Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Movies: Best of 2015 Includes Moving Michael Keaton into Lead Actor for “Spotlight,” Then it All Gets Easier


Here’s the deal. A few years ago I wrote that Kate Winslet should be moved from Supporting to Lead for “The Reader.” She was listed on the Oscar ballot as supporting actress for “The Reader.” I discovered that a letter goes out with Academy Award ballots stating that you can move an actor or actress from one category to another. It worked. Kate won Best Actress for her startling work in “The Reader.”

Earlier this year Michael Keaton came within a whisker of winning Best Actor for “Birdman.” He had already won a lot of other awards. He lost the Oscar to Eddie Redmayne, whose portrayal of Stephen Hawking in “The Theory of Everything” is heartbreaking.

This year there’s a big movement to get Leonardo DiCaprio an Oscar for “The Revenant.” I’m not against that. But Michael Keaton is sensational in “Spotlight.” The actors from that movie all wanted to be in supporting. This is a mistake. Keaton is the leader of that ensemble. And his character, Walter “Robby” Robinson holds the key to how the Globe dealt with the “Spotlight” story. Move him, I say. Put Keaton in lead and let’s see what happens.

Ballots go out or can be downloaded on Wednesday. Keep refreshing…

Best Film: (no order) Carol, Room, Spotlight, Inside Out, The Big Short, Straight Outta Compton, The Martian, Steve Jobs, Joy, Bridge of Spies

Best Actor: Michael Keaton, Matt Damon, Michael Fassbender, Steve Carell, Samuel L. Jackson; special mention Eddie Redmayne (but he just won this past year)

Best Actress: Lily Tomlin, Cate Blanchett, Charlotte Rampling, Brie Larson, Jennifer Lawrence

Best Supporting Actor: Mark Ruffalo, Mark Rylance, Christian Bale, Michael Shannon, Idris Elba

Best Supporting Actress: Jane Fonda, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Rooney Mara, Rachel McAdams, Kate Winslet

Best Director: Ridley Scott, Tom McCarthy, Todd Haynes, Steven Spielberg, David O. Russell

Movies that were inexplicably blown: Youth, Suffragette, Love and Mercy, The Walk

Performances that fell by the wayside: Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel in Youth, Joseph Gordon Levitt in The Walk, Carey Mulligan in Suffragette.

Great performances but not enough there to merit awards action: Liev Schreiber, Parker Posey, Tom Courtenay, Jessica Chastain, Diane Ladd-Isabella Rossellini-Elisabeth Rohm in “Joy,” Joan Allen

Best song: Til It Happens to You, Diane Warren, from The Hunting Ground

Best score: I loved Howard Shore’s music for “Spotlight.” Ennio Morricone’s music from “The Hateful Eight” is epic. Also really dug “The Circus of Machines” from “Steve Jobs” by Daniel Pemberton. It was a good year for scores. John Williams again? I can’t hear the difference anymore. Does anyone know anything more than the original “Star Wars” theme? It’s like John Barry’s “007” music.

Best cinematography: it’s a toss up between Ed Lachman for “Carol,” and Emmanuel Uzbeki for “The Revenant.” But don’t count out Robert Richardson’s saturated colors that make beautiful tableaux in “The Hateful Eight,” Dariusz Wolski for “The Martian,” or the way Danny Cohen made the “Room” seem bigger than it was.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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