Final 2015 Oscar Predictions

chris-rock-hosting-2016-oscars

If we all thought that 2013 was one of the closest Best Picture Oscar races in memory it had nothing on the crazy, topsy-turvy 2015 season— hands down, the tightest Best Picture Oscar race that I can recall since the 2000 season when Gladiator overcame strong competition from Traffic and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon to win Best Picture. I’m not going to waste any time on a long-winded introduction here. I’ll just say that in the last three years, my record has been 19/24, 20/24 and 20/24. Not spectacular but far from shabby. On with the predictions.

 

THE SHORTS

I didn’t see all the shorts this year so I abstain from all three categories. I’ll make educated guesses when I fill out my ballot with friends but those are for me to know and for you to find out.

 

inside-out2

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

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

What a diverse slate of nominees! One stop-motion animation, one puppetry, one CGI, and two traditional hand-drawn animated ones. This will be one of the easiest ones to call for the night. Pixar films have won here 7 out of the 10 times they’ve been nominated, and Inside Out, one of the studio’s smartest, most inventive films will make it 8-11.

WILL WIN: Inside Out
COULD WIN: Nothing else
SHOULD WIN: Inside Out
SHOULD HAVE BEEN HERE: This is a stellar slate of nominees

 

 

son-of-saul

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

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

No sub-genre, other than biopics, has fared better at the Oscars than Holocaust films, and Son of Saul, the searing Cannes-winning drama from Hungary should win this one in a heart-beat. Still, if there’s an upset waiting to happen, it could be in the form of Mustang. But considering that the entire Academy votes for this award now, I feel safe in keeping my bet on the Hungarian film.

WILL WIN: Son of Saul
COULD WIN: Mustang
SHOULD WIN: Son of Saul
SHOULD HAVE BEEN HERE: Mommy (it wasn’t eligible this year and they didn’t nominate it last year)

 

 

Amy-Winehouse

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

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

Netflix has pumped a crap-ton of money into the award campaigns of its two nominated films – What Happened, Miss Simone? And Winter for Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom but it won’t be enough to topple Asif Kapadia’s Amy which has been the juggernaut of the season. That it was a box office smash (the second highest-grossing doc of the year) only helps its case. It’s also the best film of the bunch but that’s just my opinion.

WILL WIN: Amy
COULD WIN: What Happened, Miss Simone?
SHOULD WIN: Amy
SHOULD HAVE BEEN HERE: Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief

 

 

the-revenant-2

BEST SOUND MIXING

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

BEST SOUND EDITING

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

History states that these two categories go hand-in-hand, even if Sound Mixing and Sound Editing are two different things entirely. Whenever it’s a split, Sound Mixing is won by a movie where music plays a dominant role: Case in point, last year’s winner Whiplash, plus Les Miserables in 2013, Slumdog Millionaire in 2008, Dreamgirls in 2006 and Ray in 2004. The other rule to keep in mind: Best Picture nominees. Whenever nominated, the award tends to go to the most bombastic film also nominated for Best Picture. That’s been the case for both categories every year since the Academy expanded their slate of nominees from five to between five and 10. These stats are more an indication of the fact that a large chunk of Academy members don’t know the difference between the two crafts, and are simply voting for their favorite movies. With that said, there are four Best Picture nominees in Sound Mixing and three in Sound Editing. The most bombastic and beloved of the bunch seem to be Mad Max: Fury Road and The Revenant. Although I initially expected George Miller’s action masterpiece to sweep these categories, wins at the BAFTA and the CAS have led me to believe the Academy will follow suit and go with The Revenant. After all, the BAFTA has predicted this category correctly for the last eight years.

UPDATE: Then again, maybe the Academy will throw a bone to the big loud action movie in at least one of the Sound categories. If it’s anyone, it’ll be Sound Editing.

