Thursday, February 25, 2016

88th Oscar Predictions



Welcome, to this year's Academy Awards predictions!  It is a confusing year, with three obvious front runners and questions in a lot of categories.  Last year, I predicted 21 of the 24 correct with my "WILL WIN" predictions and the remaining 3 correct with the "COULD WIN" predictions.  Let's see how we can stack up this year.  I hope I can help you win your work/school/friend/personal Oscar pool.

(Note: There is an easy to use "Winners" list at the bottom of this page)



BEST PICTURE

Nominees:
The Big Short
Bridge of Spies
Brooklyn
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Room
Spotlight

This has essentially become an almost evenly divided three movie race, between The Big Short, Spotlight and The Revenant.  Whereas other awards shows are usually good predictors, PGA awarded The Big Short, SAG award Spotlight and BAFTA/DGA awarded The Revenant.  This has led a lot to assume The Revenant is going to take home the big award, but I am not one of them and here is why:  
  1. The PGA winner has gone on to win Best Picture for 8 straight years, so I take it as the best predictor 
  2. The Big Short and Spotlight are similar, in that they are both heady conspiracy related films.  The Revenant is brutal, violent and very artistic.  I doubt this year will be settled on first place votes alone, and while I imagine The Revenant may lead in 1st votes, it definitely has those who didn't enjoy it.  It is a lot more likely to have 1st place votes on some ballots and 4th or 5th place votes on others.  I doubt that The Big Short or Spotlight has many voting below 2nd or 3rd.  Those who have Spotlight 1st seem a lot more likely to have The Big Short as their 2nd place choice, and vice versa.  
  3. Spotlight won SAG, which is the biggest Academy voting group, but I'm willing to bet that The Big Short gets more love from directors and they won the aforementioned producers (PGA). 
It is a very close race between these three, but I see it ending up being The Big Short, Spotlight and then The Revenant in voting.  This is admittedly a bold choice, and you all might be smarter to play it safe on The Revenant.  I'm taking calculated risks this year.

WILL WIN: The Big Short
COULD WIN: Spotlight
SHOULD WIN: The Big Short or Spotlight
SHOULD HAVE BEEN HERE: Steve Jobs and Straight Outta Compton




BEST DIRECTOR

Nominees:
Adam McKay - The Big Short
George Miller - Mad Max: Fury Road
Alejandro G. Iñárittu - The Revenant
Lenny Abrahamson - Room
Tom McCarthy - Spotlight

It looks like this may well be another year when Best Director and Best Picture are split, which is becoming increasingly common, happening at both the 85th and 86th Academy Awards.  The two frontrunners seem to be George Miller and Alejandro G. Iñárittu (the reigning champion).  A big part of me wants to go with Miller, as he did an excellent job in a very complicated film and is a director who has never been honored with a Best Director statue (though he did win Animated Feature for Happy Feet).  In the end though, I think that it is Iñárittu's award to lose, as the scope of The Revenant and nominated performances for both primary actors and almost every technical category will vault him over fan favorite Miller.  While both of these are excellent choices, my personal vote would be for Tom McCarthy, based mostly on how excellent the direction of the ensemble cast was in Spotlight. 

WILL WIN: Alejandro G. Iñárittu - The Revenant
COULD WIN: George Miller - Mad Max: Fury Road
SHOULD WIN: Spotlight - Tom McCarthy
SHOULD HAVE BEEN HERE: Ridley Scott - The Martian




BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

Nominees:
Bryan Cranston - Trumbo
Matt Damon - The Martian
Leonardo DiCaprio - The Revenant
Michael Fassbender - Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne - The Danish Girl

Of all the categories this year, this is definitely the easiest to predict. Leonardo DiCaprio is going to earn his Oscar and the internet can find somebody new to joke about.  In all seriousness though, he definitely deserves this.  Were it not the year of Leo, Michael Fassbender would have probably walked away with the statue in an amazing turn as the tech icon Steve Jobs.  Alas, Fassbender will win one of these days.  

WILL WIN: Leonardo DiCaprio - The Revenant
COULD WIN: Michael Fassbender - Steve Jobs
SHOULD WIN: Leonardo DiCaprio - The Revenant
SHOULD HAVE BEEN HERE: Steve Carrell - The Big Short




BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

Nominees:
Cate Blanchett - Carol
Brie Larson - Room
Jennifer Lawrence - Joy
Charlotte Rampling - 45 Years
Saoirse Ronan - Brooklyn

This award is almost as set in stone as Best Actor, though there is a chance that Ronan could sneak through with a win for her turn in Brooklyn.  Brie Larson is so excellent in Room, it was definitely my favorite acting performance of the year.  She is somebody that we can look forward to seeing in this category year in and year out if she keeps up the excellent work she did here. 

