Hi again! So, you have probably seen the Oscar nominations, which came out on Thursday, and so I thought that I should tell you guys my predictions for what the Oscars will choose, my opinion on what should win, some exciting surprises, and some good, old-fashioned Oscar snubs. I will be covering a good number of categories, but will be bypassing some categories, mostly a lot of technical awards. Let’s get started.
Best Original Score
Thomas Newman- Bridge of Spies
Carter Burwell- Carol
Ennio Morricone- The Hateful Eight
Johann Johannsson- Sicario
John Williams- Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Overall, a good list of nominees. It is strange to see Williams on the ballot for a still fantastic score, yet it is subtle for a Star Wars score. I do think that Ennio Morricone has had an Oscar coming to him ever since “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly,” which pretty much makes him a lock for the Oscar. I am slightly disappointed with the absence of Michael Giacchino’s emotionally-driven score for “Inside Out.” Oh, well.
Prediction: Ennio Morricone- The Hateful Eight
Best Original Song
“Earned It”- Fifty Shades of Grey
“Manta Ray”- Racing Extinction
“Simple Song #3”- Youth
“Til It Happens To You”- The Hunting Ground
“Writing’s on the Wall”- SPECTRE
I’m going to be honest: I have not even heard of “Racing Extinction” or “The Hunting Ground.” So, I really can not pick those for my prediction. And I really don’t think that the Academy will give the Oscar to a song from a movie that is as terrible as “Fifty Shades of Grey,” no matter how good it is. I think that “Writing’s On The Wall” will scoop up the gold. Sam Smith is scooping up awards for his music, so why not an Oscar? Also, the song’s amazing. Haunting, beautiful, and stunningly orchestral. and I’m not just saying that because of my love for “SPECTRE.” The song was one of the best parts of the movie. It’s surprising that Wiz Khalifa’s “See You Again” was not nominated, given the recent passing of Paul Walker. Either way, “Writing’s On The Wall” deserves it.
Prediction: “Writing’s On The Wall”- SPECTRE
Best Visual Effects
Mad Max: Fury Road
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
I do think that all of these movies has a chance to win, which makes it hard to predict, but my money is on “Mad Max: Fury Road.” Now, hear me out. Yes, films like Star Wars has a large use of visual effects, The Martian is an “astronaut film”, like Gravity and Interstellar, which won the visual effects awards the two years past, and “Ex Machina” and “The Revenant” are bigger “Oscar movies.” However, “Mad Max: Fury Road” pushed the envelope is terms of visual effects, re-introducing practical effects to the world, while the rest of the nominees use CGI. “Mad Max: Fury Road” is taking the statue this round.
Prediction: Mad Max: Fury Road
Ed Lachman- Carol
Robert Richardson- The Hateful Eight
John Seale- Mad Max: Fury Road
Emmanuel Lubezki- The Revenant
Roger Deakins- Sicario
“The Revenant” is maybe the biggest lock in the entire set of nominees. Emmanuel Lubezki has won the past two years for his great work on “Gravity” and “Birdman,” other than the great Roger Deakins (nominated this year for “Sicario”) who has never won an Oscar. Yet Lubezki’s use of all natural light to get the right shot will get him another statue. This sort of working gimmick is exactly what the Academy loves. A notable snub for me is “Creed”, a beautifully shot film crafted with care and love. Oh well.
Prediction: Emmanuel Lubezki- The Revenant
Best Animated Film
Boy and the World
Shaun the Sheep Movie
When Marnie Was There
Now, if you saw my Top 10 Favorite Movies of 2015, you will know that I adored “Inside Out,” and that it is, in fact, one of my favorite animated movies I’ve ever seen. The film hit me, emotionally, visually, mentally. Every single frame was a masterpiece, a work of pure art. So, yes, I do think it will win Best Animated Film, which will be Pixar’s eighth win. However, the dark horse could be Charlie Kaufman’s stop-motion indie: “Anomalisa,” winning over critics and audiences alike. However, it may be too different for the 60-something men of the Academy. I am also a slight disappointed to see such a faithful and loving film like “The Peanuts Movie” left out of the running. I do still think “Inside Out” will take the category. And I’m perfectly fine with that.
Prediction: Inside Out
Best Adapted Screenplay
Charles Randolph and Adam McKay- The Big Short
Nick Hornby- Brooklyn
Phyllis Nagy- Carol
Drew Goddard- The Martian
Emma Donaghue- Room
This is a tricky one. All of these are well written films, and have a chance to win. But the one I’m going with the script that took a very tough subject to comprehend and made it understandable and entertaining; and that would be Charles Randolph and Adam McKay’s script for “The Big Short.” It was smart and funny, without sinking to the chilches most writers would use. However, another contender is the screenplay for “The Martian,” which, again brought humor and excitement to a situation that would normally be seen as depressing. As for snubs, Aaron Sorkin’s quick Globe-winning screenplay for “Steve Jobs” is absent. Interesting.
Prediction: Charles Randolph and Adam McKay- The Big Short
Best Original Screenplay
Matt Charman and Joel & Ethan Coen- Bridge of Spies
Alex Garland- Ex Machina
Pete Doctor, Meg LeFauve, and Josh Cooley- Inside Out
Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy- Spotlight
Jonathan Herman and Andrea Berloff- Straight Outta Compton
Another strange category. The real surprise here is “Straight Outta Compton,” the biopic about one of the most influential music groups of all time: NWA. This nomination also serves as perhaps the only example of racial diversity in this year’s Oscars. As true as that is, this film will most likely not win the gold. The notable snub is that of Quentin Tarantino for his western “The Hateful Eight.” It seems that every time Tarantino comes out with a new film, he at least gets nominated for writing. But not “The Hateful Eight.”
