Oscar Nominees Commentary 2/2

The Academy Awards are on Sunday, and it’s getting down to crunch time when it comes to entertainment reporters’ predictions. I’m technically not an entertainment reporter, just a girl who loves movies, but last week I shared the first part of my commentary/predictions for this year’s awards. Today, I’m back with the second part of my list, and it’s the good stuff: Best Actor and Actress, Best Director, and Best Picture.

The Reveneant
The Reveneant

Best Actress

The nominations here were mostly predictable with a handful of snubs, most notably Emily Blunt (for Sicario) and Charlize Theron (for Mad Max: Fury Road), who were both considered dark-horse possibilities on the eve of nominations. Both of them were beaten out by Charlotte Rampling for her role in the critically-appreciated but little-seen 45 Years. None of this matters, though: Brie Larson is widely expected to win for her devastatingly beautiful performance as a kidnapping victim raising her son in captivity in Room, and it’s an award she deserves.

Best Actor

The category is kind of a mixed bag. If you’ll allow me to begin on a tangent, you may remember that I called Jason Segel’s performance as David Foster Wallace in The End of the Tour my favorite film performance of the year in my “2015 in Film” article. I didn’t expect him to be nominated and he wasn’t, but I certainly expected Michael B. Jordan and Samuel L. Jackson (for Creed and The Hateful Eight, respectively) to pick up nods. Neither of them did in favor of the two surprises, Bryan Cranston (for Trumbo) and last year’s winner Eddie Redmayne (for The Danish Girl.) Once again, none of this matters because if this isn’t Leonardo DiCaprio’s year (he’s picked up his fifth nomination for The Revenant), the movie-going public (and internet) will probably riot. As much as I would like to see Michael Fassbender or Matt Damon win, this all but certain Leo’s award to lose.

Best Director

While Ryan Coogler’s and Ridley Scott’s brilliant direction of Creed and The Martian (respectively) being snubbed are the only things in this category I would change if I could, the only nominee I’m excited about is George Miller getting a nod for Mad Max: Fury Road. This might be because of my dislike of the projected winner, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, and The Revenant. I wish that Tom McCarthy, the director of Spotlight (which I named as my favorite film of 2015), would take it home, but The Revenant is poised for a sweep, and that most likely includes the director category.

Best Picture

This one’s a doozy. There are too many snubs (Carol, Sicario, Ex Machina, The End of the Tour, etc.) to list, but the most notable nominees are surprises: the reigning dark-horse of awards season, Mad Max: Fury Road, made it into one of the coveted slots, and The Martian, despite not getting a Best Director nomination, snuck into the race as well. Like I said above, this category will most likely be a toss-up between The Revenant (which I disliked and don’t believe deserves a nod, let alone a win) and Spotlight (which I adored), although The Big Short won big at the Producer’s Guild Awards and might pull an upset. That being said, the frontrunners could end up splitting the vote and another nominee can sneak in to win the Oscar. A situation like this is so inexplicable that I just can’t be mad if it happens, especially if either Fury Road or The Martian pulls through with a victory.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you’re looking forward to this Sunday! I encourage you to take a study break and at least watch part of the awards, especially if you’re a movie fan like me. I’ll be studying for English and scoring my prediction contest, which you can still enter! The form closes at 4 PM on Sunday, so you still have time.

(Copyright 2016 Sadie Britton)

Sadie Britton

Sadie Britton '16 is a contributor to the Oracle. Aside from running Blair Book Club and being co-captain of the quiz bowl team, she enjoys creative writing, television, movies, and theatre.