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The Oscar Nominations Sucked Hard

Friday 15 January 2016

From the inclusion of films with middling reviews to the exclusion of any non-white performers in the acting categories, this year’s Oscar nominations were a mixed bunch, to put it kindly. At Spindle we were so incensed we simply had to vent our frustration, so here our film writers Stephanie Coffey and Thomas Dearnley-Davison provide you with an angry guide to the films up for awards.

Best Picture

The Big Short

T: I don’t need the financial crisis mansplained to me. Buh-bye.

S: To quote my friend Rich Sibblies “it’s the movie where everybody is wearing a wig.” So in the spirit of Amy and Tina we’ll call this “Explosion at the Wig Factory II”.

T: Agreed.



Bridge of Spies

S: I don’t even have time to be funny about this one. No. Just no.

T: I’m sure it’s very worthy and all. And I’m sure it has many match-fades to the stars and stripes, because Spielberg. Not my cup of tea really.




S: You know this seems like a nice story that my Irish Nan would tell me.  

T: That’s why I loved this movie. It reminded me of my dear Irish Nan. #immigranttears.



Mad Max: Fury Road

S: You know, I didn’t hate this movie. I never thought it would be an Oscar film, but I’m so angry at awards season I’m kind of like fuck it. GO MAD MAX!

T: I like your chutzpah. I haven’t seen it…I look forward to catching this late at night half-cut and sort-of remembering that it’s pretty good the next day.

mad max


The Martian

S: I watched this on a plane. I was all like fine, I’m on a plane, I’ll watch Interstellar II and find out what happened when Matthew McConaughey left Matt Damon on Mars. I turned it off after 20 minutes and switched to Hot Pursuit starring Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara. Hot Pursuit is a better film than The Martian.



The Revenant

T: Oh God, FINE I’ll go and see this. But I just want people to know I really, really don’t want to. It seems unnecessarily gruelling. I did not enjoy Birdman, so the reviews saying this movie is the best thing since sliced bread do not particularly move me.

S: Honestly, Iñárritu’s wild hair and his goatee. His fervour for life and art make me believe he  knows something I don’t. I’m with Thomas – I really don’t want to see this but, like, I have to.



S: Read my review of Room right here on Spindle! *plugs own work*

room image



S: Am I the only one that feels like I would have cared more about this film in 1993?

T: Where the fuck is Carol?! This list is completely null and void without a nomination for Carol. And 45 Years. This whole list stinks of old white dude. What do you think?

S: I think Inside Out should be Best Picture of the Year. IT’S ABOUT A LITTLE GIRL’S FEELINGS.



Bryan Cranston – Trumbo

S: “I don’t understand the question, and I won’t respond to it.” – Lucille Bluth

bryan cranston trumbo


Matt Damon – The Martian

S:… see above.


Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant


T: Leo’s going to get this, right? There’s not much else to say here.


Michael Fassbender – Steve Jobs

S: Michael Fassbender as Steve Jobs inspires an unexplained rage in me. Also it’s not your turn Fassbender and we all know you can do better than this. Just patiently wait your turn in the checkout line and you’ll be cashed out soon.

steve jobs michael fassbender


Eddie Redmayne – The Danish Girl

T: Eddie’s performance is absolutely atrocious. I have no idea how he was nominated. 

S: Eddie, you’re like the boy in drama class where we’re like… Okay Eddie, we get it. You’re good. Just let someone else have a turn in the improv circle.



Cate Blanchett – Carol

S: We love you, Cate. Cate would graciously just give it to Brie.

T:  If only it was two months ago, Cate would have swept this. To be fair, Cate has two Oscars so can probably afford to give someone else a go.

carol slider


Brie Larson – Room

T: I’m guessing this will go to Brie Larson? Brie is great so I’m happy for her to get this.

S: You’re very good, Brie. And you’re also very charming and likeable. I would be very fine with you receiving an award. I still love you as Kate Gregson from United States of Tara. Best show. Bring back Tara.


Jennifer Lawrence – Joy

T: I wish they’d have booted out Jennifer Lawrence in favour of Lily Tomlin.

S: If I could somehow time travel, I would erase JLaw’s win for Silver Linings Playbook and then I’d be okay with Joy being her first win, but I’m sorry she cannot have another one.


Charlotte Rampling – 45 Years

T: HOORAY for Charlotte Rampling. I’m so happy. Brilliant film, magnetic performance.


