Thursday, January 14, 2016

2015 OSCAR NOMINATION ANALYSIS



Okay, the Oscar nominations are out, and I'm still busy as hell, but let's go through, see how my predictions went and give a few immediate thoughts on the Oscar nominations, before we all gear up for next week Critics Choice Awards, the only award show that actually matters, except of course for the One-Year-Later Awards, which I promise, I will start writing-, I mean finish writing soon. Okay, let's start at the bit.

BEST PICTURE
*The Big Short
*Bridge of Spies
1/2* Brooklyn
*Mad Max: Fury Road
*The Martian
*The Revenant
1/2*Room
*Spotlight

Well, I did technically vote for each of these films, but I now wonder about this year in film overall after falling back down to eight nominees. I had "Steve Jobs" and "Carol" getting in, "Steve Jobs" was probably a bit of wish-fulfillment on my part, figuring the bomb that those who all saw it seemed to like would sneak into a big field, but "Carol"'s lack of nomination does surprise. There's already a lot of talk about how there's a lack of Oscar nominations for minority actors, but how about the lack of nominations for directors who have a, for lack of a better word, more feminine approach to filmmaking!? Todd Haynes, should've been nominated years ago for "Far From Heaven", and it's of no surprise to me that the first female director to win the Oscar, was Kathryn Bigelow, the most masculine female director ever. Seriously, that's the main motif in nearly everyone of her movies, and I say that as a compliment, but movies with a feminine perspective are just too often getting ignored by the Academy, and Haynes, one of his strongest motifs is making great period pieces about women, put in positions that would've at the time undermined their supposed role in society. So, the actors get in, but he and the film don't. Now, I haven't seen "Carol", so maybe it just sucks, that's totally possible too, but just an observation. Bigelow has an Oscar, the Sofia Coppola's of the world don't. Yeah, needless to say African-American community, but there's only twenty acting nods per year, five for category, even as yours and other racial minorities influence continues to grow in Hollywood, let's not leave out the possibility quite yet, that, perhaps, there just were five better performances in each category this year. Not saying, it absolutely is what happened, but just consider that possibility.


BEST DIRECTOR
Lenny Abrahamson-"Room"
*Alejandro G. Inarritu-"The Revenant"
*Adam McKay-"The Big Short"
*Tom McCarthy-"Spotlight"
*George Miller-"Mad Max: Fury Road"

I'll be honest, I've never been much of a Ridley Scott fan, but yeah I like most everybody else figured he was getting into this category. And I certainly didn't have Lenny Abrahamson for "Room" getting in, "Room" way overperformed, except for SAG, it had continually underperformed at every award show, but boy they moved back up here. That was definitely the big shocker. And I can't possibly understand what would happen to the category now, is "The Revenant" actually gonna make Inarritu win three Oscar, in back-to-back years, no, that can't be right. That doesn't make sense. I can't even remember the last director to win back-to-back Oscars. Who was the last person to do that, John Ford? No, wait, Joseph L. Mankiewicz, won in '48 and '49 for "A Letter to Three Wives" and "All About Eve". Really, Joseph Mankiewicz has two Directing Oscars? In a row? That might be the most shocking statistic I mean, don't get me wrong, good director, not a great one. "All About Eve" is untouchable, but I think, I think screenwriter, not director. God, that family owns Hollywood. I swear if Ben ever makes a movie, he'll win something for it.


BEST ACTOR
*Bryan Cranston-"Trumbo"
*Matt Damon-"The Martian"
*Leonardo DiCaprio-"The Revenant"
*Michael Fassbender-"Steve Jobs"
Eddie Redmayne-"The Danish Girl"

Eh, I did something stupid and picked Geza Rohrig for "Son of Saul", I knew somebody foreign would get in, in this weird year, although I did hedge my bet that way and put Charlotte Rampling into Actress, but oh well, I should've picked Eddie Redmayne, but I wasn't sure how much they liked "The Danish Girl" anyway.


BEST ACTRESS
*Cate Blanchett-"Carol"
*Brie Larson-"Room"
*Jennifer Lawrence-"Joy"
*Charlotte Rampling-"45 Years"
*Saoirse Ronan-"Brooklyn"

Wow, got them all right. Jennifer Lawrence sets another record, youngest person to be nominated four times. Charlotte Rampling has her first ever nomination btw. That should've happened sooner.


BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
*Christian Bale-"The Big Short"
Tom Hardy-"The Revenant"
Mark Ruffalo-"Spotlight"
*Mark Rylance-"Bridge of Spies"
*Sylvester Stallone-"Creed"

I had Idris Elba and Jacob Tremblay, Elba because he kept showing up at the forecasting awards, but also Tremblay I had in because I suspected that he was getting votes for Lead and Supporting roles, and if you know how they count votes, when a performance is nominated in both Lead and Supporting, they total the nominations together and put them all into the category that got the most votes, so a bit odd that he didn't get in. Hardy, is in for having a helluva year overall, and because the Academy really loves "The Revenant", although the "Spotlight" nominations, especially Ruffalo's surprised me, 'cause I figured this was gonna be the Ensemble that gets ignored 'cause nobody knew who to nominate entirely. Oh well. BTW, am I the only one who didn't like Stallone's Golden Globe speech? He forgot to thank the director Ryan Coogler and his co-star Michael B. Jordan! WTF!?


BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
*Jennifer Jason Leigh-"The Hateful Eight"
*Rooney Mara-"Carol"
*Rachel McAdams-"Spotlight"
Alicia Vikander-"The Danish Girl"
*Kate Winslet-"Steve Jobs"

Here's a weird, I got the right nominees, but I picked the wrong movie. I had Vikander in for Supporting Actress for "Ex Machina", which seemed to have a lot more steam behind it than "The Danish Girl", but oh well. (BTW, if an actress is eligible for being nominated for two roles in the same category and gets the votes for both, she only ends up nominated one, so I presume she got more nominations for "The Danish Girl" and that's why she's in and not in for "Ex Machina", although I wouldn't be shocked if she got enough votes for both. BTW, great to finally see Jennifer Jason Leigh get nominated, long, long, long overdue nomination for her.


BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
*The Big Short-Charles Randolph and Adam McKay
*Brooklyn-Nick Hornby
*Carol-Phyllis Nagy
The Martian-Drew Goddard
Room-Emma Donaghue

There's no real excuse for not nominating Aaron Sorkin, ever; I'm not sure why "Steve Jobs" is getting so continuously snubbed, although "The Revenant"'s lack of a nomination is pretty interesting, instead choosing to nominate "The Martian" and "Room" here. Hmm, it's not impossible to win Best Picture without a Writing nomination, "Titanic" did it, but it's pretty rare, especially in this day and age. Well, at least Inarritu won't go 3-for-3 in back-to-back years.


BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
*Bridge of Spies-Matt Charman and Ethan Coen & Joel Coen
Ex Machina-Alex Garland
*Inside Out-Pete Doctor, Meg Lefauve & Josh Cooley; Story by Pete Doctor & Ronnie Del Carmen
*Spotlight-Josh Singer & Tom McCarthy
*Straight Outta Compton-Jonathan Herman and Andrea Berloff; Story by S. Leigh Savidge & Alan Wenkus and Andrea Berloff

There's you're "Straight Outta Compton" nomination. Also, turns out, Quentin Tarantino backlash kicked in huge this year, "The Hateful Eight" underperformed everywhere, but he still showed up in Screenwriting categories most of the time, but not here. Oh well.


ANIMATED FEATURE
*Anomalisa-Charlie Kaufman, Duke Johnson and Rosa Tran
Boy and the World-Ale Abreu
*Inside Out-Pete Doctor and Jonas Rivera
*Shaun the Sheep Movie-Mark Burton and Richard Starzak
When Marnie was There-Hiromasa Yonebayashi and Yoshiaki Nishimura

Huh, even "Peanuts" couldn't get a nominated for Blue Sky. (Shrugs) I also had "...The Prophet" as the weird fifth nominee that no one's heard of, but that went to "Boy and the Beast" this time. Should've known that "When Marnie was There" would get in, they will do anything to get anime into the category these days. Nice to see Charlie Kaufman getting nominated again.


BEST DOCUMENTARY
*Amy-Asif Kapadia and James Gay-Rees
Cartel Land-Matthew Heineman and Tom Yellin
*The Look of Silence-Joshua Oppenheimer and Signe Byrge Serensen
What Happened, Miss Simone-Liz Garbus, Amy Hobby and Justin Wilkes
Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom-Evgeny Afineevsky and Den Tolmar

I would say that "Going Clear"'s lack of a nomination here was due to it screening on HBO shortly after a one-time theatrical screening, but "Winter on Fire..." got in, and that did the same thing, only on Netflix, huh. Netflix, are a TV channel, or a movie channel, make up your damn mind; I'm gonna make a call now, and say that, no, you can't be both. I suspected that could get in, so could "Cartel Land", that's actually what I projected would miss, but "What Happened, Miss Simone", came in, so that's two biopics on musicians, and I also threw in Michael Moore's movie, but this does appear to be a loaded year, and despite what some people might believe Michael Moore doesn't automatically get nominated every year, but I thought he might sneak in anyway. (Seriously, he's only been nominated twice, with one win, he's not an automatic nomination)


BEST FOREIGN FILM
A War (Denmark)-Tobias Lindholm
*Embrace of the Serpent (Columbia)-Ciro Guerra
*Mustang (France)-Deniz Gamze Erguven
*Son of Saul (Hungary)-Laszlo Nemes
Theeb (Jordan)-Naji Abu Nawar

Dammit, I knew I should've put "A War" in there. I had "The Brand New Testament" from Belgium instead, I also had "Labyrinth of Lies", which I had heard, had an outside shot at winning, but "Theeb" got in instead. Looks like Hungary will win for the first time since "Mephisto" back in '81.


