Eric Kohn and I survey the pre-Oscar landscape as the balloting opens up on Friday. I report on Monday’s Academy Luncheon, where I enjoyed a series of disparate encounters, along with everyone else mixing with nominees from all the different branches. I talked to several of the Governors about the new eligibility rules, which need rejiggering, as Steven Spielberg noted. Inclusion is a larger issue than the Academy. And we debate the merits of the new award-winner screen thank you scrolls.
The Best Picture Oscar race is so close—as the Guilds split among “Spotlight,” “The Revenant,” and “The Big Short”—and heated that it’s a year when a surprise winner could sneak through, something like moving Toronto Film Fest audience award winner “Room,” which inspires an emotional response. We go through why major movie star Leo DiCaprio will win—he’s due—and frontrunners Brie Larson and Sly Stallone, as well as some of the more competitive categories.
Eric talks about the stunning failure of Ben Stiller’s “Zoolander 2,” which has been met with vitriolic pans, while I recommend R-rated Marvel superhero”Deadpool.”