All About That Oscars Take 2

It’s my favorite time of the year: awards season, more specifically The Oscars. I’ve been keeping up with all the different award shows, taking in all the best picture nominations and generally being upset about the Oscar nominations (and potential winners) this year. We’ll dive more into that later, but without further ado, let’s get this show on the road.

Best Supporting Actor

Who I want to win: Tom Hardy, The Revenant

Who will win: Sylvester Stallone, Creed

Let’s be real for just a second. Look at all of the past award shows and notice that Idris Elba won best supporting actor for Beasts of No Nation. Does the Oscars have a very real problem? Yes, 100 percent. I’m just scratching the surface of what every other entertainment site has been saying, but I just want to be real when I say that when Sylvester Stallone accepts the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in Creed, we all know that the award should have gone to Idris Elba. Now, of the people nominated, Tom Hardy (hands down) had the best supporting actor performance. Hardy is phenomenal in everything he does, and this year was no exception between his two performances in Mad Max: Fury Road and The Revenant, respectively. Unfortunately, the two vying for the award are Sylvester Stallone and Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies). In the end Sly will end up taking home the little gold man because he was the underdog of the late 70s and 80s and people want to see him win for the Rocky series since he was”robbed” the award in 1976.

Best Supporting Actress

Who I want to win: Rachel McAdams, Spotlight

Who will win: Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

Spotlight was my favorite film this year, just like Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) was last year. Out of all the Best Supporting Actress nominees, Rachel McAdams has one of the quietest performances but also one of the strongest. Like I was real earlier, let’s be real here: Rooney Mara (Carol) and Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl) should not be nominated in this category, they should have been nominated in the Best Actress category. This year we had a ton of strong performances from actresses in every movie nominated, more powerful than a lot of the actors who were nominated. If Vikander was nominated in this category for Ex Machina though, she would win the Oscar. Like Tom Hardy, Vikander had a lot of strong performances this year, especially since these roles were her breakout roles. Personally, her presence in Ex Machina was what really sold the film, and she was what carried The Danish Girl, but her role in Ex Machina just was on another level. Ultimately, I think the Oscar will be awarded to Kate Winslet. She is an awards season sweetheart, and with her early nab for Steve Jobs at the Golden Globes, I see her taking it again at the Oscars. And like Vikander with The Danish Girl, Winslet carried Steve Jobs on her back and delivered a beautiful performance (really though, she is the only reason worth watching Steve Jobs).

Best Actor

Who I want to win: Bryan Cranston, Trumbo

Who will win: Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant

Out of all the categories, Best Actor is the weakest link this year. Yes, the performances were good, but they weren’t on the level of the actress categories or even the supporting actor category. Will Leo take home his first Oscar? Yes, and he knows it. Was it Leo’s best performance to date? Absolutely not, and for some reason I’m really disappointed that this is what he will win for. The only performance I really feel passionate about from The Revenant is Tom Hardy, mostly because he made me hate his character so much. A great performance makes you feel something, it makes you connect. Leo’s was another “pat on the back” good performance, but this isn’t top notch Leo. Alas, I digress. In tune with my last opinion, Michael B. Jordan should have been nominated for Creed over Michael Fassbender for Steve Jobs (another awards show sweetheart, but I just don’t get it), and if we are giving away awards for performance with a strong penchant for grunting then Tom Hardy should have been nominated for Mad Max: Fury Road over Matt Damon for The Martian. Just to push the envelope a little bit more, Abraham Attah (who just won Best Actor at the Independent Spirt Awards yesterday) and Jacob Tremblay should have been nominated for their respective roles in Beasts of No Nation and Room. Ending this on a sweet note, of the performances nominated, Bryan Cranston was my favorite. He always brings such charm to every role he is in, and Trumbo was no exception. The film itself is simply okay, but Cranston is a delight in it. If anyone nabs the Oscar from Leo, it will be Cranston.

Best Actress

Who I want to Win: Brie Larson, Room

Who will win: Brie Larson, Room

The only performance that could give Brie Larson a run for her money is Saoirse Ronan in Brooklyn (who is always a pleasure to watch). Besides that, this award is pretty much being thrown at Brie Larson, and rightfully so. She dominated her performance as a mother struggling to adapt to the new world after being kidnapped for 7 years. Larson is constantly turning out amazing performances (see Short Term 12), and I’m happy she is getting the recognition she deserves. On a nomination note, Jennifer Lawrence should not have been nominated for Best Actress in Joy. Another awards season sweetheart, but this was probably her weakest performance to date.

