As I’ve been saying for a while, I think this is a terrible year in Hollywood. Rightly, the slim pickings for the best in pictures has been easily overshadowed by the diversity and race issues that have dominated the debate.
Race has been the talking point, mainly because it’s a vitally important conversation to have and I admire Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs’ swift reactions in forcing through change. However, I do feel that if any of these all-white films were any bloody good, we’d be happily talking about them instead.
Look, I think Amy is a great doc, Inside Out a genius animation and Son of Saul an astounding piece of cinema. I think Michael Fassbender did great work in a disappointing movie and Todd Haynes magicked up a lovely vision in classy Carol, probably the movie that will endure most of all as any kind of classic.
But when The Martian and Mad Max are in the running for Best Picture, you know it’s a weak year. Even Bridge of Spies, which I liked well enough, was merely solid Spielberg while The Big Short is horridly smug, crassly acted and misses its satirical target.
For me, only Room has the heart-in-mouth moments, the tears, surprises and the emotional clout I expect of good movie. The Revenant, for all its ludicrous macho posturing, also has cojones, even if it’s an endurance test for the patience, like an endless running video game, with bears. And snow. But, after its BAFTA triumph, I think it’ll win even though I know there’s a sudden swell of opinion for The Big Short to win, which would be terrible news, as I hated it.
So here goes anyway, my predictions. I’ve split them up into what will win and what should win, though this year, my heart isn’t really with many of them.
Generally, I get 16 or 17 right. I hope I get closer this year, although despite the drabness of the runners, the race itself is rather more unpredictable that it has been for a while. I think the fact that even this unpredictability hasn’t really translated into excitement proves the films’ lack of lustre.
I’ll see you on Monday morning on the BBC News channel live at 0930 with all the results, my reactions and how many I got right.
Animated Feature Film: Inside Out; Inside Out should win Best Pic
Costume Design: Carol; I really hope it isn’t Mad Max
Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu, The Revenant; Todd Haynes should have been nominated and I’d love Lenny Abrahamson to win, but he won’t
Documentary Feature: Amy; Amy
Documentary Short: Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah; I haven’t seen any others
Film Editing: Mad Max: Fury Road; if it has to win something, this’ll do, though The Revenant was better
Foreign Language Film: Son of Saul; Mustang is possible
Makeup and Hairstyling: Mad Max: Fury Road; it’s hard to look that messy
Music (Original Score): Ennio Morricone, The Hateful Eight; no contest – though Sicario was interesting
Music (Original Song): Til It Happens to You, Lady Gaga (from The Hunting Ground); it’d be nicer if Sam Smith won as I really don’t mind that Bond song.
Production Design: Mad Max; Bridge of Spies
Short Film (Animated): Bear Story; only one I saw, but it’s great
Short Film (Live Action): Stutterer; haven’t seen the others
Sound Editing: Star Wars: The Force Awakens; they have to give it something, surely?
Sound Mixing: The Martian; seriously, what do I know about sound mixing?
Visual Effects: Star Wars; Ex Machina