The 88th Academy Awards

Are you excited for Oscar night? We absolutely are! Check out the nominees below, and who we think is going to win… and moreover, who we want to win! Check out the mash-up episode we did with the Classy Little Podcast for more thoughts on all of the nominees and some great Oscar fun, and don’t miss out on the big show Sunday, Feb 28th at 7:00 PM on ABC. Come back after the show for updates on the winners!

Edit: Winners are now underlined, with final thoughts included!

 

Best Picture

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

Nick’s Pick: This is still a tricky category to pick in terms of what I’d like to see take away the Oscar here and what I even think will win. For once I am pretty well stumped on it! Of all of the nominees, I’ll be honest, I’d love to see Mad Max: Fury Road walk away with this, but it isn’t going to happen. The Revenant has some steam coming off the Golden Globe wins for director, actor, and drama, and as much as I don’t want to say it, I feel like Iñárritu is going to go two for two this year with best director and best picture. I’m going to go with the safe pick there, even though I really think that Spotlight could end up taking this since it isn’t going to get any love elsewhere.
Spotlight comes away the big winner! I should have stuck with my gut. I had a feeling that this might win here since it had no recognition elsewhere.

 
Best Actor in a Motion Picture

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

Nick’s Pick: All of the buzz has been full-steam for Leonardo DiCaprio to finally win an Oscar for his turn in The Revenant, and unless there’s a huge upset here, he is going to do just that. Yet, this year was not his strongest performance in my opinion, and Michael Fassbender was simply mesmerizing in Steve Jobs. For once, I’d love for the Academy Awards to not simply be about awarding a body of work instead of a performance and award this to Fassbender, but I know that it will not.
Leo WINS! A foregone conclusion, honestly. Fassbender’s time will come.

 
Best Actress in a Motion Picture

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

Nick’s Pick: As with most years, I am coming into this category very under-prepared, as I have yet to see either Joy or 45 Years. Of the performances I’ve seen, however, I have to give this to Brie Larson for her amazing turn in Room. She is my pick in this category and she will win, as Room is sadly under-nominated elsewhere and this will be its only recognition, I feel. Carol was good not great, and as good as Blanchett was I felt Larson’s performance was just in a better film. Saoirse Ronan was excellent in Brooklyn, but sadly that film will end up in the “the nomination is the award” category at the end of the night.

 
Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture

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

Nick’s Pick: This is a category I came into this year extremely excited for, especially after seeing Creed and seeing how good Stallone is in it. I think that Sylvester Stallone will win this award, but I am torn in half between him and Mark Ruffalo, who was simply brilliant in Spotlight. I’ll hem and haw over this until “And the Oscar goes to…” but I’ll be happy if either one wins. Stallone is going to win out in the end, though, since he’s not likely to be on an Oscar stage ever again, and let’s face it, after years of phoning in his aging action hero persona in Expendables films, he turned a stellar performance in Creed.
Mark Rylance with the shocking win in this category has everyone’s head spinning. Stallone seemed like a lock after the Globes, and Ruffalo was an easy second choice after his amazing turn in Spotlight. Justin will probably never get over this.

 
Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture

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

Nick’s PickThis is a difficult category for me to call. I will say now that I think Kate Winslet will take this for her performance in Steve Jobs. Why? Because Fassbender won’t win best actor, and it isn’t getting any accolades elsewhere, so this will be its “at least it won something” award. However, much as I love Kate, I have to pick Alicia Vikander for her performance in The Danish Girl. Eddie Redmayne was wonderful in the film, but she is that film’s entire emotional core and its solid foundation. The strength of her performance really caught my eye in that and Ex Machina, which is criminally un-represented here.

 
Best Animated Feature Film

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

Nick’s Pick: Inside Out. I mean come on, it should be bloody obvious, shouldn’t it? I didn’t see any of the other nominees, but Inside Out will win since it’s got the mighty Pixar machine driving it, and I can’t imagine any of the others were nearly as good as it was.

 
Best Cinematography

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

Nick’s PickAs I said in our Revenant review episode with the guys from the Countdown Movie and TV reviews podcast, Emmanuel Lubezki should win this award a hundred fold for his BRILLANT work in The Revenant. I loved what Robert Richardson did in The Hateful Eight as well and since it didn’t pick up many nods this year, this is its best chance. But it won’t win. Lubezki all the way!

 
Best Costume Design

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

Nick’s Pick: I almost feel as if The Danish Girl might sneak in and take this since it won’t get any love in the major awards area. I would love to see Mad Max: Fury Road win here.

 
Best Directing

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

Nick’s Pick: Look, Iñárritu already won the DGA, he’s going to win for The Revenant. Would I like to see George Miller win here for Mad Max: Fury RoadYes. Yes I would. A close second would be for Room and the wonderful job done by Lenny Abrahamson.

