Let's not shit ourselves, for most people, even the most artsy of artists, it feels good to win an award. Great art is self-conscious, so while we often pretend it's no big deal, to win an award feels good.
So despite the inherent racism and sexism (fueled by greed, not hatred, but does that make it any less screwed up?), the Oscars are upon us whether we like it or not. And it's my job to make predictions.
I think it goes to Leo this year. DiCaprio shone in The Revenant (that grizzly bear!) but I also feel like the hype machine is playing a huge role here. In any case, it's time. Dark Horse: Fassbender for Steve Jobs. The Academy loves dead guys.
Rooney Mara is nominated for Carol but she is under fire right now for being white and playing Tiger Lily, a native character, in Pan. Regardless, the Academy will hopefully give it to Brie Larson for playing the abducted mother in Room, a flick with some Canadian roots and the most tense scene of the year (when the kid escapes). Dark Horse: Saorise Ronan in Brooklyn. The Academy loves an immigration story so long as it's the 1950s and everyone's white.
Best Supporting Actor
I think Stallone is the front runner for playing Rocky Balboa in Creed. Who cares that it's the seventh time he's played that role, this time he nailed it. (Ha. The Academy loves old people and previous winners though). I'd give it to Christian Bale in The Big Short.
Best Supporting Actress
I'd give it to Jennifer Jason Leigh in The Hateful Eight, but it will probably go to Kate Winslet in Steve Jobs or Alicia Vikander in The Danish Girl. Advantage Vikander because she's a younger, rising star and Winslet, a prior winner, is not quite old enough to win the Academy over just for being old.
Best Original Screenplay
It should go to Inside Out — that movie was a pubic hair shy of perfect (also, a movie about puberty) — but the Academy might not want to see a cartoon overstep its position so my dark horse is Spotlight.
Best Adapted Screenplay
Give it to The Big Short.
Amy was so good (and so sad, and indicative of why awards-show style celebrity worship is bullshit).
Best Production Design & Best Costumes
Mad Max: Fury Road for both, same with Best Visual Effects because outer space films won the last few so everyone is ready for a change (even though The Martian looked great).
This is the runner-up for Best Picture and it should go to Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu for The Revenant. That looked hard to make. They'll likely give it to George Miller for Mad Max though because he is old and that flick was the best.
Mad Max was the best film of the year but the Academy probably won't think so. So I'd call for The Big Short. It was a fresh, lively take on a significant true event. Plus, Margot Robbie in a bubble bath talking high finance. Dark Horse: Spotlight.
There are new movies playing at the venerable Village 8 this week as well. Eddie the Eagle is a based-on-true story of an entirely un-athletic but otherwise good English bloke with dreams of competing in the Olympic Games. He quickly learned the Winter Olympics were easier and Eddie The Eagle stole everyone's heart in Calgary in 1988.
The story is legendary and the movie makes for a worthwhile family tale. The flick never really digs into the more interesting idea that since Eddie became famous for his blind determination and his arm-flapping, eagle-like antics rather than any real athletic prowess, there's a solid argument to be made that the Olympics, even in 1988, were really more about spectacle (cash grab) than sport, but it's still a fun watch.
Also opening, in a giant swipe of yellow highlighter across the whole Hollywood whitewashing issue, Gerard Butler, from Scotland, heads a cast of mostly white dudes in a flick called Gods of Egypt, which is about Egyptian gods, not a bunch of tourists who ate too much iboga root then fell in a tomb. That sounds better actually.
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