Well, once again the Oscar nominations were announced, kicking off 45 days of debate and predictions amongst movie fans of all sorts. As usual, they were met with much criticism and even controversy. Many have once again called out The Academy for what they consider, a lack of diversity due to the second straight year where no minorities were nominated. That is as deep as I will go with that subject because that is a sensitive issue and invites all too many emotions and touches too many nerves.
This year there didn’t seem to me to be that many surprises in any of the major categories. If there was that I was quite surprised with, it would have been Rachel McAdams for her role as Sacha Pfeiffer in Todd McCarthy’s Spotlight. Her co-star Mark Ruffalo also received a less than expected nomination for his role as Mike Rezendes from the same film. Tom Hardy also was nominated for best supporting actor in the highly nominated The Revenant for his role as John Fitzgerald. Hardy is one of the best working actors who is also painfully private, so it will be curious to see if he shows up on February 28.
Both Supporting Actor and Actress categories seem to be the hardest to predict. Sylvester Stallone would seem the early front runner as well as the sentimental favorite for his seventh turn as his iconic Rocky Balboa. It would also seem that Kate Winslet, who is an Academy favorite, would have to be considered the favorite at this point.
As far as Leading Actor and Actress would seem to be less tight. Leonardo DiCaprio would clearly appear the front for playing Hugh Glass in the Revenant. Brie Larson is also the odds on favorite to take home gold for her powerful performance as a single mother held captive in a room in which her son was born. Her nearest competition is the two time winner Cate Blanchett for her 1950’s love story of two women. Her co-star Rooney Mara is also nominated.
Best Director is also a tight race. Just based on last Sunday’s Golden Globes, Alejandro Inarritu would seemingly be on pace to become the first back to back winner in the director category, having won last year for Birdman. His closest competition is Tom McCarthy for Spotlight and Adam McKay for The Big Short.
All that said, we are left with the Best Picture category. This year there are 8 films nominated with hardly any surprises in any way. The front runners are among 3 films, The Revenant, Spotlight and Golden Globe winner, The Martian. The Big Short is quite possibly the dark horse in the category.
Only when the envelopes are opened will we all know who the big winners are.