Entertainment Movies There’s one major thing missing from the Oscars
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There’s one major thing missing from the Oscars

Steve Jobs movie
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In an exceedingly upsetting week that saw the loss, at 69, of both David Bowie and Alan Rickman, their inclusion in the In Memoriam section of the 88th Academy Awards is one of the few certainties in another year of shock snubs and dark horse surprises.

• The Revenant is the most beautiful film of the year
JLaw’s Joy is 2015’s most underrated movie
• The Martian might just be the perfect movie

With the nominations announced, it’s going to be an awkward gig for host Chris Rock on February 28 as all 20 of the acting nods are notably white, reinforcing the Oscars’ infamous reputation for diversity failure.

The backlash has been swift, with last year’s hashtag ‘#OscarsSoWhite’ resurrected to let people vent their frustration at the lack of people of colour on the list.

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We take a look at the major categories, point out the WTF moments and make a few predictions of our own:

Best Picture

The Big Short

Bridge of Spies

Brooklyn

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian

The Revenant

Room

Spotlight

It’s great to see George Miller’s diesel-fuelled dystopian powerhouse representing Australian filmmakers in this year’s Best Picture category, scooping 10 nods overall, just behind The Revenant’s conquering 12.

While some might have expected box-office slayer Star Wars: The Force Awakens to muscle up in here, it’s not quite in the same league as the Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron-led Mad Max.

The real shock snub was the omission of critical darling Todd Haynes’ Carol with its sublime performances from Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, making it the first year super producer Harvey Weinstein has no skin in the game.

We’d have liked to have seen Ryan Coogler’s Creed here too, plus Australian director Justin Kurzel’s Macbeth, with two unused spots. Not sure Bridge of Spies really belongs here, despite the powerhouse team-up of Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks and Brooklyn seems a tad out of its depth too, though there’s big buzz surrounding Saoirse Ronan’s performance.

Who will win: Most likely Spotlight or The Revenant. The Martian is also a wildcard.

Who should win: Mad Max. Aussie, Aussie Aussie, Oi! Oi! Oi!

Best Director

Adam McKay, The Big Short

George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road

Alejandro G. Inarritu, The Revenant

Lenny Abrahamson, Room

Tom McCarthy, Spotlight

Again, Haynes was totally snubbed for his beautifully nuanced work on Carol, as was Kurzel’s Macbeth. Though not a big box office contender, it certainly showcased his incredible craft. A popular vote would have been for Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, but the big shocker was the lock-out of Ridley Scott, considering the huge success that was the Matt Damon-led The Martian.

Who will win: Inarritu vs Miller in a head-to-head battle.

Who should win: Hometown boy Miller.

Best Actor

Bryan Cranston, Trumbo

Matt Damon, The Martian

Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant

Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs

Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl

Michael B. Jordan is once again robbed of his rightful place on this list after previously being snubbed for his breakout role in the incredible Fruitvale Station. Fassbender would be far more deserving if he was up for Macbeth. Poor Michael Keaton; pipped at the comeback post by Eddie Redmayne last year, he’s totally AWOL this time round despite rave reviews for Spotlight.

Who will win: Leonardo DiCaprio.

Who should win: It’s probably Leo’s time.

Best Actress

Cate Blanchett, Carol

Brie Larson, Room

Jennifer Lawrence, Joy

Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years

Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn

Right, we get it, America (and the world) loves J-Law, but was Joy really Oscar-worthy? At 25, she’s now the youngest person ever to rack up four noms. We’re not convinced the similarly excellent Ronan should be here for Brooklyn either. Hwoever, Marion Cotillard should definitely be here, as should Charlize Theron and stellar newcomer Karidja Toure in Celine Ciamma’s striking French film Girlhood. Most of the ‘oohs’ and ‘ahs’ seem to be sticking on Brie Larson for her turn as an imprisoned mum trying to give her young son a shot at normality in the best-selling book adaptation Room.

Who will win: Brie Larson, but Cate could strike gold again.

Who should win: Cate Blanchett.

Best Supporting Actor

Christian Bale, The Big Short

Tom Hardy, The Revenant

Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight

Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies

Sylvester Stallone, Creed

Good on Sly for once again scoring a nomination for fictional counterpart Rocky Balboa in Coogler’s Creed, almost 40 years after first being recognised in that role, the longest gap ever for a returning character. In a further diversity fail, Idris Elba is sadly missing for his turn in Beasts of No Nation, though that may have more to do with Netflix tussling with the traditional studios. Hardy is the wildcard here.

Who will win: Sylvester Stallone.

Who should win: We’re down with Sly, but Hardy’s performance in The Revenant was seriously underrated.

Best Supporting Actress

Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight

Rooney Mara, Carol

Rachel McAdams, Spotlight

Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl

Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

Look, we’d have preferred to see the outstanding Alicia Vikander up for the infinitely superior Ex Machina rather than The Danish Girl, and we reckon this dints her chances. Many are surprised that Dame Helen Mirren misses out for Trumbo, but otherwise this is a fair, if super-white, field.

Who will win: This is a tough one – Rooney Mara could have it, but Kate Winslet is also a likely contender.

Who should win: Definitely Mara, though she really should be in lead actress.

Original Screenplay

Bridge of Spies

Ex Machina

Inside Out

Spotlight

Straight Outta Compton

While Straight Outta Compton’s nod here may seem like a diversity win, though one of four writers is female, all are white. Great to see novelist-turned-filmmaker Alex Garland lauded for his thought-provoking musing on what it means to be human, Ex Machina. Inside Out is a sweet inclusion, also up for Best Animated Feature.

What will win: Spotlight.

What should win: Ex Machina.

Best Adapted Screenplay

The Big Short

Brooklyn

Carol

The Martian

Room

Aaron Sorkin is the white elephant not present in this room, though maybe the world wasn’t ready for another Steve Jobs biopic so soon after Ashton Kutcher had a crack. The Martian and Brooklyn are proving popular, but it’s really down to Room versus Carol we reckon and we’re really chuffed to see Phyllis Nagy recognized for the hard task of adapting the work of her late best friend, author Patricia Highsmith.

What will win: Carol, but Room is a clear and present danger. The Big Short also poses a risk.

What should win: Carol or The Martian.

SEVEN ELEVEN STOCK

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