The Academy of Old Farts and Outdated Sciences holds the option of nominating 10 movies for Best Picture, but it chose only eight, leaving out work crafted by people of color (Straight Outta Compton), directed by women (Marielle Heller's The Diary of a Teenage Girl), and starring transgender actors (Tangerine). OK, Compton did get nominated for best screenplay, but it's written by two white people. WTF!
Spike Lee and Jada Pinkett Smith are calling for a boycott of the February 28th Oscar ceremony in protest against the nearly 6,000 Academy voting members (who are 94 percent white). Not one of the 20 acting nominees is a minority. The same thing happened last year when David Oyelowo, so brilliant as Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, was among the snubbed, along with director Ava DuVernay. No disrespect to the new crop of nominees, but we should be looking for winners among the best of the best, not the best of the rest.
Should Win: Spotlight
Tom McCarthy's film took a hot topic (the Boston Globe's Pulitzer-winning report on Catholic Church cover-ups of abuse by pedophile priests), executed it with precision and expelled all Hollywood bullshit in the most iconic film about journalism since All the President's Men.
Will Win: The Revenant
The Oscar usually goes to the film with the most nominations. The Revenant has 12; Mad Max: Fury Road got 10. If Spotlight has to go down to any other film, Max would be my choice, though Adam McKay's all-star financial farce, The Big Short, is picking up speed as a spoiler.