CINEMATOGRAPHY
Carol-Ed Lachman
*Mad Max: Fury Road-John Seale
The Hateful Eight-Robert Richardson
*The Revenant-Emmanuel Lubezki
*Sicario-Roger Deakins

And that's thirteen times Roger Deakins's been nominated, and likely his 13th loss, I had "Bridge of Spies" and "The Martian" in, instead of "Carol", which did get overlooked most places, and "The Hateful Eight," so two films that underperformed everywhere else, were strong enough here. I suspect Lubezki might win three in a row, but John Seale could take it here. Actually, this might be the good year to give it to Deakins


COSTUME DESIGN
*Carol-Sandy Powell
Cinderella-Sandy Powell
*The Danish Girl-Paco Delgado
*Mad Max: Fury Road-Jenny Beavan
The Revenant-Jacqueline West

I had "Brooklyn" and "Trumbo" in, I think we've all underestimated "The Revenant", and underestimated Sandy Powell; she hasn't won since "The Aviator" but this seems like a decent spot, just not sure which film. Boy the Costume Designers really go horny for these live-action Disney remakes don't they?

FILM EDITING
*The Big Short-Hank Corwin
*Mad Max: Fury Road-Margaret Sixel
*The Revenant-Stephen Mirrione
*Spotlight-Tom McArdle
Star Wars: The Force Awakens-Maryann Brandon and Mary Jo Markey

I didn't really think "Star Wars...:" would get in, I guess it makes sense; I thought the legendary Michael Kahn, would've gotten the Spielberg film in though. Still, with "Mad Max..." I'm not sure there was a reason to put "Star Wars..." in too. Oh well.


MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
*The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared-Love Larson and Eva von Bahr
*Mad Max: Fury Road-Lesley Vanderwalt, Elka Wardega and Damian Martin
*The Revenant-Sian Grigg, Duncan Jarman and Robert Pandini

Okay, here's how I got this right, first of all, ignore the Makeup Guild, they're useless. Second of all, Academy Branch is a bit, weird. They basically had two films that most everyone thought were great on their shortlist, and sure enough they got in. And remember, whenever there's a stupid and ridiculous title on their shortlist, like "Bad Grandpa" last year, sure enough, that happens to maybe have one or two good makeup jobs in it, sure enough, they will nominate it. So yeah, I called the nominations for "The 100-Year-Old Man..." and now I have to watch it. This better be better than Bad Grandpa" Makeup people.


BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
*Bridge of Spies-Thomas Newman
*Carol-Carter Burwell
*The Hateful Eight-Ennio Morricone
Sicario-Johann Johannsson
Star Wars: The Force Awakens-John Williams

God, they'll give any excuse to nominate John Williams, ugh. I had "The Danish Girl" in, although Desplat was honored last year, and nominated twice then, so, sure skip over him. Johann Johannsson was also up last year, he could be a spoiler here. He was up for "The Theory of Everything", up here for "Sicario". Hmm, other that than, Morricone is probably the favorite, 'cause QT is actually right, the Academy has never given him a competitive Oscar, which is wrong. That said, I do he lets Clint Eastwood talk for him this time; and QT, stop drinking, I know it's the Globes, but if you think you'll have to talk in public, just avoid drinking, please.


BEST ORIGINAL SONG
"Earned It'-Fifty Shades of Grey-Music/Lyric: Abel Tesfaye, Ahmad Balshe, Jason Daheala Quenneville and Stephan Moccio
"Manta Ray"-Racing Extinction-Music: J. Ralph; Lyric: Antony Hegarty
*"Simple Song #3"-Youth-Music/Lyric: David Lang
*"Til It Happens to You"-The Hunting Ground-Music/Lyric: Diane Warren and Lady Gaga
"Writing's On the Wall"-Spectre-Music/Lyric: Jimmy Napes and Sam Smith

Okay, they picked the wrong song from "Fifty Shades of Grey" 'cause Ellie Goulding's song "Love the Way I Do", should've been nominated instead, that's one of the best songs of the year. I've been humming that songs for months, ever since I saw the "Fifty Shades of Grey" movie, which, I still contend, wasn't bad. What the hell is "Racing Extinction", and why does boring, forgettable J. Ralph keep getting nominated?! AGH! Okay, I'm cheering for the Lady Gaga and Diane Warren song, and yeah, Diane Warren, her eighth nomination, never won, it's time for her, and sure, bring Lady Gaga along. No, she shouldn't have won the Golden Globe, but who cares, that award doesn't matter anyway.


