Oscar Predictions 2016

by Abe Rose

05 The Revenant

Best Picture

What Will Win: The Revenant

2nd Choice: Spotlight

What Should Win: Mad Max: Fury Road

Ever since the Oscars switched to the preferential ballots in 2009, Best Picture has been harder to guess. In a three-way race, votes cannot be split. If a film does not have enough first place votes to give it the prize, then it goes to second place and third place votes. It doesn’t allow for dark horse winners, so Mad Max: Fury Road is out of the running. The race is between The Revenant, Spotlight, and The Big Short.

Mad Max: Fury Road truly is the best movie of 2015, but there is an Academy bias against action movies. The Revenant would be the next favorite. It is a historical drama, and it has the most nominations, but Inarritu just won last year for Birdman. Spotlight would be the next choice, but how many people do you actually know that saw it and is rooting for it to win? The Big Short is the upset winner at the PGA, but I’m guessing that all the financial jargon would fly over the heads of most Academy voters. The Revenant will likely win it, but Mad Max: Fury Road is the movie that most deserves it.

Best Director

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

2nd Choice: 

Alejandro González Iñárritu for The Revenant

Who Should Win: George Miller for Mad Max: Fury Road

Here is where you will likely see a split between Best Director, and Best Picture. It is a trend that started a few years ago. Gravity and 12 Years a Slave split Best Director and Best Picture. So did Argo and Life of Pi. If Iñárritu takes it this year, it would be an extremely rare feat to have someone win this award twice in back-to-back years. That hasn’t happened since 1950. Mad Max: Fury Road is the next movie in line with the most Oscar nominations. It is a technical masterpiece of design, and George Miller is the most deserving of this award.

Best Actor

Who Will Win: Leonardo DiCaprio for The Revenant

2nd Choice: None. It’s a lock.

Who Should Win: Leonardo DiCaprio for The Revenant

The memes can finally stop. It’s finally Leo’s year. After The Wolf of Wall Street, Django Unchained, J. Edgar, The Departed, The Aviator, Blood Diamond, Revolutionary Road, Catch Me if You Can, Gang’s of New York, and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Leo will finally be able to stop putting himself through hell to win one of these gold statues.

07 room

Best Actress

Who Will Win: Brie Larson for Room

2nd Choice: Saoirse Ronan for Brooklyn

Who Should Win: Brie Larson for Room

The two leading stars of Room are the two most deserving of any acting awards this year. Brie Larson will likely win this, but her co-star, Jacob Tremblay failed to even get nominated. Room is such a difficult drama, and the wrong type of performance would have sank this film. Brie Larson’s performance is nuanced and powerful. She has to carry much of the emotional weight of the film, and she does an incredible job of it. This is the acting award victory to root for this year.

 

Best Supporting Actor

Who Will Win: Sylvester Stallone for Creed

2nd Choice: Tom Hardy for The Revenant

Who Should Win: Tom Hardy for The Revenant

The Academy messed up this category this year. They failed to nominate Idris Elba this year for Beasts of No Nation, most likely because of political reasons. That movie was produced by Netflix, and the new distribution format probably scared off Academy voters. The Academy also fails in the regard of constantly having to give out apology awards. If the Academy fails to properly give the award to the most deserving actor one year, they will award that actor years later, but for an inferior performance. Al Pacino lost for The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, and Scarface, but won for Scent of a Woman. Denzel Washington lost for Glory, and Malcolm X, but won for Training Day. This year it will go to Stallone, nearly 40 years after the original Rocky. And that means that the Academy will soon have to give an apology Oscar to Tom Hardy, after failing to give him anything for The Revenant, and Bronson.

