Oscar Predictions

February 27, 2016 at 7:01 pm | Posted in 2015 | Leave a comment
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I know I am not cutting it quite as close as last year but I am still coming in right under the wire. To be honest, this was not a great year for film, in my opinion, with no films really moving me on the level of recent years. So it’s hard to feel much investment in tomorrow’s outcome but, for what it’s worth, here are my thoughts:

Best Picture

Should be:  The Big Short.  But only by a hair because of it’s innovative structure.  I would also be happy with “Room” but it has no chance of winning.

Will be:  Revenant.  I think this film is going sweep the night.  If it doesn’t win here, then “Spotlight” will likely take it.

Best Director

Should be:  Adam McKay for The Big Short.  Again, if nothing else, just for the fact that this unexpected director (known for the likes of “Anchorman” and “Stepbrothers”) could produce such an unexpectedly entertaining and insightful film.  I would still be thrilled if Lenny Abrahamson got it for “Room;” the performances he got out of his actors was amazing.

Will be:  AlejandrIñárritu for Revenant.   Almost certainly.  And it isn’t not deserved.  The scope of that film was daunting.  I cannot imagine what a logistical nightmare it must have been to shoot.

Lead Actress

Should be:  Brie Larson in Room or Cate Blanchett in Carol.  Cate is always amazing and she does a remarkable job here, but she has done this level of work before.  Larson is a newcomer and, while I don’t know that her performance was as nuanced as Cate’s, it was filled with raw emotion. So, I’d give the Oscar to her.

Will be: Brie Larson in Room or Cate Blanchett in Carol.. No question.  Charlotte Rampling also had a strong nuanced performance but I think few people saw her film and I think her response to #OscarSoWhite probably hurt her chances.

Lead Actor

Should be:  Leonardo DiCaprio for Revenant. This is finally his year and, frankly, he has earned it with his best performance in 20 years. Bryan Cranston was great fun chewing up the scenery in “Trumbo” but he doesn’t even come close and nobody else does either.

Will be:  Leo.   Without a doubt.  He easiest prediction of the night.

Supporting Actress

Should be:  Rooney Mara in Carol.  To me, this one is clear.  She gave an amazing, nuanced performance that rivaled Blanchette’s, which is saying something.

Will be: I honestly have no idea but, if I were to guess, I’d say  Kate Winslet in Steve Jobs.  This was not a great film and this may be the token win of the night for them.  Although, the same could be said of Alicia Vikander in “The Danish Girl.”  But, Hollywood loves showy performances and Winslet’s was showier.

Supporting Actor

Should be:  Christian Bale in The Big Short.  I don’t feel strongly about this.  He was fine but not superb.  Mark Rylance also gave a nice, understated performance in “Bridge of Spies.” I mean, nobody in this category can even hold a candle to JK Simmons’s performance from last year.

Will be:  Sylvester Stallone in Creed. Almost definitely.  This is the sentimental Oscar.  He isn’t a great actor but he is a beloved one and he does some of his best work here.

Adapted Screenplay

Should be: The Big Short.  For the reasons I have mentioned.

Will be:  The Martian.  It was a good movie but it was a great book.  The adaptation was fine but it will win mostly because of it’s popularity.  And everyone loves Matt Damon.

Original Screenplay

Should be:  Ex Machina.  This film should really really win.  It’s the only Oscar it has a chance at and it was a truly fantastic film.  Frankly, I think Vikander should have been nominated in this role rather than in “The Danish Girl.”

Will be:  Spotlight. Almost for sure.  “Straight Outta Compton” could steal it but I doubt it.  It depends on how guilty the Academy voters feel about the whole #OscarSoWhite thing.

Best Animated Feature

Should be:  Inside Out.  This is a tough call for me because I loved “Anomalisa” but I think what Pixar is currently doing with children’s films is a minor miracle and this one is the best to date.

Will be:  Inside out.  Easy Peasy.

Best Foreign Language Film

Should be:  I have not seen any of them, so I cannot say.

Will be:  Son of Saul.  It appears to have the momentum.  Though, “Mustang” has some buzz as well.

Cinematography

Should be:  Mad Max: Fury Road. The best reboot of a film series that I can remember (including “Star Wars”). An absolute visual feast.

Will be:  Revenant.  “Mad Max” could steal it but I think this will get caught up in the “Revenant” sweep.

Best Documentary

Should be:  The Look of Silence. This sequel to “The Act of Killing” (2013) is almost as astonishing and revelatory as that one.

Will be:  Amy.  I found this documentary to be exploitative but, ironically, I think it is sympathy for Winehouse that will drive this film to the win.

 

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