Davidsons Watch Oscar Films IV

Hi friends!

This year, Chris and I embarked on our fourth annual Oscar movie watch! This year was rather different; instead of waiting for the nominations in January, we got a head start. We’ve basically been watching movies most of the year, with Chris diligently reading articles and blog posts with Oscars predictions since the fall began! This year, we simply didn’t have time to squeeze 10+ movies into an approximately six-week span. But I’m glad we took this approach, because I had way more fun without stressing about the time crunch!

Another reason this Oscar watch was different is that we only watched the nominees for Best Picture (and then, by default, those for Best Director). In years past, we’ve had enough time to fill in the additional categories for acting and writing; you can read about my experience in previous years here, here, and here. But, with a whopping spread of nineteen movies nominated for such categories, and our full-time jobs and (loosely-defined) social lives, we just couldn’t make that happen. But, honestly, after seeing all the Best Picture nominees, I looked at the list of additional movies and realized I wasn’t excited to see any of them. The Best Picture list this year was just excellent enough to make me feel like I wasn’t missing anything worth my time.

I stared typing this on my phone from a hotel room in Raleigh, and I’m finishing it up in the car on the way to Trader Joe’s, because we’re having a weekend away and I kind of forgot to blog until just now. So, I’ll be keeping this short and sweet, just like this year’s #davidsonoscarwatch!

This year I posted a micro-review on Twitter after seeing each film, using the probably-too-long hashtag #davidsonoscarwatch16. This was incredibly helpful for remembering my immediate thoughts after the credits rolled! (The only one I didn’t tweet about, I’m realizing, is Mad Max: Fury Road, because we saw it way back the day it was released and the Academy Awards weren’t on my mind so early in the year; suffice it to say, I would’ve given it A+!) Here’s this year’s list of nominees for the Academy Award for Best Picture, listed in the order that we saw them, and with the letter grade I awarded it via tweet:

  1. Mad Max: Fury Road. A+
  2. Bridge of Spies. B
  3. Spotlight. A
  4. Brooklyn. A
  5. Room. A-
  6. The Big Short. A-
  7. The Martian. B+
  8. The Revenant. A

When I list them all out like that, I’m reminded that over half of these films have one-word titles (articles excluded), a fact I noticed sometime last year when Chris and I lost two hours of our lives watching movie trailers when we discovered a program called, and this is not a joke, Nothing But Trailers on our Dish guide, and far too many of the films had one-word titles. (This is probably not a story I should have shared because, at the time, we were horrified to realize that we had actually spent so long literally just ingesting three-minute movie promos, and we should probably be embarrassed by this fact even know. Oh well!)

I honestly don’t know what else to say about these films. I know I could die happy if Mad Max won the Oscar for Best Picture, but it’s such a long shot and will likely sweep many of the technical awards (those effects though!). Chris’s prediction is that Spotlight or The Big Short could win because they are about Important Real Things. I enjoyed watching Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn, and The Martian, but none of them were the best film of the year. The Revenant was excellent, if not a bit painful to watch.And I’ve not kept my love of Room, an artfully dramatic movie, a secret, but it wasn’t the overall Best Picture of this Oscar cycle, though Brie Larson was arguably the Best Actress in a Leading Role (having not seen all the performances in this category). That film haunted me for days after we saw it.

So I guess instead of having strong opinions that don’t matter, I’ll just wait for the results to roll in on my phone, because Chris and I will be driving back from North Carolina tonight when the ceremony begins. And then we can get a jump start on next year’s #davidsonoscarwatch!