 

Best Supporting Actress

Who Will Win: Alicia Vikander for The Danish Girl

2nd Choice: Jennifer Jason Leigh for The Hateful Eight

Who Should Win: Rooney Mara for Carol

This used to be a category that favored dark horse winners, but since the Academy changed its voting policies in 2009, there haven’t been many surprises since. Alicia Vikander has won all the awards necessarily for securing an Oscar win here. Although I believe Rooney Mara to give one of the saddest, and most heart-felt performances of this year, there hasn’t been a whole lot of support for Carol. Alicia Vikander will win it, and will likely go on to becoming a big Hollywood superstar. However, the dark horse winner here could be Jennifer Jason Leigh. The Academy does love to award older actresses that make a comeback.

 

Best Adapted Screenplay

Who Will Win: Adam McKay and Charles Randolph for The Big Short

2nd Choice: Emma Donoghue for Room

Who Should Win: Adam McKay and Charles Randolph for The Big Short

Currently there are three Oscar front-runners for Best Picture: Spotlight, The Revenant, and The Big Short. This year, Spotlight and The Big Short won’t likely win Best Picture, but will take the writing awards.

15 spotlight

Best Original Screenplay

Who Will Win: Josh Singer, Tom McCarthy for Spotlight

2nd Choice: Andrea Berloff, Jonathan Herman, S. Leigh Savidge, Alan Wenkus for Straight Outta Compton

Who Should Win: Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley for Inside Out

Because of the three-way tie for Best Picture, Spotlight should take this award. However, Straight Outta Compton could be the upset winner. It may have to do with the fact that the Academy failed to nominate Straight Outta Compton in other categories, and the Academy has been embarrassed as a result. They could attempt to rectify the negative spotlight they have cast upon themselves this year, but the attempt would be feeble. If the Academy were to elect the actual best screenplay this year, they should give the award to Inside Out.

 

Best Editing

Who Will Win: Margaret Sixel for Mad Max: Fury Road

2nd Choice: Hank Corwin for The Big Short

Who Should Win: Margaret Sixel for Mad Max: Fury Road

This award typically goes to the film that wins Best Picture. It probably won’t happen this year, though. Even though Mad Max will sweep most of the technical awards, there is such an inherent bias toward an action/sci-fi movie winning Best Picture that it will likely take this award but not the big prize. Mad Max is the best edited movie of the year, and none of the other nominees can even compare with the ferocious pacing and intense rhythm of Mad Max. If you see Spotlight or The Big Short winning this award, prepare for an upset Best Picture winner.

 

Best Cinematography

Who Will Win: Emmanuel Lubezki for The Revenant

2nd Choice: John Seale for Mad Max: Fury Road

Who Should Win: Emmanuel Lubezki for The Revenant

The Revenant used only natural lighting throughout. Hearing the horror tales of what they had to go through to get very specific lighting is enough reason for the Academy to hand them this award. And sorry Roger Deakins, this still is not your year.

 

Best Original Score

Who Will Win: Ennio Morricone for The Hateful Eight

2nd Choice: John Williams for Star Wars: Episode VII- The Force Awakens

Who Should Win: John Williams for Star Wars: Episode VII- The Force Awakens

John Williams has won this award many times, and already he has won for other Star Wars films. While the score for Episode VII is riveting, a lot of the themes are cued from previous Star Wars films. Likely, the Academy will go for Ennio Morricone’s score for Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight.

 

Best Song

What Will Win: “Till It Happens to You” –The Hunting Ground

2nd Choice: None. It’s a lock.

Who Should Win: “Till It Happens to You” –The Hunting Ground

This is Gaga’s year. The song itself is powerful and angry. The subject of sexual assault and the treatment of the victims have long been taboo subjects. But it’s something that society is starting to wake up to, and I’d be surprised if the Academy doesn’t award this song. Could you imagine if the Academy instead awarded the song from Fifty Shades of Grey instead of this one?

 

Best Costume Design

What Will Win: Cinderella

2nd Choice: Mad Max: Fury Road

What Should Win: Mad Max: Fury Road

Other than the sound categories, this may be one of the only technical award that Mad Max does not take. Costume Design tends to go to period piece dramas. The dress in Cinderella would solidify its win in any other year, but Mad Max has quantity. Every piece of clothing in that movie has its own history and personality. Mad Max deserves to win this, but Cinderella will likely take it.

