One of these days, you'll have to tell us how you did it

One of these days, you’ll have to tell us how you did it

 

In about eleven hours, Chris Rock will take the stage and get the 88th annual Oscars underway. There will be cutting jokes, there will be dull speeches, there will be splendid fashion, and there will be mundane montages.

Ordinarily, by now I’m buzzing with thoughts of turning off Twitter, sitting on my couch, eating Chinese food, and soaking in the show in all its stuffiness and silliness. This year, one would think I’d be even more stoked since for the first time in a dog’s age I have no clue what will take Best Picture. If you throw out the year CRASH was top dog, it’s usually become clear by now. This year, it could be any one of THE BIG SHORT, SPOTLIGHT, or THE REVENANT.

And yet, here I am, not really giving a care. The thing is, this year more than any before it feels as though all the fun has been sucked out of the event. Oscar as a voting body did it to themselves, of course, by not taking last years complaints about diversity seriously and turning in a field of nominees that just upped the ante. The hope is that something good may come out of this – not just where awards are concerned but all across Hollywood – but that hasn’t made it any more enjoyable to witness.

So many voices have weighed in on #OscarSoWhite; some very knowledgeable, others…not.

Adding to my unrest has been watching the narrative surrounding Leonardo DiCaprio. For years, I’ve watched a wide swath of the internet pine for the man to “finally win his Oscar”, forgetting for a moment that every other time he’s been nominated he’s been at least second-best in the category. Along comes THE REVENANT, and a clear chance for him to be regarded top dog (again though, in a crowded year). What inevitably happens? An equally large swath of the internet begins to whine “Wait, he’s going to win for that??“. For these, his role is reduced to snotty shivering, grunting, and crawling.

The worm on Leo turned, and again, it was not enjoyable to witness.

Perhaps all of this was just thanks to the unpleasant ambient noise that comes with being an online movie geek. Perhaps all of this just comes with getting older and outgrowing the things you love. All I know is, I have not felt one ounce of excitement or interest since nomination morning, and if I feel this way again next year, I’ll have to find something else to occupy my awards season thoughts. They took the fun out of it and we took the fun out of it, and instead of feeling a buzz on a Sunday night in late February, we will all tune-in to watch a stillborn baby be delivered.

I’ve long maintained that I don’t really care who wins – that in light how many times Oscar has “got it wrong”, that I just can’t care. All the same, I’ve always found the race and the event itself to be fun and intriguing…but maybe I don’t feel like that anymore either. Perhaps by the time we arrive at Oscar Night one year from now, I’ll feel a bit of that energy returned.

I do hope so; the apathy that consumes me this morning really sucks.

For what it’s worth, here’s how I see tonight shaking down…

 

Best Picture: SPOTLIGHT
Best Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu, THE REVENANT
Best Actress: Brie Larson, ROOM
Best Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio, THE REVENANT
Best Supporting Actress: Kate Winslet, STEVE JOBS
Best Supporting Actor: Sylvester Stallone, CREED
Best Original Screenplay: SPOTLIGHT
Best Adapted Screenplay: THE BIG SHORT
Best Animated Feature: INSIDE OUT
Best Foreign Language Feature: SON OF SAUL
Best Cinematography: THE REVENANT
Best Costume Design: THE DANISH GIRL
Best Production Design: MAD MAX: FURY ROAD
Best Documentary: AMY
Best Editing: MAD MAX: FURY ROAD
Best Original Score: THE HATEFUL EIGHT
Best Original Song: “Writing’s On the Wall” from SPECTRE
Best Sound Editing: MAD MAX: FURY ROAD
Best Sound Mixing: MAD MAX: FURY ROAD
Best Visual Effects: STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS
Best Makeup and Hairstyling: MAD MAX: FURY ROAD
Best Documentary Short: BODY TEAM*
Best Animated Short: IF I WAS GOD *
Best Live Action Short: AVE MARIA*

* = Categories where I’m primarily guessing blind