Best Picture Profile: Spotlight

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As we come closer to the Academy Awards, we’ll be posting short profiles of each Best Picture nominee, attempting, in our own ways, to not only sum up what the movie is about, but why we believe it scored one of the eight coveted nominations, and why it could possibly take home the big prize come Oscar night. Enjoy!

Of all of this year’s eight nominees, Spotlight is your Best Picture.  I don’t mean that it’s the best movie of the bunch, no (We’ll get to that one in a few columns from now). I don’t even think it’s a sure-lock for the award either (It’s something of a three-way tie with The Big Short and The Revenant right now). But of all eight of the films nominated, Spotlight is the one that most easily fits the Best Picture Oscar model. It’s an all-around great film, completely inoffensive in construction, and generally pleasing to the movie-going audience. In any other year, Spotlight would be a sure thing.

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Best Picture Profile: Room

room-movie-2015-jacob-temblay-brie-larson

As we come closer to the Academy Awards, we’ll be posting short profiles of each Best Picture nominee, attempting, in our own ways, to not only sum up what the movie is about, but why we believe it scored one of the eight coveted nominations, and why it could possibly take home the big prize come Oscar night. Enjoy!

As Ben discussed in his first Best Picture Profile of the year, we usually try to find some kind of theme to unify the Best Picture nominees, and this year, we settled on “Journey to the Unknown,” since we feel that, in one way or another, each of these films features characters struggling to come to grips with a new reality, new information, or anything that lies beyond what they already know.

It should go without saying, then, why Room falls squarely into that category, perhaps more so than any other film this year, in that this movie focuses on two people trapped in the tiniest of spaces, one of whom only finds out that the unknown exists at all just before he’s thrown into it headfirst.

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Best Picture Profile: The Revenant

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As we come closer to the Academy Awards , we’ll be posting short profiles of each Best Picture nominee, attempting, in our own ways, to not only sum up what the movie is about, but why we believe it scored one of the eight coveted nominations, and why it could possibly take home the big prize come Oscar night. Enjoy!

Nina and I like to try and find a “theme” to unite the Best Picture nominees every year, for no reason other than (a) it’s fun and cute and such, and (b) it’s nice to maybe see if there’s a unifying direction the world of the Academy is going. Obviously, much of the discussion around this year’s Oscars has been about those not included in the nominee list (and rightly so), and with recent changes in Academy membership policy, we look forward to a more diverse Academy Awards in years to come.

With this year’s nominees, though, there is still an underlying theme of the mysterious, those yet-to-be-explored terrains. To us, to our film’s protagonists, to all of the above. A “Journey to the Unknown,” as we’re dubbing it. And no film dares to go to that most unknown of unknowns, hell and back again, than The Revenant, our first Best Picture Profile entry.

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Best Picture Profile: Selma

selma-movie-corey-reynolds-david-oyelowo-and-colman-domingo

As we come closer to the Academy Awards on February 22nd, we’ll be posting short profiles of each Best Picture nominee, attempting, in our own ways, to not only sum up what the movie is about, but why we believe it scored one of the eight coveted nominations, and why it could possibly take home the big prize come Oscar night. Enjoy!

I made it a conscious choice to have this Best Picture Profile on Selma be my final profile for the Oscar season. There are many reasons behind this.

Ok, two.  There are two reasons. But they’re good ones!

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Best Picture Profile: The Grand Budapest Hotel

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As we come closer to the Academy Awards on February 22nd, we’ll be posting short profiles of each Best Picture nominee, attempting, in our own ways, to not only sum up what the movie is about, but why we believe it scored one of the eight coveted nominations, and why it could possibly take home the big prize come Oscar night. Enjoy!

For his first ever Best Picture nomination, Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel is a good choice. It’s a film that takes all of Anderson’s previous directorial accomplishments (high comedy performances, immaculate production design, whimsy out the wazoo) and crams them together to create a treat as delectable as a Mendl’s pastry. Oh, for the universe where this could be considered a Best Picture frontrunner. But for this film to even be here at all, is a grand accomplishment indeed.

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Best Picture Profile: Boyhood

As we come closer to the Academy Awards on February 22nd, we’ll be posting short profiles of each Best Picture nominee, attempting, in our own ways, to not only sum up what the movie is about, but why we believe it scored one of the eight coveted nominations, and why it could possibly take home the big prize come Oscar night. Enjoy!

What is there left to even say about Boyhood? This singular, original, hugely emotional film has been the talk of the awards circuit since it came out last fall, and it deserves all the praise it gets. Director Richard Linklater spends the better part of three hours making the small feel enormous, giving voice to families around the world, and, well, literally making time fly right before your eyes. This isn’t just the best picture of this year, but a movie for the ages.

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Best Picture Profile: Whiplash

As we come closer to the Academy Awards on February 22nd, we’ll be posting short profiles of each Best Picture nominee, attempting, in our own ways, to not only sum up what the movie is about, but why we believe it scored one of the eight coveted nominations, and why it could possibly take home the big prize come Oscar night. Enjoy!

I won’t lie – Whiplash is an intense and stressful movie. This should come as no surprise, since the film focuses on an obsessive music student, Andrew Neiman (Miles Teller) striving for perfection while studying under a sadistic teacher (J.K. Simmons) who drives him to the absolute breaking point. This is meant to be stressful – both for Neiman, and for us, but the film isn’t simply an uncomfortable two hours. (Though it is.) It’s a destruction of the teacher-student genre, a fable on the concept of “hard work,” and an exploration of whether or not perfection can ever really be achieved.

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