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.

Reverence for The Revenant

I really, really wanted to love Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s The Revenant — and I did to an extent — but it does not have the emotional heft to match the operatic grandeur of its settings and cinematography. Rumors drifted back all throughout last year about the painstaking shoot in subzero Canadian wilderness, Leo DiCaprio’s flea-bitten beard (not true) and Iñárritu’s insistence on photographing the film strictly with natural light, the last of which lends the film a magical glow perhaps only seen in the films of Stanley Kubrick or Terrence Malick. The master director of photography Emmanuel Lubezki has shot several films for Malick, won the Oscar the past two years for Birdman and Gravity and will win again this year: bet on it. Thus, the primary star of The Revenant is the film’s stark natural beauty. It overwhelms the senses with images and experiences as disgusting as consumption of a raw buffalo liver, refuge taken inside the innards of a hollowed-out horse and, of course, a gruesome, ferocious bear mauling.