*Side Note: Why There Should Be a Best Acting Ensemble Category

Before we leave the acting categories, I want to address something real quick. My favorite awards event is the Critics Choice Awards, their awards always seem to mimic how I feel about the awards season in general. They also have my favorite category, Best Acting Ensemble. There are a lot of performances that get overlooked or don’t get nominated because they’re amazing together in a film, but there might be stronger individual performances. You could argue that with this year’s Spotlight and The Big Short, my two favorite films of 2015. There was so many performances that got over looked this year or that will not get the awards they deserve, but if this category exsisted, let me show you how it would play out: Spotlight, The Big Short, Straight Outta Compton, Star Wars: Episode 7 -The Force Awakens, Beasts of No Nation and Mad Max: Fury Road would be nominated (in my dreams, okay?). This wouldn’t take away from the Best Picture award, but more so acknowledge the performances that worked better as a collective. I’ll leave this here and you can mull it over, but I think we could come to an agreement that this category would be a breath of fresh air at The Oscars. Furthermore, best performance doesn’t always mean best picture.

Best Director

Who I want to win: George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road

Who will win: Alejandro Gonzáles Iñárritu, The Revenant

As a visual achievement, it really is as good as it gets between George Miller with Mad Max: Fury Road and Alejandro Gonzáles Iñárritu for The Revenant. If you wanted a subtle approach, Tom McCarthy for Spotlight or Adam McKay with The Big Short also deliver. This category is the most fairly stacked this award season. The only nomination I would swap out is Lenny Abrahamson‘s Room with Ridley Scott‘s The Martian. With technical style, The Revenant should win for best cinematography, but I prefer Miller’s directing style with Mad Max: Fury Road. Either way, I won’t be too upset with whoever takes home the Oscar for Best Director. I’m a big fan of Iñárritu, and to see him repeat his win from last year’s Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) would be a great feat.

Best Picture

Who I want to win: The Big Short or Spotlight

Who will win: The Revenant

Down to the nitty gritty, Best Picture is the biggest award of the night. With Chris Rock hosting, staying engaged with the 3 hour show should be an easy task. Like I mentioned earlier, The Big Short and Spotlight were my favorite films of 2015. Also, like I argued last year for Best Picture between Boyhood and Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), Best Picture captures everything: writing, editing, directing, cinematography, acting, producing, etc. On this basis alone, I feel that The Big Short and Spotlight are better films than The Revenant. The Revenant is purely a technical accomplish, it is so beautiful to look at, but the story itself is lacking and, at times, boring. There is a reason it was not nominated for any of the writing categories. I will be very disappointed if it wins because it is not the film that Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) was last year. The Revenant, because of everything I listed, was one of my least favorite nominated films this year. Spotlight was the early favorite for this award, but as the awards season continued on, it lost steam. Although, it should be noted that it took home Best Feature at the Independent Spirit Awards yesterday. The Big Short, on the other hand, picked up the Producers Guild of America Award for Best Theatrical Motion Picture. For the last six years, the film that won this PGA award have went on to win Best Picture at The Oscars. Will this streak continue this year? I don’t know, but I surely hope so.

Advertisements

Top Ten Shows To Binge Watch on Netflix

Warning: Before we get started down this dangerous road, you should watch this first (for your own safety, of course). Now, lets begin.

Since Netflix has become this black hole of awesomeness, we need to set up the hierarchy of what you should be watching. These are ten of the most enjoyable series on Netflix right now and I can only hope that you enjoy them as much as I have. So sit back and relax (but remember only 13 episodes in one sitting).

71708-pretty-little-liars-pretty-little-liars

10. Pretty Little Liars (First four seasons are on Netflix)

This show has the everything a great TV show needs: mystery, drama and romance. While it might seem like a fluff teenage piece, PLL is actually a show that deals with a lot of mature topics. It is constantly pushing the limits of teenage dramas, and while it might seem like it is jumping the shark with a few story lines, it always finds a way to draw you back in. It uses subtle references to some of the greats (including Hitchcock), and it has a whole episode dedicated to the wonderful noir style that is delivered beautifully. Just because it seems young for your tastes doesn’t mean you should give it the short stick. 

scandal promo

9. Scandal (First three seasons are on Netflix)

Right off the bat this show was doing everything right: it came from the brilliant mind of Shonda Rhimes, Kerry Washington was the lead character and it revolved around the white house. The writing on the show is flat out amazing (and sometimes outlandish), and Kerry Washington delivers each scene with such confidence that it literally oozes off the screen. This political drama follows POTUS and the scandals around the white house as Olivia Pope (Washington) and her group of gladiators as they try to fix each problem before it leaks. If you don’t fall in love after the first season, something is clearly wrong with you.

The-Walking-Dead-Season-4-Poster

8. The Walking Dead (First three seasons are on Netflix)

While the zombie apocalypse might seem like a turn off for some, it’s the character driven stories that leaves them hooked. The series follows around a group of survivors led by Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) as they find a way to co-exist in a zombie ridden world. It is based off the comic series by Robert Kirkman, who has a large hand in the television series as well. The story differs here and there, but big picture wise I feel like they are on par with one another. The series may never get noticed by the Emmys for the performances it churns out, but the series viewership has continuously increased each year and that has to count for something, right?

lost_tv_show-1920x1200

7. Lost (All six seasons are on Netflix)

To even begin to explain this series, I feel like I wouldn’t be doing it justice. It will keep you on your toes the whole time, and just when you think you might have it figured it out it introduces another plot twist. For me, this is one of the most satisfying series on Netflix. It takes you on a journey with these characters, as you root for them to find a way home. Ultimately, after you finish the series you might find yourself saying “We have to go back!”.

