Alicia Vikander – Ex Machina
My Overall Thoughts:
This is a year with 5 great actresses nominated for average performances. Any of them could have won since none really stand out more than any of the others here.
5. Kate Winslet
4. Jennifer Jason Leigh
3. Rachel McAdams
2. Rooney Mara
1. Alicia Vikander
5. The Danish Girl – Too many scenes dragged on and part of the story doesn’t feel realistic enough. Redmayne is pretty good here, but I’m not sure this is one of the best performances of the year. Just because an actor or actress plays a member of the opposite sex doesn’t mean that it is award worthy. Makes me wonder why they needed to create a fictional account of his/her life instead of using the real story and Hollywoodizing it for the original book and subsequently the movie.
4. Steve Jobs – Amazing dialogue written by Sorkin, but the story itself doesn’t flow well enough and would have probably been much better if it had been filmed as a normal biopic instead of in three segments. Fassbender and Winslet are both great here but the material is a bit lacking.
3. Carol – Excellent cast that really makes us believe that this story is real. Plot drags a bit here and there, but in general it gives us a pretty accurate account of how same gender relationships were viewed during that time period no matter the cost. The production design and atmosphere really resonates with the time period and we are magically transported back 60 year to a time and place that is both familiar and also foreign.
2. The Hateful Eight – QT once again at his best. The script is excellent, the characters are interesting and the dialogue is WOW!! It’s nearly 3 hours long, but you don’t feel it because you are just having so much fun along the way. QT has a tendency to go over the top with violence and language, but even the amounts used here are perfect. I’m always curious as to how he is able to write such crisp and engaging dialogue. Excellent class of QT alumni still makes it great despite not bringing in too many new faces for this one.
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? – I guess so! O this crop of nominees, AK is the best, but none of them really are amazing. Surprisingly, AK< did a better job in Ex Machina (2015) and she was more deserving there than in this role.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!