WILL WIN: Brie Larson - Room
COULD WIN: Saoirse Ronan - Brooklyn
SHOULD WIN: Brie Larson - Room
SHOULD HAVE BEEN HERE: They nailed these nominations, but Rooney Mara should have been lead for Carol




BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Nominees:
Christian Bale - The Big Short
Tom Hardy - The Revenant
Mark Ruffalo - Spotlight
Mark Rylance - Bridge of Spies
Sylvester Stallone - Creed

This award seems deceptively set in stone.  In the end, I still think that Sylvester Stallone will come out on top, mostly due to him being a Hollywood legend who has never been honored, plus the poetic nature of him coming back to win for the same role that gave him his previous sole acting nomination 40 years later.  While I personally don't think it is the best supporting role of the year by any means, I understand why he will probably win.  Why it is murky is the largest voting group, the Screen Actors Guild, didn't even have him as a nominee.  Idris Elba, who isn't nominated here, won their supporting actor award.  This means that somebody like Mark Rylance or Mark Ruffalo could sneak in if the Stallone support is a smoke screen, but I certainly doubt that is the case for Sly.

WILL WIN: Sylvester Stallone - Creed
COULD WIN: Mark Rylance - Bridge of Spies
SHOULD WIN: Mark Ruffalo - Spotlight
SHOULD HAVE BEEN HERE: Idris Elba - Beats of No Nation




BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Nominees:
Jennifer Jason Leigh - The Hateful Eight
Rooney Mara - Carol
Rachel McAdams - Spotlight
Alicia Vikander - The Danish Girl
Kate Winslet - Steve Jobs

Were this truly a group of "supporting" actresses, I think that Kate Winslet would run away with it.  That being said, both Rooney Mara and Alicia Vikander did incredible jobs in their roles and both deserve recognition of some sort.  It really comes down to these two in what once looked like a tight race, but I think in the end it will go to newcomer Vikander (who I wish could be nominated multiple times so she could also have a nod for Ex Machina).

WILL WIN: Alicia Vikander - The Danish Girl
COULD WIN: Rooney Mara - Carol
SHOULD WIN: Kate Winslet - Steve Jobs
SHOULD HAVE BEEN HERE: Alicia Vikander - Ex Machina


BEST WRITING - ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Nominees:
Charles Randolph and Adam McKay - The Big Short
Nick Hornby - Brooklyn
Phyllis Nagy - Carol
Drew Goddard - The Martian
Emma Donoghue - Room

This category threw me for a loop when they didn't nominate Aaron Sorkin for his brilliant, other award-winning screenplay for Steve Jobs.  This leaves a category with 4/5 nominees being Best Picture nominees, one of which stands out in terms of an adaptation.  This is very likely to go to The Big Short, a seemingly unadaptable novel written into a fantastic movie, with Brooklyn as a runner up.  

WILL WIN: Charles Randolph and Adam McKay - The Big Short
COULD WIN: Nick Hornby - Brooklyn
SHOULD WIN: Charles Randolph and Adam McKay - The Big Short
SHOULD HAVE BEEN HERE: Aaron Sorkin - Steve Jobs




BEST WRITING - ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Nominees:
Matt Charman and Ethan Coen & Joel Coen - Bridge of Spies
Alex Garland - Ex Machina
Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley and Ronnie del Carmen - Inside Out
Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy - Spotlight
Jonathan Herman, Andrea Berloff, S. Leigh Savidge and Alan Wenkus - Straight Outta Compton

This award could go a lot of ways.  Early indications, which I'm going to stick with, imply that Spotlight will come out on top, but I've heard some noise from every other film.  Bridge of Spies is a possibility because it is hard to bet against the Coen Brothers.  Ex Machina was a brilliant piece of science fiction.  Inside Out would be a big win for animated films.  Straight Outta Compton, which should have been nominated in other categories, could win for this being its only nomination of the night.  In the end, the excellent screenplay by Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy looks to be the big winner.

WILL WIN: Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy - Spotlight
COULD WIN: Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley and Ronnie del Carmen - Inside Out
SHOULD WIN: Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy - Spotlight
SHOULD HAVE BEEN HERE: Quentin Tarantino - The Hateful Eight




BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

Nominees:
Anomalisa
Boy and the World
Inside Out
Shaun the Sheep Movie
When Marnie Was There

There was a brief time when it was thought that Kaufman's incredible, more adult-oriented, animated film Anomalisa could surprise and pull off the win, but this was always going to be Inside Out.  For the rest of the films, it is nice to be nominated, but this has two clear heavy weights and one that is going to be hailed as a children's classic for years to come.  

