This years Oscars are literally right around the corner, so while we wait for the biggest night in Hollywood to arrive, i thought i would pass the time by going through and giving my predictions for who i think is going to walk away with an Academy Award. Now, I did not see every film that released in 2016 so there may be a better performance in one of the films i missed, but because i have not seen them i can’t say whether they do or do not deserve it. I also won’t be doing all categories below because i just don’t know much when it comes to Documentaries, Short Films, and Sound Mixing… So lets get into it starting with the biggest award of the night. My predictions will be in RED.
BEST PICTURE – NOMINATIONS
The Big Short
Bridge of Spies
Mad Max: Fury Road
This is an amazing list with so many films deserving of the title of Best Picture of the year. But it really is a two horse race here between ‘The Revenant’ and ‘Spotlight’. Personally i think The Revenant deserves the win the most and therefore will get the award in the end. It was such a well crafted film in all departments and when you look at it as a whole you just can’t help but think it has to win the Oscar. I would not be surprised at all if Spotlight was to win as it is proving to be a big force at other award ceremonies. But, i would say the ‘Dark Horse’ of this category is either ‘Room’ or maybe even ‘The Big Short’. I wouldn’t count them out just yet as they just might steal it out from under the favourites. I really didn’t like The Big Short but it hasn’t done too bad at other award ceremonies so you never know what might happen.
BEST ACTOR – NOMINATIONS
Bryan Cranston – Trumbo
Matt Damon – The Martian
Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant
Michael Fassbender – Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne – The Danish Girl
The fact that Leonardo DiCaprio has not won an Oscar for his achievements yet is as shocking as it is just unlucky. It has essentially become a meme at this point, but this year it will end, because i am confident that it really is Leo’s year. There is some competition coming from Fassbender, but i think with the absolutely phenomenal performance Leo put in The Revenant nothing in this list that i’ve seen even comes close. If Fassbender was nominated for ‘Macbeth’ then there would be a really tight race that i think Fassbender might have won. But, there really is nothing else to be said, Leonardo DiCaprio will walk away with the Academy Award. And i don’t care if there is a time constraint, you let Leo talk for 10-15 minutes if he wants because he fucken deserves it. And if by some miracle he doesn’t win it, he still is the best Actor working today, because one gold statue isn’t enough to do all his amazing performances justice.
BEST ACTRESS – NOMINATIONS
Cate Blanchett – Carol
Brie Larson – Room
Jennifer Lawrence – Joy
Charlotte Rampling – 45 Years
Saoirse Ronan – Brooklyn
This is a category where i have actually only seen one of the nominated performance and that is obviously the one i am voting for. Brie Larson put in a mesmerising performance in Room and most definitely deserves the Best Actress Award. She was not my first choice though, Marion Cotillard who played Lady Macbeth in ‘Macbeth’ was by far my favourite performance from an Actress of the year, maybe even of the last few years. Unfortunately she wasn’t nominated but if she was i reckon she would have slaughtered the competition without a doubt.
SUPPORTING ACTOR – NOMINATIONS
Christian Bale – The Big Short
Tom Hardy – The Revenant
Mark Ruffalo – Spotlight
Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies
Sylvester Stallone – Creed
This is one of the toughest awards of this years Oscars to predict because all of these actors put in great performances and all have a very good chance to win. I would prefer it if Christian Bale didn’t win but this could literally go to anyone and they would absolutely deserve it. As of right now i haven’t picked who i think will win because it is so damn tough. Tom Hardy was amazing in The Revenant, but Mark Ruffalo was just captivating in Spotlight, and Stallone surprised everyone with his performance in Creed. Mark Rylance also has a very good outside chance for his performance alongside Tom Hanks. But, based on the fact that Ruffalo was apart of a phenomenal ensemble cast, that may take away from his individual performance so i’m going to say Tom Hardy will get it. Mainly because he managed to put in such an amazing performance and stand out alongside the performance that DiCaprio put it. But this really can go anywhere.
SUPPORTING ACTRESS – NOMINATIONS
Jennifer Jason Leigh – The Hateful Eight
Rooney Mara – Carol
Rachel McAdams – Spotlight
Alicia Vikander – The Danish Girl
Kate Winslet – Steve Jobs
Only having seen ‘Spotlight’ and ‘The Danish Girl’ on this list i have to give it to Alicia Vikander over McAdams. I think Rachel McAdams is going to suffer from the same thing as Mark Ruffalo, and that is being part of a phenomenal ensemble cast. On her own, her performance was fantastic, but it really is once she is part of that team where her performance is recognised more. But Alicia Vikander was fantastic in The Danish Girl and will probably win the Oscar for it as she may have even put in a better performance than Eddie Redmayne. My only annoyance here is, if Vikander was nominated for her performance in The Danish Girl, it is a crime that she did not get nominated for her amazing performance in ‘Ex Machina’.
BEST DIRECTOR – NOMINATIONS
Adam McKay – The Big Short
George Miller – Mad Max: Fury Road
Alejandro G. Iñárritu – The Revenant
Lenny Abrahamson – Room
Tom McCarthy – Spotlight
Another no-brainer here, if i think The Revenant is going to win Best Picture, obviously i think Alejandro G. Iñárritu is going to take home the award for Best Director. He did a phenomenal job directing this film and making sure everything was done with perfection. If he does end up winning the award he will go down in history as the first director to ever win back to back Academy Awards for Best Director which is an incredible achievement. If anyone was going to steal away this achievement it would be Tom McCarthy for his amazing directing in Spotlight. Who knew that the guy who directed ‘The Cobbler’ would be up for Best Director for ‘Spotlight’ in the same year.
