Oakland A’s pitcher and long time film aficionado John Axford is well known for predicting who will win the Oscar every year. This year was no different. Here were his choices for this year:
He’s generally great at this; one year Ax went a perfect 18/18 on his predictions. Would he repeat that incredible performance for this year’s Academy Awards?
Axford did not predict every category, but let’s see the big misses of the night.
The biggest upset for most people (and on Axford’s prediction list) was “Bridge of Spies”‘ Mark Rylance’s win for Best Supporting Actor over fan pick and sentimental favorite Sylvester Stallone for “Creed”. I didn’t see “Bridge of Spies” – it looked interesting but also boring – but I did see “Creed” and absolutely loved it. Stallone was playing Rocky Balboa but returned to the character’s roots, the reason that many of us fell in love with Rocky in the first place. The mixture of tenderness, toughness, and resignation to being a lonely loser was back. He infused that movie with heart and love.
Another huge upset of the evening was Best Picture. Many critics, and Axford as well, had the Leo DiCaprio vehicle “The Revenant” winning best picture. Others thought that “The Martian” had a chance, while others were hoping to see fan favorite and critical darling “Mad Max: Fury Road” take home the Oscar. The winner was “Spotlight”, a film about the Boston Diocese priest sex scandal.
The last big upset that no one saw coming was winner of Best Original Song. Axford, along with pretty much everyone who predicts these things, had the Diane Warren/Lady Gaga penned “‘Til It Happens To You” from a rape documentary called “The Hunting Ground” winning this award. The song I enjoyed the most was “Earned It” but it’s from that terrible “Fifty Shades of Grey” movie, and I was sure it wouldn’t win just because of that fact alone. The real surprise was that a song from the most recent James Bond film won the award.
Now, Bond films in the past have had pretty good songs. Sometimes it’s the best part of the movie – “A View To A Kill” by Duran Duran? – and sometimes it heightens the film and sets the tone. All of the Shirley Bassey themes do this. Adele’s “Skyfall” won the Oscar for Best Original Song.
“Writing’s On The Wall” by Sam Smith, though? Really? Sorry, guys. The other two songs I mentioned that were nominated were way better. I think they just didn’t want to give it to “Fifty Shades of Grey” or Lady Gaga. Like that year that Bjork was nominated and one of the worst Bob Dylan songs ever written won instead.