WILL WIN: Inside Out
COULD WIN: Anomalisa
SHOULD WIN: Inside Out or Anomalisa




BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

Nominees:
Amy
Cartel Land
The Look of Silence
What Happened, Miss Simone?
Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom

WILL WIN: Amy
COULD WIN: Cartel Land
SHOULD WIN: Amy




BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Nominees:
Colombia - Embrace the Serpent
France - Mustang
Hungary - Son of Saul
Jordan - Theeb
Denmark - A War

WILL WIN: Hungary - Son of Saul
COULD WIN: France - Mustang
SHOULD WIN: Hungary - Son of Saul




BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Nominees:
Ed Lachman - Carol
Robert Richardson - The Hateful Eight
John Seale - Mad Max: Fury Road
Emmanuel Lubezki - The Revenant
Roger Deakins - Sicario

WILL WIN: Emmanuel Lubezki - The Revenant
COULD WIN: Roger Deakins - Sicario
SHOULD WIN: Emmanuel Lubezki - The Revenant




BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Nominees:
Sandy Powell - Carol
Sandy Powell - Cindarella
Paco Delgado - The Danish Girl
Jenny Beavan - Mad Max: Fury Road
Jacqueline West - The Revenant

WILL WIN: Jenny Beavan - Mad Max: Fury Road
COULD WIN: Sandy Powell - Cindarella
SHOULD WIN: Jenny Beavan - Mad Max: Fury Road




BEST FILM EDITING

Nominees:
Hank Corwin - The Big Short
Margaret Sixel - Mad Max: Fury Road
Stephen Mirrione - The Revenant
Tom McArdle - Spotlight
Maryann Brandon and Mary Jo Markey - Star Wars: The Force Awakens

WILL WIN: Hank Corwin - The Big Short
COULD WIN: Margaret Sixel - Mad Max: Fury Road
SHOULD WIN: Maryann Brandon and Mary Jo Markey - Star Wars: The Force Awakens




BEST MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING

Nominees:
Lesley Vanderwalt, Elka Wardega and Damian Martin - Mad Max: Fury Road
Love Larson and Eva von Bahr - The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared 
Siân Grigg, Duncan Jarman and Robert Pandini - The Revenant

WILL WIN: Lesley Vanderwalt, Elka Wardega and Damian MartinMad Max: Fury Road
COULD WIN: Siân Grigg, Duncan Jarman and Robert Pandini - The Revenant
SHOULD WIN: Lesley Vanderwalt, Elka Wardega and Damian Martin - Mad Max: Fury Road




BEST MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)

Nominees:
Thomas Newman - Bridge of Spies
Carter Burwell - Carol 
Ennio Morricone - The Hateful Eight
Jóhann Jóhannsson - Sicario
John Williams - Star Wars: The Force Awakens

WILL WIN: Ennio Morricone - The Hateful Eight
COULD WIN: John Williams - Star Wars: The Force Awakens
SHOULD WIN: Ennio Morricone - The Hateful Eight or Carter Burwell - Carol




BEST MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)

Nominees:
The Weeknd, Ahmad Balshe, Jason Daheala Quenneville and Stephen Moccio - "Earned It" from Fifty Shades of Grey
J. Ralph and Anohni - "Manta Ray" from Racing Extinction 
David Lang - "Simple Song #3" from Youth
Jimmy Napes and Sam Smith - "Writing's on the Wall" from Spectre
Diane Warren and Lady Gaga - "Til it Happens to You" from The Hunting Ground

WILL WIN: Diane Warren and Lady Gaga - "Til it Happens to You" from The Hunting Ground
COULD WIN: The Weeknd, Ahmad Balshe, Jason Daheala Quenneville and Stephen Moccio - "Earned It" from Fifty Shades of Grey
SHOULD WIN: Diane Warren and Lady Gaga - "Til it Happens to You" from The Hunting Ground




BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

Nominees:
Adam Stockhausen/Rena DeAngelo and Bernhard Henrich - Bridge of Spies
Eve Stewart/Michael Standish - The Danish Girl
Colin Gibson/Lisa Thompson - Mad Max: Fury Road
Arthur Max/Celia Bobak - The Martian
Jack Fisk/Hamish Purdy - The Revenant

WILL WIN: Colin Gibson/Lisa Thompson - Mad Max: Fury Road
COULD WIN: Jack Fisk/Hamish Purdy - The Revenant
SHOULD WIN: Colin Gibson/Lisa Thompson - Mad Max: Fury Road