Saoirse Ronan – Brooklyn

S: You’re very talented, Saoirse! Don’t worry, babe. Your Oscar is coming soon!

T: Yeah and I think she knows that, so we cool this year.


Supporting Actor

Christian Bale – The Big Short

Tom Hardy – The Revenant

Mark Ruffalo – Spotlight

Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies

Sylvester Stallone – Creed


S: OMG this category blows. My vote is for Mark Ruffalo because he usually adds value to most films. I am blindly assuming he made Spotlight better.

T: Yeah I wouldn’t be upset if Ruffalo took it. Go Mark! Why not give it to Sylvester Stallone, just for a laugh?

S: It’s not funny to make Sylvestor Stallone an Oscar winner. This is like when Three 6 Mafia won an Oscar.

T: What the hell is Three 6 Mafia?

S: It’s 2006, the handsome Jon Stewart is hosting and Three 6 Mafia wins Best Original Song for the acclaimed “It’s Hard Out Here For a Pimp.” Queen Latifah announces the winner and can’t even contain her confusion. Jon Stewart utters the famous quote “I just want to make something very clear: Martin Scorsese, zero Oscars; Three 6 Mafia, one.”

T: Oh god I remember! THEY BEAT DOLLY PARTON FOR BEST SONG. Sacrilege. Also, ‘the handsome Jon Stewart’? Okay Mom.

S: I happen to find Jon Stewart very attractive. He was a mediocre host, but still.


Supporting Actress

Jennifer Jason Leigh – The Hateful Eight

Rooney Mara – Carol

Rachel McAdams – Spotlight

Alicia Vikander – Ex Machina

Kate Winslet – Steve Jobs

T: Firstly, Rachel McAdams stole Jane Fonda’s nomination. I mean I’m sure she’s a nice girl and all but it’s fucking J. Fo, for Christ’s sake. Rooney Mara and Alicia Vikander are both leads, so shouldn’t be here anyway. Who’s going to take this? Winslet just won the Globe…do we think she’s the frontrunner here? OH GOD we could have Kate and Leo winning on the same night! Amazing.



S: No no no. Thomas, Kate’s fine. She won for The Reader. We don’t want a Meryl repeat where she wins for a crap film. And let the Kate and Leo thing go. She married Ned Rocknroll, we can’t trust her love life anymore.

T: As Amy Lavelle said here on Spindle, “I don’t know which is more offensive; his first name or his last”

S: Kudos, Amy. You’re going to change your last name to Rocknroll and you’re like you know what would sound really cool with that… Ned?

T: Also, I did not like The Reader.

S: Well that’s something we will need to discuss, in length, over Skype. Because she was amazing. But in anycase, Kate does not need a Best Supporting and especially not for this crap Steve Jobs film where she didn’t do anything.

T: Okay then who deserves it? I’d be happy with Rooney.

S: Alicia Vikander is giving me major big star vibes and I want her to win everything. Actually, wait. If this is how I feel then she should not win Best Supporting as it can be the kiss of death and she’s a lead! Fine I’ll be okay with Rooney. She’s quaint.

T: You haven’t seen Carol, which makes you gaycist.

S: YOU STOLE IT FROM ME. You stole Carol and Brooklyn and Suffragette! Damn UK release dates.

T: I’m sorry the release dates changed and I got to review it first

S: I’m also curious as to why Rachel McAdams specifically stole J.Fo’s nod…?

T: J.Fo was a shoo-in the whole time, and Rachel McAdams was a maybe at best. All the other nominees were locked-in quite a while ago, ergo Rachel McAdams stole J.Fo’s nomination. Rachel McAdams is really short. I saw her in Toronto at the LCBO at Dundas and Dovercourt one time.



Lenny Abrahamson – Room

Alejandro G Iñárritu – The Revenant

Tom McCarthy – Spotlight

Adam McKay – The Big Short

George Miller – Mad Max: Fury Road



T: Lenny Abrahamson for Room but no Todd Haynes for Carol? Really? Isn’t the whole thing about Room that the film is less good than the performances? How the fuck did this happen? I am so upset. All these other people can fuck off. I’m sure Iñárritu will probably take it and we can all go take a nap.

S: Yes. Iñárritu will win. He will talk about the passion of filmmaking and I will be like YES Iñárritu! I’m into this!

T: He won last year. He needs to back the fuck up.

