We’re almost there! Excited? I am.


Just a few more categories to get through. For the seventh year in a row, La Maratonista and I took in both the Animated and Live Action Short Film programs at our local Landmark cinema. This year, we both felt the Animated Shorts nominees presented a far stronger program overall.

The nominees are…

Animated Short Film
Bear Story
Sanjay’s Super Team
We Can’t Live without Cosmos
World of Tomorrow

In the odds game, the shorts are always a mixed bag in terms of predictions. This year, I’d say they fall in line with my general appreciation of the animated films, namely placing Sanjay’s Super Team (aka the Pixar short that played before The Good Dinosaur) at the top of the list, then World of Tomorrow, and finally Bear Story. However, I’ve heard more people rave about World of Tomorrow, which is available to stream on Netflix if you are interested in catching it. La Maratonista and I both agree that Prologue has no chance, which usually means a win, but this time I think you can safely bet against it.

Live Action Short Film
Ave Maria
Day One
Everything Will Be Okay (Alles Wird Gut)

The live action films were all good, but none stood out as great to us. It really depends what you are looking for. Comedy? Ave Maria is the odds-on favorite, but I thought it was pretty hollow. Drama? Everything Will Be Okay and Day One both had interesting elements but fell short in their conclusions. I feel it will come down to Shok, about two boyhood friends during the Serbian occupation of Kosovo, and Stutterer, which is the “sweet” entry this year. I’ll probably vote Shok myself.

Speaking of short, after a brief respite last year, it seems the Best Picture nominations are creeping up in length again. Only three were two hours or under (Brooklyn, Mad Max: Fury Road, and Room). Stop bloviating, people!

And with that, let’s celebrate the final craft category I care about: editing. Roughly half of the Best Picture winners since the early 1950s have won for editing as well.

Film Editing
The Big Short
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Will Win: Mad Max: Fury Road. You know I hope the oddsmakers are right on all these because it will mean the Fury Road will take home more statues than The Revenant and that will be very satisfying. Not as satisfying as George Miller winning, but still.

Should Win: Mad Max: Fury Road. I would also be happy with Spotlight winning this, but ultimately I’d rather see another woman up there giving a speech for her incredible work.

Should Have Been Nominated: While I would certainly be happy to replace Star Wars: The Force Awakens on this list, I can’t think of a film I saw this year that stood out to me for its editing beyond the two listed above. Maybe Creed, for which I’ve heard raves, might deserve a place here?


Best Picture
The Big Short (5 nominations)
Bridge of Spies (6 nominations)
Brooklyn (3 nominations)
Mad Max: Fury Road (10 nominations)
The Martian (7 nominations)
The Revenant (12 nominations)
Room (4 nominations)
Spotlight (6 nominations)

Will Win: The Revenant. Second in line is Spotlight, followed by The Big Short. The oddsmakers don’t seem to think this is up for grabs but I have seen a lot of backlash against The Revenant so who knows? Seriously, a film where I know of multiple screenings with people walking out is going to win? Okay, fine.

Should Win: Mad Max: Fury Road. If the oddsmakers are right, this is going to take home six Oscars. It could easily have been up for acting nods for both its leads if the Hardy vote hadn’t split and the female acting categories weren’t so strong this year. Plus, it should take home the directing prize if there is any justice in the world. Also, as rarely happens with the Oscars, it was one of the best pictures of last year.

Should Have Been Nominated: I already ranked my favorites from last year and I have since seen a bunch of very good films,* but do any of them scream “Best Picture”? Certainly I’d like to see The Diary of a Teenage Girl here (and it did take home the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature last night). Rather than adding more names to fill out the ten potential nominee slots, I think I’d be more inclined to reduce this list back down to the good old days of five: The Diary of a Teenage Girl, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, The Revenant, and Spotlight.

Variety recently posted a ranking of the best pictures that I whole-heartedly agree with, though I might slide Brooklyn down the list a notch or two.

For foreign films, the general consensus is that Son of Saul will win, with Mustang in second place. I haven’t seen any of the nominees beyond Mustang but I highly recommend it.

Who would you like to see take home an Oscar tonight?

* Of the Oscar-eligible films I have seen from 2015, the thirty I would most recommend you see and judge for yourself are Bande de filles (Girlhood); Brooklyn; Carol; The Diary of a Teenage Girl; Dope; Ex Machina; The Hateful Eight; Joy; Love & Mercy; Mad Max: Fury Road; Magic Mike XXL; The Martian; McFarland, USA; Me and Earl and the Dying Girl; Meadowland; Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation; Mr. Holmes; Mistress America; Mustang; Room; Sicario; Spotlight; Spy; Star Wars: The Force Awakens; Straight Outta Compton; Tangerine; Trainwreck; Trumbo; What Happened, Miss Simone?; Woman in Gold