SOUND MIXING:
WILL WIN: The Revenant
COULD WIN: Mad Max: Fury Road
SHOULD WIN: Mad Max: Fury Road
SHOULD HAVE BEEN HERE: Sicario

SOUND EDITING:
WILL WIN: Mad Max: Fury Road
COULD WIN: The Revenant
SHOULD WIN: Mad Max: Fury Road
SHOULD HAVE BEEN HERE: Ex Machina

 

 

mad-max-vuvalini

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

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

This is one of the toughest categories of the night. It could easily go to any five of these nominees. Okay, maybe not The Revenant but there’s a case for all the other four. Sandy Powell, who is nominated twice in this category – for Carol and for Cinderella – is a three-time winner who would win the category outright had voters bothered to watch Cinderella or gave enough of a shit about her exquisite work in Carol. On paper, The Danish Girl would seem like the obvious winner: a costume Oscar-baiting drama in which Eddie Redmayne wears a plethora of gowns. Then again, how many people in the Academy give a shit about that movie? The bat-shit crazy apocalyptic costumes of Mad Max: Fury Road aren’t your typical Academy-winning costumes but they’re iconic, they’ve taken the award from the Costume Designers Guild and they won the BAFTA too. That gives me enough comfort to hand it to Jenny Beavan.

WILL WIN: Jenny Beavan – Mad Max: Fury Road
COULD WIN: Paco Delgado – The Danish Girl
SHOULD WIN: Sandy Powell – Cinderella
SHOULD HAVE BEEN HERE: Odile Dicks-Mireaux – Brooklyn

 

 

mad-max-makeup

BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

Nominees:
Mad Max: Fury Road
The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out a Window and Disappeared
The Revenant

No one has seen The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed out a Window and Disappeared except the Makeup and Hairstyling branch members who nominated it. Unfortunately for them, it’s the entire Academy voting for the winners, and they’ll go for one of the two Best Picture nominees nominated here. The Revenant’s makeup artists had to recreate blood, gore, shaggy beards, frost and all sorts of crazy stuff to make Hugh Glass’ perilous journey realistic. On the other hand, the team from Mad Max: Fury Road did everything the Revenant team did, plus the instantly iconic face-paint. They win.

WILL WIN: Mad Max: Fury Road
COULD WIN: The Revenant
SHOULD WIN: Mad Max: Fury Road
SHOULD HAVE BEEN HERE: Crimson Peak

 

 

hunting-ground-gaga

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

Nominees:
“Earned It” – Fifty Shades of Grey
“Manta Ray” – Racing Extinction
“Simple Song #3” – Youth
“Till it Happens to You” – The Hunting Ground
“Writing’s On the Wall” – SPECTRE

Ugh. What a ghastly set of nominees! The Academy’s music branch truly embarrassed themselves with this set of nominees. Then the producers of the telecast one-upped the members by politely telling the Asian and Transgender nominees behind “Earned It” and “Simple Song #3” to fuck off by cancelling their song performances from the show. Of the remaining stars, The Weeknd’s song is from a widely derided movie no Academy member, aside from Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson, will admit they saw. Then there’s Sam Smith’s tuneless piece of shit – the performance of which will surely be the lowlight of the entire ceremony. That leaves Lady Gaga and Diane Warren’s sexual abuse victim anthem “’Till it Happens to You,” the best and most campaigned song of the bunch. Seriously, Gaga was everywhere during the voting period – performing a tribute to Bowie at the Grammys, singing the national anthem at the Super Bowl, making countless appearances at award shows and Academy member events. Hell, even Vice President Joe Biden will be introducing the song during the broadcast. Yea, you’re going to have to get used to Academy Award winner Lady Gaga. But more importantly, Diane Warren will finally win her first Oscar on her eighth attempt.

