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The Oscar For Best Picture (And Best Strain) Goes To...

The 88th Academy Awards are happening this Sunday, Feb. 28. What movie do you think will win the Oscar for Best Picture? Jay and Cybill are the hosts of The Smoking Screen, a weekly movie review podcast. They measure up the Best Picture nominees to prepare you for Oscar night and suggest the ideal cannabis accompaniment to maximize your viewing pleasure.

The Pretenders


Director: John Crowley
Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Domhnall Gleeson, Emory Cohen, Jim Broadbent

One of these films is not like the other. "Brooklyn" is the pleasant tale of an Irish immigrant who moves to the U.S. and finds love. While a decent, historical melodrama, this romance is simply outclassed by the other nominees in this category. Saoirse Ronan is captivating and talented beyond her years making the film worth a watch. However, it's fairly predictable, a bit rose-colored and self-indulgent at times. Listen to our full review of Brooklyn.

Cannabis Pairing: NYC Diesel. This hybrid is known for its complex and rich aroma, fitting of a trip to 1950's New York City. Its strong cerebral effects and deep, full-body relaxation will prepare you for love in the Big Apple.

Bridge of Spies

Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Will Rogers, Austin Stowell, Alan Alda

Make no mistake, Steven Spielberg's Cold War thriller, "Bridge of Spies", is a good film. The Coen brothers wrote a nice script. Tom Hanks is solid as always. Mark Rylance gives a performance easily deserving of an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. Name recognition played a big part in this nomination though, as the film is not Spielberg and Hanks at their best - despite relying on familiar Spielberg-ian elements. Creed or Straight Outta Compton should have received nominations over Brooklyn and Bridge of Spies.

Cannabis Pairing: AK-47. This sativa dominant hybrid gives you a long-lasting cerebral buzz that will keep you mentally alert for Cold War negotiations. Perfect for creative and social activities, you will be sure to make friends on all sides. Listen to our full review.

The Long Shots


Director: Lenny Abrahamson
Starring: Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Joan Allen, William H. Macy, SeanBridgers

We loved this film. The unnerving tale of a young woman and her son escaping captivity is easily one of the most engrossing cinematic experiences of the year. It features a heartbreaking performance by Brie Larson that will win her the Oscar for Best Actress. Young Jacob Tremblay's portrayal of a boy experiencing the world for the first time is almost as good as Larson. Why won't it win best picture? Room is a low-budget, Canadian-Irish film that may have a tricky time against the Hollywood elite. It made the least in the category, bringing in only $12.6 million. Listen to our full review.

Cannabis Pairing: Animal Cookies. This hybrid is the child of the legendary Girl Scout Cookies and Fire OG. Its powerful, full-body effects will help manage the pain and insomnia related to escaping from captivity.

Mad Max: Fury Road

Director: George Miller
Starring: Charlize Theron, Tom Hardy, Nicholas Hoult

You have to remember that it was a miracle that Max Max ever made it back to screens. It took 12 years of development hell, 480 hours of footage, multiple sandstorms and one Mel Gibson scandal before George Miller's sequel was unleashed. This high-octane action movie is a non-stop joyride through the desert with striking visuals to spare. Charlize Theron steals the entire film with a striking performance as Imperator Furiosa. She deserved a nomination for Best Actress over Jennifer Lawrence in Joy. Listen to our full review.

Cannabis Pairing: Pineapple Express. Ideal for a lengthy road battle, this hard-hitting sativa provides a long-lasting energetic buzz. You will stay productive and stress-free for hours as you race through the desert wasteland.

The Martian

Director: Ridley Scott
Starring: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sean Bean, Kristen Wiig

What happens when the saying, "I might as well be on Mars" comes true? Matt Damon takes us on an isolated journey of despair, hope and humor on the red planet. If box office receipts counted as Academy votes, The Martian would be the clear winner - it brought in $620-million worldwide. It has a wide audience, appealing to adrenaline junkies and NASA buffs alike. On the dark side, the Martian may be a bit too commercial to win the Oscar. Listen to our full review.

Cannabis Pairing: Death Star. A favorite of travellers throughout the galaxy, this indica packs a powerful buzz. Blast off your worries of abandonment on the red planet and float into a state of relaxed euphoria.

The Contenders

The Big Short

Director: Adam McKay
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale, Steve Carrell, Brad Pitt

The Big Short is the only horror movie to be nominated this year. It is a film that will drive you crazy, from the greed and financial corruption that cost the economy trillions, to the frenetic editing and pacing. Think that the financial system is boring? The Big Short brings comedy to a dark and complicated tale. The star-studded powerhouse cast delivers the goods and takes Wall Street to task. It is a must-watch during the American primary season. Listen to our full review.

Cannabis Pairing: Green Crack. This pure cannabis sativa will keep you sharp, energized and focused as you calculate the cost of the financial collapse. This daytime strain combats both the fatigue and stress brought on by bursting credit and housing bubbles.


Director: Tom McCarthy
Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, Stanley Tucci

If you have ever dreamed about becoming an investigative journalist, Spotlight will make you wish that you had. The true story of The Boston Globe's investigation of child sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests in Massachusetts and the ensuing cover-up is shocking, mesmerizing and shameful. Each member of this high-profile cast delivers with Michael Keaton and Mark Ruffalo as standouts. Spotlight won the SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast. While the film is not structurally groundbreaking, the story is disturbing and captivating. Your neck will hurt from shaking your head. Listen to our full review.

Cannabis Pairing: God's Gift. A true gift from heaven, this indica offers a strong THC content that will keep you relaxed and at peace through an intense investigation.

The Favorite

The Revenant

Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Starring: Leonardo Di Caprio, Tom Hardy, Dohmnall Gleeson

This is going to be Leo's year. We predict that The Revenant will win Best Picture and Leo will finally win his first Oscar. This film is a cinematically immersive experience that is unrelenting in its depiction of the savage 1820s fur trade. The gruelling shoot lasted 10 months, in sub-zero temperatures, using only natural light. There are very few lines of dialogue in the film giving us an opportunity to see Leo's real talent. Building on his success from Birdman, Alejandro Iñárritu will likely win the award for Best Director two years in a row – this hasn't happened in more than six decades! The Revenant is a revenge tale that is not for the faint of heart, but is an art film that deserves to be seen. Special nod to the grizzly bear. Listen to our full review.

Cannabis Pairing: Permafrost. Named for its frosty coat of crystal trichomes and fresh pine aroma, this sativa dominant hybrid should be a standard supply for wintry voyages through the woods. Attention to detail is heightened, while a full-body calm takes over - truly optimal for a revenge tale in frigid conditions.

Jay and Cybill host The Smoking Screen Podcast, where they share their passion, insight and unique perspective as they review new releases and older classics. All done while enjoying some fine weed and connecting with The Smoking Screen community.

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