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Who Would Win a Hypothetical Best Scene Oscar?

The Oscars: an award show that expanded the number of Best Picture nominees after it snubbed a well-made, entertaining action movie, and yet still refuses to nominate well-made, entertaining action movies. I understand The Academy’s struggle, though. There are a lot of great films each year that simply need to get nominated, such as… The Flashily-Directed Movie About Actors Pursuing Their Dreams (La La Land)

The Uplifting Movie About Black People (Hidden Figures)

The Nuanced Movie About Black People (Moonlight)

The Movie That’s Not Nearly Pretentious Enough To Even Have A Chance (Hell or High Water)

The Movie About Everyday White People Wallowing In Their Own Despair (Manchester By The Sea)

The Movie Nobody Has Heard Of And Even Fewer People Have Actually Seen (Lion)

The Acting Showcase (Fences)

The War Movie (Hacksaw Ridge)

The Beautiful, Thought-Provoking Movie About Giant Squids Spraying Ink At The Actress From Enchanted Inside a 1000-Foot-Tall Hovering Black Potato (Arrival)

 

The Oscars could use a shake-up. At this time last year, I wrote an article introducing a hypothetical Oscar for Best Scene, which would allow The Academy to nominate movies that don’t exactly fit the Best Picture mold, but still have entertaining, technically impressive or inspired sequences.

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GOULDTHORPE | You Won’t Be Finding Dory at the Oscars this Year. What Does That Mean For Pixar?

After I published my article last week, I received comments from people around me: “Hey, you didn’t mention Finding Dory! What gives?” Well, I left Finding Dory off my list to talk about it more in-depth because the Academy gave it no nominations this year. Only four Pixar movies have ever been totally ignored by the Academy Awards; all of them have been in the past five years. Those films are Cars 2, Monsters University, The Good Dinosaur, and Finding Dory. See a pattern here?

Photo Courtesy of RKO Productions

WATCH ME IF YOU CAN | 25 Things You Probably didn’t Know about Citizen Kane

Even though Citizen Kane is turning 75 this year and I LOVE keeping up with the number of things on the list with their age, I realize that 75 things about Kane would be lowkey obsessive, even for me. But how else could I honor the best film of the twentieth century (and perhaps all time) without going a bit berserk? This one’s for all the Orson Welles fangirls out there. I feel your love. It won the 1941 Oscars for Best Writing for an Original Screenplay, but was nominated for ninth overall.

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You Better Make Room for This Film

I went into Room knowing nothing other than that a mother and son are stuck in a room. For some reason, I was under the incorrect impression that this was a sci-fi plot, derivative of a Twilight Zone episode I had seen years ago. I don’t think this counts as a spoiler, but Room is very much grounded in a terrifying reality. Told from the five-year-old Jack’s (Jacob Tremblay) perspective, Room tells the story of Jack and his mother, ‘Ma,’ aka Joy (Brie Larson), who are prisoners in a tiny tool shed. Joy had been kidnapped seven years earlier, at the age of seventeen.

Guest Room | Some Last Minute Best Picture Reflections

If you were to ask last November which movie was poised to win the 2015 Best Picture at this year’s Academy Awards, a strong majority would subscribe to Carol as first-in-line for Oscar gold, as Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara crafted a dynamically real and voyeuristic affair. The queer-centric film was heavily lauded by critics not only for those performances, but also for its message that is breaking ground for gay rights and equality. As a result, I was left scrambling for clarification when the nominees were announced and Carol was surprisingly omitted. Thus, the question remains: who will win the ultimate award of Best Picture? If the past is indicative of anything, it is that unpredictability is inevitable.

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Guest Room | Who Would Win a Hypothetical Best Scene Award?

There’s almost nothing I love more in life than hating to love — to hate — to love to hate The Oscars. There’s nothing quite like hundreds of old rich white guys dressing up in tuxedos to award themselves little gold statues. When you consider what the Oscars are about — ranking our favorite movies of the year — they should really be a lot more fun. So let’s drop some boring categories (I’m sure everyone would be absolutely devastated if we got rid of Best Song and Best Makeup and Hairstyling), and add some fun ones, like Best Practical Effects, Best Low Budget Picture and Does Your Picture Have a Blind Man Wearing Red Pajamas and Playing a Flame-Throwing Electric Guitar on Top of a Moving Truck? I think the most interesting new category would be Best Scene.

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Guest Room | Oscar Bait Doesn’t Stick

In 2006, a film called Crash took the Oscar for Best Picture home, prompting a surge of outrage. It is now best remembered as the punch line of jokes about unwarranted Oscar-winners and is perhaps more reviled than is necessary. Is it a bad film? No. But while it is only somewhat clunky and rough around the edges, it is not — in my humble opinion — superior to Capote, Brokeback Mountain, A History of Violence and even Cinderella Man.

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Arts Writers Feud Over Potential Oscar Winners

The only thing more divisive than religion and politics is opposing Oscars predictions. The Arts section has weighed in on their favorites; where do yours stack up? Best Picture
Will Win: The Revenant

As much as we would like to see something smart like Spotlight or funny like The Big Short take home the coveted award of Best Picture, we will probably see Alejandro Iñárritu walk out with a little golden man for the second year in a row.  The story of a frontiersman (Leonardo DiCaprio) out to seek vengeance on the man who left him for dead (Tom Hardy) is a simple yet intense storyline.  It is beautifully shot — thanks to Emmanuel Lubezki —  with vast shots of nature and landscapes.

Eilis, the film's heroine, is forced to choose between two men.

Romance and the American Dream in Brooklyn

In the midst of a controversial Oscar season, one that is plagued by criticism for its lack of diversity, we can assure ourselves of one thing — Saoirse Ronan deserves her place as an Academy Nominee for Best Actress in a Lead Role, for her gripping performance as timid Irish immigrant Eilis (AY-lish) Lacey in John Crowley’s Brooklyn. The film, based off Colm Tóibín’s novel of the same name, centers on Eilis and her voyage to the gilded United States — specifically Brooklyn — during the 1950s. Eilis lives in an Irish boarding house, shared with other immigrants and owned by the cheerfully senile Mrs. Kehoe (Barbara Walters) and works at a high-end department store. As she settles in, emotional turmoil ensues and the transition of leaving her sister, Rose, and her mother proves to be almost unbearable. It’s at this point of weakness that she’s intercepted by charismatic and stereotypically Italian Tony (Emory Cohen), who inevitably becomes her cross-cultured love interest.