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Watch: 7 Video Essays Determine Who Deserves To Win Best Picture, Best Actor, And More At The 2016 Oscars

Watch: 7 Video Essays Determine Who Deserves To Win Best Picture, Best Actor, And More At The 2016 Oscars

Speculation is the name of the game. With the Oscars less than two weeks away everybody is rushing to get in their picks, taking a stab at who they think will win, and maybe even who should win (tragically the two hardly ever align). The Playlist heartily joined the fray early last year (with most of the movies sight unseen), revised it a couple of times, and then took a more educated guess in January — all while staying aware of that fine line; the difference between who would and who should.

READ MORE: Best Performances By The 2016 Oscar Nominees

Now, a new set of video essays is taking a similar approach: taking a look at seven big categories and determining who deserves to win. “Keyframe: Who Deserves The 2016 Oscars” by Fandor parses apart several key aspects that each category should hinge upon. The categories they take a go at are: Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Cinematography. Notably, for the best actor category, the video essay argues that its Michael Fassbender who deserves the trophy for his utterly captivating turn as the divisive Apple figurehead Steve Jobs, contesting that the movie depends on his performance, not at all on the spectacle of the film or the gurling nature of the shoot. So, while the scales are likely still tipped in the favor of Leonardo DiCaprio, it’s nice to see an argument not focused on bison liver and previous snubs.

Also, it should be noted that the obvious difference between who should win and who probably will win is mostly political; it has to do with what type of films play to the Academy voters, it depends on the campaign, and sometimes, sadly, it just depends on who is the most likeable. So, Fandor’s “Who Deserves The 2016 Oscars” is a fun way to try to just look at the merit of the work, not all the hoopla surrounding it.

Check out the videos below and hit up the comments with who you think deserves the statue on February 28th.

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Alex L

Daniel, that’s just a fundamental disagreement on the purpose of film. I don’t think going "HAHA" at your audience for three hours is valuable filmmaking. I think it makes the whole thing a nihilistic chore, especially when it also stays so uncritical and is still so totally boring. I only laughed twice, and one of those laughs was at a shooting goof where Leo gets hit in the face by a leaf blowing in the wind. I don’t think it’s subtle filmmaking to make three hours of irritating indulgence, I think that’s Metal Machine Music all over again, let alone something like Haneke’s Funny Games. It’s been done.

In regard to these categories, my picks before watching the videos:
-Best Picture: Spotlight
-Best Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio, for his amazing physical performance. He manages to captivate without dialogue or emotion just by his physicality.
-Best Actress: Brie Larson. Carol is a collaboration between two equal actresses: Larson is given all the emotional maturity of Room, and she elevates a fantastic film with it.
-Best Supporting Actor: Of the nominees, I like Tom Hardy, who is just fascinating.
-Best Supporting Actress: I like Jennifer Jason Leigh and Rachel McAdams; McAdams is more vital to her film, but Leigh is so fun to watch.
Best Director: This is a hard award to give. I think McCarthy made the best film of the nominees and had a difficult job managing tone, but I think this reveals itself by watching these movies again and again.
Best Cinematography: TH8’s cinematography is just astounding, but all five are beautiful films.

I’ll comment later when I’ve watched ’em.


Thinking of the wolf of Wall Street is a hypocritical film because it celebrates the excess of what is showing illustrates a fundamental misunderstanding of the movie’s point, and the troubling need for film to explain itself unambiguously instead of using irony and subtlety. The clear intent of the wolf of Wall Street is to put on a parade of indulgence that the viewer can never be a part of, but because it is uncritical of itself it reveals that desire in the viewer to be a part of the parade. If the movie were to point out that being and irresponsible jerk was bad it would be self-defeating and didactic. It is meant to be a cruel joke on the audience, as if we were poor and starving and it was a three hour at for the Cheesecake Factory. Jordan Belfort is spitting in our faces the entire time, but because his life is portrayed as attractive and fun we also want to be the ones who spit. That is the nature of indulgence and greed. And that is subtle brilliant film making. If you think this reading is a stretch, then what does the ending shot of the film mean- when the camera is turned,essentially, on the audience?

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