My oh my, the Oscars are a funny old institute. I simply can not help myself when predicting, an act I don’t wholly want to comply with, when making my choices I like to be just a little bit out there from time to time. You could say I stuck to my guns, like to be different, maybe have my own valid reasons for these choices. Granted, there are absolute certainties, and you just have to come to your senses and go with the consensus. Previous risky or unorthodox choices I made include Bérénice Bejo winning Supporting Actress for The Artist, and Wall-E winning Original Screenplay – not to mention last year opting for Alexandre Desplat winning Score for The Imitation Game rather than The Grand Budapest Hotel, and picking Interstellar to win both Sound categories. I don’t want to follow the crowd, not really interested in my predictions score, nor do I want to be a psychic, I just like finding the genuine dark horses that can ultimately ride their way to gold. Long shots are long for a reason, though.
Going back a bit when I was much better at hunches, I remember emailing a good friend, and all-engulfing movie nut, to claim Shakespeare in Love would be the most Oscar nominated film. Not a prediction of super-human powers sure, but I claimed that it had most of the components for the win, with Weinstein throwing his full weight behind it, not to mention high marks for acting, writing, a huge proportion of the technical elements – a real crowd-pleaser. But I could not believe John Madden would win Best Director, that was Steven Spielberg’s surely, so I predicted a split.
When Crash gathered some unfathomed momentum, voters were seeing the movie on DVD last minute, as well as certain Academy members sharing some lurid viewpoints on the subject matter of Brokeback Mountain, I saw Crash a second time at the cinema. it is manipulatingly captivating, and as wrong as it was that it could beat the slam-dunk that is Brokeback Mountain to Best Picture, I could see somewhere in the deep, deep dark what might happen here. That the Academy may have been swept away by this movie in the final hour. That Crash could well win Best Picture. For the record, personally speaking, I too wanted the superior Saving Private Ryan and Brokeback Mountain to win.
Onto 2015. Let’s get this over with then, starting with the absolute nailed on. I’ll try not to ramble on about the fact there was just no fight in some of the categories this year. That I’d have put my money on Michael Fassbender had The Aviator and / or The Wolf of Wall Street yielded Best Actor prizes. And unlike DiCaprio, there is a much greater sense of joy (excuse the pun) for the well-loved Larson win, there is little politics or compensation here, just a brilliantly poignant piece of acting. Well deserved. I’ll also not delve on how the Screenplay winners have been set in stone for a while now. That Inside Out was probably the earliest and easiest prediction since it landed in Cannes 9 moths ago.
I will hold back if I can on the notion that Original Score is closer than many think. In fact, Sicario could come away with 2 Oscars. Good luck Mr. Deakins. And Mr. Miller, though his win would have no luck about it, especially when you think how many Oscars his film can win. I pray that the truly awful song “Writing’s on the Wall” is not performed or ends up a winner. I won’t touch on the Supporting players winning for other great roles not nominated here too. I will hint that the Oscar buzz word “diversive” may well proof decisive for Best Picture. A choice I might add I have stuck with for months. And Best Director. Not being swayed by The Revenant’s buzz (and partially ignoring Guild form) may be my mistake. So please don’t tally the ones I get wrong, okay. I have my reasons.
Oh what the hell, here are my choices, ordered roughly somewhere between most obvious to most far out. Let’s enjoy the show all the same. That’s right, don’t forget the actual ceremony. It’s show time!
BEST ACTOR – Leonardo DiCaprio for The Revenant
BEST ACTRESS – Brie Larson for Room
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE – Inside Out
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY – Tom McCarthy, Josh Singer for Spotlight
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY – Adam McKay, Charles Randolph for The Big Short
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE – Amy
BEST FILM EDITING – Mad Max: Fury Road
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – Alicia Vikander for The Danish Girl
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY – The Revenant
BEST ORIGINAL SONG – “Til It Happens to You” from The Hunting Ground
BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING – Mad Max: Fury Road
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE – The Hateful Eight – Ennio Morricone
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN – Mad Max: Fury Road
BEST SOUND EDITING – Mad Max: Fury Road
BEST SOUND MIXING – Mad Max: Fury Road
BEST COSTUME DESIGN – Cinderella
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS – Star Wars: The Force Awakens
BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT – Ave Maria
BEST ANIMATED SHORT – World of Tomorrow
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT – A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM – Mustang (France)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – Mark Ruffalo for Spotlight
BEST DIRECTOR – George Miller – Mad Max: Fury Road
BEST PICTURE – Spotlight
Here’s to some Oscar moments bigger than the race. Enjoy!