Thursday, January 14, 2016

Oscar 2015: The nominees

For Best Picture:

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

The rest.

Last year, as you know, was devoted to classic movies around these parts, and as part of my immersion into this field (though, in hindsight, I doubt this was all that necessary), I chose to sit out the Oscar race. As a result, many more movies flew under my radar this year than usual. 

So seeing this year's Best Picture nominees comes as a pretty big surprise for once. I knew Bridge of Spies and The Martian would probably get in, but certain movies that seemed like sure things on paper, like Steve Jobs or Joy, didn't make it in - and what do we have instead? Three small indie movies, two - TWO! - sci-fi movies, and what I'm assuming is a horror film - but more on that in a second.

I think we're finally seeing a switch from traditional "Oscar bait" movies. If so, then it's about time. I'm seeing a whole lot of new names amongst the major categories, and the absence of other names - Spielberg and Scott and Zemeckis and Boyle from directing, Hanks and Bullock and Smith from acting, and Tarantino and Sorkin from the screenplay fields - is telling.

I'm very happy for Brooklyn going all the way. I figured Carol would be the one to get the Best Pic nod instead, but at least Blanchett and Mara both got nominated. One thing I failed to mention about 45 Years was the acting, which was quite good, so seeing Charlotte Rampling's name up there is also gratifying. Sly Stallone for Supporting Actor? I know he just won the Golden Globe, so I suppose anything's possible. The Force Awakens getting an editing nod? Interesting. Didn't see that coming. Ditto for Ex Machina and Straight Outta Compton for Original Screenplay. Pretty good year for SF, in fact. I am disappointed that Inside Out didn't have enough juice for Best Pic. I really thought it had a chance there.

Okay. About The Revenant. Yesterday, I was convinced I would not see this movie. I had absolutely no interest in seeing Leonardo DiCaprio get raped by a bear, and frankly, I couldn't understand why anyone would make a movie like this, based on what I've read, which, I admit, isn't that much.

Leo looks like a sure thing for Best Actor at this point, and if so, then good for him. He's certainly deserved it for a very long time, and I think it's fantastic that he continues to take chances with his roles. He's no longer the pretty boy from Titanic; he's become this generation's greatest actor. Plus, Alejandro Inarritu directing back-to-back Best Pic winners would be an amazing feat.

I just don't know if I wanna see this movie. Call me a wuss if you want.

Anybody wanna try convincing me?

2014 nominees
2013 nominees
2012 nominees
2011 nominees
2010 nominees


  1. Since Janet's course of study when it comes to the Oscars I go straight to the animation categories and am thrilled to see Richard Williams on the short ballot.

    I did see "Bridge of Spies" and think Mark Rylance should be awarded for everything he does, so that nomination is OK with me.

    I haven't watched the telecast in years with the exception when Seth MacFarlane hosted. "We Saw Your Boobs" was a hoot, and I liked a couple of the dresses on the red carpet. Not enough to bring me back into the fold.

  2. Have you seen my post on THE THIEF AND THE COBBLER?

    1. I have now.

      Funnily enough, Gavin has been on an "Aladdin" kick. It's what goes into the machine on his Saturday visits. I always thought it owed a lot to the 1940 film "The Thief of Bagdad". Extras on the DVD show major changes from original concept. Fascinating to look at the combination of corporate power and creativity. Scary, as well.

    2. Never saw the 1940 THIEF. Didn't think it could be as good as the Fairbanks version. Maybe I'll give it a look the next time it's on TCM.

    3. I like it even better than Fairbanks/Walsh (by a bit). Technicolor! Rex Ingram! And when you see Conrad Veidt as Jafar ... Disney cloned the character.

    4. Better? Well, now I'll have to see it.

  3. I'm with you. I have zero interest in seeing The Revenant.


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