 
Best Documentary (Feature)

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

 
Best Documentary (Short Subject)

Body Team 12
Chau, beyond the Lines
Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah
A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness
Last Day of Freedom

 
Best Film Editing

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

Nick’s PickI’m thinking that Mad Max: Fury Road will pick up some awards somewhere in the night and it will probably be on the outside of the major awards. I think it will win here and I’d love to see it happen. The Revenant was overlong, and don’t get me started on Star WarsSpotlight is a contender here as it was cut to precision to keep the tension running.

 
Best Foreign Language Film

Embrace of the Serpent
Mustang
Son of Saul
Theeb
A War

 
Makeup and Hairstyling

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

Nick’s Pick: Again, I think that Mad Max: Fury Road is going to come away with it here, and it really does deserve it. The scope of that production and how beautifully everything was designed was wonderful. If The Revenant comes in and sweeps these “minor” awards as well I’m not going to be a happy camper at the end of the night.

 
Music (Original Score)

Bridge of Spies
Carol
The Hateful Eight
Sicario
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Nick’s Pick: 100% pulling for Ennio Morricone to win for his MASTERPIECE of a score from The Hateful Eight. It was bloody brilliant!

 
Music (Best Original Song)

“Earned It,” Fifty 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

 
Production Design

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

Nick’s Pick: The Danish Girl, The Martian, and The Revenant all had beautiful production design, but I would love to see Mad Max: Fury Road take this one. I don’t think it will, however, as this is a perfect chance for a film like The Danish Girl to take some awards as it won’t win in the major categories.

 
Best Short Film (Animated)

Bear Story
Prologue
Sanjay’s Super Team
We Can’t Live without Cosmos
World of Tomorrow

 
Best Short Film (Live-Action)

Ave Maria
Day One
Everything Will Be Okay (Alles Wird Gut)
Shok
Stutterer

 
Best Sound Editing

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

Nick’s Pick: Mad Max: Fury Road.

 
Best Sound Mixing

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

Nick’s Pick: Mad Max: Fury Road.

 
Best Visual Effects

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

Nick’s Pick: I’d love to see Mad Max: Fury Road or Ex Machina take the win here. In all honesty, I think this would be the one and only award I’d be okay with Star Wars: The Force Awakens winning because the effects in the film- especially the practical effects- were bloody beautiful.
Ex Machina really surprised me here, not because its effects weren’t amazing, but because I really didn’t expect it to win. Very, very well-deserved.

 
Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

The Big Short
Brooklyn
Carol
The Martian
Room

Nick’s Pick: I think that Brooklyn, Carol, and The Martian are all strong contenders here, but I have to give this to Room for how amazingly well the characters were written here. I’m not sure how long they’re in the bunker for in the novel, but I assume that was adapted relatively faithfully, even though it shouldn’t have been. Even still, this is my pick!

 
Best Writing (Original Screenplay)

Bridge of Spies
Ex Machina
Inside Out
Spotlight
Straight Outta Compton

Nick’s Pick: Again, it’d be brilliant to see Ex Machina or even Inside Out with a win in this category, but I’m actually going to say that Straight Outta Compton will win because of the backlash of the #OscarsSoWhite movement. I didn’t get a chance to see it (sadly), and even though Spotlight wasn’t perfect to me it was very well written and that would be my pick. Although Aaron Sorkin is CRIMINALLY snubbed here for his brilliant work in Steve Jobs.

 

 

My Final Thoughts:

The evening went almost exactly as I expected, minus Stallone not coming away with a win. I knew that The Revenant would have a tough fight to take best picture and I was right, especially since it was almost certain that Inarritu and DiCaprio would win in their respective categories. I will admit to being at least a little disappointed that Leo won for The Revenant, but that’s not a commentary on his performance in that film; I thought he was great. But he has been greater in the past, and his win only further reinforces the idea that the Oscars are more about awarding body of work than they are about awarding the best performance which I still feel was Fassbender.

Aside from that, no big surprises. Extremely pleased that Mad Max: Fury Road took home SIX Oscars, all of them very well-deserved. Another great year in film has come to a close, and Lady Gaga stole the entire show with her performance of “Til It Happens to You.” Chris Rock was great early on and really hit the nail on the head in terms of #OscarsSoWhite, but by the end of the night the whole bit was driven in the ground and beaten like a dead horse that was confused for a rented mule. The show was pretty great, and though I hated the bloody scroll at the bottom of the screen for the winners to thank people, it proved rather redundant and senseless. FFS just schedule to go over and GO OVER. Why is it such a big deal? The end of the show didn’t feel as rushed as years past but was still far more brisk in the “major” categories. Can’t wait to see what Hollywood does this year. Congratulations to all of the nominees and winners!

  • Epic Film Guy Nick