Sunday, February 28, 2016

Oscars 2016 Predictions: Guesses & Wishes

With the Academy Awards Ceremony around the corner, I guess it's time to come up with some predictions, root for some movies, actors, technicians - end up being happy for some, being sad for some and all that but what goes on paper before, stays on it. So,.....

Here are my predictions (and wishes) for some prominent categories.

Best Editing:
Nominees: Mad Max Fury Road, The Big Short, The Revenant, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Spotlight

My Guess & My Wish: Mad Max is the overwhelming favourite in this race, beating some other films with its unconventional and flashy edits but I somehow have this feeling that Hank Corwin edited The Big Short is going to surprise itself and others for its scintillating work in maintaining the cohesion amidts the chaos surrounding the 4 parallel tracks

Best Cinematography:
Nominees: The Hateful Eight, The Revenant, Carol, Sicario, Mad Max Fury Road

My Guess & My Wish: Even though the efforts of the other nominees are there to be clearly seen in the films they have worked on and have been nominated for, nothing comes as clear and as close to doing the unthinkable as Emmanuel Lubezki's work with his variety in The Revenant. The camera travels with Hugh Glass in many of his ridiculous escapes, stays with the characters in the Bear fight & climax duels, shoots up the heroism with natural lighting when the troops get to see Glass to their utter surprise and evokes nostalgic memories of the 60s spaghetti westerns in its long range wide shots (which the work in The Hateful Eight also manages to do)

Best Supporting Actress:
Nominees: Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl), Rooney Mara (Carol), Rachel McAdams (Spotlight), Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight), Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs)

My Guess: I am bemused at Alicia Vikander being in receipt of a 'supporting actress' nomination given the significance of her role in the film but that's going to tip the balance in her favour as she goes past Kate Winslet's meticulous portrayal of Joanna Hoffman in Steve Jobs. McAdams and JJL didn't have the sort of impact in their roles to get to the winner's circle but the same cannot be said of Rooney Mara.

My Wish: I fervently wish and hope that the Jury gets bowled over by Rooney Mara's representation of the meek, passionate and confused Therese Belivet in Carol and give her the award.

Best Supporting Actor:
Nominees: Mark Ruffalo (Spotlight), Sylvester Stallone (Creed), Tom Hardy (The Revenant), Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies), Christian Bale (The Big Short)

My Guess & My Wish: I am a big Rocky fan and I know I would be delighted to see the Italian Stallion get decorated with an Oscar; I liked the seasoned performance of Mark Rylance as the spy in Bridge of Spies & the devotion and confidence that Bale shows on his skills in The Big Short; I thought Tom Hardy was a revelation in The Revenant with his villainy and scary idealogies BUT the mind stays with my heart on this one in predicting that the ambitious 'go-getter' in Mike Rezendes of Spotlight is going to help Mark Ruffalo go get his much deserved Oscar in his third such attempt at Oscar glory.

Best Screenplay (Original):
Nominees: Bridge of Spies, Spotlight, Ex Machina, Inside Out, Straight Outta Compton

My Guess & My Wish: To be fair, I haven't seen 3 out of the 5 films nominated here. So, all I can guess is to just go by instincts and I just feel it would be a mighty task for any of these films to have something on them to power over the magic that the simplicity in Spotlight's screenplay commands. Coens' work in Bridge of Spies was simple and charming but Spotlight beats it by a considerable margin

Best Screenplay (Adapted):
Nominees: The Martian, The Big Short, Room, Carol, Brooklyn

My Guess & My Wish: It is very difficult to recreate the magic that a great page-turning book offers but if McKay and Randolph are getting praised for doing just that in The Big Short, I can see why! The film is totally devoted to its unconventional 'Scorsese-Thelma'ish treatment of a technical subject and it works incredibly well! Who wouldn’t like Selena Gomez explain synthetic Collaterized Debt Obligations from a casino table or Margot Robbie in a bathtub explaining sub-prime mortgages comparing it with shit?!

Best Actor:
Nominees: Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl), Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs), Bryan Cranston (Trumbo), Matt Damon (The Martian), Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant)

My Guess & My Wish: By virtue of the nominations, it could be a three way battle with Redmayne's bid to defend his Award from last year in a role tailor-made for Oscar glory and the nonchalance associated with the Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston for his role in Trumbo but the weight of his previous nominations, his winning spree this year and his display of LITERALLY 'getting-into-the-skin', I am quite bullish on the prospects of the man who fought with the Bear. The Oscar is going to decorate Leonardo DiCaprio's accomplishments come Sunday, with Roger Federer cheering him on from the gallery. Well, that's going to be 'some moment' and hopefully, it happens!

Best Actress:
Nominees: Brie Larson (Room), Charlotte Rampling (45 Years), Cate Blanchett (Carol), Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn), Jennifer Lawrence (Joy)

My Guess: I join the bandwagon in calling Brie Larson the overwhelming favourite to win this one, just like Patricia was last year for her Boyhood role. Being cast as a mother has its benefits, I see! Cate didn't do anything exceedingly special to warrant an additional Oscar and Saoirse has years and talent to take her to the finish line in the years to come but Jennifer Lawrence can spring a surprise if the Jury saw what I saw with her show in Joy

My Wish: Jennifer Lawrence getting it just for expressing herself so convincingly that I came out of the perception of JLaw's suave image and mediocre talent and instead, started seeing the struggles of Joy, empathises and rooted for her success in her business and enjoyed every bit of her swag at the end.

Best Director:
Nominees: George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road), Adam McKay (The Big Short), Lenny Abrahamson (Room), Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (The Revenant), Tom McCarthy (Spotlight)

My Guess & My Wish: McKay, McCarthy and Abrahamson have been impressive coming to the limelight displaying immense promise and potential but Miller and Inarritu have still not given them an easy path to glory ruling their chances out with their own glorious outings. As a Steven Spielberg fan, I sincerely admonish his snubbing in this category but I don't see anything that can stop the genius and vision that Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu has translated to a vivid viewing experience handling his troop mighty well in the tumultous experience of shooting in the wilderness in The Revenant.

Best Picture:
Nominees: The Revenant, The Big Short, Bridge of Spies, Spotlight, The Martian, Brooklyn, Room, Mad Max: Fury Road

My Guess: After guessing The Best Actor, Best Cinematography, Best Director for the same film and knowing how the patterns work, it is tough to not guess that the same film would win the Best Picture award as well but that's exactly what I am going to do in placing this risky bet. With due respect to all the nominees, I feel it is going to be a two-way shootout between Spotlight that charms with its magic & simplicity and The Revenant that manifests magnificence with its painstaking brilliance; Only this time, the charm might go on to outwit the grandeur!

Spotlight is going to be in the spotlight as the curtains are drawn on the Academy Awards ceremony, for an 88th time!

Predictions for some of the other categories:
Best Animated Film - Inside Out
Best Costume Design - Mad Max: Fury Road
Best Foreign Film - Son of Saul
Best Make up & Hair Styling - Mad Max: Fury Road
Best Music - Ennio Morricone, for The Hateful Eight
Best Production Design - Mad Max: Fury Road
Best Sound Editing - The Revenant
Best Sound Mixing - The Revenant
Best Visual Effects - Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Who are you placing your bets on?

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