Ranking The Best Picture Nominees

The Academy Awards have now been and gone and ‘Spotlight’ ended up being triumphant edging out ‘The Revenant’ which took the Golden Globes and BAFTA’s by storm. Here I rank the Best Picture nominees in order of my own personal preference. Unfortunately, I have only just got round to watching ‘Brooklyn’ hence why I am a little late.

Let’s get started…

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8) The Martian

Unfortunately, ‘The Martian’ was very disappointing. Even though it had been overhyped, as a film it just didn’t work. The performances were not bad although Matt Damon’s nomination was rather undeserved and allowed talents such as Johnny Depp for his performance in ‘Black Mass’ to get snubbed. Ridley Scott’s direction was also ok but he has done far better work, for example 2012’s ‘Prometheus’ is a much better film than this.

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7) The Big Short

A very original and intelligent film that does deserve a place in the ‘Best Picture’ category but it is towards the bottom of the list due to the fact the film has a lot of issues tonally. At times it comes across as very smug and obnoxious and the film has a bit of an identity crisis as director Adam McKay can’t quite shake off his comedic roots. That said though, it is very original in the way it all plays out and the acting, particularly by Christian Bale and Steve Carrell.

(Click here to read my review)

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6) Brooklyn

‘Brooklyn’ is a fairly unremarkable film that feels quite disjointed and a little too ordinary for the Best Picture Academy Award. However, Saoirse Ronan gives a career-best performance here and there are some outstanding scenes that work separately to the rest of the film. Compared to ‘The Big Short’, I would argue that ‘The Big Short’ is definitely more original and better Awards material but ‘Brooklyn’ is stronger as entertainment.

There is now a big step up in quality…

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5) Bridge Of Spies

In parts, ‘Bridge of Spies’ is outstanding, particularly in its first half and has a revelatory turn from Mark Rylance which won him the Academy Award for ‘Best Supporting Actor’, deservedly so. Tom Hanks manages to carry the film along, but Rylance’s absence is sorely missed in the second half and the film loses steam. Usual business from Steven Spielberg, but still good fun.

(Click here to read my review)

Now we get to the excellent films:

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4) The Revenant

A little sluggish in parts, ‘The Revenant’ is a fantastic piece of work with outstanding performances and assured direction from Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu. It’s a very sensory experience and Lubezki’s cinematography is gobsmacking and earned him another Academy Award. This was also the film where Leonardo DiCaprio finally was given an Oscar for his role here, deservedly so.

(Click here to read my review)

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3) Spotlight

A gripping tale of the Catholic Church scandal, ‘Spotlight’ is a very assured film that features fantastic performance from the entire cast and a brilliant, tight script penned by Tom McCarthy who also directs. The only reason why it doesn’t rank higher is the fact that it doesn’t particularly do a lot to set itself apart from other films of this type but it’s still supremely entertaining and satisfying.

(Click here to read my review)

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2) Mad Max: Fury Road

An astonishing piece of work by director George Miller against all the odds. Whilst ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ is not perfect by any means and lacks in the story department, the action sequences are a gargantuan work of art and on a technical scale, the film is jaw-dropping. Interwoven into all the action on-screen is a wonderful female leading role by Charlize Theron who is able to redesign the role of the woman in the action film genre.

And now for the best film…

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1) Room

‘Room’ is a flawless piece of work. It is an inspiring watch and reaches various emotional heights. The performances from the cast all round are nothing short of incredible and Lenny Abrahamsson’s careful and assured direction works wonders. The film has a beaming heart at its core – at times the film is devastatingly sad and at others, warm and feel-good. It is expertly paced and takes ample time to develop its characters. ‘Room’ has received a rare 5-star rating from myself and on top of that, is one of the best films of the decade so far. 

(Click here to read my 5-star review)

Summary

Overall, a worthy selection with the exception of ‘The Martian’ and ‘Brooklyn’, but in terms of originality, ‘The Big Short’ deserves its spot even if it is a flawed film. It’s also one of the strongest fields in recent years. ‘Spotlight’ ultimately won the Best Picture Award which is deserving. ‘Room’ is by far and away the best film here but it didn’t connect with audiences as much as this and it was a toss-up between ‘Spotlight’ and ‘The Revenant’. I’d have been happy if ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ would have won but the Academy would be very trepidatious to say the least, to give the highest Award to a blockbuster. 

 

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