Saturday, February 20, 2016

Oscars 2016: Final Predictions

So my final predictions for the winners in the major categores are here. Who should win, will win, or could potentially pull off an upset? Let's find out:

Best Picture:
The Big Short 
Bridge of Spies
Mad Max: Fury Road 
The Martian 
The Revenant 

Will Win: The Revenant 

Could Win: The Big Short 

Should Win: Room or Mad Max: Fury Road 

Originally, I went with The Big Short, which won PGA, but I'm going to say The Revenant takes it. It won the Globe and BAFTA Award for Best Picture and it has the most nominations with 12 which is key because voters from the different branches vote in every category. But my vote would go to Room, the best film of the year, or even Mad Max: Fury Road which would be a bold, game-changing choice. But then again, these are the same people that gave an Oscar to The King's Speech over The Social Network. So bold isn't exactly in their vocabulary, is it?

But where's...: Inside Out. I am feeling Sadness over the exclusion of the best Pixar film in years.

Best Director:
Adam McKay, The Big Short 
George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road 
Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu, The Revenant 
Lenny Abrahamson, Room 
Thomas McCarthy, Spotlight 

Will Win: Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu, The Revenant 

Could Win: George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road 

Should Win: George Miller, Mad Max, Fury Road 

Originally, I was going to predict Miller takes it because I didn't thini they would give Innaritu his 2nd Director win in a row. But the Directors Guild win is pretty indicative in my opinion. Miller could still come through, though, for the other big spectacle in this category. Mad Max: Fury Road is the second most nominated film with 10 nominations.

But where's...: Ridley Scott, The Martian. Just when we thought Scott could actually win the prize, he gets excluded. C'est la vie, I suppose.

Best Actor:
Bryan Cranston, Trumbo 
Matt Damon, The Martian 
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant 
Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs 
Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl 

Will Win: Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant 

Could Win: Matt Damon, The Martian 

Should Win: Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs 

Everyone but Leonardo DiCaprio can stay home. I would give my vote to Matt Damon's everyman turn in The Martian or Michael Fassbender's titanic leading man performance in Steve Jobs. But it's a done deal.

But where's...: Ben Mendelsohn, Mississippi Grind. Not that he had much of a chance, but Ben Mendelsohn more than deserved a spot for his work as a jinxed gambler.

Best Actress:
Cate Blanchett, Carol 
Brie Larson, Room 
Jennifer Lawrence, Joy 
Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years 
Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn 

Will Win: Brie Larson, Room 

Could Win: Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn 

Should Win: Brie Larson, Room

Larson is a near lock to win Best Actress. I say near lock because Saoirse Ronan could easily steal her thunder. She does have more screentime than Larson and her film is also up for Best Picture. Although honestly, with the exception of Jennifer Lawrence who was just being Jennifer Lawrence, I'd be happy with any of the nominated ladies taking it.

But where's...: Charlize Theron, Mad Max: Fury Road. It seems strange to give Mad Max all those nominations without recognizing the film's heart and soul which is Theron's Furiosa.

Best Supporting Actor:
Christian Bale, The Big Short 
Tom Hardy, The Revenant 
Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight 
Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
Sylvester Stallone, Creed 

Will Win: Tom Hardy, The Revenant 

Could Win: Sylvester Stallone, Creed 

Should Win: Tom Hardy, The Revenant 

I know that Stallone has the "comeback/It's his time" narrative and all. But if you ask last year's comeback kid, Michael Keaton, that narrative doesn't always pan out. Also, while Stallone is the sole representation for Creed, Tom Hardy is in the two most nominated films this year so when voters watch his performances in both The Revenant and Mad Max, they'll be like "Wow, that's the same actor." Also, his performance is much showier than Stallone's with his thick Southern drawl and the way he uglifies himself. I think Hardy will pull a Brody-level upset.

But where's...: Oscar Isaac, Ex Machina. Hardly a brighter star was born this year than Oscar Isaac who deserved a slot for his portrayal of a frat boy-like Dr. Frankenstein in Ex Machina. Also, Emory Cohen deserves a special shoutout for his plumber with a heart of gold in Brooklyn. 

Best Supporting Actress:
Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight 
Rooney Mara, Carol 
Rachel McAdams, Spotlight 
Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl 
Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs 

Will Win: Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl 

Could Win: Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs 

Should Win: Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight 

I think that Rooney Mara gives the best performance in this category, but I absolutely REFUSE to believe she is a supporting actress. Out of the actual supporting ladies (Leigh, McAdams, Winslet), I'd give my vote to Jennifer Jason Leigh. Even though Alicia Vikander has taken the Critics Choice and SAG for her equally fraudulent work in The Danish Girl, making her out in front, I'll likely be pretending she'll win for Ex Machina. Either way, a win would be a cherry on top of a breakthrough year for her. Although Kate Winslet is breathing down her neck thanks to her Globe and BAFTA wins. I can definitely see that happening because who can resist wanting to see Jack and Rose bumping their Oscars, right?

But where's...: Rose Byrne, Spy. The woman who should be dominating this category gets left out because they just don't love seeing their actors be funny, I guess?

Best Original Screenplay:
Bridge of Spies
Ex Machina 
Inside Out 
Straight Outta Compton 

Will Win: Spotlight 

Could Win: Straight Outta Compton 

Should Win: Inside Out 

This one's a done deal. Spotlight will easily take this award even if it doesn't win Best Picture. But nothing would have me feeling more Joy than if Inside Out won. I'd keep an eye out for Straight Outta Compton, though, in the midst of all this #OscarsSoWhite B.S..

But where's...: The Hateful Eight. They love Tarantino in this category, but apparently not enough to include him. Give him Bridge of Spies' slot. That movie isn't technically as original as The Hateful Eight is.

Best Adapted Screenplay:
The Big Short 
The Martian

Will Win: The Big Short 

Could Win: The Martian 

Should Win: Room

The Big Short will easily take this. But I wouldn't be surprised to see The Martian, another dialogue-heavy picture, snag it. If that film could win anything, it's this category since its director got snubbed, its lead actor has little chance, and the techs will likely go in a different direction (Mad Max or The Revenant).

But where's...: The End Of The Tour. They like themselves some biopics. So how could a biopic like this one not get love anywhere? It came out in the summer, so I guess in their eyes, it wasn't released.

I don't usually cover tech categories, but I'm going to delve into the Editing category because of how key it is to winning Best Picture.

Best Film Editing:

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

Will Win: Mad Max: Fury Road 

Could Win: The Big Short 

Should Win: Mad Max: Fury Road 

I think Mad Max takes this, having won at the Critics Choice, the Editors Guild, and the BAFTA Awards. But The Big Short won Best Editing in a Feature Film- Comedy at the Editors Guild while Mad Max won in the Drama category. If The Big Short takes this, then it can win Best Picture since you usually need at least two other major wins to win Best Picture (in Acting, Directing, Writing, and/or Editing). But if Mad Max wins, then it means a win for The Revenant since Mad Max is unlikely to win Best Picture and The Revenant may already be taken care of in other categories like Director, Actor, and even Cinematographer for Emmanuel Lubezki (who could win for the third year in a row!).

The Oscars will air on Sunday, February 28th at 8 p.m. EST and Chris Rock will be hosting the big show. I look forward to continuing my Oscar coverage until then. Thanks for reading!