(NOTE: here is a list of the nominees for the 88th Academy Awards.)
Mitchell: Hello again, faithful listeners and readers, and welcome to a special edition of “Reel Talk.” This is Mitchell Kukulka, joined by Kelsey Kolich and Conner Emery, and today we’re going to be sharing with you (and arguing with one another) our opinions about the 88th Academy Awards. Let’s start off with probably the most controversial of today’s topics – Best Actor.
Conner: I think the obvious choice here is DiCaprio. It just pains me. “The Revenant” was a very okay movie – out of all of Leo’s previous best actor noms, this is his weakest role. Personally, I’d love to see Fassbender win for “Steve Jobs.”
Mitchell: I will agree with any sentence that contains both “DiCaprio” and “weakest role.” It’s a shame that this may be the year that DiCaprio and his fans (a demographic which, I’ll say again in case nobody heard me every time I said it before and after today, I am not a part of), finally get what they’ve whined about so long in the form of the Best Actor statue. Let me just say this, it’s a darn shame that performances as subtle as Fassie’s in “Steve Jobs” or as nuanced as what Matt Damon gave us in “The Martian” had to hit screens the same year as Hollywood’s most overrated actor played make-believe in the snow.
Kelsey: No one really captivated me like Brie Larson. She knew how to make her role grow. I was hoping Jennifer Lawrence would surprise me, but I was rather disappointed by “Joy.”I wouldn’t mind seeing Rampling come out on top. I don’t think she’ll get the credit she deserves this time though.
Kelsey: I second that. I think these two are both at the top. Alicia was the ultimate supporting role next to Eddie. I would love if she took the Oscar.
Conner: I agree with both nominees. Vikander impressed the hell outta me this year, in both “The Danish Girl” and “Ex Machina.” I wish she was nominated for the latter, and as such I feel Mara is still the favorite.
Mitchell: I’ll never really understand why the Academy extended the number of potential slots for Best Picture nominees from five to as much as 10 (this year there happens to be eight), because every year it always comes down to two or three obvious frontrunners. This year, there’s really no denying that “The Revenant,” “Spotlight” and “Mad Max: Fury Road” are the only films that stand a chance of winning. As much as I would love to see “Fury Road” honored, my money is on Iñárritu taking it home for a second year in a row with “The Revenant,” with “Spotlight” just on its coattails as a possible dark horse.
Conner: “The Revenant” seems like the frontrunner to me, but my heart wants a different nominee. It’s rare that the best movie I saw all year is actually nominated for Best Picture. “Spotlight” is my pick. It’s the best movie about journalism I’ve ever seen, the writing is great, the acting is great. It just all works perfectly. Also, look for Michael Keaton as a dark horse for Best Actor. I feel he should have won last year and the Academy could make up for it this year, and also just to drive DiCaprio truly insane.
Mitchell: I agree with Kelsey on “The End of the Tour.” “Steve Jobs” and “Beasts of No Nation” would be my picks for Official Best Films of 2015, and both were robbed. “Beasts” in general, and “Steve Jobs” for not getting nominated for the Best Adapted Screenplay that it should have absolutely stolen. “The Look of Silence” was also fantastic, so hopefully it steals Best Documentary Feature.
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