Written by Various Artists


And the winner should be…

It’s Oscars weekend, so we’ve asked our film reviewers Yosra Osman, Lucy Reynolds and Hannah Dunleavy who should be taking home the Best Film gong.

Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant

“I climbed inside a dead horse, goddammit!” How will The Revenant fare on Oscars night? Photo: 20th Century Fox.

Bets at the ready: it’s the Oscars. Come Sunday night, I’ll be surrounded by as much chocolate and crisps as I can carry out of Tesco, ready for the hideously long affair that is the Academy Awards.

This late-night ritual is something I put myself through every year, simultaneously complaining about its sheer length and enjoying the awkward entertainment. Stoic loser faces, celebrities fluffing up their intro speeches, Chris Rock making jokes about the #Oscarssowhite controversy to a nervous crowd… I’m hoping for some pure hilarity.

I’m not a gambler, but I do like to take shots at who might be winning what. When it comes to Best Picture, this year’s a bit unpredictable – or rather, it’s unpredictable in that no one’s quite sure if it’ll go to heavyweight The Revenant or droll The Big Short.

One has Leonardo DiCaprio and a bear, the other has Christian Bale listening to terrible heavy metal music. I’ve realised I don’t really care who wins, but out of the eight nominees, I’ve got a good idea of who I‘d pick for the golden trophy.

Spotlight cast shot

“One of you needs to grow a beard like Leo’s to boost our chances.” Will Spotlight be this year’s overlooked dark horse? Photo: Open Road Films.

First place: I have real admiration for Spotlight. The sensitive and patient nature with which Tom McCarthy treats the topic of child abuse within the Catholic Church deserves accolades galore. As a love letter to investigative journalism, it demonstrates brilliant storytelling and shows that you can make a great thriller without the need for overbearing drama. Deliberately un-showy, this should be the winner of the showiest award in the entertainment industry.

Second place: Room is a dark, moving film that’s carried by two fantastic performances in Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay.

Last place: I don’t think it’s fair to choose last place, because all the films are pretty good. I haven’t seen Brooklyn, so I’m just going to go with Brooklyn.

Wildcard: Mad Max: Fury Road for being the most fun I’ve ever had with a headache.

If anyone else is foolish enough to stay up for the ceremony, I’ll be on Twitter tweeting some nonsense. Join in the fun.

Yosra Osman

"I've got a fiver on them playing Life on Mars if we win": Kristen Wiig and Chiwetel Ejiofor in The Martian. Photo: 20th Century Fox.

“I’ve got a fiver on them playing Life on Mars if we win.” Kristen Wiig and Chiwetel Ejiofor in The Martian. Photo: 20th Century Fox.

I’m with Yosra when it comes to The Revenant: I was impressed, I’m glad I’ve seen it, I’m not sure I ever want to watch it again. (If you haven’t seen it, here’s a tip: watch it on the big screen. And here’s a précis: It’s Touching the Void but with people shooting at him.)

Like so many Oscar candidates – including this year’s Spotlight and Room – it’s not exactly what you’d call an enjoyable film. In fact, were the prize handed out based on that criteria, this year’s runaway winner would be The Martian, based on the book by Andy Weir.

It’s a shit-load of fun and, despite what the posters would have you believe, it’s as much about the people on Earth as it is Matt Damon and the people on Earth include Kristen Wiig. Win. Also it has this piece of Donald Glover gold:

I can’t see anything beating The Revenant, but if it does, I’d like it to be Spotlight, a good old-fashioned bit of teamwork about a good-old-fashioned bit of teamwork. It’s exactly the right sort of low-key; it’s as good a representation of journalism as I’ve seen in recent years and it’s written and directed by little-talked-about Tom McCarthy, who is also responsible for my favourite film (The Station Agent).

But really, I’m not fussed. As long as it doesn’t got to Brooklyn. Anything but Brooklyn.

Hannah Dunleavy

As much as I’d love to see Room get the Oscar for Best Film, as I mentioned in my review of Lenny Abrahamson’s disturbing and heart-warming film, I don’t think we will see him lift that golden statue this year.

For me, I predict the winner will be The Revenant. Director Alejandro González Iñárritu, who won Best Film last year for Birdman, seems to be on a roll with this latest blockbuster which is by no means a comfortable watch. In fact, it’s a bloody, punishing ordeal.

But, alongside the tortuous scenes of suffering and extreme cold, it is also wondrous film-making and breathtaking cinematography. And, come on, will someone give Leonardo Chuffing DiCaprio an Oscar! Please. I’m worried for him.

I know the publicity cogs on the DiCaprio bandwagon are already whirring and it looks like he is a dead certain for Best Actor. And about time! If you’ve read anything about the making of The Revenant, you will know how gruelling the filming was. Sub-zero temperatures. Being soaked to the skin in freezing water for long periods of time (he should have been used to that from Titanic). Being forced to eat raw liver, even though he’s a vegetarian. Having to grow a really long beard which looks like a bugger to comb.

What more does he need to do, Hollywood? Make a snuff film? Because he’ll do it – mark my words! So give him the Oscar and no one gets hurt.

Lucy Reynolds

Comedians Sooz Kempner and Angela Barnes will be liveblogging the whole Oscar kit and caboodle here on Sunday night. Feel free to join them.

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Written by Various Artists

Some of Standard Issue's brilliant women's carefully crafted words for your reading pleasure.