First Reactions to the Oscar Nominations

The Film Queue got together to discuss this year’s nominations for the Oscars. While Andres watched the announcements live, Jeffrey is coming in fresh. We discuss our thoughts on each of the categories (that matter).

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

  • Carol
  • The Hateful Eight
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Revenant
  • Sicario

Jeffrey: My initial thoughts: they are all obvious but valid choices. I’m not surprised in Tangerine’s absence, but it’s definitely worth talking about due to being shot entirely on an iPhone. Also, Creed.

Andres: Three of the films are shot on digital, so that’s surprising. None of the films were shot on 35mm either.

Jeffrey: I didn’t think The Revenant was shot on digital. I thought it would have been film.

Andres: Well you can’t get those late night images on film – it’s the whole Michael Mann’s Collateral argument, right? He chose to shoot it on digital ’cause he couldn’t get the look of L.A. at night with film.

Jeffrey: Yeah, but I’m sure that Malick’s The New World was shot on film; and he used natural light.

Andres: He… might have? I haven’t seen The New World yet.

Jeffrey: Just looked it up. He did shoot it on film. Point, Jeffrey.

Andres: I would like the Oscar to go to John Seale for Mad Max: Fury Road, but I have a feeling it might go to Chivo again.

Jeffrey: I really really, really don’t want Chivo to win again, especially for a movie as bad as The Revenant.

Andres: Just for the record, we both didn’t like The Revenant.

Jeffrey: I think the cinematography is too subtle in Carol. As it usually goes, it’s usually Most Cinematography which wins. So I have to say, Mad Max: Fury Road. Just for the sheer achievement.

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

  • Bridge of Spies
  • Ex Machina
  • Inside Out
  • Spotlight
  • Straight Outta Compton

Jeffrey: STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON?!

Andres: This is the only nomination for this film, and it’s –

Jeffrey: For fucking screenplay?

Andres: It’s for the only white people attached to it (except for Giamatti)… It’s another white year at the Oscars…

Jeffrey: *shakes head* Will the Academy ever be less predictable?

Andres: No. That’s why these pools can be fun.

Jeffrey: So! My favourite movie is in there!

Andres: I love that Alex Garland is in there for Ex Machina. I think he deserves it.

Jeffrey: That’s originally who I wanted to win, but then I saw Inside Out. It’s great to see an animated film in a non-animated category.

Andres: I was hoping for Anomalisa in this.

Jeffrey: Is that just ’cause it’s Kaufman? I’m not saying he’s not a great writer, he is, but Anomalisa isn’t as great as his other work.

Andres: Possibly… but it’s a better script than Straight Outta Compton. And I’m the one that liked that movie…a lot.

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

  • The Big Short
  • Brooklyn
  • Carol
  • The Martian
  • Room

Jeffrey: So, I haven’t seen two of these.

Andres: The Big Short and Brooklyn, right?

Jeffrey: I haven’t read the original sources for any of them, but as films, and as screenplays (as much as I can perceive them), I’d have to go with Carol.

Andres: I would like Carol to win too, but I have a feeling it’ll go to Room. Also, no Sorkin.

Jeffrey: Once again, is that cause he’s a known writer?

Andres: I don’t think so. I personally loved the three act structure that spanned all of Steve Jobs’ life. I’m surprised I don’t have more to say, as the screenplay categories are usually important to me.

Jeffrey: Wait! If we’re talking about great adaptions – The Kingsmen: Secret Service. I don’t like Mark Millar – he has a backwards view of life, and his ideas are always better than his narratives – but what Matthew Vaughn, and Jane Goldman were able to do in making a progressive film about regressive ideas is incredible.

Andres: That’s the truth. The same goes for when Vaughn and Goldman wrote Kick-Ass. 

ORIGINAL SCORE

  • Bridge of Spies
  • Carol
  • The Hateful Eight
  • Sicario
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Jeffrey: I feel like putting Star Wars for original score is cheating.

Andres: It’s like the reverse of my shock of no Kaufman and Sorkin. It’s a bit of a cop out.

