Oscar season is in full swing and this looks like the most wide open race in years. There is no real frontrunner as of now, though some films have staked their claim as heavy favorites for nominations. Here are my most recent predictions for this year’s Academy Awards.
You can watch all the trailers by clicking on the titles of films.
“Spotlight” played like gangbusters on the festival circuit and has established itself as the favorite. It’s a socially relevant procedural like “All the President’s Men”. “Bridge of Spies” is filmmaking at its best and “Carol” keeps enamoring everyone. “Room” won the Audience Award at Toronto, which is a pretty good indicator it will be nominated. Does it have enough to win? Who knows. We are still waiting on “The Revenant”, “Joy”, “The Hateful Eight”, which could play very well. I also have a suspicion/hope that “Creed” and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” will make a run as well.
2 – THE REVENANT
6- STEVE JOBS
9- SON OF SAUL
10 – INSIDE OUT
With a new Best Picture frontrunner comes a new Best Director frontrunner. If “Spotlight” is as good as its been touted, Todd McCarthy could ride that train to Oscar gold. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu could knock it out of the park again with “The Revenant”. “Carol” could be Todd Haynes’ much overdue first nomination and Spielberg is, well, Spielberg. This race is just as open as Best Picture, with the likes of Quentin Tarantino (“The Hateful Eight”), Danny Boyle (“Steve Jobs”), Lenny Abrahamson (“Room”), David O. Russell (“Joy”) and Laszlo Nemes (“Son of Saul”) all fighting it out as well.
1- TODD MCCARTHY – SPOTLIGHT
2- Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu – The Revenant
3- Steven Spielberg – Bridge of Spies
4- Quentin Tarantino – The Hateful Eight
5- Todd Haynes – Carol
DiCaprio is still the frontrunner until the movie is released. He looks great and the film looks great. Michael Fassbender is amazing in “Steve Jobs” and Johnny Depp does his best work in years in “Black Mass”. Will Smith is said to return to form in “Concussion”, which could lead him to a nomination. I have hope for Michael Caine in “Youth”, as it is some of the best work of his career.
1- LEONARDO DICAPRIO – THE REVENANT
2- Michael Fassbender – Steve Jobs
3- Eddie Redmayne – The Danish Girl
4- Johnny Depp – Black Mass
5- Michael Caine – Youth
We have two surefire nominees in this category. Brie Larson is the frontrunner in the emotionally stirring “Room” and I think Cate Blanchett will get in for “Carol”, though she could also get nominated for “Truth”. Jennifer Lawrence seems pretty safe for a nomination for “Joy”, unless the movie is a bomb, which I don’t think will happen. The rest is up in the air with Carey Mulligan (“Suffragette”), Saoirse Ronan (“Brooklyn”), Lily Tomlin (“Grandma”), and Charlotte Rampling (“45 Years”).
1- BRIE LARSON – ROOM
2- Cate Blanchett – Carol
3- Jennifer Lawrence – Joy
4- Carey Mulligan – Suffragette
5- Charlotte Rampling – 45 Years
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
This category is still up in the air with so many contenders. Mark Rylance is great in “Bridge of Spies” and Idris Elba has gotten nothing but love for “Beasts of No Nation”, but his nomination will depend on how the Academy feels about the film being released via Netflix. Benicio Del Toro surprised everyone in “Sicario” and newcomer Jacob Tremblay is making a strong case for his role in “Room”. I still have Michael Keaton at the top for “Spotlight” and his co-star Mark Ruffalo could join him in the final five, though that could change the eventual winner, as they could cancel each other out and make room for someone else.
1- MICHAEL KEATON – SPOTLIGHT
2- Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies
3- Idris Elba – Beasts of No Nation
4- Tom Hardy – The Revenant
5- Benicio Del Toro – Sicario
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
I’m sticking with Rooney Mara for “Carol” as of now. The film has knocked it out of the park at every festival it has been at and the buzz just keep growing. Alicia Vikander has the kind of role that the Academy loves in “The Danish Girl” and Jane Fonda delivers some of the best work of her career in just two scenes in “Youth”.
1- ROONEY MARA – CAROL
2- Jennifer Jason Leigh – The Hateful Eight
3- Alicia Vikander – The Danish Girl
4- Jane Fonda – Youth
5- Kate Winslet – Steve Jobs
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
With “Spotlight” staking its claim as a major contender, it could be argued that it is the favorite in this category. “Bridge of Spies” is brilliant and “Inside Out” is Pixar’s most creative film in years. But, I’m sticking with Academy favorite Quentin Tarantino, as “The Hateful Eight” looks like a film highlighted by Tarantino’s words.
1- THE HATEFUL EIGHT
3- Inside Out
4- Bridge of Spies
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
The best part of “Steve Jobs” is Aaron Sorkin’s screenplay, which features some of his best writing to date. “Room” and “The Martian” are audience favorites and it’s a wait and see for “The Revenant”.
1- STEVE JOBS
2- The Revenant
5- The Martian
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
“Anamalisa” could surprise and “The Good Dinosaur” could be another great one from Pixar, but this is “Inside Out”‘s to lose.
1- INSIDE OUT
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