Movie News & Reviews

Oscar’s best picture winner is anyone’s guess (but the speeches might get better)

Leonardo DiCaprio (left) and his winning “Revenant” director, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, at the Directors Guild of America Awards last Saturday.
Leonardo DiCaprio (left) and his winning “Revenant” director, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, at the Directors Guild of America Awards last Saturday. Invision/AP

Three-way race

By now in awards season, we can usually feel confident about predicting the Academy Award for best picture. But this year: Who knows? That’s because Oscar’s most reliable forecasters each picked a different movie for their top prize. First, in January, the Producers Guild of America anointed the journalism drama “Spotlight.” Then the Screen Actors Guild honored the financial crisis dramedy “The Big Short.” And then last weekend the Directors Guild of America gave its big trophy to Alejandro G. Inarritu, who directed “The Revenant.” Those three guilds usually all pick the same film, including last year’s “Birdman.”

Oscar’s sure bets

All of that uncertainty stands in contrast to the acting races. Prognosticators are saying that SAG winners Leonardo DiCaprio of “Revenant” and Brie Larson of “Room” have the best actor and actress races pretty well sewn up. The supporting categories aren’t as certain. Sylvester Stallone, believe it or not, may be the front-runner for “Creed.” And Alicia Vikander seems to have the edge for “The Danish Girl,” but don’t rule out Rooney Mara for “Carol” or Kate Winslet for “Steve Jobs.”

No thank-you?

Meanwhile, the producers of the Feb. 28 Oscar ceremony want to make sure the viewers aren’t bored by long acceptance speeches — thanking the agent, the baby-sitter and other people we don’t really care about. So they announced this week that all of those thank-yous must be submitted in advance, so the text can appear in a scroll across the bottom of your TV screen. The theory is that the winners can then use their allotted 45 seconds to stir our emotions. But that’s assuming they can deliver something meaningful, as, say, Lupita Nyong’o did for “12 Years a Slave,” and not more drivel.

They can’t “Let It Go”

Just when you thought you could get that song out of your head comes news that Disney is bringing “Frozen” to Broadway for spring 2018. Well, what did you expect from such a blockbuster? It’s already been a big theme park attraction and touring ice show. This will be the ninth musical the Mouse House has adapted for the big stage. The movie’s writers will all return, along with director Alex Timbers (“Peter and the Starcatcher”). No cast announcement yet.

Sharon Hoffmann: 816-234-4457, @Sharonakc

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