The Harbinger Online

Oscars 2016 Preview


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The 88th Academy Awards will be hosted by comedian Chris Rock on Feb. 28. I believe that this year’s awards will for sure surpass the last ones. Last year I remember watching movies like Birdman and Imitation Game racking up awards; movies I had never even heard of. But this year, I feel different about the movies that were nominated. This year’s nominees range from kid friendly movies like Inside Out and Cinderella to stomach droppers like The Revenant and The Martian. Here are some of the movies that I think have the most Oscar buzz.

Straight Outta Compton (Writing: Original Screenplay):

Ever since my Snapchat story feed was overflowing with the Straight Outta Compton movie filter, I’ve been interested in this movie. If it was important enough to have its own Snapchat filter, it must have been worth it for me to spend $10 on a ticket. Straight Outta Compton is set in 1987 about the groundbreaking new rap group N.W.A. trying to make it big in in a poverty stricken town in southern Los Angeles. The movie follows the journey of five men as they navigate their way to fame. With the movie’s colorful dialect and exciting plot line, Straight Outta Compton was nominated for an Oscar in the category of Writing: Original Screenplay.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Film Editing, Original Score, Visual Effects, Sound Mixing)

Star Wars: The Force Awakens made $528 million on its first day in theaters, according to, so an Oscar nomination is not a surprise. 10 years after the last movie was released the series is still a huge hit with long time Star Wars junkies and new fans. The movie’s plot surrounds two main missions: to find the vanished Luke Skywalker and defeat the First Order, a new league of evil built from the ashes of the fallen Empire. While this movie brings back familiar faces such as Han Solo, Princess Leia and Chewbacca, you also leave the theater loving new characters like Finn, a previous Stormtrooper, Rey, a scavenger and BB-8, a droid who everyone is racing to possess. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is up for four Oscars in categories including Best Original Score and Best Visual Effects.

Cinderella (Costume Design)

If you don’t know the fairytale story of Cinderella, then there is a good chance you didn’t have a childhood. When I was little, I dreamed about the day when my fairy godmother would show up and turn me into a gorgeous princess. She then of course would transform my dog into a horse to pull my pumpkin carriage to the ball. But the modern retelling of the movie is more than just glass slippers and evil stepsisters. The thing that makes the new movie different from the classic fairytale are the visuals used throughout the film. The special effects, eye-catching settings and realistic characters are what make this movie stand out from the classic story. But the most charming thing about this movie are the costumes. Their vibrant colors and intricate designs are what have earned Cinderella an Oscars nomination for costume design. For Cinderella’s costume designer, Sandy Powell, it’s not unexpected to be nominated for such awards. She has already won three Academy Awards for her detailed costumes in Shakespeare in Love, The Aviator and The Young Victoria.

Room (Best Picture, Directing)  

This movie, while heartbreaking and nerve wracking at first, will leave you with a newfound respect for the littlest things in life. It portrays the life of an abducted and raped women, Ma. While trapped in a one room shed, Ma gives birth to a son named Jack. The “Room” is basically your dream shed: twin bed, one bathroom, a definitely not updated kitchen and lots of natural light with its one window on the ceiling. Attempting to create the feeling of safety for her son, Ma tells him that the “Room” is the entire world. What Jack doesn’t know isthat right outside their locked doors, a whole world awaits, ready to be discovered by him. After their desperate escape, you unravel the story of the unbreakable bond between a mom and her son, and their adventure to make up for lost time. The Room has been nominated for two Oscars, Best Picture, and Directing. If you are looking for a movie to really make you feel warm and fuzzy during 20 degree weather, then The Room is your go-to.

The Martian (Best Picture, Film Editing, visual effects, Production Design, Sound Editing, writing: adapted screenplay)

The Martian is the movie that will have you racking your brain for the answer to this question: is life possible on other planets? The movie takes place on Mars where Astronaut Mark Watney has been abandoned by his crewmates after he was falsely taken for dead after a violent storm damaged his ship. Now Astronaut Watney must find a way to signal back to Earth, grow enough food to last him for four years, and find a source of water on a planet known for being inhabitable to the human race.  With a star studded cast of Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain and Kristen Wiig, the movie is up for five Oscars, with nominations in Best Picture, Film Editing, Writing: Adapted Screenplay,Sound Editing, Production Design and Visual Effects. In my opinion, I think that The Martian could take the cake in all six of its nominated categories.

The Revenant (Best Picture, Film Editing, Makeup and Hairstyling, Visual Effects, Cinematography, Costume Design, Directing, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing)

The night of the Oscars, my twitter feed is full of one thing and one thing only: will Leonardo DiCaprio finally be able to take home an Oscar for Best Actor? With his intense role in The Revenant, he has been able to earn himself another nomination for the award. But the night could end in victory or another year of crying DiCaprio memes. The movie is the story of one frontiersman’s journey home after being brutally attacked by a bear. He is then betrayed by his fellow friends and frontiersman and is left for dead in critical condition, Hugh Glass, DiCaprio,must find a way to navigate back to his homeland during a cruel winter. This action packed movie will give an adrenaline rush to any thrill seeker. The Revenant is up for 10 Oscars in categories such as Best Picture, Visual Effects, Costume Design, and Makeup and Hairstyling.  

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