With the return of The Sideliners Show just days away, we couldn’t let the 88th Academy Awards slip by without commenting, or making predictions on who will win. This year I was able to watch all of the movies nominated for Best Picture and most of the films nominated in the Best Actor/Actress categories as well, which means I’ll over-analyze everything and make a bunch of bad picks!
But the upside of that is I did get to watch a bunch of really good movies! I really did enjoy all of the films and felt the Academy got it mostly right with the nominees for Best Picture, with the exception of Bridge of Spies and Mad Max: Fury Road. Both films were good but I felt that more daring and interesting films like Straight Outta Compton (nominated only for Best Original Screenplay) and Trumbo (featuring Bryan Cranston, nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role) should have been included instead.
In some ways, the Best Picture nominees had a lot of surprises for me. I had zero interest in watching Mad Max and assumed The Martian was another Gravity (which I hated every minute of) but found myself enjoying both films. I was also pleasantly surprised that a small, foreign film like Brooklyn was nominated (more on Brooklyn later). And while I found myself disliking The Big Short in the beginning, because of the quirky approach it took to telling the story of the mortgage banks meltdown, the great acting by Sideliner Show fav Christian Bale (Oh, good for you!) won me over and I actually appreciated the unique way the story was told.
It is basically a foregone conclusion that the big winner on Sunday will be The Revenant and Leonardo DiCaprio will finally get his overdue Oscar! Once again Leo was fantastic and The Revenant was a truly incredible cinematic masterpiece from start to finish. But now that a few weeks have gone by since watching it I find myself having stronger feelings for Room, featuring Brie Larson, another almost foregone conclusion for Actress in a Leading Role. If Larson had not given such an amazing performance, I think the Oscar would to go to Saoirse Ronan for her role in Brooklyn. I certainly hope the Academy is not feeling beholden to 2-time winner Cate Blanchett for the 1998 snub of Elizabeth, because I felt her performance in Carol (nominated for 5 Academy Awards in all) wasn’t anything special.
That leaves Spotlight. It’s hard to say that a movie about the cover-up of sex abuse cases in Boston was an enjoyable film but, in an anger-inducing way, it was just that. It’s very possible that the Academy will give Mark Ruffalo the award for Actor in a Supporting Role as a consolation prize for not winning Best Picture, but even though Ruffalo did a great job, I felt Bale had a stronger, more challenging role.
So there’s some of my thoughts. Be sure to check out the full predictions from both Matt and I. The Intern even made some picks, but they were rather random. Follow us on Twitter for live-tweets of the awards show Sunday night as Chris Rock hosts the Oscars, and make sure you’re subscribed to the Monday podcast for all the breakdown from the night before.