2016 Oscars Predictions / Thoughts

The 88th annual Academy awards are tonight so here are my predictions on who will take home Oscar gold.

Bold = Who I think WILL win

Italic = Who I think SHOULD win

Best Picture

The Big Short

Bridge of Spies


Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian

The Revenant



Thoughts: The Revenant has all the traction going into this so I went with it for best picture. Don’t sleep on Spotlight or The Big Short though.  Spotlight has taken down some key indicator awards (including the Satellite Award which has predicted the last two Best Picture Winners)

Best Director

Adam McKay – The Big Short

George Miller – Mad Max: Fury Road

Alejandro G. Iñárritu – The Revenant

Lenny Abrahamson – Room

Tom McCarthy – Spotlight

Thoughts: The Revenant is visually stunning and is well deserving of a win (hence why I think it will win) but Mad Max is also a spectacle in its own right. There is no powerful performance in Mad Max (Theron and Hardy combine for maybe 30 lines excluding grunts) nor is there a major plot but the movie is elevated to such acclaim thanks in large part to Miller’s direction.

Best Actor

Bryan Cranston – Trumbo as Dalton Trumbo

Matt Damon – The Martian as Mark Watney

Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant as Hugh Glass

Michael Fassbender – Steve Jobs as Steve Jobs

Eddie Redmayne – The Danish Girl as Lili Elbe

Thoughts: Leo is the favourite by a country mile. He is listed at -10000 (!!!) to win the award (for our non gambling contingent that means he’s the 100-1 favourite).  the only thing stopping Leo from finally getting the gold is Eddie Redmayne who picked the most Oscar bait role ever (in my opinion Redmayne gave a mediocre performance though).  Sadly this is not Leo’s best performance in his filmography but I’d still rank this in the middle. All in all he’s done enough to stomp this weak field barring a massive upset

 Best Actress

Cate Blanchett – Carol as Carol Aird

Brie Larson – Room as Joy “Ma” Newsome

Jennifer Lawrence – Joy as Joy Mangano

Charlotte Rampling – 45 Years as Kate Mercer

Saoirse Ronan – Brooklyn as Eilis Lacey

Thoughts: Larson is a lock for the win (well deserved) but I think not enough people are recognizing how good Ronan is in Brooklyn. I think that Ronan actually is better than Larson when comparing the two performances but Brooklyn does not have the same emotional edge that Room has though which is what I feel will put Larson over the top in the end

Supporting Actor

Christian Bale – The Big Short as Michael Burry

Tom Hardy – The Revenant as John Fitzgerald

Mark Ruffalo – Spotlight as Michael Rezendes

Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies as Rudolf Abel

Sylvester Stallone – Creed as Rocky Balboa

Thoughts: I can’t believe Stallone is considered the front runner for this. Not that he was bad but I would rank all the other nominees ahead of Stallone. Personally I like Rylance but would not be mad if Hardy took it. He is arguably as good if not better than Leo in the Revenant.

Supporting Actress

Jennifer Jason Leigh – The Hateful Eight as Daisy Domergue

Rooney Mara – Carol as Therese Belivet

Rachel McAdams – Spotlight as Sacha Pfeiffer

Alicia Vikander – The Danish Girl as Gerda Wegener

Kate Winslet – Steve Jobs as Joanna Hoffman

Thoughts: Of the four acting fields, this one is the strongest (lead has three heavy hitters but Lawerence is mediocre in Joy). Vikander outshines Redmayne and should really be nominated as leading but since she got pushed down to supporting I have her taking it. Winslet – being an academy favourite and genuinely good should not be forgotten though as she steals some scenes from Fassbender’s overbearing Steve Jobs. If Vikander does win though, I am personally considering it a joint Oscar for her role in Ex Machina

Best Original Screenplay

Bridge of Spies – Matt Charman, Ethan Coen, and Joel Coen

Ex Machina – Alex Garland

Inside Out – Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley, and Ronnie del Carmen

Spotlight – Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer

Straight Outta Compton – Jonathan Herman, Andrea Berloff, S. Leigh Savidge, and Alan Wenkus

Thoughts: Garland will take the consolation Oscar home after being snubbed out of Best Picture. This movie is incredible and its a shame it’ll be largely forgotten in five years (similar to Drive). If I had to pick a runner up I’d go with Straight Outta Compton who might win because the academy feels the need to apologize for the whole diversity thing

Best Adapted Screenplay

The Big Short – Adam McKay and Charles Randolph from The Big Short by Michael Lewis

Brooklyn – Nick Hornby from Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín

Carol – Phyllis Nagy from The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith

The Martian – Drew Goddard from The Martian by Andy Weir

Room – Emma Donoghue from Room by Emma Donoghue

Thoughts: Tough field to predict as it could go anywhere, Personally I went with the Big Short for doing something unique and simplifying a complex situation into something that was entertaining. The Academy will probably swing towards Carol or Room though (I ended up going with Carol, no major reason just a gut feeling)

