Gold Standard: 'The Revenant' notches more wins. Is Oscar next?

Welcome to the Gold Standard, the newsletter from the Los Angeles Times that helps guide you through the ins and outs of the awards season, leading up to the Oscars. I'm Glenn Whipp, The Times' awards columnist and your newsletter host. We're just about a week away from the Oscars. Academy members must vote by Tuesday at 5 p.m. PST. Let's take a look at what voters are talking about in the days leading up to the deadline.

Why 'The Revenant' has been winning everything lately


Alejandro G. Inarritu's brutal revenge tale (or "spiritual journey," if you're of like mind with the filmmaker) won five awards, including best picture, from the British Film Academy on Sunday. These wins follow Inarritu's victory with the Directors Guild the week before. 

Does this make "The Revenant" an inevitable Oscar winner for best picture? The signs seem to be pointing in that direction, as I lay out here. I'm sticking with "The Big Short" though. Call me a contrarian. Fine. I simply know too many academy members who are burying "The Revenant" on their preferential ballots.

Oscar-nominated documentary pressures Pakistan on 'honor killings'

I wrote a short piece about Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy's Oscar-nominated documentary short, "A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness," which tells the story of Saba Qaiser, a young woman who survived her father and uncle's attempt to murder her in what is known in Pakistan as an "honor killing."

On Monday, Obaid-Chinoy met with Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who has promised to close the legal loopholes that allow men to get away with murdering women on the grounds that they shamed their families.

"This is a huge deal," Obaid-Chinoy told me in an interview for a follow-up piece that will run soon. She will screen the movie Monday in Pakistan for Sharif, members of the national assembly, the senate and other dignitaries.

"As a social justice documentary filmmaker, I am living out my dream," Obaid-Chinoy said. "When -- and I don't say if -- but when we change the law, I think that in a country like Pakistan, it will give others a lot of hope about how we can achieve change in the country."

'Room' star Brie Larson takes a deep breath before Oscar night

I'm pretty sure Larson will win the lead actress Oscar. You simply don't take every other award leading up to the Oscars and then go home empty-handed.

Gina Piccalo profiled her for The Envelope. Larson continues to be grounded and genuine as her career and life have changed.

"If you can get a step past the fear that people are going to hurt you, [being famous is] actually the most loving experience," said Larson. "You have a friend wherever you go. There's someone who feels they have participated in your life."


I'd love to hear from you. Email me at

Can't get enough about awards season? Follow me at @glennwhipp on Twitter.