Every year, the Oscars are steeped in controversy. Every year, there are people who don’t deserve to be nominated who are, and people who do deserve to be nominated that aren’t. This year is no different. Next year, despite proposed changes at the Academy, probably will still be no different. The Academy loves to ignore more independent movies in favor of the more high-profile movies that most people still haven’t heard of. Now, just because people haven’t heard of them doesn’t make them bad. Far from it, actually.

Wow, shit, I was on the way to a rant there. Anyway the Academy sucks and we all know it. Except when they don’t, like when last year when Birdman won (HAH YEAH I TOLD YOU GUYS).

So I am just going to let you all know that, once again, I have not been able to see every movie. I have seen almost none of the shorts (so ehhh not even going to bother talking about them). I also didn’t get a chance to see two of the foreign films (Son of Saul and Embrace the Serpent, which really disappoints me because they’re supposedly awesome. If I get a  chance to see them before next Sunday, I’ll update all of this). But I saw the rest so here we go!


Best Visual Effects
Prediction: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Could win: Mad Max: Fury Road, Ex Machina
If I voted: Mad Max: Fury Road

So, of all the awards it’s nominated for (TWELVE, WOW), this is won of the few that I don’t think The Revenant deserves to or will win. If I were to vote, I would vote for Mad Max. Pretty much because of the sheer amount of non-CGI practical effects. However, Star Wars also had its fair share of practical effects (in the tradition of the originals, not that they really had much of a choice back then) alongside truly impressive digital effects. I think Ex Machina could also win, as they turned Alicia Vikander into a highly believable android (more on her, and the film, later).

Best Sound Editing
Prediction: Mad Max
Could win: Any of them
If I voted: Mad Max

Honestly, I don’t know a whole lot about the sound awards. I can appreciate the editing and mixing in a movie, but I normally can’t really tell you what’s good and/or bad. Probably Mad Max.

Best Sound Mixing
Prediction: Mad Max
Could win: Any of them
If I voted: I don’t know probably Mad Max again. Or Star Wars.

I don’t know. Mad Max. Sure.

Best Original Song
Prediction: Lady Gaga – “It Could Happen to You”
Could win: I don’t know
If I voted: Gaga

It’s the only Lady Gaga song I have ever enjoyed. I’m not a Gaga fan. But it’s a solid song with a very good important message (and I would argue the documentary, The Hunting Ground, deserves to be nominated for doc). Also I don’t like The Weekend or the WORST MOVIE OF THE YEAR that his song was in. And Sam Smith’s Bond song is arguably the worst Bond song I have heard, ever. So. Yeah.

Best Original Score
Prediction: Ennio Morricone – The Hateful Eight
Could Win: John Williams – Star Wars
If I voted: Morricone

Ennio Morricone is, quite possibly, the greatest film composer ever. I mean, he did The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. He deserves this. John Williams is basically the Meryl Streep of movie composers. Great, incredible, very talented, BUT maybe a little more praise than he deserves.


Best Cinematography
Prediction: The Revenant
Could win: Any of them, but it will probably be The Revenant
If I voted: The Hateful Eight

So, I absolutely think that this is the category The Hateful Eight deserves to win most. It is a gorgeous movie. Shot on 70mm, the movie is easily the best-looking of the year. I mean, I loved Mad MaxMad Max is, visually, my favorite movie of the year. It has incredible cinematography. But from a pure cinematography standpoint, The Hateful Eight deserves this particular accolade.

Best Production Design
Prediction: Mad Max
Could win: The Martian
If I voted: Mad Max

Mad Max created an entire world and at this point I think you guys are starting to sense the pattern that I love Mad Max. But, with good reason. It’s incredible. Now, The Martian could win. They created an entire Martian planet and a space base for it. And that was awesome. But Mad Max built an entire apocalyptic fortress and a huge bog and stuff. I loved The Revenant, but most of that movie was just outside, so on a production design-level, it’s not really all that impressive.

