Forty-Five: The Academy of 2015

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By Scott M. Waldman

The previous year created another list of films to be welcomed to the annual competition that is full of award shows ranging from the Golden Globes to the Razzies. This article will stay with the subject of the Academy Awards (not for the purpose of sponsors) for the reason the event is occurred this Sunday. The show features random actors/actresses and their producers as they are given their right to present next year at the ‘Class of 2016’ show. It is something like reserving your invitation in advance, but instead having to be a part of a film that is nominated, you get a golden statuette with your name engraved. The show celebrates another year of film by showcasing an entire year in hopefully less than four hours.

Sometimes the Oscars can be extremely predictable when the competition is extremely high. This year may have a few of those moments. A major detail that helps anticipate certain commendations are the previous award shows. Over the course of time that leads up to show-time, the betting field for ‘who-will-win/lose’ changes due to how the films or their characters perform in reality. The odds literally would change each week and it would eventually reveal who the real competition is between and turn a six-answer multiple choice test to that of a 50/50 true-or-false question. The current predictable categories include the ‘Best Actor’ and ‘Best Actress’ categories which seem locked on Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant) and Brie Larson (The Room) respectfully winning their first statuettes.

Other categories are either close to locked (key in the slot) or the category may have a surprise in store (which will probably create an upset/ratings boost). ‘Best Supporting Actor’ and ‘Best Supporting Actress’ will likely (depending on how much the network wants us to watch next year) be given to Sylvester Stallone (Creed)/Mark Ruffalo (Spotlight) and Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs)/Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl). It’s indeed a tough call, but in the end the four different combinations don’t exactly matter. All four actors/actresses had a great year and deserve the recognition with or without the gold. ‘Best Director’ is also at a nearly looked state with Alejandro González Iñárritu (The Revenant) most likely winning, but George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road) still has a slight chance of his action-masterpiece bringing him the award.

The rest of the show (besides ‘Best Picture’) will be relatively predictable. Inside Out will likely win ‘Best Animated Feature’ (see Article 28), The Revenant will win ‘Best Cinematography’ (Lubezki’s track record says it all), ‘Best Visual Effects’ and ‘Best Film Editing’ will go to Mad Max: Fury Road (it made action movies beautiful again), and ‘Best Adapted Screenplay’ will most likely go to The Big Short (Adam McKay just got a 1-Up). The one category to upset or disappoint is actually the last category; the ‘Best Picture’ award is between three films (The Revenant, The Big Short, Spotlight) and each film has already earned multiple awards to their respective names. The most likely to win would be The Revenant because the Academy loves Iñárritu, but the upset would be if The Big Short received the win.

Besides the distribution of awards, the event itself is a show to entertain its audience. Music is performed, jokes are told (mostly Chris Rock ridiculing the celebrities at hand), and the next year of film is set (already three months in). The show is like an induction ceremony into the ‘Hall of Fame’ of any sporting event, although more frequent and an actor/actress can be inducted multiple times in multiple categories. If you’re not interested in the show, you can go watch the Red Carpet prelude for a look into fashion, or you can just wait until the next morning (if you can’t stay awake for four hours) and see the results in a quick-glancing fashion rather than a dramatic scenario. This year may not seem like the most dramatic of competitions (besides the films themselves), but a good show should at least be expected.

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