The 88th Academy Awards about to air this Sunday, We have many people ready to grab some chilled drinks and swarm their friends coaches to sit and see who did it big this time around. Brushing aside all the negativity about the Oscars being all white (Which why would Chris Rock the king of black comedy host a racist event?) This year is star studded and glamorous as usual. My one problem is that the pickings are slim. I personally feel like last year was one of the best years for film we have had in a while and the fact that they are only choosing 5 nominees out of a possible 10 is pretty skimpy and something that should reign more controversy than it actually does.
We here at IndieBall take all aspects of film seriously. From the casting and directing to behind the scene cuts including visuals, sound scores, and all around production ascetics. We have a higher demand for films that are on a grande stage like the Academy Awards. We try not to nitpick or demean the film; however we do want the film to be the best of its category, so we will tell our thoughts blunt and crucially on if they lived up to the hype or if it busted.
Now before we get into the predictions, I would like to (with arms wide open) give some insights on the prospects that just barley missed the list. Here, Folks are some Honorable Mentions
Straight Outta Compton told the jaw dropping, odd defying story of the first ever Gangster Rap Group, the notorious NWA. From racial prejudice in the underrated run down streets of Compton to the riots that changed America, Director F Gary Gray (Friday, Law Abided Citizen) captured what it was like to be a young black male in a corrupt economy and how hard the men of NWA fought not only for their lives, but for their music and for a voice. From Easy E to Dre, Cube to Yella and Ren. These boys outlasted brutal cops, a hateful mainstream culture and the shady industry. This movie was a hard hitting biopic that (maybe didn’t give us the entire truth) but at least shed light on the boys from the hood who started an entire generation of music. On the subject of Straight Outta Compton – Jason Mitchell – Who portrayed the late Eric Wright (Easy E) was a spitting image of the gangster icon who took America by storm and broke the heart of Millions with a devastating yet inspirational battle with HIV. The movie is a tribute not only to NWA, but to Mr. Wright. Jason Mitchell handsdown killed it.. And the fact that he wasn’t nominated is something to think about. He did Easy E justice and brought some deeper profound light on a almost forgotten icon. Sure Straight Outta Compton was nominated for Best Original Screenplay, but I feel like it deserves more than that.
One last Honorable Mention, without a doubt in my mind, is The Hateful Eight. There are certain things that get overhyped and dragged out for good reasons, and this movie is one of them. Anything Tarintino touches is a masterpiece and this movie should have been up there for Best Picture. The grimy realism, starstudded cast and intricate story entwined with Post Civil War history and impeccable dialogue. This movie was shafted because the awards weren’t thinking clearly. Only choosing 8 out of a possible 10 noms.
Now. Without further ado….. I will tell you (not just the predictions) but the standouts who I think should take the cake without any trouble at all
Best Picture: The Revenant
I will be the first to say I did not care for Bird Man whatsoever. I was impressed with the Cinematography but the story was awkward and most of the actors in my opinion (Norton, Keaton) Were washed up throw aways. However, Director Alejandro González Iñárritu truly did something impossible. He took his follow up film and crushed expectations. There is so much to say about this groundbreaking project that I feel like I can’t even scratch the surfaces. I said before that The Hateful Eight had glorious cinematography.. But nothing can compare to what Inarritu and DOF Emmanual Lubezki had accomplished. It makes Tarintino’s western masterpiece look like a homemade movie. Looking at all the long drawn out scenes filmed in natural lighting, you wonder how they pulled off the remarkable chorography of constant movement. A beautiful, heart pounding revenge tale with a cast whose dedication and accuracy of potrayal is insurmountable, The Revenant is a story that will leave you saying HOW THE FUCK DID THEY DO THAT. This movie will win without question
Best Actor In A Leading Role: Matt Damon
We all know the tragedy.. Leo has never ceased an Oscar win. I thought he had it back with the Wolf Of Wall Street, but he just barley missed. However, The Revenant he played Hugh Glass, the furtrapper who lost his son to the dang murderous Fitsgerald.. He didnt do the job justice. Yes, he was thrown through the gauntlet, and he delivered some solid lines and movements; but his all around performance was meh. Here is my initial issue. Leo just played Leo.. I dont know how to explain it. There are actors out there like his co-star Tom Hardy, or Christian Bale who can just remove every aspect about themselves and dedicate it to there charecter. Making you almost forget that they even played in the movie. Leo, on the other hand.. Never seems to fully commit. Wheter he is trying to hard, or he isnt finding a connection.. He just doesnt go the extra mile. Matt Damon on the other hand, blew me away in The Martian, A Science Fiction movie based on Andy Weirs book of the same title. Damon plays Mark Watney, an astronaut who is left for dead and struggles to fight for survival on a foreign planet. Matt Damons transformation into Weirs charecter is beautiful and unique. Delivering heart stinging lines, and constantly on que with the comic relief. You want him to see home again, and its worth while seeing him give anything for the cost to be back. Though this is a science fiction, which hardly gets nominated.. This project was the right fit for Damon. Bring Oscar Home, Damon.
Best Actress In A Role: Saoirse Ronan
My gut wanted to say Charolette Rampling whose potrayal in,45 years, as a wife in a crumbling marriage who delivered a unrelinguishing performance. But when I think harder about it, the more I see Ronan’s performance flicker in my mind. Ronan ceaselessly gives a evergrowing resonating performance throughout the entirety of Brooklyn as an Irish Immigrant named Ellis who has a captivating battle between what she wants for her life, be it the new opportunities of the new country, or what she feels like she has to do back in her homeland. A heavy hitting example of acting from the young breakout actress
Actor and Actress in a Supporting Role: Tom Hardy and Rachel McAdams
Yes Christian Bale, The Oscar Slayer did it again and just demolished all expectations.. But Tom Hardy, who portrayed John Fitzgerald, the ruthless murderous man in The Revenant delivered a role that I didnt think was possible from his caliber. He amazed me in Warrior, and did a hell of a job in Legend but what he did in The Revenant is unbeatable. From the accent to the body language. He will give you chills and will keep all the attention drawn on him in every scene he offers. Along side Will Poulter who was equally ravishing, Hardy out performs the star Leo and just gives a show of a lifetime. No matter how evil he is in this film, he is a vill
ain you will enjoy despising. Tremendous.
On the other side. I feel like this is an unlikely longshot.. But out of all the ladies, veteran actress Rachel McAdams in Spotlight deserves this award the most. All the women in this category shined bright. Jennifer Jason Leigh is a riot and deserves this too.. But for an all around deliver in a outstanding movie. McAdams deserves this.
Best Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
I need no descriptions for this one. I raved about him and his film throughout the entire review. He crushed it. Keep em coming man.
Of course there are more categories that are of importance so here is a quick list of the remainders we would like to see bring home the gold
Cinematography: The Revenant
Screenplay: Straight Outta Compton
Editing: Mad Max Fury Road
Production Design: The Martian
Music: Bridge Of Spies
Let us know in the comments what you all think! Til next time, this is Indy Ball, here to satisfy all your pop cultural needs.
This Article was written by West Coast Correspondent, Dillon Adair