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28 February 2016

Oscars 2016: Brun Philippines' Choices

“The Revenant” is a superb motion picture backed with great marketing and the film even boasts of having an even bigger ace, namely Leonardo Di Caprio. Di Carpio himself is a front-runner in the best actor race.  The safest bet this coming Oscar awards show is “The Revenant.” It will most likely win Best Picture, Best Director for Alejandro González Iñárritu and Best Actor for Di Carpio. Now, whether “The Revenant” will age as a great classic such as “Lawrence of Arabia,” only time will tell. I particularly like "Spotlight" with its good screenplay, astute direction and a great ensemble cast but I think George Miller’s “Mad Max: Fury Road” is the best of all the nominated film and it deserves to get the Oscar best picture prize. Miller should also bring home the best director trophy. “Max Mad” gives action movies a good name. Calling the film a mere action flick is even very limiting. “Max Mad” is an unlikely feminist movie and an entertaining metaphor for the current capitalist consumerist age. Go deeper beyond the car chases and the blood bath, “Mad Max” is a clever critique of our current modern wasteland. Curiously, my choice for Oscar best picture has always been different from that of the Academy so expect the folks from “The Revenant” to bring home a truckload of trophies on February 29.


BEST PICTURE (NOMINEES)
The Big Short
Bridge of Spies
Brooklyn
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Room
Spotlight

Most Likely to Win: “The Revenant”
My Pick: “Mad Max: Fury Road” (Runner-up- "Spotlight")
(Updated, Feb 29, 2016: Oscar Winner- "Spotlight")

DIRECTING (NOMINEES)
Lenny Abrahamson, “Room”
Alejandro González Iñárritu, “The Revenant”
Adam McKay, “The Big Short”
Tom McCarthy, “Spotlight”
George Miller, “Mad Max: Fury Road”

Most Likely to Win: Alejandro González Iñárritu, “The Revenant”
My Pick: George Miller, “Mad Max: Fury Road”
(Updated, Feb 29, 2016: Oscar Winner- Alejandro González Iñárritu, “The Revenant”)


ADAPTED SCREENPLAY (NOMINEES)
The Big Short
Brooklyn
Carol
The Martian
Room

Most Likely to Win: “The Big Short”
My Pick: “The Big Short”
(Updated, Feb 29, 2016: Oscar Winner- "The Big Short")

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY (NOMINEES)
Bridge of Spies
Ex Machina
Inside Out
Spotlight
Straight Outta Compton

Most Likely to Win: “Spotlight”
My Pick: “Spotlight”
(Updated, Feb 29, 2016: Oscar Winner- "Spotlight")


ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE (NOMINEES)
Bryan Cranston, “Trumbo”
Matt Damon, “The Martian”
Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Revenant”
Michael Fassbender, “Steve Jobs”
Eddie Redmayne, “The Danish Girl”

Leonardo Di Carpio’s Oscar is long overdue and this may be his year. Nevertheless, Eddie Redmayne’s performance in “The Danish Girl” is excellent.  He was able to bring to forefront the internal struggle of his character without overacting. Acting without the help of external elements is a greater challenge because you need to bring to surface all the internal turmoil for the lens to capture. Unfortunately, Redmayne has already won last year for “The Theory of Everything” so he is out.

Most Likely to Win: Leonardo Di Caprio, “The Revenant”
My Pick: Eddie Redmayne in “The Danish Girl”
(Updated, Feb 29, 2016: Oscar Winner- Leonardo DiCaprio)


ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE (NOMINEES)
Cate Blanchett, “Carol”
Brie Larson, “Room”
Jennifer Lawrence, “Joy”
Charlotte Rampling, “45 Years”
Saoirse Ronan, “Brooklyn”

Brie Larson is the front-runner in this race and most likely to receive the award. Larson’s performance is the kind that Oscar voters love and Larson was outstanding so she deserves to win. Saoirse Ronan is a close second for her understated performance in “Brooklyn.” On the other hand, if you fancy understated slow burn performance, Charlotte Rampling nailed it in “45 Years.” Her comments about the race debate concerning the Oscars this year may have hurt her chances but that does not diminish her performance and body of work. The last 30 minutes of “45 Years” is truly Oscar worthy, but then again, everybody loves dramatic lines and explosive emotions but Rampling delivers droplets of pain at precise moments.

Most Likely to Win: Brie Larson, “Room”
My Pick: Charlotte Rampling “45 Years”
(Updated, Feb 29, 2016: Oscar Winner- Brie Larson)


ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE (NOMINEES)
Christian Bale, “The Big Short”
Tom Hardy, “The Revenant”
Mark Ruffalo, “Spotlight”
Mark Rylance, “Bridge of Spies”
Sylvester Stallone, “Creed”

Aside from Leonardo Di Caprio, Mark Ruffallo’s Oscar is overdue. If Academy voters want to make up for this oversight, they should give Ruffallo an Oscar for his performance in “Spotlight.”  Still, Mark Rylance was outstanding in “Bridge of Spies” and hopefully, Oscar voters will not be overly sentimental and give the acting plum to Stallone.

Most Likely to Win: Sylvester Stallone, “Creed”
My Pick: Mark Rylance, “Bridge of Spies” or Mark Ruffallo, “Spotlight”
(Updated, Feb 29, 2016: Oscar Winner- Mark Rylance)


ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE (NOMINEES)
Jennifer Jason Leigh, “The Hateful Eight”
Rooney Mara, “Carol”
Rachel McAdams, “Spotlight”
Alicia Vikander, “The Danish Girl”
Kate Winslet, “Steve Jobs”

It is interesting that both Kate Winslet in “Steve Jobs” and Alicia Vikander in “The Danish Girl” are nominated in the supporting performance category when they have almost equal screen time with their respective leading male co-stars. The reason, well, is up in the air. Kate Winslet will most likely get her second Oscar trophy because she is Kate Winslet. However, Vikander’s performance is simply hard to ignore. In fact, As Gerda Wegener, Vikander’s superb performance is part of the reason why many viewers are sympathetic to Redmayne’s character Lili. We love and connect with Lili through Gerda.

Most Likely to Win: Kate Winslet, “Steve Jobs”
My Pick: Alicia Vikander, “The Danish Girl”
(Updated, Feb 29, 2016: Oscar Winner- Alicia Vikander)

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