Here are the eight nominees: (Winner in Bold)
My Overall Thoughts:
- 8. – The Big Short – Still can’t believe this got so many Oscar nominations. The story just wasn’t told in the right way and instead of trying to dumb down it all, they should have told it in a straight fashion. Was done too pretentiously and I didn’t enjoy the tone of it at all.
- 7. – Brooklyn – This is both a coming of age movie, but also a romantic love story. Liked how the characters interacted throughout and it’s hard to say anything really bad about this film. Everything works, but for some reason, I still wanted more and felt something was missing despite it coming together so well. Excellent performances namely by Ronan. Does a wonderful job transporting us back in time. Very pleasant movie that I wish was even more inspiring.
- 6. – Mad Max: Fury Road – Crazy-fun action movie that truly is a fun filled non-stop two hour car chase. Amazing production and technical work transports us into a new but very “lived in” world. Characters are strong enough that they don’t need words to explain their actions, sometimes a grunt or scream is enough. The story itself is simplistic, but works within the context, but could have been even better if it was more engaging. Not amazing, but still pretty good.
- 5. – Room – Excellent tale of hope and survival in a seemingly impossible situation. Amazing performances by all especially Larson and Trembley. Loved how this movie is mostly told from Jack’s perspective including the angle it’s usually shot from throughout. There are lots of things I would like to know that weren’t explained in the movie seemingly on purpose because it’s all told from an innocent child-like perspective. Wonder if the book adds even more insight.
- 4. – Bridge of Spies – Superb performances by Hanks and Rylance make this so thrilling to watch. Subdued tension keep the momentum going throughout. Spielberg knows how to create days long gone and make us believe we are really there.
- 3. – The Revenant – Much more enjoyable during my second viewing. I now understand why so many people love this movie. Great epic that comes close to equaling some of the great epics of days gone by. Excellent cinematography that is deserving of a three-peat for Lubezki. Excellent performance by DiCaprio eventhough it’s not his best performance.
- 2. – The Martian – Great movie about a lone man’s quest for survival against nearly impossible odds. Very good adaptation of the book but not perfectly transferred. Gave me the feeling of Apollo 13 (1995) with the way that people on Earth and space worked together towards the goal of saving a life in space. Damon is great here as the smart but wise cracking stranded astronaut. Scott is back to form and does an amazing job directing this film.
- 1. – Spotlight – Amazing film that really deserved its Best Picture win in 2015 because it tells such a captivating story in a clear cut yet exciting fashion. All star cast does an amazing job here but the true lead character is the story itself. The ability to keep such an event secret for so many years says so much but the courageousness of the reporters to break the silence says even more. Even more enjoyable every time I watch it because of the boldness of it all. The events portrayed here have had such a ripple effect over the years to the point where it’s so scary to think about the thousands (if not more) who’s stories were kept secret for so long with no help or even acknowledgement in sight.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Most Definitely! Of the nominees, I think Spotlight is the one that looking back everyone will agree was the right choice. It’s a film that is universal and has a clear strong message with an amazing ensemble cast.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!