It’s award season! Despite all the controversy, we will be tuning into the 88th annual Academy Awards on Sunday. You know why? Because minor racism be damned I really want to see certain actors and directors get recognition for their efforts. There were a lot of great films in 2015. It will certainly be difficult for the committee to decide who will win each award, so Gordon and I have decided to make their jobs easier. We’re going to select our winners for best picture, best lead actor, and best supporting actor. DISCLAIMER: Gordon and I have not watched each film that will be up for an award, so we are sticking with the categories in which we know best. Also, these picks are based on what we believe should win, not what we think will win.
BEST PICTURE: (The Big Short, The Revenant, Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn, Mad Max:Fury Road, The Martian, Room, Spotlight)
Fred: My pick for best picture is Spotlight. Not only is Spotlight the best film of the year, it is also one of the best films I’ve ever seen. It gave us a harrowing look into The Boston Globe’s investigative division, which broke the priest sexual abuse story that occurred in the early 2000’s. The performances were. just. incredible. Michael Keaton (Walter Robinson), Mark Ruffalo (Mike Rezendes), Liev Shrieber (Marty Baron), and Rachel McAdams (Sasha Pfeiffer) were all beyond excellent. The thing is, there are at least two or three notable actors in the film that contribute to the films greatness. I’d like to talk about one particular actor who truly stood out in Spotlight. Mark Ruffalo was spectacular as investigative journalist Rezendes. He brought a lot of emotional weight to the character and did an excellent job portraying how relentless certain journalists are in order to tell the world a story.
Gordon: Unfortunately I wasn’t able to watch Spotlight , so I’m going to make another pick. The best picture of 2015 is Mad Max: Fury Road. Fury Road reminded me why I love action films, it rekindled that sense of awe that I rarely get while watching movies. Director George Miller primarily used practical effects for the shots, and boy was this a breath of fresh air, especially considering the recent Gods of Egypt (CGI-borefest). Although going into the film I expected Tom Hardy’s Max to have a more defined role, I was pleasantly surprised by Charlieze Theron’s Furiosa. The sustained action sequences more than made up for the lack of a more defined plot, and the performances were top-notch. I was very surprised at how good of a film it was, especially considering it was in development hell for a very long time. Fury Road deserves this award.
Best Lead Actor: (Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Michael Fassbender, Bryan Cranston, Eddie Redmayne)
Read my review on The Revenant here: https://4starmovies.wordpress.com/2016/01/08/the-revenant-review/
Fred: I have to go with DiCaprio on this one, he truly deserves an Academy Award. The Revenant was an engrossing survival film, all of the moving pieces work together to give us a unique look at the frontier. I loved everything about The Revenant, but Leonardo DiCaprio really hit a home run in his performance as Hugh Glass. Much like Tom Hardy in Mad Max: Fury Road, DiCaprio relied on grunts and facial expressions to communicate for most of the film. When an actor can tell us a story without talking, it means they’re good at what they do. DiCaprio was able to tell the audience what his character was going through and the hardship he faced. I felt like I was right there with Hugh Glass. I really think DiCaprio deserves this one, he literally died and came back to life, how far does a man have to go just to win an Oscar?
Gordon: I would have to go with DiCaprio as well. His performance in The Revenant was amazing. I was stunned by how well he adapted to the role. We all know he should have gotten his first Oscar already (Watch What’s Eating Gilbert Grape for evidence of this), but I believe his performance in The Revenant will finally be his Oscar-winning role. He absolutely crushed the role of Hugh Glass. Hugh Glass must’ve been difficult to master because there isn’t that much information on his mannerisms or how he acted in situations. Yeah we have the book that The Revenant is based on, but it takes skill to bring characters to life straight out of a book. DiCaprio’s role in The Revenant earned my respect, it’s truly one of his best performances.
Best Supporting Actor: (Sylvester Stallone, Tom Hardy, Christian Bale, Mark Rylance, Mark Ruffalo)
Here’s my Creed Review: https://4starmovies.wordpress.com/2015/11/26/creed-review/
Fred: Wow this is an incredible set of choices, all of these actors were perfect in their supporting roles. I want to give the award to Sylvester Stallone, he had a renaissance performance in Creed, one that I thought he was never capable of at this stage in his career. However, as I already stated earlier in the post, Mark Ruffalo is game-changing in Spotlight. Watching Spotlight, I knew that the subject matter was personal for Ruffalo. Ruffalo made a very convincing journalist, he brought necessary conviction to his character.
Gordon: I believe Sylvester Stallone should win the Oscar for best supporting actor. Sylvester Stallone’s performance in Creed thoroughly impressed me. I did not expect it at all. I didn’t think he had anything left in him, even though he gave a decent performance in Escape Plan. Director Ryan Coogler certainly pulled out all the stops to get the best from his cast. Now it certainly could be said that Sly knows the Rocky role like Harrison Ford knew his Star Wars role. By that I mean he has played the character for so long that he could play it in his sleep. It’s definitely easier to go back to a role someone has played for that long. I believe his role in Creed was a totally different animal than his previous Rocky roles. He played the manager for the first time in his career (screw Rocky V) and he knocked it out of the park. Balboa was obviously ready to give up in life, Sly perfectly showed that his character was broken. Stallone’s performance brought Creed up to the 3.5-4 range. Balboa was my favorite character in Creed by far.
Fred: That wraps this discussion up! Check out our blog homepage to see our various other posts that might excite your brain cells.