Well, the 2016 Academy Awards are here, despite the fact that the Oscars website lists the nominees as for 2015. Honestly, I've been rather dreading awards season this year as evidenced by the fact that I've done just about everything I can except watch films that have been touted as potential Academy Award winners. Last year I casually watched movies thinking I'd watch more films up for awards than I did (four), and this year I intended to actively raise that number. Instead, though, I mostly loathed the idea of watching the films I knew would be fighting for awards and my tally is exactly the same as last year's four: Ex Machina, Mad Max, Room, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I kept holding out on watching The Danish Girl and Sicario in particular hoping they would fail to be named, but knowing that they eventually would. And here they are with six nominations between them.
There is excitement, too. All too often, there seem to be too few films striving to win Best Picture on the strength of their leading ladies, and yet we have Brooklyn (nominated only for Actress in a Leading Role and Adapted Screenplay in addition to Best Picture) and Room (which garnered the same honors as well as Director). Though, it is still disappointing to see Carol not make the cut despite having women up for each acting category. Also encouraging is that The Danish Girl, while accumulating four nods, did not reach Best Picture status. Part of this is that two of those nods, to no one's surprise, are Production Design and Costume Design which I dare say carry little to no weight on that ultimate of categories. Eddie Redmayne of course is unfortunately hoping to win Actor in a Leading Role, and, to no surprise of mine, no female director was honored, nor were their films as a whole. And, honestly, I'd rather this year's no respect to past years of Kathryn Bigelow garnering praise for directing pieces of propaganda.
So, while there are of course disappointments in selections and chores to sit through, while there is still rampant material for articles on the social justices and injustices perpetuated, this grouping looks at least as enticing as usual. It should at least be exciting, as Mad Max can make a run at Best Picture on the backs of nine other potential statuettes. I suppose if The Artist can win Best Picture as a modern black and white, partially silent film, then perhaps it paved the way for a genre film that was nearly black, white, and silent.
Last year I had forty-one of forty-five films plus the shorts to watch in thirty-eight days. This year I have thirty-eight of forty-two films plus the shorts to watch in forty-three days which feels far more palatable than last years breakneck pace. Even still, I think I might not watch the films up for original song as none of them are up for anything else, and that cuts my task to thirty-three films in forty three days which downright feels lazy. Still, though, if you want to see me before March, I suggest picking a film to watch.
Embrace the Serpent
Son of Saul
Fifty Shades of Grey
Hunting Ground, The
45 Years [2016-02-21]
Big Short, The [2016-01-29]
Boy & the World [2016-02-20]
Bridge of Spies [2016-02-08]
Cartel Land [2016-01-31]
Danish Girl, The [2016-02-02]
Documentary Shorts [2016-02-04]
Ex Machina 
Hateful Eight, The [2016-02-04]
Hundraåringen som klev ut genom fönstret och försvann (The 100-Year Old Man who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared) [2016-01-22]
Inside Out [2016-02-10]
Mad Max [2015; 2016-01-31]
Martian, The [2016-01-30]
Revenant, The [2016-02-07]
Shaun the Sheep Movie [2016-02-09]
Senyap (The Look of Silence) [2016-02-26]
Short Films (Animated) [2016-02-14]
Short Films (Live Action) [2016-02-14]
Star Wars [2015-12-17]
Steve Jobs [2016-01-15]
Straight Outta Compton [2016-01-27]
What Happened, Miss Simone? [2016-02-09]
Winter on Fire [2016-02-02]
When Marnie Was There [2016-02-25]