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The Blue & Gray Press | August 25, 2019

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Oscars shaping up to be unpredictable evening

Oscars shaping up to be unpredictable evening


Although there is currently a heated debate about the lack of diversity among the nominations for the 88th annual Academy Awards, fans and critics anxiously await the results for which film will take home the most accolades.

The ceremony is right around the corner on Sunday, Feb. 28 at 8:30 p.m., there remains an uncertainty around which film will win Best Picture.

The eight nominees are “The Big Short,” “Bridge of Spies,” “Brooklyn,” “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “The Martian,” “The Revenant,” “Room” and “Spotlight.”

In the past two years, Microsoft Bing has correctly predicted at least 20 out of 24 Oscar winners, said Business Insider writer Matt Weinberger. During this nail-biting Oscar race, Bing identified “The Revenant” as a frontrunner with a 37 percent chance of winning. “Spotlight” has a 26 percent chance of winning the Oscar for Best Picture and “The Big Short” has a 19 percent chance of winning the Best Picture Oscar, Bing predicts.

This awards season, “Spotlight” won the Screen Actors Guild award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture and “The Big Short” won the Producer Guild of America Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures.

“The Revenant” seized victories at the Golden Globes, Directors Guild and British Academy awards and is nominated for 12 Oscars, the most of any film in the Academy Awards ceremony. This critically acclaimed film, starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Hugh Glass, is inspired by Glass’s experiences as a frontiersman in the early 19th century.

“It’s a virtuoso performance, thrilling in its brute force and silent eloquence,” said Rolling Stone Peter Travers. Alejandro G. Iñárritu, director of “The Revenant,” is also coming off major wins at the Oscars last year with his direction of “Birdman.” This begs the question; will Iñárritu be the first director in Oscar history to win Best Picture back-to-back?

Even though the momentum for “The Revenant” is strong, the film was not nominated for the Screen Actors Guild screenplay award, making this a neck-and-neck race with “Spotlight” and “The Big Short.”

“Spotlight” follows the story of Boston Globe journalists uncovering the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic archdiocese of Boston. “The actors are disciplined and serious, foregoing the table-pounding and speechifying that might more readily win them prizes from their peers,” said A. O. Scott of The New York Times.

However, “The Big Short” is very much in contention for the Best Picture Oscar, and must not be forgotten. The film looks at the 2008 financial collapse and investors who bet against the housing market. Variety’s Andrew Barker describes “The Big Short” as the most radical film to approach the story of the financial crisis, “turning a dense economics lecture into a hyper-caffeinated postmodern farce, a spinach smoothie skillfully disguised as junk food.”

The question still stands, which film will prevail?

Disney | ABC Television Group

The 86th Annual Academy Awards