It is that time of year again. The Oscars! It the time when we watch celebrities get dressed up in penguin suits, drink, and laugh with (and at) them for the betterment of an establishment’s reputation at their choices of the best films of the year. Historically, LGBT films that have been lucky enough to win or be recognized by the awards have contained characters that have not survived till the final reel
This is, perhaps for reasons unknown other than the Academy appreciates when LGBT characters kick the bucket, seeing it as perhaps maintaining its identity in the face of heteronormative adversity. They never change, but die wholly who they are, unchanged by society’s demands.
Though the issue has been addressed by many, LGBT films, including this year’s snubbed Carol, will be acknowledged for its historical significance in bringing the queer voice to a heretronormative art form.
That aside, this Oscar season has proven to still contain one of the most diverse since 1983’s awards show. There are no “lesser of two evils” but rather the best of the best.
Here are HomoCulture’s choices for this year’s Oscar season. Comment below if you agree/disagree!
The Revenant has been receiving a lot of buzz, earning a spot as box-office frontrunner in the U.S. and even a Golden Globe for its star, Leonardo DiCaprio. It would come as no surprise it will win Best Actor and Best Cinematography. Its chilly widescreen shots rivaled its other Western epic, Tarentino’s, The Hateful Eight, in displaying how icy human nature can be. DiCaprio shines in a film that is full of darkness, nearly wordless the entire film and ennacting brutal acts of violence against co-star Tom Hardy, who should receive a deserved Best Supporting Actor statue.
The Best Actress category contains Hollywood’s hardest working stars, new and old, but the statue will more than likely go to Brie Larson for her heartbreaking portrayal as an abused mother raising her son in, Room, a film adaptation of Canadian author Emma Donoghue. Classic Hollywood veteran Charlotte Rampling is equally deserving for her extraordinarily subtle work in 45 Years, which was snubbed for Best Screenplay. In the Supporting Actress field, the most defined portrayal was Alicia Vikander for The Danish Girl.
Of the screeplays this year, each was written with such a distinct style & voice, they are all revolutionary in their own right. For Adapted Screenplay, Nick Hornby’s Brooklyn sits with Howard’s End and Women In Love, in the pantheon of Hollywood adaptations that surpass its source material. Hornby’s script is full of old Hollywood traditions but never comes across as campy or melodramatic. His delicate treatment of its characters and sheer love for the time and place gives Brooklyn a heart most films today have searched for, but do not find. The same can be said about Inside Out, which deserves the Best Original Screenplay. Heart is at the center of all films nominated, but Brooklyn and Inside Out find it early on and present us with that warm fuzzy feeling we love.
Best Picture is a tough one but Spotlight has received acclaim for its all-around entertaining and heartbreaking account of the Boston Globe’s mission to prove a cover-up of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church. The film is a deftly accurate look into the world of journalism (the film is based on the Globe’s actual investigations which earned the paper a Pulitzer Prize) and the ethics behind seeking the truth. It is a film that will be talked about for years to come and challenges even the most narrow minded of viewers to look at the world in a deep, realistic way.
Canada is highly represented in this year’s Oscars including:
- Spotlight actress Rachel McAdams (best supporting actress).
- Documentary short filmmakers Adam Benzine (for Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah) and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy (for A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness).
- Toronto R&B singer-songwriter The Weeknd and his Canadian songwriting collaborators Stephan Moccio, Ahmad Balshe, Jason (Daheala) Quenneville share an original song nomination for Earned It from the film Fifty Shades of Grey.
- The team of Canadians who worked on The Revenant, such as visual effects artist Cameron Waldbauer, set decorator Hamish Purdy, sound technician Chris Duesterdiek (up for sound mixing), makeup and hair artist Robert Pandini.
- Sound technician Paul Massey (up for The Martian’s sound mixing).
- Animated short nominee Richard Williams (shares in nomination for Prologue with Imogen Sutton).
Tune into the Oscars on February 28, 2016!