Sunday, February 28, 2016

40 x 40: Oscar Best Picture Nominees

One of my goals was to see all of the nominees for Best Picture at the Oscars before my friend Kerry's annual party. Spoiler alert: I did it this year! It was a good excuse to get out of the house, although I did watch a few at home. I know there was controversy surrounding the Oscar nominees this year, and these films were indeed all very white. I hope Hollywood can find a way to incorporate more minorities and women into their films as leading roles. I never understand why people are always surprised when female fronted movies open well. Hello, women go to movies, too! And so do black people, Hispanics, etc.

I will now step off of my soap box. Here is my brief review of each film, in order from my least favorite to favorite.

8. "Mad Max: Fury Road":  What? Why? No.

7. "Bridge of Spies": The acting was good, but what should have been a gripping story was just boring.

6. "The Revenant": Beautiful scenery interspersed with graphic violence. I was engaged, but ugh. I will not be watching this one again.

5. "The Martian": Funny and entertaining, but I am not sure it deserves a Best Picture nomination.

4. "Brooklyn": Very sweet and well acted.

3. "Room": Super intense. I read the book and was still very nervous during pivotal scenes. Brie Larson absolutely deserves Best Actress.

2. "Spotlight": As someone who was raised Catholic, I found this especially hard to watch. It made me incredibly sad all over again. It is really well done, though. I like Michael Keaton, and he is great here. I know some people think Mark Ruffalo could be the upset win for Oscar for this, but I thought he was just okay. I found him distracting. His mannerisms actually pulled me out of the story a bit.

1. "The Big Short": So good. It made me realize I should have been a lot angrier in 2008, and that things still haven't changed. I dragged Ben with me to this one, and he really liked it, too.

And, as so many magazines and entertainment websites like to do:

Should Win: "The Big Short"
Will Win: "Spotlight"


  1. We watched Spotlight on Saturday night, and I'm so glad we saw it ... not only was the storyline (shocking? depressing? hard to digest?), but the acting was SO GOOD and it made me proud of the investigative team. Talk about reporters COMMITTED to getting the story out (and done right!). I had no idea the Globe went to such great lengths to expose (oops, bad adjective?) the Catholic church, and then to see all the cities that followed suit ... WOW.

    We also saw The Martian, and I agree, it was entertaining. Adam even watched the whole thing. Did you know Damon didn't really lose weight? They used some kind of film technique to make him appear emaciated. (I would've been more impressed if he had lost 40 lbs, but I know, I know, NOT HEALTHY.)

    Room is my all-time favorite book and I thought the movie did a phenomenal job telling the story, and the acting. Seriously good. Brie Larson nailed it.

    I didn't see any of the other films up for Best Picture, but I do want to see The Big Short, The Revenant, and Brooklyn. I have ZERO interest in Mad Max. Was it as dumb as it seems?

  2. The guy across from me on the plane home from Jamaica was watching Mad Max and I glanced over A LOT, so I feel like I've basically seen the movie-that-is-a-car-chase-in-the-desert - even without being able to hear the words. ;)

    I tried to watch Spotlight on the plane but I was the only one whose little TV didn't work!

    I liked The Martian, but it was also the only one I saw. To Chrissy, yes, you could totally tell it was a stunt double when they showed skinny-Matt from behind in that one scene. I commend him for not losing the weight. I think that's so dumb when actors do that. ICK.

    I haven't read or seen Room because I just don't want to go there! Too much.

    And Jon and I would like to see The Big Short, but when we saw the preview before The Martian we were like... Um, that's just going to PISS US OFF SO BAD (especially as we sit here with a freakin' townhouse we can't sell!).

    Yay for 40x40 goal reached!