2016 Oscar Predictions

Photo Credit:http://indianexpress.com/article/entertainment/entertainment-others/2016-oscar-nominations-to-simulcast-on-star-movies-hd-version/

Awards season is, believe it or not, still going on. Even as 2016 starts to deliver some really interesting and, in some cases, innovative filmmaking, we have yet to honor the best films of 2015 with the prestige of the Academy Awards. From The Revenant to Star Wars, here are our final predictions for who will win at the Oscars on Sunday. As usual, since the voters don’t get everything the way we’d like it, we’ve also picked who should win in the cases where they differ.


MV5BMjU4NDExNDM1NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMDIyMTgxNzE@._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_11110866_658246694280855_1682386295316885693_oBest Picture: With eight films nominated, we can actually write off four that have almost no chance of winning. They are Bridge of SpiesBrooklynThe Martian, and Room. Of the remaining four, the least likely to win, but most deserving for being one of the best pure action films ever made, is Mad Max: Fury Road. Had The Revenant not gained such traction in recent weeks, it would have likely gotten more votes. But The Revenant also boasts some great action scenes, taking away many from Mad Max. Actually, The Revenant has gained so much steam recently, that it’s likely to win. But early favorites The Big Short and Spotlight could still pull a spoiler. Will Win: The Revenant/Should Win: Mad Max: Fury Road


Photo Credit:http://www.comingsoon.net/movies/news/428175-madness-these-are-more-mad-max-fury-road-posters#/slide/1George_Miller_while_filming_Fury_Road_(cropped)Best Director: As it should be, this category is really just a race between two filmmakers who made two astounding action films. The Revenant‘s Alejandro G. Inarritu could get his second win just a year after his victory for Birdman. If the film wins Best Picture, you can bet its director will walk home with a statue as well. But if enough Academy members vote with the “once was enough” sentimentality, George Miller will deservingly win for how perfectly the entirety of Mad Max: Fury Road comes together. Will Win: Alejandro G. Inarritu for The Revenant/ Should Win: George Miller for Mad Max: Fury Road


Photo Credit:http://moviepilot.com/posts/3656218Best Actor: It’s Leo’s year and that’s exactly how it should be. If he loses, and he won’t, it’ll be to Michael Fassbender, who’s portrayal of Steve Jobs would win in any other year. But DiCaprio didn’t just put himself through hell physically to deserve it. This is a great actor giving an undeniably great performance. Will/Should Win: Leonardo DiCaprio for The Revenant



Photo Credit:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQpnyb3k3EgPhoto Credit:http://www.ultimatemovierankings.com/cate-blanchett-movies/Best Actress: Brie Larson has been the only one really in the conversation for this category since people started seeing Room. Charlotte Rampling lost her chances with her PR fumble after #OscarsSoWhite resurfaced. Jennifer Lawrence is great in Joy, but also the only thing really great about that movie in general. Saoirse Ronan has a lot of support, but her performance simply isn’t as strong as Larson’s. But the most deserving is Cate Blanchett for her sophisticated, sultry turn in CarolWill Win: Brie Larson for Room/Should Win: Cate Blanchett for Carol


Photo Credit:http://www.forbes.com/forbes/welcome/Best Supporting Actor: A stacked category this year full of worthwhile winners, Mark Rylance has lost steam while Tom Hardy has gained some. But the consistent story here since Creed came out is the return to form for ol’ Sly Stallone. The praise was always big for the veteran actor and hasn’t had the same rollercoaster ride as the other nominees. This consistent love will likely and deservingly grant Stallone a statue. Will/Should Win: Sylvester Stallone for Creed


Photo Credit:http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/6684005/Kate-Winslet-pictured-in-new-Steve-Jobs-biopic.htmlBest Supporting Actress: A weirdly unpredictable category this year, no one seems to be admitting to how great Kate Winslet was in Steve Jobs. She’s the frontrunner, but it took a little longer than expected to get there. There’s also potential upsets that could come from Alicia Vikander and Rooney Mara. But I still think this’ll be the year that both Titanic alums walk home with an Oscar. Will/Should Win: Kate Winslet for Steve Jobs



Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1895587/Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1895587/Best Original Screenplay: With The Revenant and Mad Max ruling the big and technical categories, this is where the Academy will find room to reward the other two Best Picture favorites. For original screenplay, expect Spotlight to win pretty easily. If there’s a spoiler, it’ll go to Inside Out, which deserves it a little bit more for its emotional heft and clever wit. Will Win: Spotlight/Should Win: Inside Out


Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1596363/?ref_=nv_sr_1Best Adapted Screenplay: Going by the same sentiment as original screenplay, The Big Short should pretty easily snag this one, and deservingly so. If it loses, it’ll be to one of the other Best Picture nominees, BrooklynThe Martian, or Room, but even they don’t really have a clear favorite between them. Will/Should Win: The Big Short




Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1895587/Best Animated Feature Film: I love this category this year. Instead of nominating the random slew of sequels the US shells out, we’ve got a charming, dialogue free British claymation film; an innovative, hand-drawn environmentalist statement from Brazil; a Studio Ghibli film; an insane adult stop-motion drama from Charlie Kaufman; and one of Pixar’s best ever. Frankly, Anomalisa is so unbelievably good that it almost should win, but Inside Out was the best film of 2015, expect the Academy to recognize that. Will/Should Win: Inside Out


Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3808342/Best Foreign Language Film: Another year with another clear and deserving frontrunner. It’s Son of Saul‘s to lose. That said, an upset from the also outstanding Embrace the Serpent or Mustang wouldn’t be the worst things that could happen at this ceremony. Will/Should Win: Son of Saul




Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2870648/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1Best Documentary – Feature: Historically among the most predictable categories of all 24, Amy has had traction since it premiered. Cartel Land or The Look of Silence could provide an upset, but with Amy winning just about every award it needed to beforehand, the Academy will likely be no different. Will Win: Amy




Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5144072/?ref_=nv_sr_1Best Documentary – Short Subject: Predicting this category is like blindly throwing darts at a dart board. HBO has done well with this in the past, and this year they have a film that combines feminism and the Middle East. Good enough of a guess, right? Will Win: A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness




Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4122886/?ref_=nv_sr_2Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4324518/?ref_=nv_sr_1Best Live Action Short: Much like the category above, expect the Academy to go with the feminism-Middle East mash-up and award Day One. It’s one of the better films nominated, but not as good as Everything Will Be Okay, a German story of a single father trying to smuggle his daughter out of the country. It’s a beautifully made short that feels like a full meal, a rarity in short films. Will Win: Day One/Should Win: Everything Will Be Okay


Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4324518/?ref_=nv_sr_1Best Animated Short Film: With Pixar almost certainly winning Best Animated Feature Film, the Academy may pass on awarding Sanjay’s Super Team, as great as it is. That’s fine though because the other favorite is the superior and generally outstanding World of TomorrowWill/Should Win: World of Tomorrow




Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3460252/?ref_=nv_sr_1Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2488496/?ref_=nv_sr_1Best Original Score: With its overture and all, The Hateful Eight had one of the showiest, attention-grabbing scores of the year. Less showy but equally outstanding was Carol‘s score, which will likely be ignored for one of the bigger, louder scores. But then one of those belongs to John Williams for a little movie called Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Combining old themes and new themes from the classic franchise, the score was integral in establishing the classic tone while taking the saga into a brave new era. Will Win: The Hateful Eight/Should Win: Star Wars: The Force Awakens


Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4185572/Best Original Song: Frankly a weak year here, buzz has recently grown around “Earned It” from Fifty Shades of Grey. But after Lady Gaga’s showstopper Sound of Music tribute at last year’s Oscars, and the sheer power and timeliness of “Till It Happens to You,” expect the Academy to reward one of the only truly great songs nominated. Not even a writing controversy can get in the way of it. Will/Should Win: “Till it Happens to You” by Diane Warren and Lady Gaga from The Hunting Ground


Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1596363/?ref_=nv_sr_111110866_658246694280855_1682386295316885693_oBest Film Editing: As cool as it is that Star Wars is nominated here, it isn’t going to win and it shouldn’t. Spotlight and The Revenant are unlikely winners as well, due to their deliberate pacing. The Big Short is flashy with its editing, even to the point of being annoying. But there’s a lot of love for it in the Academy, which puts it as the likely winner. That said, Mad Max: Fury Road is among the best action films ever made. Know what aspect of filmmaking plays a crucial part in great action sequences? Editing. Do the right thing Academy voters. Will Win: The Big Short/Should Win: Mad Max: Fury Road


MV5BMjU4NDExNDM1NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMDIyMTgxNzE@._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_Best Cinematography: This category is packed with talent. All of these films look gorgeous, but none as gorgeous as The Revenant. If Academy voters decide they want to give something to the beloved-by-some Sicario, it could pull an upset. But there wasn’t a more stunning cinematic achievement in cinematography in 2015 than The RevenantWill/Should Win: The Revenant



11110866_658246694280855_1682386295316885693_oBest Production Design: Bridge of Spies and The Danish Girl both fill the period piece quota here, so don’t count them out of the running for one second. The Martian and The Revenant can probably be ruled out as simply getting here for their multitude of other technical triumphs. But that leaves Mad Max: Fury Road, which was created with extraordinary detail and creativity. It’s old but it’s new, which essentially means it’s tailored for this category. Will/Should Win: Mad Max: Fury Road



PHoto Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2402927/Best Costume Design: The big action spectacles Mad Max and The Revenant can probably be ruled out here, leaving Disney’s Cinderella redo and two period pieces. The Danish Girl could snag the award for its pure authenticity, but combine that with high fashion and you have the extensive wardrobe of Carol. Expect the Academy to acknowledge that film here. Will/Should Win: Carol



11110866_658246694280855_1682386295316885693_oBest Makeup and Hairstyling: With the random nomination for The 100-Year Old Man Who Climbed Out a Window and Disappeared pretty easily ruled out, this category is, once again, a battle between Mad Max and The Revenant. If you take into account the meticulous, detailed work on every random warrior Max or Furiosa shoots/punches/crashes into in Fury Road though, there seems to be one clear and deserving winner. Will/Should Win: Mad Max: Fury Road



Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2488496/?ref_=nv_sr_1Best Visual Effects: If there’s one thing these nominees tell you, it’s that the Academy is starting to favor practical effects once more. So no Avengers this time Marvel. The Revenant and Ex Machina are both strong here, but not as big as the other nominees. Mad Max also might be too practical to snag this award. That leaves the two big space movies. The Martian is definitely strong, but Star Wars: The Force Awakens was a combination of just about every type of special effect that has worked in the last several decades of filmmaking. Will/Should Win: Star Wars: The Force Awakens


MV5BMjU4NDExNDM1NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMDIyMTgxNzE@._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2488496/?ref_=nv_sr_1Best Sound Editing: All of these films are worthwhile nominees. But the race is likely between probable Best Picture winner The Revenant and the return of the franchise that drew attention to sound in film in the first place, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. But with voters possibly approaching Star Wars with a “heard it all before” sentimentality, The Revenant could sneak the statue here, no matter how cute BB-8 sounded. Will Win: The Revenant/Should Win: Star Wars: The Force Awakens


MV5BMjU4NDExNDM1NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMDIyMTgxNzE@._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_Best Sound Mixing: Like the category before it, this is a race between The Revenant and Star Wars. But here, The Revenant actually has the proper edge, thanks to its calculated action scenes and quiet tension. Will/Should Win: The Revenant




Who do you think will and should win at the Oscars this weekend? Let us know in the comments below!


By Matt Dougherty

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