REALLY different for Shapiro’s normal body of work and he knocked it out of the park!)
  • Room by Stephen Rennicks (a beautiful score full of emotion)
  • Chappie by Hans Zimmer (incredibly haunting and for some reason everyone forgot about Hans here – this is a great score!)
  • Inside Out by Michael Giacchino (this was seriously one of the year’s best – one of my favourite scores PERIOD),
  • The Danish Girl by Alexandre Desplat (I thought this was a given – I mean, the man is Oscar gold!  His scores are beyond amazing and this year is no different)
  • Remember by Mychael Danna (Sad, emotional, haunting, everything – just a beautiful score)

So basically, yes, I am really upset with these nominations besides Williams, Morricone and Newman.  Morricone should definitely take the Oscar home though!

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

Earned It | 50 Shades of Grey
Manta Ray | Racing Extinction
Simple Song #3 | Youth
Til It Happens To You | The Hunting Ground
Writing’s On The Wall | Spectre

I generally hate this category because it is usually just songs from animated movies because movies don’t have songs in them like they used to; however, this year doesn’t have one animated nomination, which I am really excited about.  I will comment on this category in more detail later.  I will say though, that Writing’s on the Wall was a HORRIBLE James Bond song.  Could they not have gotten Lorde, Lana Del Rey, Lady Gaga, maybe even Adele again?  This was bad.  Please do not win Sam Smith.

PRODUCTION DESIGN

Bridge of Spies
The Danish Girl
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant

My vote here would go to either The Martian or The Revenant: both had excellent sets that were actually real and looked incredible.  Bridge of Spies was incredibly processed and had that fake look for the majority of the film (mind you, it was still a good movie), and the Danish Girl just didn’t stand out set wise to me.

SOUND EDITING

Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Sicario
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

For editing, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  The sounds created in that were fantastic.

SOUND MIXING

Bridge of Spies
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

For this, I would pick The Revenant because of how great the overall final product sounded.  Everything from the horses running to the battle scenes.  This was incredible.

VISUAL EFFECTS

Ex Machina
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Due to the hard work that the crew on this film spent to use practical effects and not CGI everything – Star Wars hands down.  The film just looked incredible.  Ex Machina was also great for how they made the robots look, but Star Wars hands down should take this.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

The Big Short
Brooklyn
Carol
The Martian
Room

Room, it just makes sense.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Bridge of Spies
Ex Machina
Inside Out
Spotlight
Straight Outta Compton

My vote would be for Quentin Tarantino’s brilliant screenplay for The Hateful Eight, OH WHAT?  It’s not nominated.  That was a sure win for me – I can’t even believe it was not nominated.  This is a damn shame.  That movie was incredibly BECAUSE of the script.  Everything else here is great, but no Hateful Eight.  Since I can’t pick that, I would maybe pick Straight Outta Compton.  Movie was great, interesting, and very important.

So those are my picks for this years Oscars!  When I see more of the movies on this list, I will definitely post an update!  I have ~30 days left to watch the ones I need to, so wish me luck!  I think I have seen A LOT so far, so I am feeling pretty good!  What are your thoughts?  Disagree with me?  Agree with me?  Let me know!

Image Credit: http://dl9fvu4r30qs1.cloudfront.net/82/d9/2807b101499d8c5270470063e0a7/oscars.jpg

 

 

 

 

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One response to “2016 Oscar Nominations Thoughts

  1. Nice piece – I can’t agree with you about Leo though. It’s doubtlessley ‘his turn’ but his performance in The Revenant, while physically impressive, falls significantly short compared to not only the other nominees but also his own back catalogue.

    Hope you enjoy Mad Max – it’s a cracker.

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