Here’s where it gets tough. I would love to see “Ex Machina” or “Inside Out” (both completely original stories) to come out on top. However, apart from all that, the most probable winner is “Spotlight,” a journalism drama focusing around the Boston Globe journalists who uncovered the sex abuse scandal inside the Catholic Church. A very emotional and dramatic screenplay, it has all the makings for an Oscar-winning script. “Spotlight” is a great movie, one of the best of the year, and I would be perfectly happy for it to win.
Prediction: Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy- Spotlight
Adam McKay- The Big Short
George Miller- Mad Max: Fury Road
Alejandro G. Inarritu- The Revenant
Lenny Abrahamson- Room
Tom McCarthy- Spotlight
All five are worthy competitors, and it is a hard race. First, let’s talk about the snub. Ridley Scott was not nominated for his great film this year: “The Martian.” This was one of Scott’s best films, and was incredibly directed. The spot that people assumed as going to be his was filled up by Lenny Abrahamson of “Room.” I think that this is a snub of the highest order.
For predictions, I think that it is a race between Inarritu and Miller. Both of them filmed in great locations, had to go through a lot of obstacles to make the film, used great cinematography, and filmed action very well. I’m going to give the edge to Inarritu. We all know that the Academy is not a fan of franchise films, which may (unfairly) disclude Miller. As for Inarritu, he’s taken home his second in a row.
Prediction: Alejandro G. Inarritu- The Revenant
Best Supporting Actress
Jennifer Jason Leigh- The Hateful Eight
Rooney Mara- Carol
Rachel McAdams- Spotlight
Alicia Vikander- The Danish Girl
Kate Winslet- Steve Jobs
A tight race, but the road is pretty clear cut to me. Rooney Mara from Carol is going to win the Oscar. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of great performances. But Rooney Mara was nominated for Best Leading Actress in a good number of award shows, so that, if nothing else, proves that she will win. However, you can’t count out Jason Leigh and the Globe-winning Winslet, and I am very happy to see McAdams, especially since I did not see her in many nominee lists. But my guess stands.
Prediction: Rooney Mara- Carol
Best Supporting Actor
Christian Bale- The Big Short
Tom Hardy- The Revenant
Mark Ruffalo- Spotlight
Mark Rylance- Bridge of Spies
Sylvester Stallone- Creed
The Best Supporting Actor is usually the most crowded category is any awards show, since there are always more supporting actors than leads, and, unfortunately, (let’s face it) there are more actors out there than actresses, so of course there are going to snubs. The more prominent ones are Idris Elba from “Beasts Of No Nation,” Jason Mitchell from “Straight Outta Compton,” and even Adam Driver from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” But, all of these are great performances, and I would be satisfied seeing Rylance (“Would it help?”) or Ruffalo, with a standout performance that was the most prominent in a film with Michael Keaton! That alone was incredible. However, how could you not give it to Stallone in “Creed,” especially since he didn’t win in 1975 for the original “Rocky.” And plus, it is such a great movie and a great performance, and The Academy would get so much publicity if this great actor finally got his due.
Prediction: Sylvester Stallone- Creed
Cate Blanchett- Carol
Brie Larson- Room
Jennifer Lawrence- Joy
Charlotte Rampling- 45 Years
Saoirse Ronan- Brooklyn
This one’s a biggie: the Best Actress category. My prediction is a performance from a movie that The Academy fawned over: Brie Larson from Room. Yes, I know that The Academy loves Ms. Lawrence, but “Joy” was too OK of a movie for Lawrence to win. But “Room” is such an important and emotional film that The Academy is sure to reward her for her breakthrough performance. Don’t count out Blanchett though, an Oscar favorite for a long time. By the way, perhaps the biggest snub of the year is Charlize Theron from “Mad Max: Fury Road.” Her portrayal of the fantastic character Furiosa should have bought her a nomination.
Prediction: Brie Larson- Room
Bryan Cranston- Trumbo
Matt Damon- The Martian
Leonardo DiCaprio- The Revenant
Michael Fassbender- Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne- The Danish Girl
It is a joke around the Internet that Leo DiCaprio has not won an Oscar after so many years of being nominated. But I think 2016 in his year, because my prediction is that DiCaprio is going to win for “The Revenant,” a performance for which he absolutely deserves it. If you read how much we went through on the set, you’ll know that he absolutely devotes himself to his art, and it shows. However, Redmayne could snatch it up, playing a real-life transgender artist. Sounds like an Oscar role if there ever was one. Matt Damon could be a threat, giving one of his best performances in “The Martian.”
Prediction: Leonardo DiCaprio- The Revenant
The Big Short
Bridge of Spies
Mad Max: Fury Road
This is the one you’ve all been waiting for: Best Picture. Overall, I am satisfied with the picks. There are snubs, there always are. The ones for 2016 being “Carol,” “Straight Outta Compton,” “Ex Machina,” and most for me, “Inside Out,” “Creed,” “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Though, this is a list of great films, and any of them could win, from “Mad Max: Fury Road,” a breakthrough in modern action, or “The Martian,” a very well-balanced, fantastic sci-fi film. But. if you were to put all my chips into one of them, it would be “Spotlight,” and I’m not complaining. “Spotlight” is without a doubt one of the greatest films of the year (if you watched my Top 10, it was my #3), and it was everything the Academy likes. It has a great ensemble cast, great writing, and a true, affecting story. This movie has everything that the Academy loves, and will win Best Picture.
Alright, those are my Oscar predictions for the 2016 Oscars. Be sure and tell me your predictions in the comments. And check out my Top 10 Movies of 2015 here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPvKKfnNVfA I’ll see you next time!