Saturday, February 27, 2016

Oscars predix 2016

The Oscars race has been surprisingly quiet this year - I say surprisingly because it's one of those rare years where there isn't a clear favorite for best picture. In fact, there aren't just two but *three* bona fide contenders that could reasonably take home the top prize, which, if not unprecedented, is certainly pretty damn rare. That should make for an exciting match-up, no?

Thing is, though, that three-way race hasn't really changed much since the nominations were announced. There hasn't been backlash against any of the three front-runners, nor has any one of them gained significant momentum over the other two. We're pretty much back where we were in January, when it seemed like THE REVENANT was the one to beat, with THE BIG SHORT still holding a legit chance of an upset, and early leader SPOTLIGHT fading but still not out of the running. Meanwhile, the acting races have basically been locked up for the past month, except perhaps for supporting actress. Still, as always, we live in hopes that the Academy will surprise us.

Assuming they don't, here are my predictions for the major awards:


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

Will win: The Revenant

Should win: Spotlight

Dark horse: The Big Short


Nominees: Alejandro González Iñarritu, The Revenant; George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road; Adam McKay, The Big Short; Tom McCarthy, Spotlight; Lenny Abrahamson, Room

Will win: Iñarritu, The Revenant

Should win: McCarthy, Spotlight

Dark horse: Miller, Mad Max


Nominees: Leonardo di Caprio, The Revenant; Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs; Matt Damon, The Martian; Bryan Cranston, Trumbo; Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl

Will win: Leo. Duh.

Should win: Fassbender, who totally sold Jobs despite looking nothing like the man

Dark horse: None. I will eat raw bison liver if Leo doesn't get this.


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

Will win: Brie Larson

Should win: I love Brie and she's fantastic in Room, but I gotta give this to Charlotte Rampling for 45 Years. She did more with her eyes than most actors do with their entire bodies. Too bad she had to ruin her chances by making tonedeaf comments on the "#Oscarssowhite" controversy. (And mind you, I have my own issues with #Oscarssowhite, but *I'm* not up for an Oscar!)

Dark horse: None. I just don't see any of the others getting past Brie, not even the great Cate.


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

Will win: Stallone

Should win: Stallone

Dark horse: Almost any of the other nominees have a shot - but I really think Stallone has this one in the bag.


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

Will win: Vikander - Oscar loves a fresh new face for supporting actress, and 2015 was a breakout year for her.

Should win: Winslet

Dark horse: Winslet

N.B: This category was tarnished by not one but two of the nominees (Vikander and Mara) being put up for supporting actress, even though they're clearly co-LEADS of their respective movies, because the studios backing them thought they'd have a better shot at getting nominated in supporting (and in the case of Carol, probably didn't want Mara and Blanchett drawing votes from each other). They proved right. They shouldn't have! Don't get me wrong, both Vikander and Mara were great; but their nominations only pushed out true supporting performances that would have been worthy, e.g., Elizabeth Banks in Love and Mercy; Sarah Paulson in Carol.


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

Will win: Spotlight

Should win: Spotlight

Dark horse: Inside Out


Nominees: The Big Short, Room, Brooklyn, Carol, The Martian

Will win: The Big Short

Should win: Room

Dark horse: Maybe Room, but again, I am 99.9% confident that The Big Short has this.

And that's it for me! Tune in tomorrow night to ABC to see whether a man fighting off bears and snowy wilderness trumps investigative journalists and Margot Robbie in a bathtub. My money's on the bear, but despite that, I'm rooting for the journalists. They had a far more interesting story to tell.


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