WILL WIN: “’Till it Happens to You” – The Hunting Ground
COULD WIN: Ugh, “Writing’s On the Wall” – SPECTRE
SHOULD WIN: “’Till it Happens to You” – The Hunting Ground
SHOULD HAVE BEEN HERE: “One Kind of Love” – Love & Mercy

 

 

hateful-eight

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

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

Count out John Williams. Even though the legendary composer netter his 50th career nomination for the latest in the Star Wars saga, it’s just another one of his token nominations. Meanwhile, it really looks like 13-time nominee Thomas Newman is going home empty handed once again. When will this guy catch a break? The worthiest winner here would be Carter Burwell for his astonishing score for Carol but recently, there’s been a groundswell of support (no doubt orchestrated by Harvey) behind legendary Italian composer Ennio Morricone who, like Newman, has never won a competitive Oscar. Considering this may be the last chance to honor him, I think the Academy is going to go for it, even if they didn’t much fancy Quentin Tarantino’s epic western all that much.

WILL WIN: Ennio Morricone – The Hateful Eight
COULD WIN: Carter Burwell – Carol
SHOULD WIN: Carter Burwell – Carol
SHOULD HAVE BEEN HERE: Ludwig Göransson – Creed

 

 

mad-max-fury-road-02

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

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

Another difficult category to pick because there’s not a single stinker/filler nominee in the bunch. Yes, The Revenant’s production design comprised mostly of exteriors but don’t forget the multiple forts and campsites of the Americans and the French as well as the destroyed Native American villages. The ridiculously detailed futuristic world of The Martian is also a worthy nominee. I won’t get into The Danish Girl all that much because I loathe that piece of shit but if there’s a nominee that deserves to win the prize more than the others, it’s Adam Stockhausen for his rich and deeply evocative set-pieces in Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies. It won’t win the award though because there doesn’t seem to be any passion behind the movie and the second-best nominee of the group, Mad Max: Fury Road, with its superb design of its apocalyptic vehicles, just has too much momentum behind it.

WILL WIN: Mad Max: Fury Road
COULD WIN: Bridge of Spies
SHOULD WIN: Bridge of Spies
SHOULD HAVE BEEN HERE: Crimson Peak (seriously, how did this movie miss out in Production Design, Costumes and Makeup?)

 

 

Star-Wars-TFA-16

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

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

This category has been utterly predictable in the last few years which is probably why this year is near-impossible to figure out. Ex Machina, as stunning as its visual effects are, doesn’t stand a chance here. Neither does The Martian, which I figured to be the frontrunner for this award back in October. But that movie lost all its momentum after Ridley Scott was bizarrely passed over for Best Director last month. The Revenant has been gaining a lot of traction of late, and it easily has the most talked about visual effect-driven scene of the year in the bear attack. That narrative worked in Gladiator’s favor for the reconstruction of the Coliseum a decade and a half ago but is the bear attack enough to get it across the victory line? I’m not so sure. Typically, this award goes to a movie nominated for Best Picture so I would stand behind Mad Max: Fury Road here. But then there’s the biggest movie of all time: Star Wars: The Force Awakens, a film that keeps topping Mad Max at every awards show with a Visual Effects category, including the BAFTAs. This is a very close one.

WILL WIN: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
COULD WIN: Mad Max: Fury Road
SHOULD WIN: Mad Max: Fury Road
SHOULD HAVE BEEN HERE: The Walk

 

 

mad-max-fury-road

BEST FILM EDITING

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

This is the make-it or break it award of the night. Let’s forget about Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Spotlight or The Revenant because as strong as the work in these films are, there’s no chance they’re winning against the other two much flashier nominees. Mad Max: Fury Road is one of the best edited movies of all time. It’s won every Editing award it’s been up including the ACE Eddie, something that would usually assure it the win. But in the other corner, you have The Big Short, the big “look at me, Ma! I’m editing!” nominee that juggles multiple storylines and all that jazz. Voters tend to go with the “most” edited movie in this category more often than not but they also go with the big action movie with the fast cuts. Mad Max has both, plus the Guild award (which The Big Short has too). So I’m going to look at the BAFTA as the tie-breaker. Although BAFTA has a spotty track record with calling the Best Film Editing winner, they’ve tended to call the winners correctly in all the tough years, including last year’s surprise winner: Whiplash. This year’s BAFTA winner? Mad Max: Fury Road. Remember how I called this the make-or-break award of the night? If The Big Short wins, it’ll win Best Picture.

