Oscar Watch with Scott: Best Picture and Director

Alright folks, this week I will be discussing the final two major categories in this year’s Academy Awards race. They are proving to be unpredictable, as with most years, and no one film is standing out among three predicted winners for Best Pic. Director is also up for grabs, but I think there’s only one true winner. Let’s finish this thing off!

Best Picture

Let’s cross off all of the films that don’t stand a chance first. I’m sorry to say to all the fans of Mad Max that it’s probably not going to win—I know, it isn’t a lovely day. Along with that, The Martian, Room, Bridge of Spies and Brooklyn are the films that aren’t going to win. If any of these films would win, it would probably shock just about everyone.

But the three remaining—“The Revenant,” “Spotlight” and “The Big Short”—are setting up for a big showdown. “Spotlight,” for quite some time, was seen as the best film of the year—but that all changed when “The Revenant” came out. And oddly enough, “The Big Short”—as I noted last week—is getting a bit of a push. Will it win? Maybe—it did win the Producers Guild Award, which is usually an indicator. However, it might be too late to the game for it to win the big award. That leaves, in my opinion, only “Spotlight” and “The Revenant.” As proven last year, the Academy loves Inarritu, giving him both best picture and best director for “Birdman.” Last year also demonstrated that the Academy does indeed love artsy over conventional—not saying that “Boyhood” was necessarily the most conventional film, but it didn’t really have an overtly artsy feel to it. However, the Academy also loves really well made films like “Spotlight.” So this year is still up for grabs—which is always exciting.

Best Director

There’s appearing to be a big hope that George Miller at least wins for “Mad Max: Fury Road”—which would be great since he’s never won and probably won’t ever be nominated again, thus giving him a sort of “honorary Oscar” over someone like Inarritu who won last year. Lenny Abrahamson and Adam McKay probably don’t hold much of a chance at winning which leaves it down to Inarritu and Tom McCarthy for “Spotlight.”

Again, the real battle of the night is going to be between “Spotlight” and “The Revenant.” The Academy could potentially split the awards—give McCarthy director since Inarritu won last year and give “The Revenant” Best Picture or vice-versa. Some years this happens, some years it doesn’t so it’s hard to tell. I do think Inarritu will win, though. But I might reconsider before next week.

As we come down to the final week before the Awards show, be expecting my final predictions. This is going to be pretty exciting year, even more so than last year. Hopefully you’re as excited as I am—but probably not. See you all next week!

Scott Johnson is a senior Film Studies and Journalism double major. You can follow him on Twitter @scott7893 and find more of his reviews at RagingFilm.com


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