It’s that time of year again. The time when great actors spend half their day shaking hands and the other half at the gym – where I’m sure they also shake some hands. It’s Oscar season. The world of entertainment was assaulted on several fronts today with exciting nominations on one end, the sad death of Brian Bedford on the other, and the shocking passing of Alan Rickman wedged in between. There’s no doubt that we have mixed feelings all around, but I’m sure one immortal voice out there would tell us to look forward and turn to page 394…
Where’s Joy? The David O. Russell film about a dysfunctional family and the power of the Shopping Channel is conspicuously absent, receiving only one nomination (Jennifer Lawrence for Best Actress). This is new for David O. Russell although, frankly, not a huge surprise. Audience’s interests have clearly shifted away from dialogue-heavy dramas towards nature-oriented or action-heavy adventures (both Mad Max: Fury Road and The Revenant sit high and proud with Best Picture and Best Director nominations).
Another surprise absentee from a few categories is Brooklyn. While receiving 3 nominations in total (Best Picture, Best Actress, and Adapted Screenplay… nothing to scoff at) it is absent from Cinematography, Original Score, and Film Editing. This last one, however, I can understand; if I were in Brooklyn‘s shoes I think I would pick Best Picture over Film Editing…
What we’ve got:
Not to say that Film Editing is a dull category. While Mad Max: Fury Road gets mad props for running at a pace as tireless as its drum score, I have high hopes for Spotlight in this category. I base this feeling on the film’s gasp-ability factor and the fact that I never wanted it to end.
Spotlight, by the way, pulled in a pretty fair number of nominations at 6. It sits one behind The Martian and four behind the 10-time nominated Mad Max: Fury Road. While these are pretty impressive numbers, The Revenant laughs at them all with a killer roundup of 12 nominations. Twelve. Out of 24. I am thrilled to see the highly deserving Tom Hardy nominated for Best Supporting Actor, but he is in a seriously competitive group, staring down Golden Globe winner Sylvester Stallone and Spotlight’s passionate performance from Mark Ruffalo.
While it’s hard to believe anyone can stop Bryan Cranston’s freight train of success, I seriously hope that 2016 is finally Leonardo DiCaprio’s year. Some people wait for their reward and others bury themselves in steaming horse carcasses in an attempt to be noticed.
What you’ll miss during the bathroom break:
We have some seriously tough competitors in the sound department categories this year. Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ “piew piew” is up against The Martian’s wind and dust and Mad Max’s mesmerizing sand lightning. Star Wars, by the way, earns 5 impressive nominations (apparently all the hype wasn’t overrated after all). Another nod I’m happy to report on is Ex Machina’s nomination for Best Visual Effects. That is also an extremely tough category with Star Wars, The Martian, and Mad Max all vying for the lead.
What to do now:
If you woke up this morning and realized that you haven’t seen a new movie since Jurassic World, here’s what you should binge watch this weekend: The Revenant, The Martian, Spotlight, and Mad Max: Fury Road. If anything, it will help make the Oscars’ opening monologue that much better.
Happy awards season!