WILL WIN: Margaret Sixel – Mad Max: Fury Road
COULD WIN: Hank Corwin – The Big Short
SHOULD WIN: Margaret Sixel – Mad Max: Fury Road
SHOULD HAVE BEEN HERE: Claudia Castello, Michael P. ShawverCreed

 

 

the-revenant-cinema

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

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

Nothing is stopping Emmanuel Lubezki from winning his third successive Oscar this year. Not even poor, 13-time nominee Roger Deakins, the greatest cinematographer in the world. When he wins, he’ll become the first cinematographer to score a hat-trick. It wouldn’t be the first ever Oscar hat-trick though. Walt Disney holds that record with eight wins in 10 years! Composer Roger Edens won three back-to-back-to-back Oscars in 1948-1950, and visual effects artists Jim Rygiel and Randall William Cook were the most recent hat-trick recipients, winning three consecutive Oscars for their work on the Lord of the Rings trilogy from 2001 to 2003. One of the easiest calls of the night.

WILL WIN: Emmanuel Lubezki – The Revenant
COULD WIN: No one
SHOULD WIN: Emmanuel Lubezki – The Revenant
SHOULD HAVE BEEN HERE: Maryse Alberti – Creed

 

 

spotlight

BEST WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY)

Nominees:
Bridge of Spies
Ex Machina
Inside Out
Spotlight
Straight Outta Compton

Spotlight has won this category from virtually every group handing out awards this season. It’s the film’s strongest aspect, and it’ll be a fine consolation prize if it doesn’t win the big one. The other nominees don’t stand a chance.

WILL WIN: Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer – Spotlight
COULD WIN: No one
SHOULD WIN: Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer – Spotlight
SHOULD HAVE BEEN HERE: Taylor Sheridan – Sicario

 

 

the-big-short

BEST WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)

Nominees:
The Big Short
Brooklyn
Carol
The Martian
Room

Like Spotlight in the Original Screenplay category, one film has dominated the competition for months now: The Big Short. It’s a film that combines comedy, drama and manages to educate people on a serious subject in an entertaining way. That it’s one of the Best Picture frontrunners leads me to believe it’ll clean shop on the final stop too. That doesn’t mean it’s the one most deserving of the prize though.

WILL WIN: Adam McKay and Charles Randolph – The Big Short
COULD WIN: No one
SHOULD WIN: Phyllis Nagy – Carol
SHOULD HAVE BEEN HERE: Cary Fukunaga – Beasts of No Nation

 

 

creed-stallone

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

By far the tightest of the four acting races this year, and that’s due in part due to the rotating slate of nominees AND winners from show to show. Sentimental favorite Sylvester Stallone has all the momentum and the narrative to go with it. How could you not vote for him reprising the iconic character that he created and then helped craft into an Oscar winning Best Picture winner in 1976? The fact that he was the only major creative player from that film not to win that night 39 years ago adds to his narrative. But here’s the thing: After winning the Critics choice award, he was surprisingly passed over for nominations by the Screen Actors Guild and BAFTA. But neither of those groups were able to establish a sturdy alternate. SAG went with Idris Elba (Beasts of No Nation) who the Academy shamefully neglected to nominate, and BAFTA went with hometown favorite Mark Rylance, a character actor whose performance in Bridge of Spies feels too nuanced for Oscar. Some are saying Mark Ruffalo and Christian Bale, two beloved actors (both with multiple nominations in their belts) are primed to upset Stallone but if neither could trump Stallone, Elba or Rylance at the other shows where their films won or were nominated for the big prize, how are they going to do so over here?

WILL WIN: Sylvester Stallone – Creed
COULD WIN: Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies
SHOULD WIN: Sylvester Stallone – Creed
SHOULD HAVE BEEN HERE: Michael Shannon – 99 Homes (how did this not happen?)

