Oscars 2016: Technical Awards, Part 2

While a Mad Max sweep in the technical awards regarding special effects and sound is expected, it isn’t so clear cut in the remaining categories that focus on the construction of the film. This is because Mad Max faces some steep competition in such categories and with no clear frontrunner headed into this year’s Oscars, these categories could go in any direction.

Best Cinematography

The RevenantAnyone outside of Emmanuel Lubezki winning the Oscar in this category would be a true upset. It doesn’t matter that Lubezki has won the Oscar in the category for the last two years because, yet again, he has established himself as one of the best cinematographers in the industry. His work in The Revenant, which was a mixture of war-scene long-shots and camera work that had the audience experience the action within the film, was astonishing, brutal, and mesmerizing all at the same time.

Will Win: The Revenant
Could Win: Mad Max: Fury Road
Should Win: The Revenant

Best Film Editing

The Big ShortIt’s roughly a 50/50 shot that whatever wins in this category will also go onto winning the Best Picture Oscar as well. Currently the supposed frontrunner for Best Picture, based upon its recent PGA win, is The Big Short. Therefore, it would seem more likely that this category would go in the favor of The Big Short (Granted that it were to win Best Picture). However, both Mad Max and Star Wars were expertly edited films that needed a sharp focus to make their films work. The editing in Spotlight was essential to the film’s success since it essentially carried the film’s narrative, which was primarily dialogue based. Lastly, The Revenant was storytelling at its finest, which is largely due to its editing. As evidenced from the reasons mentioned, this category could go in any direction.

Will Win: The Big Short
Could Win: The Revenant
Should Win: The Revenant

Best Production Design

Mad Max 011950s Russia, 1920s Denmark, A dystopian war zone, The planet Mars, and the 1820s frontier: This category doesn’t get any any more diverse than this year. Often in this category, voters lean towards awarding set designs that either capture a historical era perfectly or set designs that have re-imagined visuals to create an entirely new world. Mad Max seems the most likely to win in this category, but the attention to detail in The Danish Girl will be hard to ignore, which provided for a visually appealing film. However, it is The Revenant that should get the acknowledgment and the Oscar in this category, whose set design allowed for the fierce environment within the film to essentially become its own character.

Will Win: Mad Max
Could Win: The Danish Girl
Should Win: The Revenant

Best Score

The Hateful EightAfter his Golden Globe win for The Hateful Eight, his first Western score in nearly 40 years, Ennio Morricone has the momentum and the sentimental vote on his side. Despite recently being awarded an Honorary Oscar for his lifetime of work, Morricone has never won an Oscar for his work and this may be the last opportunity to award the legendary composer with his first Oscar. Sentimentality aside, Morricone’s score is what made The Hateful Eight a great film. The score was the highlight of the film and Morricone deserves recognition for that. John Williams is Morricone’s only real threat and he could sneak in with a win if voters are influenced by their Star Wars nostalgia. Lastly, Carter Burwell’s score for Carol, which was a score that was poignant, beautiful and heartbreaking all at the same time, could be the upset in this category if Morricone and Williams cancel each other out.

Will Win: The Hateful Eight (Ennio Morricone)
Could Win: Star Wars (John Williams)
Should Win: The Hateful Eight

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