BEST ANIMATED FILM – NOMINATIONS
Boy and the World
Shaun the Sheep Movie
When Marnie was There
I think this is a category that is going to be a clear winner with Pixar’s ‘Inside Out’. Pixar are such an amazing studio and they hit it out of the park with Inside Out. It’ll make you cry, and it will most definitely make you laugh on multiple occasions. This idea of focusing on these emotions as fully fleshed out character was a genius one and sets it aside from other animated films this year. The film didn’t resonate with me as much on the second viewing but it still is a very fun film for everyone. One question…. Where the hell is ‘The Peanuts Movie’??? Now the thing wouldn’t have won going up against ‘Inside Out’ but it was better than Shaun the Sheep and way better than Anomalisa, so it should have been up there.
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY – NOMINATIONS
Ed Lachman – Carol
Robert Richardson – The Hateful Eight
John Seale – Mad Max: Fury Road
Emmanuel Lubezki – The Revenant
Roger Deakins – Sicario
Emmanuel Lubezki is one of the best cinematographers working today, and his work on ‘The Revenant’ was amazing and absolutely beautiful. It was one of many incredible highlights of the film. The way he framed every shot, the lighting, the beautiful wide shots, the awe inspiring long one take shots all accumulate into the best cinematography out of any of the nominated films. It is amazing to know that if and when he wins this award he will have won 3 consecutive Best Cinematography Oscars, one for Gravity in 2014, Birdman in 2015, and now The Revenant in 2016. Roger Deakins did a fantastic job in Sicario and also would deserve the Oscar, but up against Lubezki he doesn’t have much of a chance. Going through these nominations, i feel sorry for Mad Max, it was such a great film and did great in all these categories but there is always something just a tad better.
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY – NOMINATIONS
Bridge of Spies
Straight Outta Compton
This is yet another really tough award to predict as this could easily go to either ‘Ex Machina’, ‘Spotlight’, or ‘Straight Outta Compton’ and i wouldn’t complain. Ex Machina though was so well written and kept you mesmerised right to the very end, and i just have to go with it. Spotlight is probably going to steal the award from Ex Machina but i want to see it at least get something during the ceremony.
ADAPTED SCREENPLAY – NOMINATIONS
The Big Short
As i mentioned earlier, Room was such an invigorating and emotional story that it completely sucks you into the film and you are completely invested in these characters, so in saying that, i have to pick it for Best Adapted Screenplay. The story keeps you emotionally invested right to the very end and out of the films i’ve seen, it did that the best. ‘The Big Short’ could be a threat to Room and may steal the Oscar but man i really hope it doesn’t because to me, it doesn’t deserve it.
BEST FILM EDITING – NOMINATIONS
The Big Short
Mad Max: Fury Road
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Film editing is something that is almost completely overlooked by the general audience and is actually quite an important part of making an amazing film. Shitty editing is extremely obvious and can and will ruin a film so it is crucial to get it right and these films did that the best. All of them use editing in different ways to convey very different tones throughout the films. But i think the best and most effective use of editing of the year was in Mad Max: Fury Road. The way the film is cut and put together makes a drive through the desert one of the most exciting films of the year. The action scenes especially are edited to perfection to make them look extremely chaotic and fast paced with unique little touches like speeding up the film to illustrate a sense of urgency. The others have great editing also but Mad Max is a couple steps ahead in this category.
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS – NOMINATIONS
Mad Max: Fury Road
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
As much as i loved Star Wars: The Force Awakens, it was never going to win Best Picture, but when it comes to the visual effects i think it just has the edge over the other contenders. Visually, The Force Awakens was such a well polished film, all of the special effects combined perfectly with the practical effects and you were able to see this very realistic sci-fi/fantasy world come to life on screen. All of the nominations are there with different types of visual effects, Mad Max and The Martian have an extremely good chance at taking this award and i wouldn’t be surprised, now would i complain. Both of those films look incredible and deserve the award for their strikingly grounded and realistic visuals. But for me, Star Wars is the one to beat in this award as it is the most deserving.
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE – NOMINATIONS
Thomas Newman – Bridge of Spies
Carter Burwell – Carol
Ennio Morricone – The Hateful Eight
Jóhann Jóhannsson – Sicario
John Williams – Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Finally, Best Original Score is another tough one only because i was tossing up between giving it to ‘Sicario’ or ‘The Force Awakens’, both of which have extremely different scores but both are amazing. In the end, i chose The Force Awakens mainly because through the score you are able to completely lose yourself in the world in a way not many other scores can do. The score for Sicario was amazing, but outside of the film it doesn’t have the same impact as it does whilst watching it. Whereas with The Force Awakens, i am able to relive the film through the score as every song perfectly reflects the tones and events of every scene. And with a master such as John Williams at the helm, it can’t fail.
And that’s all for my predictions on the 2016 Academy Awards. How many will i get wrong and how many will i get right? We will find out tomorrow on one of the best nights of the year. Do you agree with any of my predictions? Or do you have your own picks for who may win? Whatever it is, leave a comment and let me know. Stay tuned for my afterthoughts on the results of the Oscars.