So now that I have seen all the films nominated for best picture, and reviewed them all, I wanted to go ahead and create an easy place for anyone to be able to find and read my full and in depth reviews on all of them. I also wanted to rank the films from what I felt where the best to the not so best. Now what I mean by not so best, is that while the films are certainly still good they just don’t compete on the same level as the ones higher on the list. At no point am I saying that these films are bad or shouldn’t be seen, simply that they lack the same level of quality and deserved attention as some of the others.
Before I jump into the films I want to give my thoughts on the selection itself. Personally for me this year the assortment of films was weak compared to previous years – that’s frustrating because there have been some films that have more than deserved the attention and recognition, but for some reason where overlooked or perhaps not even considered (I’m not sure).
Personally for me, four films that have certainly been overlooked and were much more deserving of a place in the best picture category were Sicario – directed by Denis Villeneuve (you can read the full review for that here), Carol – directed by Todd Haynes (full review for that here), Steve Jobs – directed by Danny Boyle (the review for that is here) and finally Creed – directed by Ryan Coogler (of which the review for that is here). In my mind all these film were astounding watches and far more deserving of the nomination. What would I have taken out in place of those films? That’s easy – Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn, The Martian and most definitely The Big Short. Again all great films (except one of course) but let’s be honest nowhere near the same level as the films I’ve just mentioned.
But anyway that’s my two cents on all of that. Now I want to get onto the main purpose of this whole piece – The Best Picture Nominations. So what I’m going to do is rank the films from 1 to 8 (favourite to least favourite) and then give you a quick snippet of what I liked (or didn’t like) about the film. Also if you want to know more, you can click on any of the films and get taken to my full reviews which will let you know more fully what I thought about the film. Sound good? Great, then on with the show then.
So first off is a film that is impossible to ignore on a multitude of levels. This is a film that is the purity of film making. Not for a very long time has a film such as this one come along and then not only deliver on what all the trailers and the hype promised but then surpass it. Fury Road is perhaps one of the most rewarding film watching experiences that any film fanatic (or general audience member) can have in quite some time. The achievement that this film presents is astounding.
Mad Max: Fury Road absolutely deserved to be nominated – I just never expected it would have been, given the current climate of voters in the Academy. Either way this is certainly my most loved film of not only last year but of the ones nominated. While you can click the link above, you can also click this one which will take you to my favourite films of 2015. Who knows maybe you’ll recognise one that I’ve already spoken about.
From the first time I saw the trailer I knew Room was going to be a special film, one that would be an emotionally tough film to watch but one that would also be a meaningful watch.
Room was a film that conceptually was really interesting, and I think what is then special about that concept is how the film executed it. It almost makes you a part of this very unique situation and that in itself made the experience of watching Room all the more involving.
Room absolutely deserves the recognition it is getting, but even more than that, Brie Larson who plays one of the leads in the film is more than deserving of not only the wins she’s already received, but the one she will undoubtedly get at the Oscars.
This is a film that I knew would be popular during the award season, and once I saw it, I was more than pleased that it was. Spotlight is the film I predict to win Best Picture at the Oscars this year and I think a lot of that comes down to the fact of just how important the story is.
Above everything else, Spotlight puts its very compelling and important story first. Now this does harm the film in other areas, but it never takes away from a film that is undeniably watchable.
Bolstered by great performances and an insistence on never being heavy handed or forceful with its subject matter, means Spotlight is a film that will certainly leave you thinking long after it done.
The technical mastery in The Revenant is simply astounding. Alejandro G. Inarritu is in my eyes the only director who can truly challenge Mad Max’s George Miller in the Best Director category. What Inarritu accomplishes while being so limited by how and when he could shoot this film mean that he is undoubtedly a director who will continue to push and produce films of incredible quality.
Now there are certainly areas of The Revenant that don’t work and my review goes into much more detail about them. But this is a film that takes the art of film making – and cinematography especially – to another level. This is a bar raiser for sure.
