Few are betting against Leo taking home the statuette this year
By critics’ reckoning, 2016 is the year of the lion.
Leonardo DiCaprio will finally get to take an Oscar home for The Revenant. This is his fifth Oscar nomination for best actor and, fresh from a Golden Globe win, he doesn’t have that much competition in his category.
Brit Michael Fassbender is good as Steve Jobs, but this isn’t his year. Matt Damon won’t win for The Martian, as entertaining as it was. Other Brit and last year’s winner Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl) and Bryan Cranston (Trumbo) fill the other two slots.
It is definitely time for DiCaprio to make room for the little gold statue.
This year’s Oscar nominations have again attracted a backlash for the list’s lack of diversity, and it is notable that the only difference in the Best Actor category names from last week’s Golden Globes to the Oscars is that Will Smith (Concussion) has been replaced by Damon, whitewashing it.
Also, the Best Supporting Actor category does a similar thing, ignoring Idris Elba’s performance in Beasts of No Nation to also make that category an all-white affair.
The Best Actress category is likely to be a fight to beat Jennifer Lawrence. She’s the Meryl Streep of her generation in more ways than one – not only is she the most consistently good actress in the room (at 25 she’s chalking up her fourth Oscar nomination, and Joy could be her second win after taking home the Golden Globe), if she’s in your category, she’s probably going to beat you. Streep, who has had 19 Oscar nominations in her career so far (and three wins), only got going at the age of 30.
Lawrence’s biggest competition will come from fellow Golden Globe winner Brie Larson’s performance in Room. However, Cate Blanchett (Carol), another serial nominee, is always one to watch. Charlotte Rampling (45 Years) gets her first nomination at the age of 70 and Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn), rounds out the category.
Best Film has the usual mix of critics’ choices (Room, Spotlight, The Revenant, Brooklyn) and crowd pleasers (The Big Short, Bridge of Spies, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian), a change made a few years ago when the Oscar nominations had become so obscure that no one had seen any of the films. The Revenant will win, of course, making it two in a row for director Alejandro González Iñárritu (he won for Birdman last year).
The diversity issue comes down to who votes for these films – last year the voters were 94% white, 77% male, 2% black, 2% Latino and 5% Asian/Native American, and 77% of them were 63 or older.
Given that America’s population is only 75% white and 49.2% male, and only 14% are older than 65, it’s not demographically representative, but is indicative of where the money and influence lie in Hollywood’s dream factory.
ROARING AHEAD Leonardo DiCaprio will probably get hold of his first Oscar for his performance in The Revenant
HARD TO BEAT Jennifer Lawrence has already won a
Golden Globe for Joy