Parks and Recreation - Season 5

6. Parks and Recreation (First five seasons are on Netflix)

First and foremost, there is not a single character in this show who is not simply the most magical things in the world. Greg Daniels (The Office, King of the Hill) created this beautiful piece of comedy that is a mockumentary of everyday local politics. We watch the journey of Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler), one of my many soul sisters, as she battles each obstacle that holds her back. Most episodes will have you on the floor laughing so hard you are in tears, whether it is because of little treasures like Little Sebastian or one of the many guests stars (like Paul Rudd). Plus, that guy from that blockbuster, you know Guardians of the Galaxy, yea he is in this show too (it’s whatever though).

ibo_et_non_redibo_house_of_cards_1

5. House of Cards (First two seasons are on Netflix)

For those of you who are fans of BBC’s miniseries, I’m sorry but this is not what you are looking for. I am talking about the Netflix original series which was inspired by the BBC series and the novel. The show centers around one of the finest antiheroes on television and for some reason our culture has been eating that up lately. Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) charms you with his breaking of the fourth wall, but you should worry because he is likely stabbing you in the back at the same time. While the story thrives on Frank’s conniving tactics, the show finds life in its supporting and guest characters. There is a reason why political thrillers are so delicious.

fringe

4. Fringe (All six seasons are on Netflix) 

I wasn’t expecting to fall in love with this sci-fi series, but it had me hooked on the first episode; maybe it was the superb cast or maybe it was the allure of a mystery (I cannot resist a good mystery). Alas whatever it was, it had me hooked. It also possesses one of my all time favorite characters, Dr. Walter Bishop, who is portrayed by the equally amazing John Noble. This is another one of the shows where I don’t want to say too much, because I feel like I would give it all away. I wouldn’t want to deny you of that pleasure.

the-office-600x450

3. The Office (All nine seasons are on Netflix)

Once again, I am not referring to the BBC version, but you might have figured that out with the drastic difference in seasons. The series was developed by the Greg Daniels and him having two series on this list proves his brilliance (even if I am proving this to myself). This is one of the few series that I would have been okay if it decided to keep on going. I enjoyed all of the little episodes and the different special episodes (Christmas time was always the best). I love this show so much, I just finished re-watching the whole series for a second time on Netflix.

Supernatural1

2. Supernatural (First eight seasons are on Netflix)

This is the little show that could. I remember growing up watching this show and no one else knowing what I was talking about when I would bring it up. Now it is like the shows that runs the internet, or maybe just Tumblr. For some the first two seasons are just okay television, but it is in its third season the series really finds its groove. Also, the definitely listens to what the fan base wants, dedicating certain episodes to them just for their enjoyment (like the episode where Dean (Ackles) and Sam (Padalecki) go to an alternative universe where they are Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki who are staring in a show called Supernatural). It’s the little things that make this show such a pleasure.

breaking-bad-image-2

1. Breaking Bad (All five seasons are on Netflix)

I can honestly say that I have not talked to a single person who didn’t like this show, it’s just that good. Breaking Bad was constantly resetting the standard for great television. Out of all the shows on this list, this is the one I think you will have the hardest time putting down. I think the show is at its best when it centers on Walt (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse (Aaron Paul), but all of the characters play a role that could not be erased. Unfortunately, you will never be able to view any show the same after you watch Breaking Bad

Top Ten Television Shows to Watch This Summer: Day Eight

Number 3: Breaking Bad

BB-S5-Walt-Jesse-Couch-760

 

This show is one of the best shows on television currently, in fact AMC kills it in the television department; Breaking Bad, Mad Men, The Killing, and (and my personal favorite) The Walking Dead/The Talking Dead. And when it comes to character development, it doesn’t get much better than this. Since the beginning I have had a love/hate relationship with Walter White (Bryan Cranston) and Skyler White (Anna Gunn) and their relationship, and now I still struggle with find the redeeming qualities that will save them in the end. But isn’t that the point of this show? To debate the moral standings of these characters as the enter the treacherous world of drugs, while dealing with a brother in law (Dean Norris) that has a hand in bringing these characters to justice. In the show we have also watched Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) grow from a punk into someone who could hold his own. As this show comes to an end I believe we will come to the breaking point of all these characters, especially since Hank just discovered Walter’s connection to the blue meth. Although this is a late summer show I cannot wait to see how these characters will save themselves from this world they are all untangled in. 

 

  • Breaking Bad will premiere Sunday, August 11 at 9/8c on AMC