PRODUCTION DESIGN
*Bridge of Spies-Pro.: Adam Stockhausen; Set: Rena DeAngelo and Bernhard Henrich
*The Danish Girl-Pro.: Eve Stewart; Set: Michael Standish
*Mad Max: Fury Road-Pro.: Colin Gibson; Set: Lisa Thompson
The Martian-Pro.: Arthur Max; Set: Celia Bobak
The Revenant-Pro.: Jack Fisk; Set: Hamish Purdy

Wait, "The Revenant" got in here? Most of the movie takes place outdoors? Yeah, I know there's production design in outdoor scenes and it's a period piece, but still, this was where I had "Cinderella", and "Star Wars: The Force Awakens", I would've figured they would've been more impressive. Hmm. Oh well.


SOUND EDITING
*Mad Max: Fury Road-Mark Mangini and David White
*The Martian-Oliver Tarney
*The Revenant-Martin Hernandez and Lon Bender
Sicario-Alan Robert Murray
*Star Wars: The Force Awakens-Matthew Wood and David Acord

Okay, let's remember this again, Sound Editing is the creation of sounds, Sound Mixing is the putting together of sounds. That's why I had "Inside Out" in instead of "Sicario"; and "Inside Out", really, they didn't care for that one, did they. Well, I guess they did, but still, I thought that could've gotten into Best Picture, just a month ago, now, just Writing and Animated Feature.


SOUND MIXING
Bridge of Spies-Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom and Drew Kunin
*Mad Max: Fury Road-Gregg Rudloff and Ben Osmo
*The Martian-Paul Massey, Mark Taylor and Mac Ruth
*The Revenant-Jon taylor, Frank A. Montano, Randy Thom and Chris Duesterdiek
*Star Wars: The Force Awakens-Andy Nelson, Christopher Scarabosio and Stuart Wilson

I had "Straight Outta Compton", there's usually a music film that gets into this category, last year, "Whiplash" won the award, despite not getting into Sound Editing. I don't foresee that happening here.


VISUAL EFFECTS
Ex Machina-Andrew Whitehurst, Paul Norris, Mark Ardington and Sara Bennett
*Mad Max: Fury Road-Andrew Jackson, Tom Wood, Dan Oliver and Andy Williams
*The Martian-Richard Stammers, Anders Langlands, Chris Lawrence and Steven Warner
The Revenant-Rich McBride, Matthew Shumway, Jason smith and Cameron Waldbauer
*Star Wars: The Force Awakens-Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Neal Scanlan and Chris Corbould

Interesting to see "Ex Machina" got in, I had "Tomorrowland" getting in, just based on what I saw, it looked like a lot of work, but "Avengers: Age of Ultron", not getting in, quite surprised the hell out of me. The Oscars turned on Marvel, not that that shouldn't and yeah, I hated "Age of Ultron," when I get time to write reviews again, I'll explain it again, but oh well.


ANIMATED SHORT
*Bear Story-Gabriel Osorio and Pato Escala
*Prologue-Richard Williams and Imogen Sutton
*Sanjay's Super Team-Sanjay Patel and Nicole Grindle
We Can't Live Without Cosmos-Konstantin Bronzit
*World of Tomorrow-Don Hertzfeldt

Wow, I had "If I Was God..." winning the category, huh. I'm glad I called "Prologue", Richard Williams is a legendary animation legend, I figured the animation branch would recognize him. Kinda surprise, Gold Derby had that way down, weird.


LIVE-ACTION SHORT
*Ave Maria-Basil Khalil and Eric Dupont
*Day One-Henry Hughes
Everything Will Be Okay (Alles Wird Gut)-Patrick Vollrath
*Shok-Jamie Donoughue
*Stutterer-Benjamin Cleary and Serena Armitage

(Long Pause)
Yeah, I got nothing here. I'll look them up later. I think "Ave Maria" is the heavy favorite from all I've heard.

Oh btw, can somebody please tell Cheryl Boone-Isaacs not to announce the damn nominees anymore, she's already half-incompetent as an Academy President, can we please not have to hear her. You woke up Guillermo Del Toro and Ang Lee and John Krasinski, that should be enough. And stop waking people up at 5:30, even the Emmys learned from that. You're in L.A. you don't have to cater to New York, wait 'til noon or something to announce. Tell John to wake up his wife next year and take the year off Ms. Boone-Isaacs, please.

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