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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

The+Revenant+and+The+Martian
Photo by Graphic by: Jacob Martindale
The Revenant and The Martian

“The Martian”

“The Martian” is a survival drama directed by Ridley Scott and starring Matt Damon as Mark Watney, an astronaut lampooned on Mars and left to survive the alien conditions. Nominated for seven academy awards, including best visual effects, best actor, best production design, and best picture, “The Martian” is a return to form for Ridley Scott.

Perhaps more than science-fiction, the film has a wonderful blend of humor and danger, and Damon’s performance as Watney is one of the best of the year. It’s easy to understand the best actor nomination, but while I’m pulling for Damon, I don’t expect him to win. Bryan Cranston’s Trumbo is the main seed, and just about everyone wants to see Dicaprio bring home an oscar.

As much as I’d like to see “The Martian” take home best picture — it was my film of the year in 2015 — the Oscars are a bit self serious, and a humor-tinged sci-fi survival film isn’t exactly what the Academy looks for. However, expect the film to take home at least two awards — likely best production design and best adapted screenplay.

“The Revenant”

“The Revenant” is a survival drama directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu and starring Leonardo Dicaprio as Hugh Glass, a trapper abandoned and betrayed by his hunting party and left to die in the harsh wilderness. Nominated for 12 academy awards, including best cinematography, best director, best actor and best picture, “The Revenant” has the opportunity to completely sweep the Oscars, and given that director Alejandro González Iñárritu’s previous work “Birdman” took home best picture last year, it’s a solid chance.

There’s been constant buzz about Dicaprio’s performance as Glass, but I feel that much of it is more focused on his lack of an Academy Award and less on the actual performance itself. Yes, the stories about his antics during the film’s production are harrowing — namely his diet of raw meat — but the performance itself is greatly overshadowed by the film’s beautiful cinematography and atmospheric sound design. And honestly, the film’s watchability is hampered by its incessant need to punish Dicaprio over and over again, which leads to a one-note tone and a somewhat repetitive film.

However, given the raw beauty of “The Revenant,” a best cinematography win is almost assured, and best director is also a high possibility. I wouldn’t count on best picture for the film, and although it seems everyone wants Dicaprio to win, a best actor pickup is unlikely.

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