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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“Spotlight” Gets A Boost At The SAG Awards

After losing Best Picture at the Producer’s Guild Awards last week, Spotlight got a bump after winning the top prize over The Big Short at the Screen Actor’s Guild this evening.

Seeing as the actors are the largest voting body in the Academy, this is pretty substantial. However, the Best Ensemble prize matches with Oscar’s Best Picture choice less than the PGA’s award has in the past. Films like The Help have won with SAG and gone on to lose the Oscar, so it isn’t always a sure thing.

It’ll be interesting to see how the other guilds vote, and how much of the absence of Mad Max here plays out with the Academy.

In the other categories, Brie Larson, Alicia Vikander and Leonardo DiCaprio predictably won, while Idris Elba unexpectedly (and deservedly) won in Supporting Actor.

Though he was snubbed for an Oscar, it was his first major win of the season (and his first of two wins tonight). Presumed frontrunner, Sylvester Stallone, was not nominated tonight. Though it did rub salt in the wound of Elba’s snub, I was happy to see him get a win. He’s clearly beloved by his peers, and it’s time the industry as a whole took notice of that.

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

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Academy Award Nominations: Another Year Of #OscarsSoWhite

I expected a few upsets with this morning’s Academy Award nominations. But more than anything, I’m just disappointed. This was such a groundbreaking year for film. You had Mad Max: Fury RoadCarolSicarioTangerine… the list goes on. And while Mad Max: Fury Road was one of the nomination leaders, there was less to be excited about over in a lot of the other categories.

For starters, let’s talk about the most glaring offense. After The Academy had controversially nominated all white actors in the leading and supporting categories last year, they followed the same trend this year; There’s not a person of color to be found among your 20 acting nominees. And while many will say that contenders such as Michael B. Jordan from Creed and Mya Taylor from Tangerine were long shots, I say that’s not an excuse. There were more than a dozen surprises this morning from the various categories that included many names we didn’t expect to hear this morning. Lenny Abrahamson scored a Best Director nomination over Ridley Scott, who had more support from the various precursors and guilds. Mark Ruffalo, despite not receiving an individual Screen Actors Guild nomination, or really any important precursor awards, landed a nomination in Best Supporting Actor over one of the presumed frontrunners, Idris Elba from the fantastic Beasts of No Nation. Oscar Isaac, one of this year’s breakout stars, was fantastic in Ex Machina, Benicio del Toro delivered one of the best performances of the year in Sicario and Straight Outta Compton found no love in either the acting or Best Picture categories, despite having support from the guilds.

They clearly vote for what they like, and what they like is becoming increasingly evident with each year. Jennifer Lawrence for JOY, REALLY? As someone who is a die hard film buff, and has grown up watching the Oscars, this is something that matters to me. In hindsight, The Academy Awards are not the most important thing in the world. But as our world, and our film industry, grows to be more diverse, so should the awards. We hear all the time that they’re constantly adding new members and trying to diversify their membership, but where is that reflected in the awards? Though I was not so high on the film itself, I’m glad Alejandro G. Iñárritu, last year’s winner, found his way into Best Director, but that was about the only major nomination landed by a person of color this year.

Some more glaring omissions to discuss: Carol, easily one of the best films of the year, was omitted from Best Picture. Rooney Mara from Carol and Alicia Vikander from The Danish Girl were both nominated in Supporting Actress, despite the high profile backlash (and just common sense) that both are the leads of their films. Vikander’s nomination comes especially as a shock, because she had a perfectly great supporting performance from Ex Machina they could have rewarded, one that was picking up steam in recent weeks.

All I’m saying, is that The Academy is very clearly out of touch and has turned into a dog and pony show. This is far from news, excuse me trying to make sense of this mess.

The full list of nominations are below. The winners of the Academy Awards will be announced February 28th.

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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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