It would have been madness for this film to have not been nominated, and be shown the love from other award shows like it has. I will be really interested to see if The Revenant will win this year seeing as both Inarritu and his film won last year at the Oscars, so I would be very surprised to see both do it again this year – but who knows.
So I look at Bridge of Spies as a comfortable film – that sounds weird I know – but what I mean by that is that it’s a Spielberg film, you know what you’re going to get (more or less) and you can trust that it will be reliably good and leave you satisfied at the end.
Now when I consider this film next to the other films above, I see a distinctive separation is memorability and end product. Add to that the fact that (as I’ve already said above) there are, frankly, better and more deserving films out there worth being nominated and I do believe that this is more a nomination based on the director (Steven Spielberg) and less to do with the film itself, but that’s just my personal thought on that.
I do want to say that despite Bridge of Spies not really belonging in this category, it is still a good film and as you’ll see if you read my review, I enjoyed my time with it and it is certainly not a film lacking in the quality that comes with a Spielberg film. Either way I’ll be interested to see what (if any) impact the film has on the night.
The Martian is big sci-fi done right. Instead of solving the problem with blowing up or shooting some CGI bad guy – The Martian instead uses science; common sense and the human want to persevere. It also must be asserted that The Martian is in no way a comedy – yes it has funny moments in it but if The Martian is a comedy, then the definition of comedy needs to be revised (just needed to get that off my chest).
Once again though, and despite how enjoyable this film is – The Martian wouldn’t have been one of the films I picked out to be nominated in the best picture category. I was in fact very surprised that it was. I did enjoy the film and my review shows that, but I still think that when compared to some of the other brilliances in cinema that I saw during 2015 – The Martian is one that doesn’t really compare.
Either way it is still nice to see a big sci-fi film like The Martian get to be on the big stage for once and not just relegated to the technical awards or completely ignored altogether – as so many other sci-fi films usually are.
So I think that out all the films on this list, Brooklyn is the one that the least amount of people will have heard of or even seen. Now that’s not a comment on the film – I actually fairly enjoyed my time watching Brooklyn. It’s just once again another film that didn’t really deserve to be chosen above some films that almost outshine it in every other way.
But at its core Brooklyn is one of those films that the academy loves. It’s set in an older time, in a different country (partly) and the biggest aspect the main character has to overcome is whether or not she will remain with the person she loves or return home.
I enjoyed Brooklyn and had a pleasant time in the cinema watching it, but like I said in my review, it is not a film worth rushing to the cinema to see. It is a Sunday afternoon, resting at home type of watch.
It is still nice to see a small British film like this get some recognition and if you do end up watching it, I ‘m sure you’ll be happily entertained by it.
So now we come to the bottom of the barrel – the film that I loathed every single second of and the film that I am genuinely perplexed as to why it has received any award recognition, let alone any positive reaction.
Every other film on this list I can find a reason why it might have been nominated – some easier than others of course – but a reason I could find. With The Big Short I’ve got nothing. This film is obnoxious, it’s lazy and it at times is insulting. Not even a great cast of actors who play some interesting characters could make this film bearable.
There were multiple films that I’ve already mentioned or could throw into the mix right now that would be far, FAR more deserving of being in the place of this film and I think nominating this film for anything is a massive wrong doing by any involved. Please don’t see this film or give it any of your very precious attention.
Well there you go, those are the 8 films nominated for Best Picture; ranked and summarised, how helpful. This is certainly a diverse and interesting assortment of films and as you can probably tell by this point I’m not enthused about all of them but nothing can be done now.
So all that’s left to say is thank you so much if you made it this far and took the time to read this, it really means a lot. I’d love to know any thoughts or opinions you have on either the films nominated or this piece itself so leave them in the comments down below.
If you’d like to follow me on Twitter then feel free to click the link – @GavinsTurtle. Last but very much not least have a great end to your week.