Nick and Katy’s Oscar Picks, 2016!

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Rhodes + Krassner's (drum roll please) Oscar Picks of 2016!!!


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Nick and Katy agree that it has been an amazing year for film in general – that there are so many real contenders at this year’s Academy Awards. The performances, as well as the films, have been really high caliber, which made choosing 'winners' difficult in some categories. Most of the films deserve an accolade, so it was harder than usual to pick out who is more deserving than the next.

While Nick and Katy don’t cover every category, here are the highlights:

The Nominees:

"The Big Short" Adam McKay and Charles Randolph
"Brooklyn" Nick Hornby
"Carol" Phyllis Nagy
"The Martian" Drew Goddard
 Emma Donoghue

Nick wouldn’t mind if any of the 5 nominated Adapted Screenplay movies won, though he particularly enjoyed “Carol” and “The Martian” – but he and Katy both agree that "The Big Short" will win this award because it won’t dominate any other categories.

Nick: SHOULD WIN: "Carol" WILL WIN: "The Big Short"
Katy: SHOULD WIN: "The Big Short" WILL WIN: "The Big Short"

The Nominees:

"Bridge of Spies" Matt Charman, Joel & Ethan Coen
"Inside Out" Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley
"Spotlight" Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer
"Ex Machina" Alex Garland
"Straight Outta Compton" Jonathan Herman, Andrea Berloff, S. Leigh Savidge and Alan Wenkus

Again, what a great set of movies. Nick would love to see "Ex Machina" win – it was his favourite movie of the year, an intriguing and modern sci-fi film. Nick thinks "Spotlight” will win this particular award but, also feels that “Bridge of Spies” and “Inside Out” were both really original ideas ie. scripts.

Katy thinks “Spotlight” will win and should win, because it took a very informationally dense topic and made it interesting and watchable, although she thinks it would be super cool if "Straight Outta Compton" won this award because it was sort of unfairly shut out of the other categories.

Nick: SHOULD WIN: "Ex Machina" WILL WIN: "Spotlight”
Katy: SHOULD WIN: "Spotlight” WILL WIN: "Spotlight”

The Nominees:

"Mustang" (France)
"Theeb" (Jordan)
"Son of Saul" (Hungary)
"Embrace the Serpent" (Colombia)
"A War" (Denmark)

We hang our head in Oscar shame – neither Katy nor Nick saw one Foreign Language Oscar nominated film! We both think "Son of Saul" will win because everything we’ve read says so!

The Nominees:

"Boy and the World"
"Inside Out"
"When Marnie Was There"
"Shaun the Sheep"

Nick is not shy in his appreciation for Pixar and thinks they’re great at stretching children’s imaginations. He feels that movies like “Inside Out" elicit genuine emotion with its beautiful script, plus it was visually amazing (with “Disgust” and “Sadness” his personal favorite characters). However, he would love to see “Anomalisa” win because Nick is a huge fan of Charlie Kaufman, and the film, which he hasn’t seen yet, looks so clever and original.

Katy wishes “Shaun the Sheep” would win because there was no dialogue, and you felt the emotion through nuances that were funny, clever and sweet. “Inside Out” will probably win because Pixar is pretty unstoppable, but she also felt it was a pretty heavy film for children.

Nick: SHOULD WIN: "Anomalisa" WILL WIN: "Inside Out"
Katy: SHOULD WIN: "Shaun the Sheep" WILL WIN: "Inside Out"

The Nominees:

"Amy" (Asif Kapadia)
"Cartel Land" (Matthew Heineman)
"The Look of Silence" (Joshua Oppenheimer)
"What Happened, Miss Simone?" (Liz Garbus)
"Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom" (Evgeny Afineevsky)

Katy and Nick both think “Amy” will, and should, win this award. Amy Winehouse had such a remarkable talent and her talent slowly ebbed away due to her substance abuse. Nick pointed out that the director, Asif Kapadia, also directed the doc “Senna.” Katy feels that someone was bound to do an “Amy” documentary but this one got it right, right out of the gate.

