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Tom Cook’s Oscar Pix

The films nominated for an Oscar

The Oscars will be awarded next week (Feb. 28th). Will your favorite movie—your favorite actor—win? The Revenant? The Room? Spotlight? DiCaprio? Winslet? We asked Film Professor Tom Cook for his expert predictions:

Best Picture: The Revenant

Best Director: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (The Revenant)
Possible Spoiler (and my pick): George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road)

Best Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant)

Best Actress: Brie Larson (The Room)

Best Supporting Actor: Sylvester Stallone (Creed)

Best Supporting Actress:  Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs)
Possible Spoiler (and my choice): Rachel McAdams (Spotlight)

We also asked Prof. Cook about the recent allegations of racism within the Academy. “The battle cry used to be ‘Why aren’t there more good roles for women?’,” he said.  “Now it is about minority representation. Last year’s nominations (from 2014) saw such diverse topics and nominations as from 12 Years a Slave (for picture, director, actor, supporting actress), and Barkhad Abdi nominated for Captain Phillips.  This past year (2015), there weren’t many films centered around minorities in which a black actor, Hispanic actress, etc., could lead. Is the Academy supposed to draw from some nearly non-existent pool just to be politically correct?”

His solution? Vote with your ticket stubs. “If people (meaning society/the audience) want to see more diverse issues addressed on the big screen there is one definite way to assure that–attend the films that deal with these topics, because Hollywood is about one thing: MONEY! Star Wars made a bazillion dollars in 1977 and then we got a decade of special effects extravaganzas (to the detriment of story). If audiences really want to impact content in cinema, they need to back it up with attendance, because Hollywood will follow right along to get those dollars.”

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