Oscar nominations announced! One minute sports official Oscar preview

The Academy announced their nominations for the 2016 Oscars on Thursday, and it could not have gone any worse for anybody who is just a casual movie fan. It has become a fad recently, the voters turning their noses up at wide release, big box office movies, despite critical acclaim or public popularity. This year was no different, as art-house films were given nods over blockbusters, and unless you studied up on my Oscar preview in the weeks before the nominees were announced, the ballot is going to look a little bit foreign.

I do think it’s going to be a good race this year.  I’ve seen a lot of these movies, and it’s a good field. If you want a list of what movies to watch before Oscar night, read here.

Best Supporting Actor:

Christian Bale, The Big Short

Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies

Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight

Sylvester Stalone, Creed

Tom Hardy, The Revenant

actor-supporting

This is easily the most loaded category of the night, any one of these nominees could take home a statue. Christian Bale was unbelievable as Michael Burry, a hedge-fund manager who made billions off the housing crash. He’s my favorite performance of the five, but I don’t think he’ll win. Mark Ruffalo seems like he’s nominated every year, he was great as an investigatory journalist for the Boston Globe who helped uncover the child molestation cover-up within the Catholic Church. Tom Hardy mumbled his way into a nomination as a frontiersman in the early 1800s who kills Leonardo DiCaprio’s son and leave’s Leo for dead. I haven’t seen Bridge of Spies, I hear Rylance was really good, and when I see it I’ll be the judge, but I just don’t think anybody is going to beat the champ.

Winner: Rocky friggen Balboa. Sylvester Stallone for Creed, the sentimental favorite, warms voters  hearts as they rememenice back to the good ‘ol days before Rocky single-handedly won the cold war. When he was the underdog, when he was beating Appolo. It all comes full circle They’ll recognize that they more than likely won’t see Sly again at the Oscars, so they’ll give him the win as a lifetime achievement role.


Best Supporting Actress

Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight

Rooney Mara, Carol

Rachel McAdams, Spotlight

Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl

Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

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This is an interesting category as well, and that’s usually the case for supporting categories. Almost nobody has seen any of these movies unless you went out of your way to find a select theater where they were showing. But if you found these movies, these ladies made it worth your while (except Alicia Vikander, I haven’t seen her’s yet). Kate Winslet just took home the Golden Globe for the box office dud “Steve Jobs”, but she hasn’t been getting much love awards wise. Rachel McAdams was great as part of the “Spotlight” team (she’s also my future wife), but I don’t see her taking the gold home this time. Rooney Mara played a lesbian in “Carol”, but there weren’t any actual sex scenes, sooooo no dice Rooney. Again, I didn’t see “The Danish Girl” yet.

Winner: Jennifer Jason-Leigh. I’m a huuuuuuuuge Quentin Tarantino fan, so this may be a little biased, but Jason-Leigh was so hilariously, devilishly, awesome as the captured criminal “Daisy Domergue”. “The Hateful Eight” was largely snubbed this year, but I see Jason-Leigh taking home the award home for team Tarantino.


Best Actor

Bryan Cranston, Trumbo

Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant

Matt Damon, The Martian

Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs

Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl

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We all know who the winner of this category is going to be. The other four nominees were just happy to get their name read on television and it gets them a few extra mil on their next movie contract. Bryan Cranston finally made the crossover to film and the Acadamy recognized it! Walter White gets his first nomination for Trumbo. Matt Damon did his best Tom Hanks in “Cast Away” impression. Michael Fassbender, despite looking nothing like Steve Jobs, was able to almost completely capture him, and gave a great misunderstood  genius performance. And Eddie Redmayne, the Academy’s new darling, is back after winning Best Actor last year for playing Stephen Hawking in “The Theory of Everything”. He saw what was hot in the streets in 2015. Transgender’s. So he was like “boom, got Oscar number two locked up” by playing a tranny in “The Danish Girl”. And he probably would’ve gotten away with it too if it weren’t for….

Winner: Leonardo DiCaprio. If Leo doesn’t win this year, we might have to start an investigation into some sort of conspiracy within the Acadamy. It’s not that Leo was THAT unbelievably groundbreaking in The Revenant, he was as good as Leo is in any other movie. He was Great. Sometimes he was even a little over the top, but It’s just ridiculous that he hasn’t won yet. The Acadamy knows that they can’t keep this story-line going, they give Leo his award and everybody can finally shut up.


Best Actress:

Cate Blanchett, Carol

Charlotte Rampling, 45 years

Brie Larson, Room

Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn

Jennifer Lawrence, Joy

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Of all the major categories, this one is the least wide open. It’s a two horse race. One of those horses is Cate Blanchett. She knows her way around an Acadamy Award, but I don’t think “Carol” is going to get a lot of love at these awards. I love J-Law, and  I don’t really care that “Joy” is the same movie that David O. Russell makes with her and the usual cast of suspects every year, but the voters will, because they suck. I don’t know who Charlotte Rampling is, or what “45 years” is, but it’s not winning. Saoirse Ronan and “Brooklyn” are getting really good reviews, but Brooklyn was such a small movie, I don’t see Ronan gaining enough momentum by Oscar time to get the trophy.