Jeffrey: I would love to see Morricone win, ’cause Ennio Morricone, but with reasonable chances, I’d probably say Bridge of Spies ’cause the Academy loves John Williams.

Andres: Bridge of Spies wasn’t done by Williams. He wasn’t feeling well. It was done by… *searches internet* Thomas Newman.

Jeffrey: Alright then. Bridge of Spies ’cause the Academy loves Spielberg.

Andres: Honestly, The Hateful Eight, mostly ’cause I don’t even remember the scores for the other films.

Jeffrey: For all the talk and hype over the score, I feel like Hateful Eight barely used it.

Andres: But that overture though. It’s a bit of a snub in my opinion, but I preferred Ex Machina and the It Follows scores better.

Jeffrey: If they’re cheating with Star Wars, then they should cheat with Creed.

Andres: Totally. I’m a fan of that composer, as he worked on Fruitvale Station, and his work on television, with Community. So, to hear his name be praised for how Rocky’s theme was updated to fit the new meta-narrative excites me. I want to see his name out there more often.

Foreign Language Film

Jeffrey: Did you see any of these?

Andres: Nope. Did you?

Jeffrey: Nope. Moving on!

Film Editing

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

Jeffrey: It’s hard to analyze editing on an initial viewing, but just at a glance, I can tell you that Star Wars was atrociously edited while Mad Max was amazing. P.S. Fuck The Revenant.

Andres: The Revenant shouldn’t win, since I think (and you agree) it could have been an hour shorter.

Jeffrey: Was there an editor?

Andres: Maybe not? I’m surprised by The Big Short. Only because it has a strange and quick paced frenetic style that honestly took me out of the film at the beginning, but once I got used to it, it was easily accepted.

ORIGINAL SONG

  • “Earned It” – Fifty Shades of Grey
  • “Manta Ray” – Racing Extinction
  • “Simple Song #3” – Youth
  • “Til It Happens to You” – The Hunting Ground
  • “Writing’s on the Wall” – Spectre

Andres: The big shock, no “See You Again” from Furious 7. Not technically a good song, but at least it was meaningful and worked well in context in the movie. Other than that, BORING.

Jeffrey: How did this song not make it?

Andres: While entertaining… was that a song?

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

  • Amy
  • Cartel Land
  • The Look of Silence
  • What Happened, Miss Simone?
  • Winter on Fire

Jeffrey: I feel bad, I haven’t seen enough documentaries this year, but Amy is a must watch. Also, Cobain: Montage of Heck.

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

  • Anomalisa
  • Boy and the World
  • Inside Out
  • Shaun the Sheep Movie
  • When Marnie Was There

Jeffrey: I think we both know our favourites in this category, so moving on.

Andres: Interestingly enough, both of our favourite films are smart, adult animation.

Jeffrey: Inside Out, is a human movie. The only requirement to enjoying it is having a face.

Andres: *under breath* Both are very human movies.

DIRECTING

  • Adam McKay – The Big Short
  • George Miller – Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Alejandro G. Iñárritu – The Revenant
  • Lenny Abrahamson – Room
  • Tom McCarthy – Spotlight

Jeffrey: I’m surprised Mad Max is getting its due props. Also, fuck The Revenant. Surprised to see Room to?

Andres: I’m glad Abrahamson got the nom. I’m also happy about McKay.

Jeffrey: Another year, another Tarintino snub.

Andres: Oh shit. No script nom either for him. Academy, I’m talking to you, what’s your issue with talent?

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

  • Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
  • Rooney Mara, Carol
  • Rachel McAdams, Spotlight
  • Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl
  • Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

Andres: Oh fuck. Now it gets difficult. Thoughts?

Jeffrey: Yay! for Jennifer Jason Leigh. Rooney Mara, amazing. I can’t help but be swayed by my crush on her.

Andres: But, wouldn’t you call her role in Carol more of a leading one?

Jeffrey: Definitely.

Andres: Funnily enough, so was Vikander’s role in The Danish Girl.