Best Animated Film

Anomalisa – Charlie Kaufman, Duke Johnson, and Rosa Tran

Boy & the World – Alê Abreu

Inside Out – Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera

Shaun the Sheep Movie – Mark Burton and Richard Starzak

When Marnie Was There – Hiromasa Yonebayashi and Yoshiaki Nishimura

Thoughts: The show is airing on ABC. Guess what company owns ABC? That’s right… Disney. Inside Out though is a great film (far better than previous winners Big Hero 6 and Frozen) and when it wins, it won’t be considered egregious but I like Anomalisa. What Kauffman does with Anomalisa is special but no one will stop the Disney Machine

Best Cinematography

Carol – Ed Lachman

The Hateful Eight – Robert Richardson

Mad Max: Fury Road – John Seale

The Revenant – Emmanuel Lubezki

Sicario – Roger Deakins

Thoughts: Lock it in for Lubezi’s third straight Oscar. The Revenant is a visual masterpiece. Only other challenger is Mad Max with Sicario worthy of a mention but not a win.

Best Editing

The Big Short – Hank Corwin

Mad Max: Fury Road – Margaret Sixel

The Revenant – Stephen Mirrione

Spotlight – Tom McArdle

Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Maryann Brandon and Mary Jo Markey

Thoughts: I gave it to Star Wars on the back of that Millennium Falcon chase scene but I could see the Academy looking at the Revenant and Mad Max instead.

Best Visual Effects:

Ex Machina – Mark Williams Ardington, Sara Bennett, Paul Norris, and Andrew Whitehurst

Mad Max: Fury Road – Andrew Jackson, Dan Oliver, Andy Williams, and Tom Wood

The Martian – Anders Langlands, Chris Lawrence, Richard Stammers, and Steven Warner

The Revenant – Richard McBride, Matt Shumway, Jason Smith, and Cameron Waldbauer

Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Chris Corbould, Roger Guyett, Paul Kavanagh, and Neal Scanlan

Thoughts: I would give it to Star Wars solely on the basis ofRey’s instant rising bread but I also appreciate the work done on Vikander’s “robot” appearance in Ex Machina. Again because Disney now owns Star Wars (as well as ABC) I went with Star Wars for my prediction

Best Original Score

Bridge of Spies – Thomas Newman

Carol – Carter Burwell

The Hateful Eight – Ennio Morricone

Sicario – Jóhann Jóhannsson

Star Wars: The Force Awakens – John Williams

Thoughts: Full Disclosure:  My current ring tone is Rey’s theme from The Force Awakens. I don’t really know how to evaluate this but in theater I appreciated both Johannsson and Morricone’s scores more than Williams but listening to these scores as individual pieces separate from the film I’ve found myself going back to Williams score often. I think the academy will look Morricone’s way but personally I went with Williams.

Best Song

“Earned It” from Fifty Shades of Grey – Music and Lyric by Ahamad Balshe (Belly), Stephan Moccio, Jason “Daheala” Quenneville, Abel Tesfaye (The Weeknd)

“Manta Ray” from Racing Extinction – Music by J. Ralph, Lyric by Antony Hegarty

“Simple Song #3” from Youth – Music and Lyric by David Lang

“Til It Happens to You” from The Hunting Ground – Music and Lyric by Lady Gaga and Diane Warren

“Writing’s on the Wall” from Spectre – Music and Lyric by Jimmy Napes and Sam Smith

Thoughts:  That Sam Smith song is awful so I went with the Lady Gaga Song – if she wins she’ll come ever closer to the EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony).

Sound Editing

Mad Max: Fury Road – Mark A. Mangini and David White

The Martian – Oliver Tarney

The Revenant – Martin Hernández and Lon Bender

Sicario – Alan Robert Murray

Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Matthew Wood and David Acord

Thoughts: War movies / Military movies (American Sniper/ Hurt Locker / Saving Private Ryan/Pearl Harbour) tend to take this one so I went with Sicario.

Sound Mixing

Bridge of Spies – Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom, and Drew Kunin

Mad Max: Fury Road – Chris Jenkins, Gregg Rudloff, and Ben Osmo

The Martian – Paul Massey, Mark Taylor, and Mac Ruth

The Revenant – Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño, Randy Thom, and Chris Duesterdiek

Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Andy Nelson, Christopher Scarabosio, and Stuart Wilson

Thoughts: I have no idea how to judge this, all I know is the sounds of Williams’ score and the sounds of light sabres, droids and TIE fighters contributed to one of the greatest in theater experiences of my life so I went with Star Wars.

Best Production Design

Bridge of Spies – Rena DeAngelo, Bernhard Henrich, and Adam Stockhausen

The Danish Girl – Michael Standish and Eve Stewart

Mad Max: Fury Road – Colin Gibson and Lisa Thompson

The Martian – Celia Bobak and Arthur Max

The Revenant – Jack Fisk and Hamish Purdy

Thoughts: The entire movie is stunts and action with little much of anything else. In order to achieve that a lot has to go into production. As I stated earlier all these other films have strong performances to anchor them but Mad Max is almost entirely reliant on action and those set pieces. This is a lock.