Best Make-Up and Hairstyling
Prediction: Mad Max
Could win: Any of the three
If I voted: Mad Max

So, I love make-up. Movie make-up, not boring regular make-up. Mad Max had a ludicrous amount of creative, detailed, grotesque make-up. Immortan Joe, Rictus Erectus, and many of the war boys were gross and cool. Highly-detailed prosthetics and make-up are part of the reason the movie is so good. Now, The Revenant had very realistic, uh, carnage. I guess. Just everyone in the whole movie was constantly covered in death and grime and scars and wounds. Also I didn’t see The 100-Year-Old Man who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared. Pretty sure it’s nominated for making a young man old. Which has definitely won before. But I’m pretty sure nobody in America saw it, so it probably won’t win.

Best Costume Design
Prediction: Mad Max
Could win: The Revenant
If I voted: Mad Max

The Revenant had really great period costumes. Cinderella was pretty. The costumes were about the only thing The Danish Girl had going for it. Carol also had solid period attire. But Mad Max, for the same reasons I listed previously, deserves to win this as well. It’s the only movie with truly unique design. Sure, it’s impressive to recreate a time period or a classic Disney animated movie. And, yes, Mad Max is technically a sequel. But this entry into the franchise sets itself apart in scope. And that scope includes the costumes. They separate themselves from the costumes of the previous entries, most likely because of budget, but also because of the increased scope of the film. I could talk about Mad Max all day.


Best Directing
Prediction: George Miller – Mad Max
Could win: Lenny Abrahamson – Room; Alejandro G. Inarritu – The Revenant
If I voted: Miller

George Miller deserved it for Mad Max, The Road Warrior, and Babe: Pig in the City. He deserves it now, more than ever, for Fury Road. This movie is the full package. And Inarritu is very deserving, as is Abrahamson for Room. But I love Mad Max and George Miller, and I truly think his direction was the best of the year.

Best Editing
Prediction: Mad Max
Could win: The Big Short
If I voted: Mad Max, again

Margaret Sixel, George Miller’s wife, edited Mad Max. This movie was incredibly edited. This movie, like many action movies, consisted of mostly very short, seconds-long edits. That means that basically once you got used to the composition of a shot, it moves on to the next one. For many action movies, this can be dizzying or hard to follow. Even boring. But this movie was not edited by a career action movie editor. It wasn’t edited by a coked-out 35-year-old testosterone bro. This was edited by George Miller’s wife, who previously edited movies like Happy Feet and Babe: Pig in the City. Somehow, she managed to keep the pace and energy of the typical action movie, but made it so, so coherent. There’s actually a video online displaying this, and I recommend checking it out.

Best Adapted Screenplay
Prediction: The Martian
Could win: Room
If I voted: Carol

Honestly, I can’t say much for the adaptations, because I haven’t read any of the books these were based on. The Martian was witty, intelligent, and dramatic. It was engaging throughout, I laughed, I felt sad, I was inspired. You know, the whole range. Solid, solid script. Room is definitely a contender. Everybody was sad all the time. Sad and stressed out. I think, of the nominees, the best and most interesting script was Carol. It’s a unique story, and it’s refreshing to have a movie only really give a shit about the female perspective.

Best Original Screenplay
Prediction: Spotlight
Could win: Straight Outta Compton; Inside Out
If I voted: Ex Machina

I loved Spotlight. I loved Straight Outta Compton, Inside Out, Bridge of Spies, and Ex Machina. Honestly, I probably liked Spotlight more than I liked Ex Machina. I think it is pretty much a lock to win. But, Ex Machina had such a unique, original screenplay. A truly ORIGINAL screenplay. Beginning to end, I had no idea what to expect.

Also the dancing scene was cinema perfection.


Best Documentary
Prediction: The Look of Silence
Could win: Amy
If I voted: The Look of Silence

The Look of Silence, a follow-up to the previous year’s Act of Killing, is a slightly-less disturbing follow-up to one of the most concerning, upsetting, important documentaries I have ever seen. It’s about an optometrist whose brother was killed by the military communist executioners, who are still in power and living down the road from him. He interviews them about the killings while he fits them for glasses. It’s so sad, but the problem is that the more uncomfortable you feel watching them, the worse you feel, because you know it must have been so much harder for this man.

