Friday, January 8, 2016

What's the deal with Best Picture this year?


What in the world is going on this year?  I swear, I picked the absolute worst year to take a break from the Oscar coverage game, because this has been the greatest year of absolute randomness I’ve ever seen.  The consensus on all categories is so all over the place, that aside from some hunches there really isn’t a frontrunner in any category, including Best Picture.  Now that BAFTA has announced their nominees, I’m ready to start attempting to compile my final Oscar nomination predictions (like, we get them in a week or something like that) but today we’re just going to talk about Best Picture because I don’t have the time or patience to get something more up at the moment.

Let’s look at the five biggest representations of what the voting bodies are supporting; BAFTA, BFCA, Globes, PGA & SAG


I want to acknowledge right off that BFCA is clearly a joke now, and their Star Wars embrace backfired into creating a non-starter of a BP campaign, but they do pride themselves in being the best Oscar predictor (shameful) so we’ll consider them here for those reasons only.

The only films to land on all five ballots were The Big Short and Spotlight.  The Big Short kind of came out of nowhere and dominated with these guilds, which wasn’t something I expected, but after seeing the film I’m sort of happy about it.  I didn’t find it to be brilliant or anything, but it’s expertly paced, written and acted and so I’m all for it snagging love.  While this clearly places it alongside Spotlight as the clear frontrunners for the nomination, I don’t see The Big Short competing much for the win here.

1)  Spotlight (BAFTA, BFCA, Globe (Drama), PGA, SAG)
2)  The Big Short (BAFTA, BFCA, Globe (Comedy), PGA, SAG)

The Revenant has been building A LOT of steam and managed to hit everywhere except SAG, placing it pretty firmly in the Top 5, and in my opinion probably closer to the win than The Big Short.

3) The Revenant (BAFTA, BFCA, Globe (Drama), PGA)

Here is where things start to get a little murky.  Bridge of Spies, Carol, Mad Max: Fury Road and The Martian have all hit 3 of the 5 ballots, but I’m not confident in all of them for varying reasons.  Carol hasn’t been as strong with guild support as expected, and the coldness/lesbian-ness of the film could make it something Oscar voters shy away from.  Mad Max, as I mentioned before, is the most un-Oscary film to ever get awards attention I’ve ever seen in my life.  Bridge of Spies is probably the safest here, namely because of its Spielberg/prestige/inoffensive-ness.  And then we have The Martian, a film that is good and all but nowhere near the greatness that this awards season would have you believe and yet, it’s being strongly embraced and could be a major contender in a lot of the techs.

4) Bridge of Spies (BAFTA, BFCA, PGA)
5) The Martian (BFCA, Globe (Comedy), PGA)
6) Mad Max: Fury Road (BFCA, Globe (Drama), PGA)
7) Carol (BAFTA, BFCA, Globe (Drama))

And then you have Brooklyn, Room, Sicario and Straight Out of Compton who have managed to snag two mentions each.  The difference here is that some are rising while others seem to be fading.  Room, in particular, feels like its waning.  It started this season strong, coming out of nowhere to be this force…and then it started to fall apart. 

8)  Brooklyn (BFCA, PGA)
9)  Sicario (BFCA, PGA)
10) Straight Out of Compton (PGA, SAG)
11) Room (BFCA, Globe (Drama))

And let’s not forget those films that snagged a single mention, like Beasts of No Nation, Joy, Trumbo and…nevermind, we can probably write them all off.

But watch Trumbo show up everywhere and cause a lot of eyes to roll.

So what does all this mean?  I have no idea.  A few weeks ago it looked like we could be seeing ten strong nominees for Best Picture, but with this love spread so thin it is starting to look like another year where we will see some exclusions (and maybe an inclusion) that no one saw coming or no one predicted.  Could Carol be snubbed?  Will Weinstein actually find himself outside of the Best Picture race?  Will Straight Out of Compton be that little film that could that no one believed in?  Will Trumbo prove, once again, that Oscar is a boring bunch of safe-voters?  Can Ex Machina actually break into the race?  Is Mad Max really going to happen?

All of these will be answered soon.

As for now, I’m thinking we’re getting 8 nominees and this is what I’m feeling at the moment:

The Big Short
Bridge of Spies
Brooklyn
The Martian
The Revenant
Sicario
Spotlight
Trumbo


Yes, you read that right…at the moment my gut is telling me we’re getting Mad Max and Carol snubs; but these aren’t my official ‘final predictions’, so things could very well change by next week.

20 comments:

  1. Okay, I lol'd way to hard at "coldness/lesbian-ness"

    I give up this year. It's all over the place. I never expected Bridge of Spies, Mad Max, and The Big Short to be all over the place like they are now.

    I'm still sticking with my 10 Best Picture nominations, I think they have enough films with enough first place votes to actually even it out.

    The BAFTA's can gtfo with that supporting Actor line up. lol No Dano or Shannon? Shame.

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    1. I don't know what to do about Supporting Actor, like AT ALL!

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  2. I would hope (against hope) that we would see Ex Machina in the lineup before Trumbo, on the sole basis of the PGA list. I fear most for Room and Carol, though. This year really is completely insane. People/films that seemed like total locks got completely shut out or extremely under-represented throughout the season and I can't for the life of me figure out why.

    And don't let's even get STARTED on the freaking category fraud.

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    1. Ex Machina could register in a few spots, including Original Screenplay, but BP is probably not going to happen.

      Category fraud is rather gross this year.

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  3. Am I supposed to be coherent after seeing that gif because this ain't gonna happen

    The Big Short
    Bridge of Spies
    Brooklyn
    Carol
    Mad Max
    The Martian
    The Revenant
    Sicario
    Spotlight

    I think this will be the line up. If they shut MM out they are officially a joke. And I think they know it.

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    1. You know me. I am not an Oscar predictor. Just not my game, but, without digging into the guilds and other nominating bodies myself, I see it much more how you do, Sati. And I also agree that shutting out Mad Max, even with another mass appeal favorite like The Martian on the ballot, Oscar will be absolutely no fun and not in line in anyway with pretty much every critic and film fan on the planet. And I don't even love Mad Max that much.

      P.S. I haven't seen Trumbo. I actually have heard almost nothing about it. The marketing of that one is its downfall.

      P.P.S. Carol is beautiful and deserves a spot. I can't imagine it not making it with all the praise it's gotten, but, Drew, you do know your Oscar...much more than I.

      We'll see....

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    2. Don't know what to say...but I can't even wrap my heads around what to predict, to be honest. Like, Carol I feel is dead, but then Oscar could be the one to resurrect it...but I have my doubts.

      And Mad Max just feels so snubbish!

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    3. Also...I want to predict against Trumbo, but I have fears.

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  4. This race is incredibly bizarre. I feel like I say this every year, but this year it's actually true. I'm trying to even do my Golden Globe predictions and have no idea who's going to win.

    At this point, I'm just really rooting for Mad Max to make it in for Picture and Director. This movie, and especially Miller, has been dominating all season. It'll be nuts if they don't make it in.

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    1. Nuts is right. Like, the Globes even made this more nutty!

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  5. I just need Inside Out to get some love outside of Animated Feature. A best picture nomination is starting to feel like a lost cause.

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    1. I weep for what has happened to Inside Out.

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  6. This year's lead up is really wacky. Except for a title or two and a performance or two there seem to be very few locks.

    For instance Charlotte Rampling is winning some races and yet completely missing in others! What the hell is that about? And she's hardly the only case, however she is the one whose exclusion, heaven forbid that happening, on Oscar morning would wound the deepest and could kill my interest in this year's awardage.

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    1. I'm struggling with Rampling right now, because the BAFTA snub was kind of huge. I hope with all my hope that Oscar nominates her, but I'm a little scared they might not.

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  7. Not an awards predictor, as you know, but I have noticed there seems to be no clear cut leaders right now. Do you think The Revenant becomes that with its GG haul last night?

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    1. The Globes aren't a great predictor, to be honest. They usually go with the bigger film, the one with the prestige attached. The Revenant is getting all the attention right now because it's new, and it's AGI and DiCaprio and AGI lost last year (despite winning the Oscar), so it could be a touch of makeup too.

      BUT, you are right in that there is no real frontrunner, so The Revenant is in a good position to spin this in their favor.

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  8. Oh..I can see the films you mention here get some love but I think The Revanant will get the most love along with Brooklyn. Time will tell

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    1. They both have the potential to slay, nomination-wise.

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  9. I won't be surprised if Carol and Fury Road miss, but I will be bummed. :(

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    1. I got this half right...sadly (and by sadly I mean the 'right' part).

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