If you are reading this, you most likely have a strong or detailed opinion on movies and of the upcoming Oscar Academy Awards. It’s my pleasure to welcome you to the first Geeks Under Grace Academy Awards prediction post! As fans and critics of the film industry, we have put together our opinions and reasons as to why actors, directors, and studios deserve such awards.
Paramount Pictures (The Big Short)
Dreamworks (Bridge of Spies)
Fox Searchlight (Brooklyn)
Warner Brothers (Mad Max: Fury Road)
20th Century Fox (The Martian)
20th Century Fox (The Revenant)
Element Pictures (Room)
Open Road Films (Spotlight)
Trey: Certainly every one of these films was enjoyable and thought-provoking on their own levels. While I cannot certainly put my money on one film, my top three would have to be The Revenant, Room, and Spotlight. While The Revenant certainly has the upper hand in the area of cinematography by being able to bring a film to life, Room has the advantage in the area of drama while drawing in the audience to emotionally invest in their characters and overall storytelling. Beyond the fact that Spotlight is a recent true story, the fact that it is still relevant in the United States makes an interesting engagement for audience as they recognize the struggle and ability to change and even save lives through the power of words and will.
Chris: This is a tough category, as it always is, but The Revenant will walk away victor. Great acting and strong direction and photography will lead this one away in front of the rest.
Adam McKay (The Big Short)
Alejandro G. Iñárritu (The Revenant)
George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road)
Lenny Abrahamson (Room)
Tom McCarthy (Spotlight)
Trey: There are so many great choices that it is hard to put an official finger one of them. I would have to say my top three would be Alejandro Iñárritu, Lenny Abrahamson, and Tom McCarthy. If any of the other directors were to take the Oscar, I honestly would not be surprised. All have done amazing jobs in their films to where it is just really to hard to have an official opinion.
Chris: Alejandro G. Iñárritu is too strong of a contender. Birdman (2014) was great, and Iñárritu continues to stretch his filmmaking prowess this year with The Revenant.
Best Actor in a Leading Role
Bryan Cranston (Trumbo)
Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl)
Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant)
Matt Damon (The Martian)
Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs)
Trey: I believe that this will be DiCaprio’s year at the Oscars due to his brilliant performance and method acting in The Revenant. If anyone else is up for grabs, it would have to be Eddie Redmayne, who has been pushing himself to new areas from singing in the movie musical Les Miserables (2012) to his academy award win for The Theory of Everything (2014).
Chris: Fassbender plays a strong Steve Jobs, but this is going to be Leo’s year. I promise you he will walk away the victor this February.
Best Actress in a Leading Role
Brie Larson (Room)
Cate Blanchett (Carol)
Charlotte Rampling (45 Years)
Jennifer Lawrence (Joy)
Saorise Ronan (Brooklyn)
Trey: All my money (metaphorically speaking) is on Brie Larson for Room. I cannot describe just how dedicated and real her performance was. If her award speech at The Golden Globes does not speak for itself, I don’t know what does.
Chris: Brie Larson is truly a malleable actress, and she brings lots of character and hope to Room.
Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Christian Bale (The Big Short)
Mark Ruffalo (Spotlight)
Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies)
Sylvester Stallone (Creed)
Tom Hardy (The Revenant)
Trey: Another category with great candidates. My choice would have to be Christian Bale for The Big Short with Mark Rylance right behind him for Bridge of Spies. To be honest, Sylvester Stallone taking home the Golden Globe for this category caught me off guard, so who is to say that it will not happen in the Oscars?
Chris: Mark Rylance commands his role in Bridge of Spies. I’d like to give the award to Stallone, but Rylance shines a bit more.
Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl)
Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight)
Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs)
Rachel McAdams (Spotlight)
Rooney Mara (Carol)
Trey: This category was rather difficult for me to put together. I honestly just had trouble deciding on who I would pick to be honest, I am still unsure. If I had to put my money on someone, it would either have to be Kate Winslet for Steve Jobs.
Chris: Alicia Vikander. That is all.
Best Animated Feature Film
Starburns Industries (Anomalisa)
GKIDS (Boy & the World)
Disney/Pixar (Inside Out)
Studio Canal (Shaun the Sheep)
GKIDS (When Marnie was There)
Trey: Hands down, Inside Out. Leave it to Disney/Pixar to create a film explaining the emotions of our emotions. Another Pixar film that goes far beyond expectations as it leaves audiences to the brink of tears.