Nick: SHOULD WIN: “Amy" WILL WIN: “Amy"
Katy: SHOULD WIN: “Amy" WILL WIN: Amy"

The Nominees:

"Carol" (Carter Burwell)
"Sicario" (Jóhann Jóhannsson)
"The Hateful Eight" (Ennio Morricone)
"Bridge of Spies" (Thomas Newman)
"Star Wars: Episode VII—The Force Awakens" (John Williams)

Nick says that the “Star Wars” theme makes him smile every time he hears it. It’s an uplifting and truly brilliant piece of music, that puts you in a specific place when you hear it, and that’s what music composers do – they enhance visuals and bring movies to life, and he feels John Williams is one of the grand masters of doing this.

Nick also feels that “Carol” deserves a mention because the score fit in perfectly within the visuals – it heightened the situations and created an atmosphere that suited the movie.

Both Katy and Nick feel like Tarantino was so incredibly smart to choose a master such as Ennio Morricone to do the score for “The Hateful Eight,” and even though he won an honorary Academy Award some years ago, think it will be a great moment when he wins for real on Oscar night.

Nick: SHOULD WIN: "The Hateful Eight" WILL WIN: "The Hateful Eight"
Katy: SHOULD WIN: "The Hateful Eight" WILL WIN: "The Hateful Eight"

The Nominees:

Jennifer Jason Leigh "The Hateful Eight"
Rooney Mara "Carol"
Rachel McAdams "Spotlight"
Alicia Vikander "The Danish Girl"
Kate Winslet "Steve Jobs"

Any of these women could win, says Nick. They’re all “Grade A” performances. Nick’s ‘should win’ is Rooney Mara for “Carol” – she was exquisite in a subtle film. You don’t often see mainstream films about same-sex relationships, and this was handled particularly well; don’t forget, Cate Blanchett, being one of Duran Duran’s favourite actresses, was beautifully cast as well. However, Nick thinks Kate Winslet for “Steve Jobs” or Alicia Vikander for “The Danish Girl” (plus she was also in “Ex Machina!”) could be the victors on Sunday.

Katy can’t understand why Rachel McAdams, who she likes, was nominated for “Spotlight,” since it wasn’t really an Oscar performance. Jennifer Jason Leigh won’t win for “The Hateful Eight” and while Rooney was great, the film probably wasn’t mainstream enough. Oscar loves an ingénue, which is why Alicia has a chance with “The Danish Girl” (though it was a Best Actress, not Supporting, role). However, Katy says Kate Winslet will win for “Steve Jobs,” because she disappeared in to the role and executed it beautifully.

Nick: SHOULD WIN: Rooney Mara WILL WIN: Alicia Vikander
Katy: SHOULD WIN: Rooney Mara WILL WIN: Kate Winslet

The Nominees:

Christian Bale "The Big Short"
Tom Hardy "The Revenant"
Mark Ruffalo "Spotlight"
Mark Rylance "Bridge of Spies"
Sylvester Stallone "Creed"

Katy knows that Sylvester Stallone will win for “Creed” – both for his performance and for creating an iconic character like “Rocky Balboa.” However, for her “Should Win,” Katy is stumping for Tom Hardy for “The Revenant,” since he had an amazing year career-wise, and played such a horrible character in “The Revenant.” It seems that if SS wasn’t the anticipated win, it would be Hardy.

Nick hasn’t seen “Creed,” and he has never been a big “Rocky” fan, so while he gets that he is the popular choice for the Oscar, it is likely also a reward for his career. Nick loved Christian Bale’s performance in “The Big Short,” and thought he really brought something unique to life. He also loved Tom Hardy’s performance in “The Revenant” and Mark Ruffalo in “Spotlight.”

