The 88th Annual Academy Awards

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LOGO During the past few years television has far surpassed the motion picture industry when it comes to offering quality visual entertainment. In addition to providing a number of quality network programs, many of the miniseries on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Showtime, and HBO have been truly outstanding. Therefore because the small screen has been so good to us recently, we can forgive the medium for what it’s going to do to us this coming weekend.

And what its going to subject us to on Sunday is something that has become one of the longest, most overrated, most overhyped, most pretentious, most pompous, and most boring programs of the year. That’s right. It’s the 88th version of the annual Academy Awards, the yearly endurance test for film fans to see whether they can last until the final Oscar for best picture is announced.

This year may be a bit more interesting, however, because of the controversy involving the fact that not one African-American actor has received a nomination in any category. As a result Will Smith (He should have been nominated for “Concussion.) and his wife, Jada, Spike Lee, and Michael Moore plan to boycott the ceremony, and I’m sure there will be others. To make things even more intriguing, however, this year’s host is Chris Rock, and I can’t wait to hear his opening monologue.

But the show must go on, and so let’s take a look at the nominees and projected winners in the major categories.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

The nominees are Sylvester Stallone sly for “Creed,” Mark Ruffalo ruffalo for “Spotlight,” Mark Rylance rylance for “Bridge of Spies,” Tom Hardy hardy for “The Revenant,” and Christian BaleChristian Balefor “The Big Short.” The favorite in this category seems to be Stallone for bringing an aged Rocky Balboa back to the big screen. I don’t know about you, but I would never bet against Rocky.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

The nominees are AlicianVikander alicia for “The Danish Girl,” Kate Winslet wins for “Steve Jobs,” Rooney Mara mara for “Carol,” “Jennifer Jason Leigh leigh for “The Hateful Eight,” and “Rachel McAdams rachel for “Spotlight.” Your guess is as good as mine in this category, but the smart money seems to be going with Vikander

BEST ACTOR

The nominees are Leonardo DiCaprio Leonardo DiCaprio for “The Revenant,” “Michael Fassbender Michael Fassbender for “Steve Jobs,” Matt Damon Matt Damon for “The Martian,” Eddie Redmayne Eddie Redmayne for “The Danish Girl,” and Bryan Cranston Bryan Cranston for “Trumbo.” This one should be a no brainer. DiCaprio has won for best actor at all the other film-award shows, and this one should be no different.

 

BEST ACTRESS 

The nominees are Brie Larson Brie Larson for “Room,” Saoirse Ronan Saoirse Ronan                                                                    for “Brooklyn,” Cate Blanchett Cate Blanchett for “Carol,” Jennifer Lawrence Jenifer Lawrence for “Joy,” and Charlotte Rampling Charlotte Rampling for “45 Years.” Larson, who already has picked up some awards for her work in “Room,” is the big favorite in this category.

BEST DIRECTOR

The nominees are Alejandro G. Inarritu alejandr for “The Revenant,” George Miller millerfor “Mad Max: Fury Road,” Adam McKay makay for “The Big Short,” Tom McCarthy tom for “Spotlight,” and Lenny Abrahamson lenny for “Room.” It would be no surprise to see Inarritu take home the Oscar in this category.

BEST PICTURE 

The nominees are the following:

“BROOKLYN”

 

“BRIDGE OF SPIES”

 

“MAD MAX: FURY ROAD”

 

“THE MARTIAN”

 

“THE BIG SHORT”

 

“THE REVENANT”

 

“ROOM”

 

“SPOTLIGHT”

 

Because it already has been showered with awards, “The Revenant” is a fairly safe bet here, but some critics are picking “The Big Short” to win the big prize of the night. Frankly, I wouldn’t vote for either of them; instead my choice would be “Room” because it is so different.

All the questions will be answered during what will undoubtedly be a marathon telecast on Sunday. The DVR is a wonderful thing for shows like this, but be very careful because last year I wore out my fast-forward button.

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