Oscar Bait – The Revenant / Brooklyn

revenantTitle: The Revenant
Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Year: 2015
Country: USA

If you look at the end of year statistics on Metacritic you will see that 2015 was an outstanding year. Wide releases like Inside Out and Carol were able to score over 90 and yet still walked away without a Best Picture nomination.

By all measurements of the best film of 2015 The Revenant is not number one. Having now seen The Revenant I find it’s impending success rather perplexing. For one thing, no matter how good Tom Hardy is in this, I have a very hard time of understanding him (which makes me the opposite of everyone who can understand him in this but not in The Dark Knight Rises).

I have two words for this film: brutal and beautiful. The cinematography is outstanding. I think it’s very likely that this will be the third win in a row for Emmanual Lubezki. I also can not quite believe the incredibly visceral performance that Leonardo DiCaprio gives. That scene with a bear alone is just…  beyond the pale. I mean the stuff his character goes through starts to get ridiculous. He is shot, thrown off a horse, tumbles down a waterfall, falls off a cliff, gets mostly buried alive and yet still plods on.

Plodding. That’s a pretty good word for this film. The rest of the film just plods along though. It feels 30-45 minutes too long and the entire story thread about a Ree tribe looking for their stolen member just feels like an extra thread that needn’t be there.

Will this win? Very likely? Should it? Cinematography and Best Actor, yes. Best Picture, no.

brooklyn
Title: Brooklyn
Director: John Crowley
Year: 2015
Country: Ireland/UK/Canada

If I were to describe Brooklyn‘s place among the Oscar nominees, it would be to call it the ‘nice one’. It’s a position that other films like Little Miss Sunshine, Phinomena and Finding Neverland have filled in previous years. It may walk away with handful of nominations, maybe even an award or two, but not the Best Picture prize.

Now don’t get me wrong. I really liked Brooklyn. It is definitely one of those movies that I know I will probably watch again in the future. But it won’t win.

Saorise Ronan gives an absolutely outstanding performance as Irish immigrant Ellis Lacey. You also have great support from Emory Cohen and Domhnall Gleeson. But it won’t win.

Now here’s thing, Brooklyn currently sits in the penultimate position in my rankings. However, I liked it a lot more than The Revenant. So, I’m going to put a few periods between 5th and 6th position so I can note the jump in my thoughts.

Current Rankings
1) Spotlight
2) Room
3) The Big Short
4) The Martian
5) Brooklyn

6) The Revenant

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