Nick: SHOULD WIN: Christian Bale WILL WIN: Sylvester Stallone
Katy: SHOULD WIN: Tom Hardy WILL WIN: Sylvester Stallone

The Nominees:

Cate Blanchett "Carol"
Brie Larson "Room"
Jennifer Lawrence "Joy"
Charlotte Rampling "45 Years"
Saoirse Ronan "Brooklyn"

Again, all of these women had amazing roles, although neither Nick nor Katy saw Charlotte Rampling’s movie (even though Nick loves Charlotte). Nick feels that Jennifer Lawrence is always a “Joy” to watch, but there will be nothing that will stop Brie Larson in “Room.” Keep in mind that, not surprisingly, Nick’s SHOULD WIN is “Duran Duran’s Favourite Actress Cate Blanchett.”

Katy agrees that Brie is pretty unstoppable for her role as “Ma” in “Room,” though feels she wouldn’t have been so good without Jacob Tremblay, who wasn’t nominated. Why does that happen??

Nick: SHOULD WIN: Cate Blanchett WILL WIN: Brie Larson
Katy: SHOULD WIN: Brie Larson WILL WIN: Brie Larson

The Nominees:

Bryan Cranston "Trumbo"
Matt Damon "The Martian"
Leonardo DiCaprio "The Revenant"
Michael Fassbender "Steve Jobs"
Eddie Redmayne "The Danish Girl"

LEO! It’s his year; there is no way he will lose. “The Revenant” is a remarkable piece of filmmaking according to Nick; it’s astonishing visually, and the movie is imbued with a lot of anxiety and brutality. With all of that said, Katy and Nick feel that Leo carried the film, and is also being rewarded for the body of his work. Nick points out that Oscar loves a transformation, and that’s what Leo did with this role. He ‘suffered,’ as his character did.

Katy would have liked to see Michael Fassbender win for his performance as Steve Jobs in “Steve Jobs,” because he was amazing in a film that sadly wasn’t all that amazing, which is probably what hurt his chances.

Nick: SHOULD WIN: Leonardo DiCaprio WILL WIN: Leonardo DiCaprio
Katy: SHOULD WIN: Michael Fassbender WILL WIN: Leonardo DiCaprio

The Nominees:

Tom McCarthy "Spotlight"
Adam McKay "The Big Short"
George Miller "Mad Max: Fury Road"
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu "The Revenant”
Lenny Abrahamson, "Room"

Five pretty worthy films, five very worthy Directors.

Nick feels that the first “Mad Max” was an amazing movie, visually, and that the band’s go-to video director, Russell Mulcahy, liberally borrowed from that film when Duran Duran filmed “The Wild Boys” video - interestingly some reviews of “Fury Road” mentioned the video! Then you have “The Revenant,” which is so incredible, on a grand scale, harsh conditions, filmed only using natural light, really a total challenge to execute.

Katy thinks he may be brilliant, but Alejandro isn’t winning back-to-back Oscars. She thinks George Miller is going to win the Oscar for “Mad Max” – and how unusual that he directed the first film, which was ground breaking, and then directed this current movie, which is also groundbreaking. Plus he directed “Babe”- enough said!

Nick: SHOULD WIN: George Miller WILL WIN: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
Katy: SHOULD WIN: George Miller WILL WIN: George Miller

The Nominees:

"The Big Short"
"The Revenant"
"Mad Max: Fury Road"
"The Martian"
"Bridge of Spies"

Nick & Katy both feel “The Big Short” has all the hallmarks people like about an Oscar movie – like when “Crash” shocked everyone by winning in 2006. Katy feels it’s a really strong contender and is on e the fence about whether it will win or not. However, as many boxes as it ticks, Nick thinks “The Revenant” WILL win for its achievement, and while Katy agrees, she’s bummed that such a violent movie that doesn’t feel very impactful to the universe will win Best Picture.

Nick: SHOULD WIN: "The Revenant" WILL WIN: "The Revenant"
Katy: SHOULD WIN: "The Big Short" WILL WIN: "The Revenant"


The 88th Annual Academy Awards is this Sunday (February 28) evening. We will be watching (will Nick will catch the 1st hour, at least).

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