01 Mad Max Fury Road

Best Production Design

What Will Win: Mad Max: Fury Road

2nd Choice: The Martian

What Should Win: Mad Max: Fury Road

I’m almost going to call this one a lock. Just simply look at the scope of Mad Max. Look at the design! Look how every car seems like it got fused with spikes and weapons, like it came out of the imagination of a weird kid with micromachines and powertools. The only way that this movie could lose is if the Academy feels sorry for not awarding The Martian with a single award.

 

Best Visual Effects

What Will Win: Mad Max Fury Road

2nd Choice: Star Wars: Episode VII- The Force Awakens

What Should Win: Mad Max: Fury Road

This is a TOUGH category. I may be completely wrong on this one. This is one of the only times that fan-favorite Star Wars could win, yet it is also the only award that The Martian could win for. Except for Ex Machina, any one of the nominees could win it. I’m going with Mad Max because it is a technical masterpiece, and it will likely sweep the rest of the technical awards.

 

Best Makeup

What Will Win: Mad Max: Fury Road

2nd Choice: The Revenant

What Should Win: Mad Max: Fury Road

With only three nominees, it’s down to Mad Max, The Revenant, and The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared. Meaning, it’s really only down to two movies, based on the fact that the Academy members are not required to see every film nominated. Take just one good look at Mad Max‘s Immortan Joe, and you know that this has to win.

 

Best Sound Mixing

What Will Win: The Revenant

2nd Choice: Mad Max: Fury Road

What Should Win: Mad Max: Fury Road

A few weeks ago, I would have said that Mad Max would take the sound awards, sure-thing. But since there was a surprise victory for The Revenant at the Cinema Audio Society, this could go the other way. I’m still betting on a split. Mad Max will take sound editing while The Revenant takes sound mixing. This is, of course, assuming that most Academy members know the difference between Sound Mixing and Sound Editing.

 

Best Sound Editing

What Will Win: Mad Max: Fury Road

2nd Choice: The Revenant

What Should Win: Mad Max: Fury Road

Same reason given as above.

 

Best Documentary

What Will Win: Amy

2nd Choice: Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom

The Academy members are not required to see every film nominated, and therein lies a big problem for categories like Best Documentary and Best Foreign Film. The movies that tend to get the awards are the ones that receive the most popularity. For instance, a few years ago, The Act of Killing lost to 20 Feet From Stardom. This year, Amy is the most talked about, and I doubt if most Academy members take the time to watch most of the nominees in this category.

04 son of saul

Best Foreign Language Film

Who Will Win: Son of Saul

2nd Choice: A War

Based on all of the previous awards it has won at international festivals, Son of Saul will take it. It is the most talked about of all of the nominees in this category. It is an incredibly important Holocaust movie, unlike any other that I have seen.

 

Best Animated Film

What Will Win: Inside Out

2nd Choice: Anomalisa

Who Should Win: Inside Out

This is a return to form for Pixar, for Inside Out is one of the absolute best Pixar films. Anomalisa is maybe just as thought-provoking, but it doesn’t have the emotional resonance of Inside Out. And while When Marnie Was There is the last film by Studio Ghibli, it doesn’t represent them at their best.

 

Overall Winners:

Mad Max: Fury Road- 6 wins

The Revenant – 4 wins

Everything else will get only 1 win at the most.

 

Typically, I get around 75-80% correct every year. This year is tough for some categories. I may be wildly off in Best Picture, Best Visual Effects, and Best Costume Design. I don’t get a prize or anything if I’m right, but maybe I’ll bake myself a cake if I am right. Maybe I will bake myself a cake if I am wrong. Maybe I’ll just bake myself a cake, regardless. We shall see.

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