According to all the polls and many of the experts, Leonardo DiCaprio is destined to win an Oscar next Sunday. And "The Revenant" will pick up an Oscar for best film. Of course, predictions are unpredictable because no one can see into the future.
USA Today didn’t make a prediction, but it did assert that "The Big Short", "Spotlight" and "The Revenant" are the odds on favorites, simply because each film landed another prestigious award. And according to USA Today neither "The Martian" nor "Mad Max: Fury Road" has much of a chance.
One factor that most experts don’t mention is hate. A lot of people hate "The Revenant". Count me as one of the haters. To me, "The Revenant" is nothing more or less than a poor re-make of Richard Harris’ "Man In The Wilderness", released in 1971. And DiCaprio is no Richard Harris. "The Wolf of Wall Street" is more his cup of tea or "Catch Me If You Can". With all due respect, he just doesn’t have the ruggedness necessary to pull off his role in "The Revenant".
"The Martian" was okay, but I expected more when I walked into the theater. From my perspective, the flick’s primary problem is isolation. Essentially, Matt Damon is playing to the theater audience for most of the film. He’s isolated from that which makes movies interesting: human interaction. Damon, of course, is brilliant. But the structure of the film is too limited.
Mad Max: Fury Road
"Mad Max: Fury Road" is my choice for best flick. And Charlize should have been nominated for Best Actress. Naturally, because it’s an action-flick, no one takes it seriously. So Charlize didn’t get the nod. And the director, George Miller, did a stellar job of resurrecting the "Mad Max" storyline, which most people, including me, figured was next to impossible, especially after the "Thunderdome" fiasco. Still, the film might take home a few secondary Oscars, like one for best special effects. But for the most part, it probably will end up an also-ran.
Some experts think "The Big Short" is in the running because of the political ramifications: too big to fail and all the bail-out baggage. Doubtful, but as I mentioned above, predictions are a dime a dozen. We won’t know until it’s announced.