By Aditi Patwardhan. Posted on February 27, 2016
The Oscars season is upon us yet again! Arguably the most prestigious award of one of the biggest film industries in the world, The Academy Award holds a special place in every film lover's heart. As the year approaches its end, speculations and predictions for the winners begin and continue till the awards are announced!
By now, everyone must have watched, compared and analysed the films and have chosen their favourites. However, the films that will win the top honours is still a mystery. Not for long though. The Oscars ceremony will take place 28th February. The ceremony is to be simulcast on Star Movies and Star Movies Select HD channels in India at 5.30AM (IST) this Monday.
Now that the wait is almost over, let's take a look at the Best Picture nominees- The Revenant, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, Room, The Big Short, Brooklyn, Bridge of Spies and Spotlight. Here we have compiled an excellent series of interviews titled 'Academy Conversations', which sees the cast and crew of various films lead an interesting conversation into the making of the film.
Tom McCarthy’s journalistic thriller Spotlight is one of the frontrunners at the Oscars, which boasts of an excellent script, brilliant editing and an exemplary cast. The hard-hitting drama based on a real story has been described as the finest newspaper movie of its era, joining Citizen Kane and All the President’s Men in the pantheon of classics of the genre, by the Washington Post.
The discussion with the writer-director Tom McCarthy, actors Mark Ruffalo and Michael Keaton, writer Josh Singer, editor Tom McArdle and cinematographer Masanobu Takayanagi reveals how authenticity was the most important concerns since the beginning, the extensive research that went into developing the story and how the courage of the survivors was one of the driving factors for the entire team.
Lenny Abrahamson’s brilliant adaptation of Emma Donaghue’s beloved novel Room is another strong contender in the Best Picture category. An intense drama, it belongs to a genre of films the Academy is known for rewarding.
The WSJ has described the film as big as all outdoors in scope; poetic and profound in its exploration of the senses; blessed with two transcendent performances, by Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay; and as elegantly wrought as any film that has come our way in a very long while.
The conversation with director Lenny Abrahamson and actor Brie Larson reveals how Abrahamson convinced Donaghue for the adaptation, how they achieved the balance while not letting the film become neither soppy nor a voyeuristic version of the novel and how Larson brought alive the character.
Alejandro Iñárritu's survival drama The Revenant is leading the Oscars race with a whopping total of 12 nominations. Of course, for Leonardo DiCaprio's fans, this might be the film which will finally get Leo an Oscar.
The epic film portrays the journey of frontiersman Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio), who is betrayed by his companions during a fur trapping expedition in 1823. Based on Michael Punke's 2002 novel of the same name, The Revenant has been described as the most ambitious project of Iñárritu.
The conversation includes writer-director-producer Alejandro González Iñárritu, actor Leonardo DiCaprio, writer Mark L. Smith, supervising sound editor Randy Thom, visual effects supervisor Richard McBride and costume designer Jacqueline West.
Adam McKay’s damning comedy-drama about the Wall Street crash of 2008, The Big Short has received generally strong reviews, yet hasn't quite got the 'Awards Buzz'. However, the unusual choice of subject and the superb amalgamation of a serious topic with a lighter treatment might still find favour with the Academy voters.
According to The New York Times, The Big Short will affirm your deepest cynicism about Wall Street while simultaneously restoring your faith in Hollywood.
The discussion sees director-screenwriter Adam McKay, actor Steve Carell, and producers Jeremy Kleiner and Dede Gardner reveal how it was tough to convert the elusive script into a film, McKay's love for the book and how he considers it to be one of the best of our times.
The beautiful period drama Brooklyn despite its rich romantic storytelling and great performances, is one of the silent contenders in the Best Picture category. Unfolding like a picturesque Victorian novel, Brooklyn stars Saoirse Ronan as a young Irish woman torn between two lovers. Arguably the best performance by Saoirse Ronan, the film has the potential to get her the Oscar for Best Actress.
A discussion with Saoirse Ronan, director John Crowley and producer Finola Dwyer reveals how the real battle inside the mind of the lead character was translated to the screen, how casting the right actors brings out the chemistry between the characters and how Yves Bélanger was the most apt cinematographer for the film as he loves to capture faces and expressions.
Steven Spielberg's Bridge of Spies is an intense thriller set in the Cold War era. The film has received excellent reviews from the critics and movie lovers alike. One of Tom Hanks' best performances and Spielberg's impeccable direction makes this films a strong contender in the Best Picture category.
The discussion involves producer-director Steven Spielberg, writer Matt Sharmon, production designer Adam Stockhausen and costume designer Kasia Walicka Maimone. The discussion reveals how a tiny footnote in a book inspired the history-loving writer, why Spielberg thinks this is the most 'badass' performance of Tom Hanks and how Spielberg has a Soviet Union connection from his childhood.
The enthralling outer-space survival story where Matt Damon has yet again played a NASA botanist is yet another contender for the Best Picture category.
The Academy Conversation with the producer-director Ridley Scott, screenwriter Drew Goddard and composer Harry Gregson-Williams reveals how it was a challenge to ground the film into the physical reality and how Gregson-Williams went about composing the music for the film.
Mad Max: Fury Road, the latest film in the Mad Max franchise is as crazy, thrilling, gorgeous and awesome as anyone could really hope, and guaranteed to be one of the best big-screen spectacles of the year, according to Cinemablend.
In the interview actor Tom Hardy explains why directors keep covering his face, how Charlize Theron just learnt that 'fang' is an actual Aussie slang word and director George Miller comes clean about what type of car he drives.