The Oscar Outlook 2016: Part 1 by RA Bartlett

(via mibaileperfecto.wordpress.com)

(via mibaileperfecto.wordpress.com)

This Sunday is the 88th Annual Academy Awards. It will be interesting if it sees a spike in viewership, due to its relatively more popular slew of movies, the hubbub about Leonardo DiCaprio finally getting his, and the attention from the controversy about having no non-white actors nominated for the second year in a row. (There’s a move to boycott it, but it’s actually kind of hard to do that if you don’t have a Nielson box)

 

I’ve already explained my feelings on the Oscars and racism.

 

My main thoughts this year are: 

  1. No, Will Smith did not deserve to get nominated. Believe me, when he’s doing something other than a big budget franchise film, or a complete and utter flop, they nominate him.
  2. #Oscarssowhite this year the darkest skinned nominee is from Scandinavia, and
  3. I really don’t know why Republicans are not budging on this issue. What the hell kind of free-market capitalist isn’t perturbed Michael B Jordan in a popular sports movie misses out to yet another film about how people who go after communists are bigger monsters than the communist themselves?

 

Best Costuming:

The dress looks great but those shoes have got to be a bitch to wear. (via teaser-trailer.com)

The dress looks great but those shoes have got to be a bitch to wear. (via teaser-trailer.com)

Carol
Cinderella
The Danish Girl
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant

 

Mad Max: Fury Road might have stood a chance if more people dressed up as the Doof Warrior (Why did you drop the ball, America?), and I don’t think people remembered Carol for the costumes, but when they didn’t have the costumes, if you know what I’m saying. The Revenant’s best costume was the horse that DiCaprio wore halfway (Was it halfway? The movie was so long it’s hard to determine what “half” was) through the movie, but I think that counted as a practical effect. There’s Carol and Danish Girl’s sumptuous but tasteful seriousness, and Cinderella’s fairy tale exhorbahance. By the way, how weird is it that fairy tales are associated with medieval times, but Cinderella, which clearly takes place in the 19th century, is the most iconic fairy tale? It’s like if Lethal Weapon was symbolic of westerns or something. My point is, I think Danish Girl will take it. Anyways, Carol wins, unless having the same costumer as Cinderella (Sandy Powell) splits the vote, and Danish Girl takes it.

 

Best Cinematography:

Jeff Bridges facial hair is enough to kill anyone. (via slate.com)

Kurt Russel’s facial hair is enough to kill anyone. (via slate.com)

Carol
Hateful Eight
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant
Sicario

Who to choose? Hateful 8’s resurrection of panavision just to depict a bottle episode? Carol’s soft-focus artfulness, because gay people can’t just do it matter of factly? Sicario’s queasy, sickly light in the way Latin America must always look? Or Mad Max’s ability to even film things fast enough? Ultimately, I’m going with The Revenant. Best Picture contenders always have an edge in this category, and much is being made of the movie only shooting in natural light, to the detriment of the cast and crew’s health. I mean, if they don’t give out awards for crazy stunts, then filmmakers might not think it’s worth it to be totally insane, and we can’t have that.

 

Best Editing:

A movie in which they make several atractive men significanly less attractive. Also Steve Carrel is in it. (via www.finnkino.fi)

A movie in which they make several attractive men significantly less attractive. Also Steve Carrel is in it. (via www.finnkino.fi)

Big Short
Mad Max: Fury Road
Revenant
Spotlight
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

I can see this one going to any of the three best picture contenders, (Spotlight, Big Short, Revenant) although if Revenant ends up winning you have to wonder what exactly was left on the cutting room floor? Leo scraping off arctic barnacles? Leo getting his penis stuck in his gun? Leo eating his own poop before they saw The Martian and realized Matt Damon stole their (human waste-cultivated) lunch? I’m going with Big Short, aside that it’s editing is kind of the most conspicuous, and if it wins filmmakers everywhere will have incentive to put Margot Robbie in a bathtub when things get too heavy.

 

Best Makeup:

Maybe spend less time on makeup and more time on dental work. Just a thought. (thecoolestguyeverborn.com)

Maybe spend less time on makeup and more time on dental work. Just a thought. (thecoolestguyeverborn.com)

The Hundred Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant

This hard–do they want to extoll Mad Max with what techs it can, or legitimize Revenant’s win? (It’s not even nominated for screenplay) I think I’ll go with Revenant, because Tom Hardy’s scalped scalp was pretty messed up, and because I’m sure somebody was mad they shaved Charlize Theron’s head.

 

Best Original Song:

AKA the closest thing this movie will ever get to being legit. (via immobilienverkauf.biz)

AKA the closest this movie will ever get to being legit. (via immobilienverkauf.biz)

“Earned It”, 50 Shades of Grey
“Manta Ray”, Facing Extinction
Simple Song #3, Youth
Until It Happens to You”, The Hunting Ground
Writing’s On the Wal”, Spectre

I’ve made it clear that I nothing but contempt for a category that exists so they can invite famous musicians to perform at the ceremony. And speaking of which, “Til It Happens To You” is the frontrunner, which means once again Leonard DiCaprio will have his big night forever shared with Lady Gaga’s. Some think it could be “Writings On the Wall”, but that was considered a big step down from “Skyfall”, and way to wuss out not find things to rhyme with “Spectre”. Also, there’s no way something from 50 Shades of Gray is getting an engraving on a statuette.