Jeffrey: I’d much rather have preferred to see her nominated for Ex Machina.

Andres: Yeah, but Vikander was THE best part of The Danish Girl.

Jeffrey: Ultimately, I think Mara is gonna win. As much as I adore Jennifer Jason Leigh, Mara’s role was more substantial.

Andres: ‘Cause it’s a leading role… you can make the same argument for Leigh’s character in The Hateful Eight. I would like Mara to win as well.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

  • Christian Bale, The Big Short
  • Tom Hardy, The Revenant
  • Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight
  • Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
  • Sylvester Stallone, Creed

Jeffrey: I need Rocky to win. I need him to win so bad. As much as I have a man-crush on Hardy – who was the best part of The Revenant (P.S. fuck The Revenant) – Rocky has such a hold on my heart that I need him to win.

Andres: I almost yelled out of excitement when they announced Stallone’s name. So, please, I need him to win this as well.

Jeffrey: He made four grown men cry in the theatre –

Andres: Only four?

Jeffrey: – all were my family.

BEST ACTRESS

  • Cate Blanchett, Carol
  • Brie Larson, Room
  • Jennifer Lawrence, Joy
  • Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years
  • Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn

Jeffrey: …Saoirse? How do you pronounce that name again?

Andres: Sur-sha.

Jeffrey: I’ve been following Brie Larson since the incredible Short Term 12, and so I’d love to see her kick down the door to the big leagues by winning an Oscar for her first major role.

Andres: Pretty sure we’re in the same boat here. We both love Edgar Wright and how he used her in Scott Pilgrim. For me, she was always “that girl” until Short Term 12.

Jeffrey: Now she’s the “it girl.”

Andres:

Jeffrey:

Jeffrey: God, that was fucking corny.

Andres: As I was saying, I love her and want her to win, as she seems super down to earth and, clearly, very talented. But, I’m okay with anyone else winning as well. Except JLaw.

BEST ACTOR

  • Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
  • Matt Damon, The Martian
  • Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
  • Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
  • Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl

Jeffrey: These are all boring choices. I love Leo, and I have nothing against him, but I don’t want him to win for this movie. (We don’t like The Revenant, have you noticed?)

Andres: Yeah. I haven’t seen Trumbo, but Cranston being nominated over Michael B. Jordan is a shame. To add to that, Coogler should have been in talks for Best Director.

Jeffrey: A little addition, as I won’t be able to mention it elsewhere. If we’re talking about transformative performances, Jason Segal beautifully captured our idea of David Foster Wallace in The End of the Tour.

Andres: I like Segal as an actor, and I was in utter shock at what he accomplished in that role. Any more snubs?

Jeffrey: Nope. Onto the big one.

BEST PICTURE

  • The Big Short
  • Bridge of Spies
  • Brooklyn
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • The Revenant
  • Room
  • Spotlight

Jeffrey: MAD MAX IS ACTUALLY NOMINATED FOR BEST PICTURE!

Andres: Do you want to talk about what was or wasn’t nominated first?

Jeffrey: My top three aren’t in here, but Mad Max being in there supplants everything.

Andres: I’m happy with most of the choices… except for one. As we’ve made it clear. (Have we? No more Revenant.) No Creed. No Carol.

Jeffrey: Biggest snub: no Magic Mike XXL.

Andres: Holy shit, nothing?

Jeffrey: Nothing.

Andres: That truly was the Academy’s biggest flaw this year.

Jeffrey: Goddammit, it’s time Mary Ann Bernard won something.

Andres: Is that even allowed with the union laws?

Jeffrey: Haven’t the Coen’s won under their editing pseudonym?

*checking internet*

Jeffrey: Yeah, No Country for Old Men.

Andres: Alright, well, whatever, what’s more important is that Magic Mike needs Oscars.

Jeffrey: No, what’s more important is that I win.


That sums up our prognosticating.

Who do you want to win? Who do you think got snubbed? Who’s gonna get the biggest clap during the memorial? Let us know in the comments below.

P.S. Fuck The Revenant.

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