It’s award season as the “so-called” best of 2015’s movies and its actors, directors, set designers and producers are honored. While most flicks and crews are honored because it’s deserved, many are picked because of their subject matter and not necessarily because they actually deserve to be among the best.
Two that come to mind are Carol and The Danish Girl. Carol is not close to a best picture, and Cate Blanchett’s best actress-nominated performance isn’t that good. Co-star Rooney Mara’s work, however, is up to best-acting standards. Eddie Redmayne, who won everything for the Steven Hawking bio-pic The Theory of Everything, is getting equally undeserved acting accolades for The Danish Girl.
The Best Motion Picture Comedy or Musical has a couple of questionable nominations: Joy and The Martian, neither of which are a comedy or a musical.
The Best Motion Picture Drama category gives Tom McCarthy’s Catholic church pedophile priest docudrama Spotlight the award, but The Revenant is gaining ground and has an outside shot. Spotlight got my pick for best film, and it barely beat out Trumbo, which was ignored for lesser-fare like Room and Mad Max: Fury Road.
The Best Motion Picture Comedy or Musical has a couple of questionable nominations: Joy and The Martian, neither of which are a comedy or a musical. I loved The Big Short, the cleverly done and comic dissection of the cause of the 2006 housing bubble burst, and it was more of a comedy than either of them.
Not that it matters, The Martian is going to go home with the statue.
Best Actress in a Drama is the biggest category that no one cares about. In a year packed with non-memorable female performances, Blanchett likely will grab the award for Carol, but my favorite in the category — if I have to have one — would be Mara’s deer-in-headlights performance in the same movie.
Best Actor in a Drama is the strongest category of the year. The statue will go to a deserving Leonardo DiCaprio, but my favorite is Bryan Cranston, whose portrayal of Dalton Trumbo in Trumbo is the year’s best performance by anybody.
I really can’t call Best Actress in a Comedy award. I didn’t see three of the five movies, but the odds on favorite is Jennifer Lawrence for Joy, which I did see, and she’s fabulous as always.
Best Actor in a Drama is the strongest category of the year. The statue will go to a deserving Leonardo DiCaprio, but my favorite is Bryan Cranston, whose portrayal of Dalton Trumbo in Trumbo is the year’s best performance by anybody. Also worthy of the award is Michael Fassbender as the flip, fast and furious Steve Jobs in Steve Jobs.
Neither Will Smith for Concussion or Eddie Redmayne deserve the nomination or the award.
Best Actor in a Comedy will likely go to Matt Damon for The Martian, though Steve Carell’s work in The Big Short is the year’s best. I also loved Mark Ruffalo’s excellent performance as a bipolar-challenged man in Infinitely Polar Bear.
Best Actress in a Supporting Role likely will go to Kate Winslet for Steve Jobs. Winslet is good, but Jennifer Jason Leigh’s The Hateful Eight is my favorite in the category, and you can never count Helen Mirren out. She’s terrific as Hollywood gossip columnist Hedda Hopper in Trumbo.
Best Supporting Actor won’t see Sylvester Stallone getting a statue for one of moviedom’s all-time favorite characters, Rocky Balboa. That’s too bad. It’s deserved. I didn’t like a lot of the Rocky movies but have never missed one, and the reason is because I love Stallone’s character.
My nonsentimental, practical pick would be Mark Rylance, who played the spy in Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies. He absolutely stole the show. So did Michael Shannon in 99 Homes, but so few of us saw it that he doesn’t have a prayer.
I didn’t see Idris Elba and Beasts of No Nation, so I can’t say whether he deserves the award that the oddsmakers say he’ll get.