S: Well then they should have included someone who is a decent contender. Like if Ridley was there they could be doing the Stallone thing and be like “here take this, here’s an award 30 years later.” Or as my friend Keri Wallace said “It could be his Training Day” Shout out to Keri Wallace who also cares a lot about pop culture.

T: I would have said Todd Haynes (obvs) but also Andrew Haigh for 45 Years. You know what? Let’s just fuck it all and include whoever directed Trainwreck or Sisters or Grandma or some other lady picture.

S: So our final decision is the director of Sisters? I’m okay with that.

T: Yes. Jason Moore should have been nominated for Sisters.

S: This is how little we care about this category. There is now a space in my brain that knows the Director of Sisters’ name.



Adapted Screenplay

The Big Short



The Martian


T: Everyone is wanking over The Big Short, but we all know this should go to Carol. Phyllis Nagy’s script is beautiful. But because MEN is the theme this year, it will go to Explosion in the Wig Factory II.

S: Thomas nailed it. I can’t add anything here at the risk of being redundant.


Original Screenplay

Bridge of Spies

Ex Machina

Inside Out


Straight Outta Compton

T: I bet this goes to Spotlight because it’s such an Important film with lots of well-meaning white men in it.

S: Spotlight lost to Philadelphia in 1993.

T: Inside Out. Hands down.


T: It’s one of the few films in the whole list that deals with women and feelings, and seeing as Carol ain’t gonna get shit then Inside Out should.

S: Agreed. Preach.





The Hateful Eight

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Revenant


T: Well Steph, you’re the cinematographer so you tell me? I vote Carol, because they did a thing with a type of film and stuff (I can’t remember all the clever things about cameras I wrote in my review.)

S: Odd category. My money is on The Revenant because they went into the wilderness and the cinematographer froze to death.

T: Ugh, how long are they going to bang on about the wilderness element? You’re a Canadian cinematographer. You go out into the cold with a camera and freeze to death all the time. You should have an Oscar. In fact, I’m changing my vote. Stephanie Coffey for the win.

S: YES. STEPHANIE COFFEY for the win. I’m going to be a big star. But these people are in Hollywood. They don’t understand snow there so they are very impressed with these men and the elements.

the hateful eight


Costume Design



The Danish Girl

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Revenant

T: I vote Carol once again. Magnificent. I hope The Danish Girl doesn’t get it because I want that film to go away empty-handed and think about what it’s done. Also, Sandy Powell is a legend so if she wins for Carol or Cinders then I’d be happy.

S: Sigh. There were A LOT of dresses in The Danish Girl. So. Many. Pretty. Dresses. I would be happy with Carol or The Danish Girl.  

the danish girl uk release


Best Make-up and Hair

Mad Max: Fury Road

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

The Revenant

T: Firstly, what is this film called The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared? The Academy are now making films up just to see if anyone’s paying attention in the smaller categories.

S: This is like hour three of the show. Everyone’s bored and like “fuck, just get to Best Actor and Actress so I can turn it off and find out about Best Picture tomorrow.” They throw in this fake film just to see if you’ve fallen asleep. The Academy is all like ‘Gotcha.” The Academy, they’re such pranksters.

T: Will Mad Max get this one? Oh God, it’s going to be The Revenant isn’t it!

S: You know what? I was going to go on a diatribe about how the makeup was actually really good in Mad Max. I was really impressed. I forgot it’s a bunch of old white dudes who are going to be really impressed with how Leo has icicles on his face in the wilderness.

T: Can we just refer to Revenant as The Wilderness from now on?

S: You took the words right out of my mouth…


Production Design

Bridge of Spies

The Danish Girl

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian

The Revenant

T: Oof, tricky: how do you put costume stuff against sci-fi stuff? The Academy leans towards costume dramas in these categories so I’m thinking Danish Girl or Wilderness takes it. Although there is a lot of love for Mad Max, so it could swoop in and take it.

S: I know you still think The Danish Girl should sit in the corner and think about what it did. But those sets were really stunning. I’m going to vote Danish Girl. If they only win the side awards, like the ones where really talented people tried really hard, is that okay?

T: Okay fine. I will accept craft awards because that was the only thing good about it.


T: There are some other awards, but I don’t care about those.

S: Phew I didn’t want to do anymore either. Production Design is where I draw the line. I really only pay attention to the other awards because I’m in this pool where forty bucks is at stake…