In transitioning from being a little kid watched television shows that Best Picture Nominees wouldn’t bother advertising during into a big kid who watched television shows that they would, I transitioned from “I’ve never even heard of that movie!” to “I have heard of that movie!”
The next transition was into “I went to see the movie that won Best Picture” and then, for a couple of years, I reached the rarified heights of “Hey, I already saw the movie that went on to win Best Picture!”
But then I went back to going to see the movies after they actually won… and then back into “I have heard of the movie that actually won”.
So it is with that in mind that I looked at the list of nominees for Best Picture:
And I find myself not knowing which of the above categories we’re going to fit into this year… but, and here’s the point, all of the categories are, theoretically, possible.
And it’s with that in mind that I make my main prediction:
It ain’t gonna be Mad Max.
That said, there is some light guesswork we could make about the films… The easy eliminations are Brooklyn, The Martian, Room, and the aforementioned Mad Max. Fine movies all (I am assuming that Brooklyn and Room are, of course) but the two science-fiction-esque movies are “genre” movies and the other two are movies I had to google to find out about… and, in googling, I find that neither one is about making movies or acting or directing or anything like that.
Bridge of Spies is one of those movies that is so solidly crafted and so well-done that everybody will say “Well, of course it is… it’s Spielberg” and then they will go on to not vote for it. Here’s the kiss of death from Rotten Tomatoes:
Critics Consensus: Bridge of Spies finds new life in Hollywood’s classic Cold War espionage thriller formula, thanks to reliably outstanding work from Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks.
So we’re left with The Big Short, The Revenant, and Spotlight.
All three have reasons that you might want to pick them: The Big Short and Spotlight have a moral point of view that provide a reason for people to vote them… while, at the same time, The Revenant is Leonardo DiCaprio’s “GIVE ME A FREAKING OSCAR ALREADY” movie and since Eddie Redmayne is going to win for The Danish Girl, voters might feel bad for Leo and vote for Best Picture for him as a consolation prize.
And I could see each of these films stealing votes from the other…
But, honestly, I think that Spotlight is the one that’s going to walk away with the Oscar for Best Picture here. It has the emotional punch, the harrowing story, and it celebrates the newsroom (which, for various reasons, Hollywood sees as a kindred profession).
And, after writing all that, I checked the Vegas Odds.
Vegas has Spotlight at 4 to 5. (Though they disagree with me about Redmayne. We’ll get into that next week, maybe.)
So… what are you reading and/or watching?
(Featured Image is “Edison’s Telephonoscope” by George du Maurier from Punch Almanack for 1879)