Sunday, February 28, 2016

Oscar Winner Predictions: Best Picture

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

Previous winners: Birdman, 12 Years a Slave, Argo, The Artist, The King’s Speech, The Hurt Locker, Slumdog Millionaire, No Country for Old Men
My winner: TBA
The facts: “The Revenant” has a whopping twelve nominations, “Mad Max: Fury Road” has ten, “The Martian” has seven, “Bridge of Spies” and “Spotlight” have six, “The Big Short” has five, “Room” has four, and “Brooklyn” has three. “The Big Short,” “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “The Revenant,” “Room,” and “Spotlight” are all nominated for Best Director, and only “Mad Max: Fury Road” and “The Revenant” don’t have corresponding screenplay nominations. This year’s wins have not been united at all. “The Revenant” won the Golden Globe, DGA, and BAFTA. “The Big Short” won the PGA, “Spotlight” won SAG and the Critics Choice, and both films took home WGA Awards. “Mad Max: Fury Road” is only the second sequel to be nominated after the original wasn’t (“Toy Story 3” was the first), and, if it wins, it will become the third sequel to take home this award.

Who should win: I’m firmly behind “Spotlight” - it’s inarguably the best of this bunch. “Room” comes in second, followed by “The Martian.” I did like “The Revenant,” but I don’t think it’s anywhere near as good as “Spotlight.” It just feels overrated to me, and the same goes for “The Big Short,” which is also a good movie. I enjoyed “Brooklyn” back when I saw it at Sundance a year ago, but it’s not the best on this list. “Bridge of Spies” wasn’t terribly satisfying, and I can’t comprehend the hype behind “Mad Max: Fury Road,” which I did find more compelling than I expected but hardly worthy of a place here.
Who will win: I can’t understand why “Spotlight” doesn’t have this in the bag. From the moment it lost the Golden Globe, it was no longer the frontrunner, and it really is an Oscar movie! The problem is, whenever a movie has overtaken the Oscar race late in the game, it’s gone the distance. “Boyhood” was the frontrunner last year until “Birdman” started winning everything. The two things that are different: “The Revenant” won the first award, the Globe, and then won the DGA but not the PGA. The only time that a late-breaking film lost the PGA after winning the DGA was in 2004 with “The Aviator,” and “Million Dollar Baby” still won the Oscar. What complicates things is that “The Big Short” is also in the mix after its PGA win, and I, and others, are predicting yet another film, “Mad Max: Fury Road” to prevail for Best Director. It would be an incredibly exciting year if “Spotlight” wasn’t so good, since there’s no reason it should have to work so hard to win. The easy choice would be “The Revenant” given its momentum. If it starts winning a lot of technical categories early on in the night, it will probably make it to the top, but it’s worth noting that it only competes with “Spotlight” in three races - Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Editing - so we just won’t know. I’m still predicting Spotlight and rooting for it all the way.

No comments: