#frontmezzjunkie Weighs in on the Oscar Race
Thursday morning I was surprised to see on the television screen at the gym where I train my clients, that the Oscar Nominations for 2015 were announced in the early morning hours of that day. Where was my head? I usually am the one who has that date and time programed into my calendar and normally, I am anxiously waiting to finish up a client so I can go online and see the nominations. I had been working on my predictions, oddly enough, that morning on my subway ride into the city, without a care in the world, not knowing that I would miss the chance to post my predictions and then see how right (or wrong) I was. So, in a very lame way, I am going to try to combine my predictions and the outcomes with my thoughts and feelings in this one blog.
Now I generally don’t bring film work into http://www.frontmezzjunkies.com, trying to keep it focused on stage work exclusively, but I will post this one blog that will sort of summarize my feelings about the year in film. And see where it takes us…
So here goes. frontmezzjunkie’s first film commentary blog:
The 2015 Oscar nominations for:
- The Big Short
- Bridge of Spies
- Mad Max: Fury Road
- The Martian
- The Revenant
In all honesty, I predicted all of these films, but I also had two others on the list. Carol and Sicario, with an curiosity about Star Wars The Force Awakes. I was pretty confident that Carol would be included because, in my opinion, it was one of the three best films of the year (The Big Short and Spotlight being the other two). The quiet love story steeped in repressed desire between the two leads (yes, I think they are both lead actresses, not one lead and one supporting) makes for a poetically beautiful film; a great deal more rich then a few of the others. I thought the other two films I mentioned might be left off the list, although I thought Sicario was devastatingly amazing, and Star Wars was like a spectacular return to form. I would never have guessed that Carol would have not been on that list. Such a disappointment.
I have not seen The Revenant or The Martian yet, and really didn’t have much interest to be honest. Maybe I will so I can speak honestly and from a place of knowledge as we get closer to the night in February when the awards are given out, or maybe I won’t. Time will tell.
- Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
- Matt Damon, The Martian
- Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
- Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
- Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl
On this list I got five for five. It seemed pretty obvious that these five would be the nominations, although the surprising thing for me is that now, because of the Golden Globes, DiCaprio and Damon are looking to be the ones to beat, and I would have guessed it would be a race between Fassbender (who was breathtaking) and Redmayne (who I hear is glorious). I still need to see The Danish Girl, I’m ashamed to admit. Cranston in Trumbo was wonderful, but nothing compared to Fassbender.
- Cate Blanchett, Carol
- Brie Larson, Room
- Jennifer Lawrence, Joy
- Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years
- Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn
I did not think that Lawrence would make it on this list of five. I really believed that Alicia Vikander would have beat her out for her magnificent work (I hear) on The Danish Girl. That is a complete surprise for me although, come to think of it, I did know that the film had not been campaigning for that inclusion. I can’t wait to go see The Danish Girl, but from many who have seen it, they say she is the heart and the center of that film, and for her not to be given a nomination, it is a disappointment.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
- Christian Bale, The Big Short
- Tom Hardy, The Revenant
- Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight
- Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
- Sylvester Stallone, Creed
On my list of nomination predictions, Hardy and Bale did not appear. For The Big Short, I had Steve Carell instead, but that was just a guess, a wrong one, but I just thought that he would get kudos for playing that angry part to perfection. Bale was his normal magnificent self in a wonderful fun role, but for me, he was no surprise. Carell surprised me.
In a similar quandary, I went back and forth between Michael Keaton and Ruffalo in Spotlight, but I went with Ruffalo only because his part resonated more emotionally for me, and not because I thought he was better then Keaton.
My other huge surprise is the exclusion on Idris Elba in Beasts of No Nation, an actor that I believed was a sure thing. Now we can talk all night about diversity (what happened with Straight Outta Compton, Jason Mitchell, and Creed’s Michael B. Johnson???), but beyond that difficult topic, Elba was just wonderful in what many would call a truly disturbing film, and his performance should not have been ignored. And yet, here it was.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
- Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
- Rooney Mara, Carol
- Rachel McAdams, Spotlight
- Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl
- Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs
So I guess here is where Vikander got her nomination. Did I know that she was going to be shoved into this category, yes, I guess I did somewhere in the back of my mind, but I do think it’s a shame that she didn’t get her due. I thought she would be included in this list,(in addition to a Best Actress nomination) for Ex-Machina, but I had it wrong from the onset. Some may think she has a better chance here to win for The Danish Girl, but in this list of five great actresses, I’m not so sure she has any more chance then if she, and Mara, were in the category that they both should have been given the honor, Best Actress, alongside Blanchette, Rampling, Ronan and Larson.
I’m in heaven that Winslet and McAdams made it into this category as I thought both were so stellar in their films. McAdams was quietly spectacular as Sacha Pfeiffer, stealing my heart in that beautiful scene on the fire escape stairs with Mark Ruffalo (who deserves that nomination most definitely). And Winslet was almost unrecognizable in her perfect performance as Joanna Hoffman in Steve Jobs. Haven’t seen, nor do I think I will see, The Hateful Eight. Sue me, but I am not that interested. I’m sure Leigh is wonderful, she always is intense and very specific in her choices, but I was thinking that Jane Fonda would have been included for her role in Youth. But I was wrong, once again.
- Adam McKay – The Big Short
- George Miller – Mad Max: Fury Road
- Alejandro G. Iñárritu – The Revenant
- Lenny Abrahamson – Room
- Tom McCarthy – Spotlight
I did have Ridley Scott on my list of nominations for Best Director, but I can’t say that I was thrilled to leave off Abrahamson for another film that I am dying to see, Room. From what I hear he should be included, so I’m glad he is, and of my mistake.
So those were the only categories that I wrote out predictions for. I’m glad Inside Out was included in Best Animated Feature, but I would only have been surprised if it hadn’t made the cut. It was an obvious choice. I also think it should have been considered as Best Film, but I really didn’t see that happening. Also I’m thrilled that Anomalisa was included. It looks like such an inventive and interesting film. One I can’t wait to see.
So that’s my first film blog on frontmezzjunkies.com. What do you think? And, a bigger question is, Does it belong here? You tell me….
The winners will be predicted sometime next month. So check back and see, and hope you all have some theatre tickets purchased, as this spring season is looking good and just getting started!!