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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The Academy Awards: Picks for Best Picture

Bridge+of+Spotlight
Bridge of Spotlight

With the Oscars just days away, Battalion opinion editor Mason Morgan gives his take on the films nominated for “Best Picture” throughout the week. Here is a look at “Spotlight” and “Bridge of Spies.”

‘Spotlight’

“Spotlight” is a biographical crime drama directed by Tom McCarthy and stars an ensemble cast — including Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton and Rachel McAdams — that portrays The Boston Globe’s “Spotlight” team, a group of journalists who inadvertently stumble across a widespread child abuse scandal in the Catholic Church. Nominated for six Academy Awards including best original screenplay, best directing, best supporting actor and best picture, “Spotlight” is a gripping, self-serious drama with high potential for the best picture award.

Perhaps the most striking aspect of the film is its dedication to authenticity. It has the credibility of a well-made documentary, and it treats its subjects as such. No heroes are made here, there are no cinematic moments of action or emotion. Instead, director Tom McCarthy carefully controls the pacing and framing of each scene to make it feel as real and alive as possible. The effect is astounding — “Spotlight” grabs your attention and doesn’t let go until the credits roll. 

I fully expect “Spotlight” to take home at least two awards, most likely best original screenplay and best supporting actor for Mark Ruffalo’s incredible performance. But between “The Big Short” and “Bridge of Spies,” the film has tough competition for best picture. I don’t see it happening, but I wouldn’t be completely blindsided if “Spotlight” won. Either way, catch it when you can.

 

‘Bridge of Spies’

“Bridge of Spies” is a historical espionage thriller directed by Steven Spielberg that stars Tom Hanks as James Donovan, a lawyer entrusted with negotiating a hostage swap between the United States and Russia during the Cold War. Nominated for six Academy Awards including best original screenplay, best original score, best production design and best picture, “Bridge of Spies” is another masterful drama from long-time director Steven Spielberg.

It’s no surprise that the academy has a predilection for nominating Spielberg films, but it might surprise some that Spielberg only has three Oscars. Two best director awards — one each for “Schindler’s List” and “Saving Private Ryan” — and a best picture win for “Schindler’s List.” That said, “Bridge of Spies” looks to be the top seed for best picture. It has all the features a typical best picture has — heavy emphasis on drama and suspense, a light touch of humor, masterful craft work and a level of consistency that permeates the whole package.

While I expect to see the film pick up best picture, it’s also likely to pick up best original score and possibly best sound mixing. Without a doubt, “Bridge of Spies” is the most obvious archetype of a best-picture winner. 

 

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