 

Best Production Design:

Bridge of Spies
The Danish Girl
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant

Mad Max is the clear winner. Not only has the series been defining what a post-apocalyptic world would look like since we thought different factors would end the world, but it’s by and far the most imaginative. I mean, there’s some good work here and there in the other movies, but they take “breaks”. I mean, The Revenant? Nice stuff, but it’s all about the woods, and you can’t production design the woods. And while The Martian takes places in the future, except for the spaceships you wouldn’t know, as half the movie takes place in conference rooms, where they joked around. That’s why it’s a classic comedy.

 

Best Original Score:

Bridge of Spies
Carol
The Danish Girl
Hateful Eight
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

I can’t be fully objective here, Ennio Morricone is my all-time favorite film composer, and I was thrilled to see he had one more in him. The man is a living legend who pretty much invented the music that plays in her your head when you think of a shoot-out. (At least I hope that’s the music. If you play circus music in your head or something, seek professional help.) The closest competition is Thomas Newton for Bridge of Spies, but I think at this point, nobody’s going to win for a Spielberg movie. He micromanages it so much that it becomes an exercise in “Feel sad! Now feel scared! Now feel touched!” Like some bizarro-sensitive version of a high school coach.

 

Best Sound Mixing:

Bridge of Spies
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

This is the award category that’s so miscellaneous, that the Academy feels comfortable giving Michael Bay movies here, so we don’t have to worry about genre biases and stuff. It’s safe to go with two big blockbusters. I’m going with Sound Mixing for Mad Max: Fury Road. They really depicted a familiar yet alien and brutal world full of engines and dryness and Australian accents. Australian accents are like moths. One at a time and it’s rather beautiful, but once you start getting swarmed with them you feel a bit disconcerted.

 

Best Sound Editing:

The Martian
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant
Sicario
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

For Sound Editing, I’m going with The Martian. A nice consolation for the movie that was a contender for all of five minutes. It can’t go home empty-handed like it was Bridge of Spies or something.Plus, I think most people don’t know what “sound editing is”, so I think the combination of “space” and “disco playlist” is enough. Because, get it, Jessica Chastain was really into disco in that movie. That’s ridiculous. That’s why The Martian is a comedy, guys.

 

Best Visual Effects:

(via madisonmovie.org)

Caution: All sexy robots are inherently murderous. (via madisonmovie.org)

Ex Machina
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

 

When possible, go with the Best Picture nominee, so it’s The Revenant vs The Martian. A lot of people like the Bear from The Revenant, to the point people think it’s a real bear, and should have been a contender for supporting actor, which would have made the diversity issue better, or worse, depending. But it was still only one scene, and to be honest, the rest of the animal kingdom was depicted kind of dogey, to the point if one of them came in carrying Bilbo Baggins, I would not have been surprised. The Martian was surprisingly not effects heavy for a movie called “The Martian”. I guess it depends on if they were really impressed with Mad Max’s old school effects, or want to spread the wealth and give it to Star Wars.

 

Best Animated Feature:

(via dha.com.tr) Sad puppets are having more sex than you.

Sad puppets are having more sex than you. (via dha.com.tr)

Anomalisa
Boy and the World
Inside Out
Shaun The Sheep Movie
When Maude Was There

 

A lot of big players in this line-up: Aardman, Studio Ghibi, Charlie Kaufman. But ultimately when Pixar is firing on all cylinders (Ironically, the Cars movies, which are literally about firing on all cylinders, are Pixar definitely not firing on all cylinders.) then they are an unstoppable collective of people trying to make people cry with non-humans, inanimate object, or even abstract adjectives.

 

Best Animated Short:

(via pixarblog.de)

I feel like I’m at a music festival minus the pachouli. (via pixarblog.de)

Bear Story
Prologue
Sanjay’s Super Team
We Can’t Live Without Cosmos
World of Tomorrow

World of Tomorrow is a chance for a iconic artist to get his due, and Bear Story would be a chance to show that even after honoring DiCaprio’s bear-killer, they’re not racialist against bears, I’m going with Sanjay’s Super Team, because it received the most circulation playing in front of The Good Dinosaur, and probably only looked better by comparison. (Now, there’s Pixar firing on the least amount of cylinders. And the opposite of firing. Like, freezing on one cylinder.)

 

Best Live Action Short:

Ave Maria
Day One
Everything Will Be Okay
Shok
Stutter

If you look at the posters for the collection of short films, they seem like documentaries. And no wonder, the clear favorite to win in this category is Shok, which was based on a real story from Kosovo.

 

Want to know about the big wins? Check back for Part 2 of the Oscar Outlook tomorrow!



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