The Year in Movies

When I did this exercise last year, I disagreed with the Academy on seven of their nominees, including three in the directing category and three from the movie Selma. I thought Rene Russo should have taken Meryl Streep‘s supporting actress nod for her excellent work in Nightcrawler. Tom Wilkinson in Selma was far more deserving than Robert Duvall in The Judge. Lead actor I thought was a mess with Bradley Cooper (American Sniper) and Steve Carrell (Foxcatcher) taking the spots of Jack O’Connell (Unbroken) and, of course, the brilliant David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King, Jr.

And finally for directing, Selma auteur Ava DuVernay, Angelina Jolie (Unbroken) and Damien Chazelle (Whiplash) were better choices than Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher), Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game) and Wes Anderson for The Grand Budapest Hotel—to my mind the winner of the ‘American Hustle Most Overrated Movie of the Year Award’ in 2015.

In stark contrast, this year I only have three disagreements. I love Christian Bale and per usual I thought he was excellent in The Big Short. But of the five nominees, I’d push him out to make space for the sublime Jacob Tremblay in Room. On all other acting categories I had no beef—but as I pointed out in my snubs and surprises piece, how the hell did Ridley Scott not get nominated for The Martian?

It’s pure insanity.

Room was very good but I think it is better acknowledged by its acting awards than in the directing or picture categories. So I would push out Lenny Abrahamson for Scott and vacate Room for Straight Outta Compton. My other best picture contender, Carol, would be ninth on the list with Room last.

A category-by-category breakdown:

Oscar Nominees: Supporting Actress

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

Nick Wood’s Top Five

1. Rooney Mara, Carol
2. Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl
3. Rachel McAdams, Spotlight
4. Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs
5. Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight

Oscar Nominees: Supporting Actor

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

Nick Wood’s Top Five

1. Tom Hardy, The Revenant
2. Sylvester Stallone, Creed
3. Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
4. Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight
5. Jacob Tremblay, Room

Oscar Nominees: Lead Actress

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

Nick Wood’s Top Five

1. Brie Larson, Room
2. Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn
3. Cate Blanchett, Carol
4. Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years
5. Jennifer Lawrence, Joy

Oscar Nominees: Lead Actor

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

Nick Wood’s Top Five

1. Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
2. Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
3. Matt Damon, The Martian
4. Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl
5. Bryan Cranston, Trumbo

Oscar Nominees: Best Director

Adam McKay, The Big Short
Alejandro González Iñárritu, The Revenant
George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road
Lenny Abrahamson, Room
Tom McCarthy, Spotlight

Nick Wood’s Top Five

1. Ridley Scott, The Martian
2. George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road
3. Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
4. Alejandro González Iñárritu, The Revenant
5. Adam McKay, The Big Short

Oscar Nominees: Best Picture

The Big Short
Bridge of Spies
Brooklyn
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Room
Spotlight

Nick Wood’s Top Five Eight

1. Spotlight
2. The Martian
3. Brooklyn
4. Mad Max: Fury Road
5. Straight Outta Compton
6. Bridge of Spies
7. The Revenant
8. The Big Short

And now for the moment you have been waiting 364 days for . . .

The Worst Movies of the Year

1. Point Break
2. Ted 2

The Best Movies of the Year

11. Pitch Perfect 2
10. The Revenant
9. Bridge of Spies
8. Sicario
7. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation
6. Straight Outta Compton
5. Mad Max: Fury Road
4. Brooklyn
3. The Martian
2. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
1. Spotlight

Greenbacks

Breaking it down even further:

Best Movie That Made the Most Amount of Money: Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($926,044,884 in domestic earnings since its release)
Best Movie That Made the Least Amount of Money: Legend ($1,872,994)

Worst Movie That Made the Most Amount of Money: Ted 2 ($81,476,385)
Worst Movie That Made the Least Amount of Money: Point Break ($28,782,481)

Editor’s note: Dollar figures courtesy of BoxOfficeMojo and current as of 28 February 2016.

Best Movie I Haven’t Seen (Yet): Inside Out
Worst Movie I Will Never See: Three way tie: Mortdecai, Hot Tub Time Machine 2 and no, never mind, this award goes solely to Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2. Can someone please explain to me the appeal of Kevin James? Never got it.

Movie Quote of the Year: “Chewie: We’re home.”

Four categories back by popular demand:

Very Good Movie(s) That I Thought Would Have Been Worse: Tie: Jurassic World and Ant Man
Movie That Should Have Been Much Better: Black Mass

Most Overrated Movie of the Year: None, thankfully. No American Hustle or The Grand Budapest Hotel this year.
Most Underappreciated Movie of the Year: Sicario

And now some more fun categories:

Best Book Adaptation: The Martian
Best Musical: Pitch Perfect 2

Most Romantic: Brooklyn
Least Romantic: Tie: Room and Unfriended

Best 80s-Inspired Quasi-Sequel: Creed
Wost 80s-Inspired Quasi-Sequel: Terminator: Genisys

Most Exciting Movie: Mad Max: Fury Road
Least Exciting Movie: Point Break

Best Year—Female: Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl, Ex Machina, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and Burnt)
Best Year—Male: J.J. Abrams. Already revered by almost everyone everywhere, The Force Awakens ensures he will forever be revered always. For eternity.

Crystal Ball

Every year I peer into the future to ascertain this year’s crop of future Hollywood stars. Here are examples of previous predictions:

Actress: Felicity Jones, Shailene Woodley, Imogen Poots, Samantha Barks
Actor: Jack O’Connell, Joel Edgerton, Dane DeHaan, Theo James
Director: Ava DuVernay, Marc Webb, Rian Johnson, Ryan Coogler

As for my track record after four years, I think Ms. Woodley will continue to impress at the box office, on the red carpet and take home her fair share of prestigious awards; Mr. Edgerton is quietly becoming a fantastic actor who appears in two or three excellent movies a year (excellent in Black Mass and if you haven’t yet taken in The Gift it’s a must-see); and Mr. Johnson has been tapped to helm the next two Star Wars movies.

This year these three names appeared in my proverbial crystal ball:

Next ‘It’ Actress: Too easy but also too true: Alicia Vikander
Next ‘It’ Actor: Emory Cohen
Next ‘It’ Director: Tom McCarthy

Secret Weapon

Need last minute help with your Oscar pool? Below is how things will go this evening on the 88th Academy Awards. I’ve amended some of my predicted winners (*) which I previously made before the actual nominations came out:

Animated Short: Bear Story (big upset over Sanjay’s Super Team!)
Animated Feature: Inside Out
Cinematography: The Revenant
Documentary Short: Body Team 12
Documentary Feature: Amy
Live Action Short: Ave Maria
Costume Design: Cinderella
Film Editing: Mad Max: Fury Road
Foreign: Son of Saul
Makeup and Hairstyling: Mad Max: Fury Road
Production Design: Mad Max: Fury Road
Screenplay (adapted): The Big Short
Screenplay (original): Spotlight
Score: The Hateful Eight
Song: ‘Til It Happens to You’, The Hunting Ground
Sound Editing: Mad Max: Fury Road
Sound Mixing: Mad Max: Fury Road
Visual Effects: Mad Max: Fury Road (over Star Wars)

But those are just fillers. Now for what you really care about—the awards that will make-or-break your chances of going home with some booty tonight:

*Supporting Actress: Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl
*Supporting Actor: Sylvester Stallone, Creed
Lead Actress: Brie Larson, Room
Lead Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
*Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu, The Revenant
Picture: Spotlight

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8 Responses to The Year in Movies

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