Academy Awards Spread The Wealth With “Spotlight,” “The Revenant” And “Mad Max”

What can I say about last night’s Oscars? Well, at least The Revenant didn’t win Best Picture, right?

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Oscar Predictions: Who Will, Could, And Should Win?

After a wild ride of an awards season that started out with so much hope and promise, only to end with major disappointment, Oscar night is just about here. Yes, Leonardo DiCaprio is assured his elusive first trophy, and unfortunately it’s come down to The Revenant and Mad Max with some heat from Spotlight.

Yes, the races have solidified pretty quickly; there’s a general consensus of who’s winning. But that doesn’t mean were in for a total snooze fest, right? (I can hold out some hope).

So, let’s get on with putting a cap on this season already by looking at the major races. Who will, could and should win? And who got snubbed?

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“The Revenant” Wins Big At The BAFTAS

I don’t know how we got here, but it would seem like The Revenant has got the best chance at winning Best Picture at the Oscars.

The film showed a surprising strength after leading the nomination count with The Academy last month, but there was still a strong consensus around Spotlight and The Big Short. And while those two films each have a big award from an important guild (SAG and the PGA respectively), The Revenant’s unexpected win with the DGA and the BAFTAs makes the heat around it seem that much stronger.

Leonardo Dicaprio’s star power is not be underestimated; He’s been cleaning up this awards season due to a lack of competition and the “it’s time” narrative. But there seems to be an extreme enthusiasm for the film outside of Leo’s work, and director Iñárritu’s win for Birdman last year doesn’t seem to be slowing the momentum down whatsoever.

It’s clearly between The Big Short, Spotlight and The Revenant for the win; a photo finish. Each have their appeal, but if you had to ask me which film stood the best chance at winning right now, I’d say The Revenant. It has the actors, the directors, and the various crafts behind it. And while there’s a case to be made for Mad Max: Fury Road, I’m not sure there’s been enough enthusiasm from the guilds (in terms of wins) to justify that theory.

There’s always room for surprises however; I think it’s been too crazy of a year to have The Revenant take home the gold. When I say it’s going to win, that’s what the stats would suggest. My heart tells me Mad Max: Fury Road is going to win due to a 3-way split. There’s no sure way to say with how spread out the awards have been. This will be one of those years where it won’t be revealed until Oscar night.

Take a look below at the full list of winners from the BAFTAs below.

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Who Will, Could And Should Win At The Golden Globes?

The annual Golden Globe Awards are tomorrow night. We’ve heard from the critics, and received nominations from the various guilds, but this is the first major awards body that is anointing winners.

It’s important to note that the HFPA (Hollywood Foreign Press Association) does not vote on the Oscars, and wins here have little indication as to who is going to win with the guilds or the Academy. What the Globes do, however, is indicate where the heat/buzz is in the race. Sometimes they can be an indicator of which films have the most passionate support, and that can be useful when looking at the Oscars.

Also important: Winners here can make an impression on voters with really memorable speeches. I’m not saying it has everything to do with winning an Oscar, but it has something.

So, who will win it all tomorrow night? Who could win? And more importantly, who should win? And who was snubbed? Let’s take a look at all of the nominees from the film and television categories.

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“Carol” and “Bridge of Spies” Lead BAFTA Nominations; “JOY” Ignored

The British Academy of Film and Television Awards (BAFTA) nominations are the last set of nominations we’ll hear from before the Academy’s set next Thursday morning. Save for some wild card nominations (Amy Adams in Big Eyes) they’re usually a very good indicator of where Oscar is headed.

Some surprises here: Carol and Bridge of Spies led the nomination count with 9 each. After underperforming with some of the guilds, this is great news for Carol; Hopefully this translates into the same kind of success with Oscar (though their recognizing Rooney Mara in Supporting Actress is EXTREMELY frustrating).

The Big Short‘s late surge is unstoppable, and a bit bewildering because the reception for the film early on was muted. But it landing a Best Picture and Best Director nomination here essentially cements its status as one of the top films.

Mad Max: Fury Road underperformed here, however, it’s important to note it snagged a lot of tech/below the line nominations. This could translate into support with the bigger categories with the Oscars (American productions like this film tend to get snubbed out of the major categories with BAFTA anyway).

JOY was completely ignored here, thankfully, though I expect at least one or two lone nominations from Oscar just because they love David O.Russell.

Alicia Vikander could potentially be a double Oscar nominee. She’s unexpectedly been winning a lot of traction for Ex-Machina (a film that’s been performing very well in general as of late) but both of her performances in that film and in The Danish Girl were nominated here. While I think hope that they’ll pass on the film entirely, it’s a possibility after today.

Last tidbit: HOORAY FOR BENICIO DEL TORO FINALLY LANDING A MAJOR NOMINATION FOR SICARIO. 

Also, where in the WORLD is Charlotte Rampling for 45 Years?! (okay, I’ll stop now).

Take a look at the full list of nominations below. The winners of the BAFTAs will be announced on February 14th.

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WGA Nominations Include “Steve Jobs” and “Trainwreck”

The Writer’s Guild of America released their list of nominations, following yesterday’s announcement from the PGA.

Straight Outta Compton and Sicario continued their impressive guild performances, despite a lack of precursor support, by receiving nominations. Also surprising (a good kind) was the inclusion of Carol after being shut out by the PGA. Hopefully it was just an oversight on their part, and will be embraced by the Academy (as it deserves to).

A number of scripts were deemed ineligible to compete here, including Ex-MachinaThe Hateful Eight99 HomesInside OutSon of SaulRoomBrooklynSuffragette45 Years and Me, Earl, And The Dying Girl. Though their ineligibility here does not mean they are barred from consideration from the Academy.

See the full list of nominees below.

The winners will be announced on February 13th.

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“Ex-Machina” and “Straight Outta Compton” Among PGA Nominees

It really has been the strangest awards season in recent memory. Where it’s been almost too predictable in the past, this year it’s been the exact opposite. None of the precursor awards have given any real sort of consensus as to who the frontrunners are.

We’ve heard from the critics, the Globes and now comes the guilds. Following the announcement from the Screen Actors Guild, the Producer’s Guild has announced their list of nominees. In the past few years, winning a nomination here has almost always correlated to a Best Picture nomination. You’d have to go back to 2006 where the winner of the PGA did not win Best Picture.

Some surprises here: Straight Outta ComptonEx-Machina and Sicario. The former received a SAG ensemble nomination, now coupled with this makes it a pretty formidable contender. It was also one of the most profitable films of the year, raking in $160 million at the box office this summer. I’m really starting to think a Best Picture nomination is very likely, especially with a lot of the higher profile contenders (The Danish Girl) underperforming.

Seeing Sicario, my favorite film of the year, here after being ignored all year was the highlight of this awards season, for me. Though I think the film is too under the radar (sadly) for Oscar contention, this does boast its chances. Hopefully voters caught up with it on a screener; It really does blow away half of the films that are probably going to be nominated.

The biggest surprise to me, however, is Ex-Machina. Star Alicia Vikander has been winning more notices for her work in the film than in The Danish Girl, but the film has also found love for its screenplay and several other elements through various critics awards and voting bodies. If some of the other guilds throw their support behind the film (like the writers, for example) I think it’s a dark horse contender.

Also worth noting, Carol and Room are both absent from this line up. Not sure how Carol missed here (Room is a Canadian production and a real small film, which might have something to do with it). It would be embarrassing, on the Academy’s part, if it missed somehow.

See the full list of nominees below. The winner of the PGA will be announced on January 23.

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