Winner: Brie Larson. Everybody is talking about Brie Larson’s chilling role in “Room” as the mother of a son who was kidnapped and kept in a room for years before being found alive by police and brought home. Larson jumped off the screen while you are watching this movie, and that in and of itself is why she should win.


Best Director

Adam McKay, The Big Short

George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road

Alexandro G. Iñárritu, The Revenant

Tom McCarthy, Spotlight

Lenny Abrahamson, Room

best-director

This is an interesting category because Best Director is usually the category that’s most indicative of how Oscar night goes. A movie nominated for Best Picture without a Best Director nom doesn’t stand a chance. Lenny Abrahamson for “The Room” snuck in over who many thought to be the favorite of the race, Ridley Scott who got snubbed for “The Martian”. Alejandro G. Iñárritu won last year for “Birdman: Or (The Unexcpected Virtue of Ignorance)”, so going back to back is going to be a tall task. Adam McKay, director of my personal favorite “The Big Short” is going to get killed because his comedy background isn’t going to get a lot of play from traditional voters. “Spotlight” was unbelievable, but I’d first sing the praises of my girl Rachel McAdams and the rest of the cast before Tom McCarthy takes home a trophy.

Winner: George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road. Continuint the trend of sentimentality, the Acadamy is going to see Miller’s name on the ballot, remember back how awesome the 70s were, and check his name off. Not to say he doesn’t deserve it. The way Mad: Max used revolutionary stunts and visual effects shots to keep up the intensity from minute one to the very end. I don’t think Mad Max takes home the top prize, but I think George Miller gets his.


Best Picture

The Revenant

Bridge of Spies

The Big Short

Mad Max: Fury Road

Brooklyn

Room

The Martian

Spotlight

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And here we are. Best Picture. Not the greatest race we’ve ever seen, I definitely would’ve liked for the Acadamy to use the other two slots they were allowed to use. Maybe bring in movies that were big to casual movie goers like “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” “Inside Out” or “Straight Outa Compton”.  “The Revenant” lead all nominees with 12 nominations, but in the history of the Oscars, no director has ever directed back-to-back Best Picture winners. I don’t see “The Revenant” being the movie to break that trend. I’m going to eliminate the movies that didn’t get a best director nod (Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn, The Martian). That leaves us with “The Big Short”, “Mad Max”, “Room”, “Spotlight”. “Room” doesn’t have enough nominations to justify it being the best of the year. “Mad Max” despite it’s glowing reviews and how it’s never gone away throughout awards season, is riding a cult following, and cult hits just don’t win Oscar’s.

Runner-up: “Spotlight”.

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Spotlight is an unbelievable film that is going to stand the test of time because it’s going to run on the premium channels like HBO and Showtime for the next decade, so you’re going to see it, and you’re going to love it, and you’re going to realize that it probably should be the winner. But, It’s going to get screwed because it was impossible to see this movie in theaters if you wanted to. I thought it was the film to beat until looking up and down the categories, and “Spotlight” just doesn’t seem to be getting the same type of love within the industry as it’s getting from critics and the few people who have seen it. It still absolutely can win, but I would be more surprised now than I would’ve been a few weeks ago.

Winner: The Big Short.

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The best cast of the year made what I think was the best movie of the year. It was funny, smart, creative, original, and was just a great 2 hours spent watching a movie. It has the potential to have a huge night on Oscar night if the voters cast their dramedy bias aside and make “The Big Short” the big winner. This is a movie I could watch again and again, as it balances entertainment with information with relative ease, and makes you remember why seeing movies is fun.

Check out my full ballot here

Best Picture

My Pick: The Big Short

Directing

My Pick: George Miller, Mad Mad: Fury Road

Actor in a Leading Role

My Pick Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant

Actress in a Leading Role

My Pick Brie Larson, Room

Actor in a Supporting Role

My Pick: Sylvester Stallone, Creed

Actress in a Supporting Role

My Pick: Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight

Animated Feature Film

My Pick: Inside Out

Cinematography

My Pick: The Hateful Eight

Costume Design

My Pick: The Revenant

Film Editing

My Pick: Mad Max: Fury Road

Makeup and Hairstyling

My Pick: The Revenant

Music (Original Score)

My Pick: The Hateful Eight

Music (Original Song)

My Pick: “Writing’s On The Wall,” Spectre

Production Design

My Pick: The Martian

Sound Editing

My Pick Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Sound Mixing

My Pick Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Visual Effects

My Pick Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

My Pick The Big Short

My Pick: Spotlight

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