2016 Oscar Predictions

The 85th Academy Awards® will air live on Oscar® Sunday, February 24, 2013.

The 88th Academy Awards® will air live on Oscar® Sunday, February 28, 2016.

 

Well, the big day is just one day away. The Academy Awards air Sunday and, while I still haven’t seen Best Picture nominees The Big Short and Brooklyn. I can tell you my best guesses about who will take home the tiny little gold guys based on what has happened at various awards and a couple of gut feelings. This is a crazy Oscar year with every awards event and guild honoring a different movie. I am probably going to fare worse than most years because I am going out on a limb here, but as someone who really wants to believe the Academy realizes The Revenant isn’t a very good movie and Alejandro Inneritu does not need to be in the company of greats John Ford and Joseph Mankiewicz as a back-to-back Best Director winner, I am being wildly optimistic and highly unrealistic in some choices.

With that, here goes:

BEST PICTURE

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

Who will win: Spotlight

The Revenant is the favorite here, but not by much. People consider it a fairly open three-horse race between it, The Big Short, and Spotlight. Many think with The Big Short taking the Producer’s Guild Award, it is in a great position, but I am going to disagree. While PGA tends to be the best predictor for this category because of its similar voting system, I am not sure it is so reliable because the list of nominees varied too much. So, I am going with Spotlight, who took the SAG award, a honor The Revenant wasn’t even nominated for. Plus, without a screenplay nomination, The Revenant is facing a big uphill battle because of it, so I am going with the one the actors, who represent the bulk of the Academy, prefer.

BEST DIRECTING

The Big Short
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant
Room
Spotlight

Who Will Win: George Miller – Mad Max: Fury Road

Again, I realize it is wishful thinking to believe The Revenant doesn’t get both of these awards, but I really do believe there is a backlash forming around it, which leaves me thinking this is a good opportunity for the Academy to honor Miller, who created both the Mad Max and Babe franchises, for being an incredible world builder. While I am not a fan of Mad Max, the universe he built over the course of four movies seems like a perfect alternate option to giving Innaritu a second Oscar for a film no one will claim is anywhere close to as good as Birdman.

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

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

Who Will Win: Leonardo DiCaprio

Ths is the weakest Best Actor field in a decade and this is a pretty stone cold lock for the “now is our chance to honor a guy who deserves one” nominee.

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

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

Who Will Win: Brie Larson

So, I thought this was just a gimmick movie and Larson benefited from being at the center of the gimmick, but having seen it, I can tell you this is actually a really good movie and she is amazing in it. This is a tough category compared to its male counterpart, but she still stands out among the bunch.

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

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

Who Will Win: Sylvester Stallone

I cannot overemphasize how stupid it is we are honoring one of the African-American-centric movies that managed to get a nod at the Oscars by telling a guy who has played the person he is playing for the seventh time good job. The Oscars love nostalgia though. That being said, Mark Rylance has a little bit of steam and, should Spotlight pull the Best Picture win, it may mean success for Ruffalo so the film manages to pull off more wins than Screenplay and Picture.

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

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

Who Will Win: Alicia Vikander

This category is the only one of the acting ones primed for an upset, so don’t be shocked if Kate Winslet pulls out a win here so we can see pictures of Kate and Leo standing together with their Oscars, but this is a category where the Academy loves to honor the latest young ingenue and Vikander fits the bill with good performances in both The Danish Girl and Ex Machina.

WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY)

Bridge of Spies
Ex Machina
Inside Out
Spotlight
Straight Outta Compton

Who Will Win: Spotlight

This is pretty locked up too, as the screenplay is the backbone of this streamlined production with incredible dialogue, story, and characters upon which everything else is built upon.

WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)

The Big Short
Brooklyn
Carol
The Martian
Room

Who Will Win: The Big Short

Of its five nominations, this category is the only one where it stands that much of a chance.

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

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

Who Will Win: Inside Out

It is kind of surprising this tear-jerking, wonderfully-executed Pixar flick didn’t get a Best Picture nod, so at the very least it is taking this category down.

CINEMATOGRAPHY

Carol
The Hateful Eight
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant
Sicario

Who Will Win: The Revenant

Emmanuel Lubezki is going to win this category for the third year in a row and deservedly so. This movie is too long and kinda boring, but there is never a moment where it isn’t beautiful.

COSTUME DESIGN

Carol
Cinderella
The Danish Girl
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant

Who Will Win: Cinderella

The same woman who did Carol also did Cinderella, so the strength of two Oscar-nominated movies should prevail over Mad Max.

DOCUMENTARY (FEATURE)

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

Who Will Win: Amy

This movie is a critical darling, a popular success, and done entirely with found footage and no talking heads chiming in about her importance.

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Embrace of the Serpent
Mustang
Son of Saul
Theeb
A War

Who Will Win: Son of Saul

Holocaust movie, heartbreaking story. Let’s lock this one up.

MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
Mad Max: Fury Road
The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out
the Window and Disappeared
The Revenant

Who Will Win: Mad Max: Fury Road

Another design award for a movie that built a whole world unlike anything else we’ve seen this year.

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)

Bridge of Spies
Carol
The Hateful Eight
Sicario
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Who Will Win: The Hateful Eight

Ennio Morrricone will win mostly because of name recognition and the fact this is his first high profile project in a while.

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)

“Earned It,” Fifty Shades of Grey
“Manta Ray,” Racing Extinction
“Simple Song #3,” Youth
“Til It Happens To You,” The Hunting Ground
“Writing’s On The Wall,” Spectre

Who Will Win “Til It Happens to You”

Given its serious subject matter (rape and sexual assault), top pop name (Lady Gaga), and Oscar pedigree (songwriter Diane Warren), this seems like an easy pick.

SOUND EDITING
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Sicario
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Who Will Win: Mad Max: Fury Road

I am just giving most of the technical awards  to Mad Max since it is a genre-defining action film and the Academy will want to reward it as much as it can.

SOUND MIXING
Bridge of Spies
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Who Will Win: Mad Max: Fury Road

See above.

FILM EDITING
The Big Short
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant
Spotlight
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Who Will Win: Mad Max: Fury Road

This is one of those things you’ll just have to trust me on, but what the editing team did to maintain continuity is really impressive, however, if Spotlight is going to take Best Picture, it is possible you can see an upset in this category.

VISUAL EFFECTS
Ex Machina
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Who Will Win: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Since the Star Wars juggernaut probably deserves some recognition and so much of Mad Max were practical (real) effects versus CGI and digital, I see Star Wars managing to take home this single statue.

PRODUCTION DESIGN

Bridge of Spies
The Danish Girl
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant

Who Will Win: Mad Max: Fury Road

I keep looking for a technical category where The Revenant can upset Mad Max and I am just not seeing it. Piling fur pelts on guys vs. creating a series of characters and sects of people in Mad Max are just entirely different projects with the latter being much more impressive than the former.

DOCUMENTARY (SHORT SUBJECT)

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

Who Will Win: Body Team 12

Haven’t seen any of these, but this is the one being listed by pundits on sites like Gold Derby so I say sounds good to me.

SHORT FILM (ANIMATED)

Bear Story
Prologue
Sanjay’s Super Team
We Can’t Live without Cosmos
World of Tomorrow

Who Will Win: Sanjay’s Super Team

In a pat on the back of making #OscarsNotSoWhite, look for this Pixar short to take the trophy.

SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION)
Ave Maria
Day One
Everything Will Be Okay (Alles Wird Gut)
Shok
Stutterer

Who Will Win: Ave Maria

Sounds like an important enough title to me. That is all I’ve got.

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