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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Oscars 2016: “The Revenant” and “Mad Max: Fury Road” lead the pack

    Every year an elderly group of mostly white men votes on the most prestigious awards in film and inspires everybody else to argue about their decisions. Half the fun of the Oscars is rooting for your favorites while amping up some faux rage to unleash when predictable candidates take home the same awards they did last year. Here’s the scoop on this year’s crop of award nominees. Spoiler alert: They’re all white. Again.

    People were pissed when the academy snubbed director Ava DuVernay a win for her film “Selma.” They’re upset this year for similar reasons — a white-washed group of actor nominees. 

    The problem is that among the crop of potential ethnic nominees were the strong, largely black casts of films “Creed,” “Straight Outta Compton” and “Beasts of No Nation.” In particular, Idris Elba was considered a strong candidate for Actor in a Supporting Role for his part in “Beasts of No Nation.” An overlooking of qualified nominees is one thing, but this also speaks to the lack of films featuring minorities in prominent roles. There’s always next year; but part of Oscars’ tradition is implementing a “two steps forward, one step back” philosophy when it comes to issues such as these.

    The academy looked outside of its normal sphere with its praise for “Mad Max: Fury Road”

    One positive takeaway from the nominations is “Mad Max: Fury Road’s” 10 nominations, the second most of any film. The academy and its voters tend to award the same type of films year-in and year-out, but “Mad Max: Fury Road” is not the typical Oscars fare. An Australian post-apocalyptic action that functions as a two-hour chase scene is not the film that comes to mind when thinking of the Oscars. Winning and being nominated are two different battles and “Mad Max: Fury Road’s” awards fate will be one storyline to watch heading into awards night.

    Netflix’s distribution of “Beasts of No Nation” dashed any potential nominations

    Netflix made waves in 2015 with its first purchase and distribution of a new film. The movie, “Beasts of No Nation,” which chronicles the journey of a child soldier in Africa, garnered zero nominations across all categories. Whether this is a message being sent from the Academy to Netflix as a rebuke for messing with their racket is debatable, but it’s impossible to get less recognition than zero nominations.

    Best Animated Feature may not go to a children’s film for the first time ever

    Children’s movies, particularly those helmed by Pixar, have had a stranglehold on the Best Animated Feature award since its inception in 2001. This year a new contender has emerged in “Anomalisa,” a realistic stop-motion feature from Charlie Kaufman, the mind behind “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” “Being John Malkovich” and “Adaptation.” The award figures to be a two-horse race between “Anomalisa” and Pixar’s yearly movie offering “Inside Out.”

    Best Cinematography looks to be a loaded field

    The favorite here is Emmanuel Lubezki for his work on the gorgeous film “The Revenant,” but the rest of the category is filled with strong candidates. “The Hateful Eight,” the latest film from Quentin Tarantino, was shot on 70 mm film, a throwback that is rare in the digital age. Industry veteran Roger Deakins picked up his 13th nomination for his work on the border thriller “Sicario” and landed one of the ten nominations for “Mad Max: Fury Road.”

    Expect Alejandro Iñárritu’s film “The Revenant” to clean up on awards night

    Iñárritu, fresh-off his Best Picture and Best Director wins for “Birdman” last year, looks to take this year’s awards by storm as his film “The Revenant” received the most nominations of any film with 12 nominations. After sweeping the Golden Globe Awards by winning Best Director, Best Motion Picture – Drama and Best Actor for leading man Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Revenant” appears to be the favorite to receive the most calls to the stage on Feb. 28.


    Follow Alex Furrier on Twitter.


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