Chris: The win to Inside Out, but perhaps Anomalisa will take it.
Best Writing – Original Screenplay
Alex Garland (Ex Machina)
John Singer (Spotlight)
Jonathan Herman (Straight Outta Compton)
Matt Charman (Bridge of Spies)
Pete Docter (Inside Out)
Trey: While Inside Out was certainly original, I would have to choose Straight Outta Compton in the end. While we know the outcome of the story, to see it from three to four different viewpoints throughout gave the realistic feeling knowing that these true events left a large impact on the city of LA and in the music industry.
Chris: I’m pulling for Bridge of Spies… And I think it can win. The twists of Ex Machina are great, but the interwoven complexity of the former is so tightly put together.
Best Writing – Adapted Screenplay
Drew Goddard (The Martian)
Emma Donoghue (Room)
Nick Hornby (Brooklyn)
Phyllis Nagy (Carol)
Michael Lewis , Adam McKay, Charles Randolph (The Big Short)
Trey: Similar to my view on Best Actress in a Lead Role, Room certainly deserves it as it draws audiences in with the story to the point of tears and cringing in a ball. Right behind that would be The Big Short and The Martian.
Chris: The Martian will likely take this spot, but Room offers high competition.
Best Original Music Score
Carter Burwell (Carol)
Ennio Morricone (The Hateful Eight)
Jóhann Jóhannsson (Sicario)
John Williams (Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens)
Thomas Newman (Bridge of Spies)
Trey: Hands down Ennio Morricone. This man is a legend among Hollywood, going back to the mid-1970’s as he composed music scores for the best classic spaghetti western films. Returning again for Quentin Tarantino, his soundtrack was a perfect fit for classic western feel the director was striving for, from the 70mm camera to the intermission stage.
Chris: Tarantino will win this year but not by his own doing. Ennio Morricone will take home the Oscar for The Hateful Eight. Runner up to Sicario, with the most breathtaking and nausea-inducing soundtrack I’ve heard in years.
Ed Lachman (Carol)
Emmanuel Lubezki (The Revenant)
Robert Richard (The Hateful Eight)
Roger Deakins (Sicario)
John Seale (Mad Max: Fury Road)
Trey: Due to the fact that The Revenant was shot in natural light and during the harsh winter in British Columbia, Emmanuel Lubezki certainly deserves it as his shots were near perfection. It is a cinematographer’s dream to shoot for such a film. If anyone is right behind him, it is Robert Richard since The Hateful Eight had a similar feel as it took place in the winter, and John Ceale catching fantastic shots of the practical effects in the desert road chase scenes.
Chris: The Hateful Eight is an impossibility. The 70mm gimmick won’t work, Tarantino. You sat in a house for two hours. Why go wide? The Revenant will likely take this, but I would be glad for Roger Deakins to win with Sicario.
Best Visual Effects
Andrew Jackson, Tom Wood, Dan Oliver, & Andy Williams (Mad Max: Fury Road)
Andrew Whiteburst, Paul Norris, Mark Ardington, & Sara Bennett (Ex Machina)
Rich McBride, Matthew Shumway, Jason Smith, & Cameron Waldbauer (The Revenant)
Richard Stammers, Anders Langlands, Chris Lawrence, & Steven Warner (The Martian)
Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Neal Scanlan, & Chris Corbould (Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens)
Trey: I will have to give it the crew of Mad Max: Fury Road. While it certainly stood out in practical effects, the visual effects polish the film up, making it look as realistic as possible. Right behind that on my list is the crew for The Martian for their fantastic portrayal of life on Mars.
Chris: My heart lies in Star Wars VII, and I can only hope.
What are your predictions for the 88th Academy Awards? Do you agree or disagree with our list? Be sure to leave a comment below on what/who should take home the award! Thanks for joining us!
Trey Soto holds a B.A. in Communication Studies from Biola University, emphasis in Interpersonal/Rhetorical Theory. He has been a Film Critic/Analysis for over a year at Geeks Under Grace and other websites such as Temple of Geek. In his spare time, he enjoys comic book literature, screenwriting, production assistant freelancing, photography, cosplay, and hosting his own film podcast T.V. Trey on Podbean and iTunes.
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