Sunday, February 28. It’s zero hour for the Oscars, all set to unfold in Hollywood’s Dolby theatre this evening. Controversies have flanked the lead up to the Academy Awards 2016, led by the #OscarSoWhite campaign. Nevertheless, as the moment draws near, the internet has also been teeming with pre-Oscars excitement, and predictions on the winners.
This year, Silverscreen.in caught up with two young technicians, two directors and a national-award winning film critic, to ask them who they would pick from this year’s Oscar nomination pool.
Editor TS Suresh, who has watched most of the nominated films this year, thinks The Revenant will bag the Best Picture Award. “Predictions say it might be Mad Max this year. I liked it, but I connected more with The Revenant. I am a fan of Alejandro González Iñárritu. I liked the film’s cinematography and the way it is constructed. I haven’t seen something like this in a long time. And the performance of Leonardo Di Caprio and Tom Hardy. Recently, I saw a documentary about the making of The Revenant. So much hard work has been put into it!” says Suresh. He also feels that The Big Short might win the Oscar in the Best Editing category. “I am yet to watch Room, but I hear great things about the film,” he says. “I have seen all the nominated documentaries. My favourite was Cartel Land, a documentary on the Mexican drug mafia. I saw it at the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival. It is not a regular documentary. A Danish documentary, The Look Of Silence, is also good.”
Director Vasanthabalan says The Revenant is a clear winner. “I watched a few of the nominated films. The fight for survival is movingly portrayed in The Revenant. It’s a great movie. I think Leonardo Di Caprio should win the award this time. I am a big fan of Iñárritu,” says the director. “I liked Danish Girl too, though it wasn’t nominated for the Best Picture award,” he adds.
National award-winning editor Vivek Harshan agrees that The Revenant is likely to pick up most of the awards in the technical section. “It’s a great film, technically,” he says. “Mad Max: Fury Road has great camera work too. But the media and the pre-Oscar buzz predict that the award will go to Emmanuel Lubezki. “I think the Best Foreign Language Film would be Mustang, the Turkish movie. It’s an incredible story. I think they have depicted the political situation in Turkey perfectly”.
National Award-winning film critic Tanul Thakur says, “My favourite, by far, is Spotlight for both – cinematic and personal reasons. I also liked Steve Jobs, a film that a lot of people were unkind about.” He says Room could have been the film, but fell slightly short. “The Big Short, even though very dense, was immensely entertaining and insightful,” he adds.
Maya director Ashwin Saravanan is of the opinion that this is The Revenant’s year. “Technically, the film is stunning. Shooting in real locations, capturing the entire film in natural light, it’s no small feat. Leonardo Di Caprio might finally win an award this year. And I liked Spotlight too,” he adds.
“Mad Max: Fury Road is a brilliant film, but the Academy might ignore it. It is a genre movie, and usually those kind of films get ignored at the Oscars, where they choose drama over genre films. But I hope it picks up some awards. It got ignored at Golden Globe too,” Ashwin says. “Room had some great performances. The mother, child and everyone else performed well. I really loved the film. I hope Brie Larson wins,” he adds.
Read: Silverscreen.in’s review of ‘The Revenant’
Read: Silverscreen.in’ review of ‘Room’
Tanul Thakur image source: Twitter
Ashwin Saravan image source: The Hindu