Sunday, February 14, 2016

The 88th Academy Awards

The 88th Academy Awards is going to be happening on February 28th but what does that mean – does it really matter?  No, it doesn’t really matter; not really – well, partially.  While film making is an art and a business, I prefer the art side of the house.  Rewarding the art is fine but the rest of the event is suspect.  I am easily turned off by the bloated egos, the self-righteousness, the politics, and those God awful musical numbers.  Are the Oscars too white?  Perhaps, but we (the viewing public) have never had the chance to choose the films represented.  It has always been a crap-shoot.  The films that were selected are, just that, the films that are selected.  Fashion?  I don’t care who is wearing who on any ‘red carpet’ or the vermin who stalk those walking down said carpet pretending that what they are doing matters.  Stick with the art – stick with the storytelling.  That is the hook, the riff, the thing that truly brings the viewing audience back again and again the art of the story and who is going to be rewarded for telling some of the finest ones this past year.  Everything else is superfluous.  It’s not on point.    

The grumpy speech is now over.  Sorry, I had to vent before separating the wheat from the chaff.  

                                                  Chris Rock has hosting duties.

So, who is going to make room on their mantel for an Oscar or two this year?  It’s hard to say, it always has been.  In order to pick who wins an Academy Award one must breathe in, breathe out, think the way the Academy thinks – taking into account whichever way the popular & political winds are blowing.

Best Picture?  It’s gonna come down to two “Mad Max: Fury Road” and “The Revenant”.  Who gets the gold?  The Revenant.  While Mad Max magnificently transcended the chase movie genera the Academy will only hear “Mad Max” and they will vote for “The Revenant”.

Best Actor?  Leo.  He’s due.

Best Actress?  Jennifer Lawrence. 

Best Supporting Actor?  Sylvester Stallone.  Tight race but The Academy will think to themselves, “Say, wasn’t Stallone nominated in the seventies for the same role?”  Nostalgia.  Stallone wins.

Best Supporting Actress?  Alicia Vikander.  Jennifer Jason Leigh would be my choice but the Academy has a love/hate relationship with Quinton. 

Directing?  I’d love to see George Miller pull this off for “Mad Max: Fury Road” but it will go to Alejandro G. Iñárritu for the reasons that I have already expressed.

Animated Feature Film?  Just give it to “Inside Out”.

Costume Design?  “Mad Max: Fury Road”.  The Academy will give Max this much.

Make Up & Hair Styling?  “Mad Max: Fury Road”.

Visual Effects?  Tight race.  Who wins?  “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”. 

Adapted Screenplay?  “The Martian”.

Original Screenplay?  “Ex Machina” or “Straight Out of Compton” – again a tight race.

So there.  That’s my list.  No, I have not seen all the films ~ the trick is with the Academy one does not have to.  Was I right?  Was I wrong?  Make your list, check it twice, try to get inside the heads of the Academy voters, tune in on February 28th, and we’ll compare notes.  Further, if you have any tips on getting through those hideous dance numbers please let me know.  I’m looking forward to Chris Rock’s opening and getting down to the nitty gritty of things – the celebration of the art of storytelling. 

NOTE: this blog was written before the BAFTAs.  But my picks are lookin’ good!

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