Amy was also really good, and very powerful, but the thing about all these other documentaries is that despite how heavy and powerful they are, they really just don’t quite stand up to a documentary about a man who calmly faces the men who killed his brother and fits them for glasses. It’s so powerful.


Best Foreign Language Film
Prediction: Son of Saul
Could win: A War
If I voted: A War

CONFESSION: I have not seen Son of Saul. I am basing my prediction entirely on two things: It won the Palme d’Or and everyone is saying it’s that it’s one of the best movies of the year.

So, I really don’t have much to say about it since I didn’t get to see it.

But I did see A War, the Danish entry. It was beautifully shot, powerful, important. It’s just a very solid movie.


Best Animated Feature
Prediction: Inside Out
Could win: Anomalisa
If I voted: Anomalisa

Inside Out is Pixar so it’s probably a lock. It’s also one of the best Pixar movies in a few years. It’s such an original idea, beautifully and colorfully animated. If you are a betting person, bet on Inside Out.

Now, Anomalisa is one of the best movies of the year. It’s a stop-motion animated movie about identity and knowing who you are and not being able to connect to anybody around you. When Marnie Was There was amazing, beautiful, and heartbreaking. Shaun the Sheep was wonderful. Boy and the World is pretty and very sad, but I wasn’t as crazy about it as some people seem to be.

Okay, so here is where we get to the big five. The four acting categories and the big one. The winner. So anyway, I guess here we go. I’ve been doing this for like three hours because I decided to try to watch TV and write at the same time.


Best Supporting Actor
Prediction: Sylvester Stallone – Creed
Could win: Any of them
If I voted: Tom Hardy – The Revenant

I’m happy to see Stallone nominated, and I’ll be happy to see him win. Sylvester Stallone is wonderful. Both in and out of the movie. He seems like such a nice guy. But he’s also great in Creed. So, as much as I would give it to Tom Hardy for his amazing villain in The Revenant, I wouldn’t be sad at all to see Stallone take home the Oscar.


Best Supporting Actress
Prediction: Jennifer Jason Leigh – Hateful Eight
Could win: Kate Winslet – Steve Jobs
If I voted: Jennifer Jason Leigh

Leigh was amazing in Hateful Eight as Daisy Domerghue, the bounty. Honestly, she was my second favorite performance of the year (first would be Charlize Theron, who should absolutely have been nominated).


Best Actor
Prediction: Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant
Could win: Matt Damon – The Martian
If I voted: DiCaprio

I think it’s DiCaprio’s year. Damon, Fassbender, and Cranston were great. Redmayne was shit. It’s DiCaprio’s year.

Also Michael Fassbender should definitely have been nominated for Macbeth. Not that he wasn’t great in Steve Jobs, because he was, but he was way better in Macbeth. And Slow West, for that matter.


Best Actress
Prediction: Brie Larson – Room
Could win: hahah, cute
If I voted: Larson

Brie Larson is going to win. I’m not saying Cate Blanchett, Charlotte Rampling, and Saoirse Ronan weren’t excellent. They were. But Brie Larson will win.

Jennifer Lawrence was only OK and definitely there were better choices.

Okay guys. Best picture nominee time. I feel like the last couple years I’ve been a little ballsy with my nominations. This year I feel like I’m making a pretty safe bet with my pick, which is:


Best Picture
Prediction: The Revenant
Could win: Mad Max, Spotlight, Room, The Martian
If I voted: Obviously Mad Max

I think The Revenant will probably win. It’s cleaning up everywhere. It has an excellent cast, beautiful cinematography, and it was one of the best theatrical experiences of the year. All-around, I think it and Spotlight are the obvious candidates to win. And I think, of the two, it will be The Revenant.

Now, Mad Max: Fury Road deserves to win because it is the best movie, it is wonderful, and I love it. It’s also the obvious dark horse candidate.

Also, I really liked all the nominees (although it would have been nice to see Hateful Eight nominated) and wouldn’t be too upset if any of them won this year. Which is pretty much the first time that’s ever happened for me at the Oscars.

Okay guys that’s it. Here we are. Now we wait. Thanks for reading, I really do appreciate it.


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