Our Dalmatian Film Critic Picks the Best Picture Oscar Winner!


It’s the most wonderful time of year: awards season!

And while us canines mostly care about the Westminster Dog Show (props to my man CJ the Shorthaired Pointer! In your snout, Annabelle the Bulldog!), a few of us have been known to follow cinema as well.

Dogster asked me — a Dalmatian film critic named Lucky — to pick the Best in Show of human movies, the Best Picture Oscar. Thankfully, as a member of the Dog Academy, I get screeners sent directly to the couch I’m not actually allowed to be on.

As soon as my humans left, I jumped on the couch and started my screeners. (Dalmatian by Shutterstock.
As soon as my humans left, I jumped on the couch and started my screeners. (Dalmatian by Shutterstock)

Here’s what will win on Monday, and why the other nominees won’t.

Best Picture

The Big Short
Bridge of Spies
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Spotlight — MY PICK

Look, I’m a dog first, but a journalist second. Actually, that’s not entirely true. Second, I’m a firefighter. Third, I’d say probably a nighttime foot-warmer. Fourth, a slipper-hider. Fifth, I guess a newspaper-retriever. But THEN a journalist, for sure.

Wait: I forgot human-walker! Without me, they’d barely get any exercise. And then there’s my daily alarm-clock gig, all those constant territory-marking requirements, and of course my home-security role.

So, 10th, I am definitely a journalist.

Now, I admit, I haven’t actually seen Spotlight, but I get the gist of the plot and it has Oscar written all over it. And let’s be honest, I’m a Dalmatian — it had me at “Spot.”

Mark Ruffalo, from left, Rachel McAdams, Michael Keaton, and Brian d'Arcy star in "Spotlight." (Photo by Kerry Hayes/Open Road Films)
Mark Ruffalo, from left, Rachel McAdams, Michael Keaton, and Brian d’Arcy star in “Spotlight.” (Photo by Kerry Hayes/Open Road Films)

Here’s why the others won’t win

The Revenant

Experts are saying that this lengthy Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu masterpiece is a shoo-in to win top prize this year — I guess no one cares about all the computer-generated animal violence but me? I doubt our Dogster readers particularly loved the bloody bear fight, the elk hunting, or that time Leonardo DiCaprio literally crawled into a dead horse. Gross.

The Revenant is a little too long, a little too slow, and a little too gory — a few times I had to do that adorable thing dogs do where I covered my eyes with my paws.

Beyond the gruesome imagery, it was admittedly a beautiful-looking winter landscape captured on film. I was actually cold just watching this movie, though we can partially blame my short coat for that.

(Photo by Kimberley French/Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation)
Didn’t love the gore of The Revenant. (Photo by Kimberley French/Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation)

The Big Short

I know The Big Short was a comedy, but it hit a little too close to home for me. I lost my doghouse when the market crashed in the mid-2000s; I was just a pup then.

Honestly, I can’t even talk about this film anymore. Watching The Big Short was one time I was glad for my breed’s genetic predisposition for deafness.

Mad Max: Fury Road

I was really excited for this one, but that’s mostly because I thought it was subtitled Furry Road.

Then I got some more bad news.

Um, what happened to the dog from Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior? Forget Mel Gibson: that Blue Heeler was the star of the film — or so I’ve heard, that flick was way before my whelping.

I just Googled the dog’s fate from the 1981 film. OH. MY. BACKWARDS “DOG”! A frigging crossbow? Are you serious George Miller? No Oscar for you!

Not “Furry Road,” and I’m still upset about the dog dying in the second film. (Photo courtesy Kennedy Miller Entertainment)

I need to go throw up. (To be clear: That’s not because the fate of the dog made me sick — I ate a bunch of grass earlier.)

The Martian

A man alone on an alien planet without a man’s best friend? Sounds awful. How did the Golden Globes (which, ironically, is what I call tennis balls) label this flick a comedy?

I liked this movie, but dramedies are the mutts of the film world. Sure, they’re lovable, healthy family pets — but they won’t be taking home any blue ribbons.


Oooh, I HATE being sent to my room! It’s where my humans keep the clothes-cleaning machines, and the linoleum is chilly on the paws.


Moving along.


My friend Brooklyn played in Puppy Bowl XII — read all about his media day antics here. He’s crazy, right? Good dog, though.

Speaking of German Shepherds, where is the Academy Award nomination for Max? And no, not you again, Mad Max — we’re talking about the war-hero dog movie. I don’t care what Rotten Tomatoes says, that was just Hollywood at its finest.

You got robbed, Max.
You got robbed, Max. (Photo courtesy MGM)

Anyway, I found Brooklyn a bit confusing, though maybe that’s because I spent half of the movie just trying to read Saoirse Ronan’s nametag.

I don’t have much positive to say about the movie, but I will praise the actual borough for its sheer number of dog parks.

Bridge of Spies

Finally, a good old-fashioned spy flick gets a nod! In this one, like most, it’s us versus the Russians, and let me tell you — I never trust a Siberian Husky.

Thankfully, we have Tom Hanks on our side, and that guy knows a few things about winning Oscars. That said, his best movie of all time, Turner & Hooch, was snubbed by the Academy. So, Bridge of Spies, which doesn’t even have a French Mastiff in it, clearly has no real shot.

Read more by Tony Maglio:

About the author: Tony Maglio is a writer/reporter based in Howell, New Jersey. He inherited a cat, Rory, when his now-wife moved in. Together, they adopted a kitten, Griswold, to be a little brother and friend. That backfired terribly, so now they’re planning to add more chaos via a rescue dog. Tony is a TV journalist for Hollywood trade magazine TheWrap and an alum of the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. He was a freelance writer for five seasons of Saturday Night Live. Follow him on Twitter.

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