 

 

alicia-vikander-danish

BEST ACTRESS INA SUPPORTING ROLE

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

Like Best Supporting Actor, this category also seemed to be up in the air for a long time. After all, only one of the nominees appears in a film nominated for Best Picture (Rachel McAdams), and her nomination has always felt like an after-thought. But after the various precursors started to weigh in, the race has seemed to boil down to first-time nominee Alicia Vikander and Academy Award winner Kate Winslet who took the Globe and the BAFTA. I’d give more credit to Winslet’s wins at those two award shows but in both cases, Vikander was correctly nominated in the lead category. Whenever they were placed in the same category (the Critics Choice and the BAFTAs), Vikander was declared the winner. I suspect the same thing will happen tomorrow. It’s a blatant case of category fraud but Vikander’s had one hell of a year. An award for being the only good thing in a dreadful movie, as well as for her sterling supporting turn in Ex Machina would be okay by me.

WILL WIN: Alicia Vikander – The Danish Girl
COULD WIN: Kate Winslet – Steve Jobs
SHOULD WIN: Rooney Mara – Carol but this is category fraud too so Kate Winslet – Steve Jobs by default
SHOULD HAVE BEEN HERE: Elizabeth Banks – Love & Mercy

 

 

brie-larson-room

BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

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

What should have been a tighter race all season long ended up being a blow-out. Although Saorise Ronan, Cate Blanchett and Charlotte Rampling all deliver some of the best work of their lives, Brie Larson has absolutely dominated the circuit for her devastating performance in Room, my pick for the best overall acting performance of the year, bar none. Her sweeping the circuit this year has been one of the most enjoyable aspects of the season, especially since she was completely ignored for her equally stunning work in Short Term 12.  This is a wonderful young actress who deserves a great career that I hope will come to her now that she’s going to be an Academy Award-winner.

WILL WIN: Brie Larson – Room
COULD WIN: No one
SHOULD WIN: Brie Larson – Room
SHOULD HAVE BEEN HERE: Emily Blunt – Sicario

 

 

revenant-leo

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

The biggest lock of the night is also probably the only reason many people will be tuning in to watch the show in the first place. Leo’s got this. His time has come. The long era of the hilarious “Leo’s desperate for an Oscar” memes will finally be coming to an end tomorrow. Does he deserve to win the award? From this slate of performers, probably yea, but is this is best? Far from it. He should have won the last time he was nominated – for The Wolf of Wall Street. THAT’s the one people will remember him for (along with plenty of other un-nominated ones, of course). His win tomorrow would just make him the latest in a long line of actors and filmmakers who won for the wrong role. He’s also far from being over-due for one. Save for Wolf, he was never the most deserving winner in any of the other times he was nominated. Maybe he’ll win it again—on pure merit this time—for Scorsese’s The Devil in the White City but that movie is still years away. Anyway, at least the memes will come to an end and we can all move on to creating memes for Amy Adams as the most due actor in Hollywood. Unless he somehow loses due to some Earth-shattering incident. That’d be hilarious though. Imagine how he’d react.

WILL WIN: Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant
COULD WIN: Bryan Cranston lol, not really
SHOULD WIN: Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant
SHOULD HAVE BEEN HERE: Michael B. Jordan – Creed

 

 

revenant-alejandro-inarritu

BEST DIRECTING

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

A month ago, no one would fathom that the Academy would award Inarritu with back-to-back Oscars for Best Director, especially since he didn’t exactly deserve it the first time around for Birdman. Then he goes and wins the fucking DGA and the BAFTA as well, and laughs in our face. On the eve of the Oscars, the man sits in pole position to become the first filmmaker to win back-to-back Oscars for Best Director since Joseph L. Mankiewicz in 1950 and potentially the first one ever to direct back-to-back Best Picture winners too. Now, there’s a strong case for George Miller to win the Oscar for Mad Max: Fury Road too. Even though he lost the DGA to Inarritu, it could have been the result of the 70-year-old Australian splitting the genre vote with another septuagenarian icon – Ridley Scott for The Martian. But with Scott not nominated at the Oscars, and Miller not receiving a nod at the BAFTAs, this could be the first time that the two filmmakers went head-to-head. While Miller winning would be the finest surprise of the evening, it’s never a good idea to bet against the DGA – especially when the winning filmmaker’s film was as ambitious and challenging as The Revenant.

