2015 was obviously a crazy year and very closely competitive, and of course it’s not over until Oscar night — Sunday, 2.28. If one thing is clear it’s that the so-called “experts” don’t know jack about the Best Picture race. They were totally taken by surprise by The Revenant‘s Golden Globe triumph; ditto Alejandro G. Inarritu‘s Best Director win. And only…what, two know-it-alls (Sasha Stone, Glenn Whipp) predicted that The Big Short would win the PGA’s Daryl F. Zanuck award?
If you ask me there’s only advocacy and determined advocates/detractors like myself. I didn’t care what the odds said last year; I was a committed Birdman guy no matter what. To me there’s only (a) “here’s what I want to win,” (b) “here’s what my latest insect antennae vibrations are telling me” and (c) “screw the odds and to some extent the guilds.”
And yet I’m comforted by the fact that the Gold Derby gang, thought to be sensitive to at least some of the currents out there, is still favoring Spotlight, HE’s personal favorite, to win the Best Picture Oscar. I realize that everyone is holding their water until the 1.30 SAG awards, and then, I guess, the 2.6 DGA awards. Plus I realize that final Academy voting doesn’t begin until 2.12.16 and then closes on 2.23.16. Things can shift around between now and then. Nothing is chiselled in stone except Leo.
But if The Big Short wins the SAG ensemble award, it’s fucking over.
I just can’t accept that The Big Short is going to take Best Picture. It just doesn’t have that vibe, that root system, that planted-in-the-garden feeling. It’s a good, sharp satire and yes, there’s a linkage out there between The Big Short and the Bernie Sanders campaign, etc. A vote for one is a vote for another…right?
To me, the bottom line is that The Big Short doesn’t have that emotional current and humanistic compassion that Spotlight has. It’s about a few guys who got rich off the meltdown of the home-mortgage market and the ’08 crash. Yes, it makes the right points and it captures the era and the age, but there’s no payoff or sense of fulfillment. I admire it but it’s too wonky. For me, at least.