The Oscars

The Academy Awards are strange in that it's extremely popular to whine about them and how they're so irrelevant, and yet, we all spend time and effort whining about them. I'm including myself. Take my intro to last year's Oscars post:
The funny thing about the Academy Awards is that your opinion about them is pretty boring. You think the Oscars are just a cynical circle jerk of self-satisfied Hollywood elites? Boring! You're outraged at [insert snub here]? Super fucking boring! You're genuinely excited about seeing films receive the recognition they deserve? You are both naive and boring! But the one thing that unites us all is the abject hatred of the short films categories. I think we can all agree on that.
Culture warriors have done their best to liven things up with the whole #OscarsSoWhite thing, and you have to be at least a little interested to see what Chris Rock is going to do as the host this year, but it's still pretty boring.

Personally, I have a decent enough time because I think it's fun to mock celebrities and drink alcohol. I also like parsing the weird politics of Hollywood to make pointless predictions (usually scoring in the 80% range). Back in the before time, the long long ago, I used to do this thing called "liveblogging". For you youngsters out there, back in the dark days before Facebook and Twitter, people would just update their blog every 2 minutes during an event like the Oscars and we'd just sit there hitting F5 to see what people were saying. A few years ago, I finally got with the times and took it all to Twitter. And to be honest, I'm not that funny, so I usually end up just retweeting a bunch of people who are funnier and more incisive than I am. But hey, if you want to chat, I'll be on Twitter @mciocco saying dumb things. If, for some ungodly reason, you want to see a decade's worth of previous predictions and commentary on the Oscars, check them out here: [2015 | 2014 | 2013 |2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004]
  • Best Picture: The Revenant. The academy is fickle, but The Revenant seems to have the momentum. Early favorite Spotlight probably deserves the statue, but it's been sinking under the weight of (unfair, imhbco) complaints about its "workmanlike" nature. Still a chance, but it seems unlikely. The Big Short is probably the only other realistic contender. Mad Max: Fury Road would probably be my choice, but it seems unlikely to tweak the Academy's fancy. Bridge of Spies seems like a perfunctory nomination, and the indies like Brooklyn and Room are supposed to be happy just getting nominated, and The Martian is probably in the same boat. A bunch of others probably should have been nominated: Creed, The Hateful Eight, Ex Machina, and of course, Bone Tomahawk.
  • Best Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu for The Revenant. Back to back wins? Looks like it. Potential spoilers from Adam McKay or George Miller, but they seem unlikely. Should have been nominated: Ryan Coogler for Creed.
  • Best Actress: Brie Larson in Room. Of the 10 films nominated for Actress/Actor, I've only seen 3. I'm not usually one for acting showpieces, I guess, but Larson seems like a lock for this one (and she is indeed excellent!) Charlotte Rampling had a chance, but she's a racist and the academy is taking a lot of flack for that right now, so I'm guessing she doesn't have a chance. Maybe Saoirse Ronan, but Brooklyn has a reputation for being slight, and clearly Larson is doing more heavy lifting. Should have been nominated: Charlize Theron for Mad Max: Fury Road.
  • Best Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant. I'm thinking it's finally Leo's year, and his competition doesn't look like it'll put up much of a fight. Maybe Bryan Cranston for Trumbo, but did anyone see that movie? It's supposed to be about how awesome and brave Hollywood is, and the Academy certainly has a high opinion of itself, so there's that, but I don't think it'll be enough to overtake The Revenant. Should have been nominated: Michael B. Jordan in Creed.
  • Best Supporting Actress: Alicia Vikander in The Danish Girl. Vikander is the "it" girl right now, and she was in, like, 20 movies last year, all of which adds up to an Oscar win. Personally, I'd go for Jennifer Jason Leigh in The Hateful Eight, and I suppose she could upset Vikander for this one. Should have been nominated: Alicia Vikander in Ex Machina (heh).
  • Best Supporting Actor: Sylvester Stallone in Creed. Because nostalgia. Mark Rylance in Bridge of Spies has a decent chance of spoiling, but I think this is Sly's to lose. Should have been nominated: Idris Elba in Beasts of No Nation. I mean, come on, I like Christian Bale as much as the next guy, but he has no business being nominated in this category at all, let alone when Idris Elba is giving performances like this. I guess the Netflix aspect of the film's release doomed it or something, but still.
  • Best Original Screenplay: Spotlight. Compensation for not winning best picture. Inside Out has a chance, I guess, but it'll also garner the Best Animated Feature and that will probably give the edge to Spotlight.
  • Best Adapted Screenplay: The Big Short. Also compensation for not winning best picture. I'd love to see Drew Goddard get it for The Martian, but that doesn't seem likely.
  • Editing: Mad Max: Fury Road. I expect Mad Max to clean up on some of the less prestigious technical awards, but you never know, The Revenant might run the night or something.
  • Cinematography: The Revenant. Poor Roger Deakins.
  • Visual Effects: Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens. This tends to go to a blockbuster, but I guess you can't rule out the bear from The Revenant. And one can hope for Mad Max: Fury Road here too.
  • Makeup: Mad Max: Fury Road. Yup.
  • Costumes: Cinderella. Could also go Mad Max, but this tends to go more historical period than dystopian SF, methinks.
  • Musical Score: The Hateful Eight. Ennio Morricone will take this one down, seems pretty much a lock.
  • Best Song: "Til It Happens To You" by Lady Gaga from The Hunting Ground. This one has all the buzz, I guess. I'm not good at the music categories though.
  • Best Animated Film: Inside Out. Duh. Betting against this is one of the classic blunders: Never go in against Pixar when the Oscars are on the line!
  • Best Documentary: Amy. Maybe The Look of Silence could creep up, but Amy's got the momentum.
  • Best Foreign Language Film: Son of Saul. Always a crapshoot, but this has the buzz.
So there you go. Follow me on Twitter @mciocco to see what I'm saying during the show itself.