BEST SOUND EDITING

Nominees:
Mark Mangini and David White - Mad Max: Fury Road
Oliver Tarney - The Martian
Martin Hernandez and Lon Bender - The Revenant
Alan Robert Murray - Sicario
Matthew Wood and David Acord - Star Wars: The Force Awakens

WILL WIN: Mark Mangini and David White - Mad Max: Fury Road
COULD WIN: Martin Hernandez and Lon Bender - The Revenant
SHOULD WIN: Matthew Wood and David Acord - Star Wars: The Force Awakens




BEST SOUND MIXING

Nominees:
Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom and Drew Kunin - Bridge of Spies
Chris Jenkins, Gregg Rudloff and Ben Osmo - Mad Max: Fury Road
Paul Massey, Mark Taylor and Mac Ruth - The Martian
Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño, Randy Thom and Chris Duesterdiek - The Revenant
Andy Nelson, Christopher Scarabosio and Stuart Wilson - Star Wars: The Force Awakens

WILL WIN: Chris Jenkins, Gregg Rudloff and Ben Osmo - Mad Max: Fury Road
COULD WIN: Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño, Randy Thom and Christ Duesterdiek - The Revenant
SHOULD WIN: Andy Nelson, Christopher Scarabosio and Stuart Wilson - Star Wars: The Force Awakens




BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

Nominees:
Andrew Whitehurst, Paul Norris, Mark Ardington and Sara Bennett - Ex Machina
Andrew Jackson, Tom Wood, Dan Oliver and Andy Williams - Mad Max: Fury Road
Richard Stammers, Anders Landlands, Chris Lawrence and Steven Warner - The Martian
Rich McBride, Matthew Shumway, Jason Smith and Cameron Waldbauer - The Revenant
Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Neal Scanlan and Chris Corbould - Star Wars: The Force Awakens

WILL WIN: Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Neal Scanlan and Chris Corbould - Star Wars: The Force Awakens
COULD WIN: Andrew Jackson, Tom Wood, Dan Oliver and Andy Williams - Mad Max: Fury Road
SHOULD WIN: Andrew Whitehurst, Paul Norris, Mark Ardington and Sara Bennett - Ex Machina




BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT

Nominees:
Body Team 12
Chau, beyond the Lines
Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah
A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness
Last Day of Freedom

WILL WIN: Body Team 12
COULD WIN: Claude Lanzmann: Specters of the Shoah
SHOULD WIN: Body Team 12




BEST SHORT FILM - ANIMATED

Nominees:
Bear Story
Prologue
Sanjay's Super Team
We Can't Live Without Cosmos
World of Tomorrow

WILL WIN: Sanjay's Super Team
COULD WIN: World of Tomorrow
SHOULD WIN: Sanjay's Super Team




BEST SHORT FILM - LIVE ACTION

Nominees:
Ave Maria
Day One
Everything Will Be Okay (Alles Wird Gut)
Shok
Stutterer

WILL WIN: Ave Maria
COULD WIN: Shok
SHOULD WIN: Stutterer




EASY TO READ WINNER LIST

Best Picture: The Big Short
Best Director: Alejandro G. Iñárittu - The Revenant
Best Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio - The Revenant
Best Actress: Brie Larson - Room
Best Supporting Actor: Sylvester Stallone - Creed
Best Supporting Actress: Alicia Vikander - The Danish Girl
Best Writing - Adapted Screenplay: The Big Short
Best Writing - Original Screenplay: Spotlight
Best Animated Feature: Inside Out
Best Documentary Feature: Amy
Best Foreign Language Film: Son of Saul
Best Cinematography: The Revenant
Best Costume Design: Mad Max: Fury Road
Best Film Editing: The Big Short
Best Makeup and Hairstyling: Mad Max: Fury Road
Best Music (Original Score): The Hateful Eight
Best Music (Original Song): "Til it Happens to You" from The Hunting Ground
Best Production Design: Mad Max: Fury Road
Best Sound Editing: Mad Max: Fury Road
Best Sound Mixing: Mad Max: Fury Road
Best Visual Effects: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Best Documentary Short Subject: Body Team 12
Best Short Film - Animated: Sanjay's Super Team
Best Short Film - Live Action: Ave Maria

1 comment:

  1. I need to see Big Short so I can fully understand and see why everyone loves it so much. I'm biased in saying this (especially after not having seen each Best Picture nominee), but after watching Spotlight last night, I don't understand how any of the other nominees should win Best Picture. Spotlight was a very good film with an equally meaningful storyline. I'm sure there are thousands of real people who can relate to the story and the experiences depicted in the film. But like I said, still need to see Big Short and Revenant. I may watch Steve Jobs tonight!

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