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Jan 28, 2016
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Awards season is upon us, gents! This means that all your cinephile buds are going to be yapping about Oscar-worthy films that you should watch. No harm in doing so because a bulk of this year’s roster is worthy of your couch potato time. But to help you suss out which flicks are winners and which are a snore-chore to screen, we've prepared a list of personal faves in nine Academy Awards categories. Added bonus: this could help you gain some movie-junkie cred if you find yourself stuck in a conversation riddled with Oscar fanfare. You’re welcome.      

Actor in a Supporting Role
Nominees
Christian Bale, The Big Short
Tom Hardy, The Revenant
Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight
Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
Sylvester Stallone, Creed

FHM’s pick: Sly all the way!


Why: Although his hot daughters are enough to garner him critical acclaim, it was nostalgic to witness the 69-year-old reprise his role as Rocky Balboa with the same underdog charm fans of the sweet science fell hard for. As he played mentor to the son of his finest rival, taking to the sidelines posed a new challenge for the hardened boxer—delivering a TKO performance as an aged champion passing the torch (okay, gloves!) to the new guard.  

Actress in a Supporting Role
Nominees
Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
Rooney Mara, Carol
Rachel McAdams, Spotlight
Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl
Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

FHM’s pick: Like a new iPhone set for total world domination, Kate Winslet tramples over her competition as Joanna Hoffman, Steve Jobs’ marketing head and closest confidant.

Why: Although budding (and mighty-sexy) ingénues Alicia Vikander and Rooney Mara turned in heartbreaking performances in their respective movies (both of which should’ve been recognized as lead roles), going up against a titanic thespian (see what we did there?) like Winslet who can act the shit out of any material is Oscar suicide. Plus, all those long monologues she had to deliver while simultaneously making you laugh, cry, and empathize with Apple’s main man are a feat in their own right.

Animated Feature Film
Nominees
Anomalisa
Boy and the World
Inside Out
Shaun the Sheep Movie
When Marnie Was There

FHM’s pick: Riley’s chemically imbalanced brain blew our minds in Inside Out!


Why: Since 2015 was deffo the Year of the Feels, it would only be right that the, ehem, emotionally charged Pixar success that brought audiences Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust, and Fear dominate this category. Oh yeah, and let’s not forget the pink adorable atrocity that was Bing Bong.

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Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Nominees
The Big Short
Brooklyn
Carol
The Martian
Room

FHM’s pick: Saving Private Ryan…erm…The Martian.

Why: For the first time ever in his career, rescuing Matt Damon was as funny as it was nerve-racking to watch.

Writing (Original Screenplay)
Nominees
Bridge of Spies
Ex Machina
Inside Out
Spotlight
Straight Outta Compton
 
FHM’s pick: The tale of drugs, money, and stardom during the dawn of gangsta rap, Straight Outta Compton.


Why: Snubbed in most other categories this year, the retelling of rap group NWA’s rise and fall is a poignant look at a music revolution. The friendship and rivalry of hip-hop icons Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, and Eazy-E are an interesting addition to the music bio-pic almanac.

Directing
Nominees
The Big Short
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant
Room
Spotlight

FHM’s pick: OG badass director George Miller deserves recognition for the thrill-fest that was Mad Max: Fury Road.

Why: Choreographing a more than two-hour long car chase pregnant on twisted metal, high-octane action, and vividly stimulating storytelling is no joke! It was critically and commercially triumphant, proving that box-office draws need not sacrifice plot for explosive moviemaking. You can actually have both.  

Actor in a Leading Role
Nominees
Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
Matt Damon, The Martian
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl

FHM’s pick: Leonardo DiCaprio—finally!

Why: Even with powerhouse performances delivered by his co-nominees (Fassbender was a hoot as Jobs and Redmayne is not far from a two-in-a-row win), an unshaven, left-for-dead Leo will (hopefully) claim the Oscar that has eluded him for years. All he needed to get the award was wrestle a deadly bear. Who knew? Director Alejandro González Iñárritu, that’s who.

Actress in a Leading Role
Nominees
Cate Blanchett, Carol
Brie Larson, Room
Jennifer Lawrence, Joy
Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years
Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn
 
FHM’s pick: As an abused kidnap victim raising a son in a bleak room away from reality, starlet Brie Larson nabs a killer breakthrough in Room.

Why: When the Academy isn’t paying homage to fading oldies about to bite the dust, they find solace in awarding young talent (See: J-Law). Larson is captivating as a damaged young mom who must explain the outside world to her unknowing son when she’s saved from the hands of her sadistic captor.

Best Picture
Nominees
The Big Short
Bridge of Spies
Brooklyn
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Room
Spotlight

FHM’s pick: Hands down, Mad Max: Fury Road was THE picture of the year.

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Why: Blazingly gorgeous chicks. Cars on a rampage. Charlize Theron embodying the potent complexities of a ferocious and powerful woman. Critics came to their knees. Audiences lapped it up. Feminists wet their pants in glory! It may have been dizzying to watch at first, but admit it, once the ignition was started, you couldn’t take your eyes off of it.

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