WILL WIN: Alejandro G. Inarritu – The Revenant
COULD WIN: George Miller – Mad Max: Fury Road
SHOULD WIN: George Miller – Mad Max: Fury Road
SHOULD HAVE BEEN HERE: Denis Villeneuve – Sicario

 

revenantbest-picture-2015

BEST PICTURE

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

And we’re here: the closest, craziest, most exciting awards season in over a decade. Usually, at this point in the season, consensus has formed around a single frontrunner and the majority of the big categories are locked up and ready to go. Even in 2013, when nobody knew whether it was going to be 12 Years a Slave or Gravity, most of us had a feeling that it was going to be Steve McQueen’s film. After all, its main competitor was a movie set in space. This year isn’t like that. It all started off at Telluride where Spotlight took the mantle of frontrunner. That was the case until the PGA last month when The Big Short stole the lead. Then when Spotlight won the SAG, it was Tom McCarthy’s journalism drama again… until The Revenant came storming in and won the DGA, and took on more momentum with its wins at the BAFTAs two weeks ago. Three films haven’t split the three major guilds – the DGA, the PGA and the SAG – since 2004 when Sideways won the SAG, The Aviator won the PGA and Million Dollar Baby won the DGA. Clint Eastwood’s late breaking drama eventually ended up winning Best Picture. Before that, you’d have to go all the way back to 2000 when Gladiator, the PGA winner, edged out SAG winner Traffic and DGA champ Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon to win Best Picture. What those two Best Picture winners had in common were their leading acting contenders. Gladiator had Russell Crowe who won Best Actor while Million Dollar Baby was powered by Hilary Swank’s performance – a Best Actress winning one. This year, only one of the three frontrunners has a talked-about leading performance – Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant. DiCaprio’s “he’s due” momentum and narrative has been so strong that I think he’s been pulling his director and picture along for the ride. The fact that the movie peaked at the box office during the voting period only helps its case. But the biggest case against The Revenant is that it’s divisive in some circles and more importantly, that it lost to The Big Short at the PGA – the only organization that votes with the preferential ballot, the system the Academy uses. Ever since the Academy and PGA adopted the preferential ballot system in 2009, the two organizations have had a 100% synch record. And that’s the cincher. Should I bet against the flawless batting rate of the PGA or go with the crowd and the momentum? Right now, I’m going with the momentum

WILL WIN: The Revenant
COULD WIN: The Big Short
SHOULD WIN: Spotlight*
SHOULD HAVE BEEN HERE: Carol

 

*I’m pulling for a Spotlight win here even though The Revenant was my favorite movie of 2015 because A) if The Revenant wins, it’s going to be the victim of some over-exaggerated vitriol from critics who’ll use the Best Picture win as ammo to demolish it for years to come as one of the worst movies to win the award. Nevermind that they’re wrong, and B) Spotlight is a damn fucking good movie. It’s the type of understated drama that’s rarely seen today and awarding it would be good for the industry. Also, just about nobody dislikes it so its chances of getting crucified is slim to unlikely. It’s also tackles a Capital I important subject and makes everyone look good – especially us journalists.

 

FINAL PREDICTED AWARD TALLY:

The Revenant – 6 Oscars
Mad Max: Fury Road – 4 Oscars
Spotlight – 1 Oscar
The Big Short – 1 Oscar
Room – 1 Oscar
Creed – 1 Oscar
The Danish Girl – 1 Oscar
Star Wars: The Force Awakens – 1 Oscar
Inside Out – 1 Oscar
Amy – 1 Oscar
Son of Saul – 1 Oscar
The Hunting Ground – 1 Oscar

 

 

oscars-poster-2016

 

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