Not even a day, there are just few hours left to celebrate 88th Academy Awards. Few categories are evident, and few more are secure ventures, but most of this race is uncertain and debatable. I’m doing my best to keep track of the awards season and what is probably taking home the big prize, but I do have my personal choices as well.
For those looking for Oscar predictions, here I highlight what I presume will win in every category. Blue – Winner. Orange – Next Chance if Blue misses out.
Best motion picture of the year:
“The Big Short”
“Bridge of Spies”
“Mad Max: Fury Road”
It won’t be a bad Best Picture winner, and has bagged enough of the big prizes like DGA & Golden Globe to bump it ahead of its competitors Spotlight and The Big Short. Yeah, the game is not set yet and one of these two could also strike the win, but I’m waiting for the wilderness epic The Revenant as the conquerer (although my favorite of the year is Spotlight).
Performance by an actor in a leading role:
Bryan Cranston in “Trumbo”
Matt Damon in “The Martian”
Leonardo DiCaprio in “The Revenant”
Michael Fassbender in “Steve Jobs”
Eddie Redmayne in “The Danish Girl”
Leo has this one chartered it up, no question about it. Bryan Cranston and Michael Fassbender are also two of my favorite actors performing today, but this time we can all cheer for Leo that he gets his golden albatross finally in his 5th time nom.
Performance by an actress in a leading role:
Cate Blanchett in “Carol”
Brie Larson in ”Room”
Jennifer Lawrence in “Joy”
Charlotte Rampling in “45 Years”
Saoirse Ronan in “Brooklyn”
Brie Larson is the top dog in this category. She predominantly wins this award for her awe-struck performance, and I will clap continually until she comes off the stage.
Performance by an actor in a supporting role:
Christian Bale in “The Big Short”
Tom Hardy in “The Revenant”
Mark Ruffalo in “Spotlight”
Mark Rylance in “Bridge of Spies”
Sylvester Stallone in “Creed”
Stallone has managed to acquire all the underpinning to earn a career Oscar this time. He played his iconic character better in the first Rocky (where he lost the Oscar to Peter Finch, who had passed away a month before the ceremony) and in Rocky Balboa.
Performance by an actress in a supporting role:
Jennifer Jason Leigh in “The Hateful Eight”
Rooney Mara in “Carol”
Rachel McAdams in “Spotlight”
Alicia Vikander in “The Danish Girl”
Kate Winslet in “Steve Jobs”
Alicia Vikander has had quite a year as a rising star, first Ex Machina and later The Danish Girl in 2015. Hey girl, you go home with an Oscar, you deserve this.
Achievement in Direction:
“The Big Short” Adam McKay
“Mad Max: Fury Road” George Miller
“The Revenant” Alejandro G. Iñárritu
“Room” Lenny Abrahamson
“Spotlight” Tom McCarthy
Have you recalled his last year’s Birdman victory? Yes, Inarritu would be the first director in 50 years to win back-to-back directing Oscars. I was rooting for George Miller for a time, specifically after Ridley Scott for The Martian is not seen nominations, my guess went up in the air.
“The Big Short” Screenplay by Charles Randolph and Adam McKay
“Brooklyn” Screenplay by Nick Hornby
“Carol” Screenplay by Phyllis Nagy
“The Martian” Screenplay by Drew Goddard
“Room” Screenplay by Emma Donoghue
McKay may not win for Best Director, but he and his co-writer Charles Randolph will be taking home an Oscar for their witty writing. The WGA win obviously assisted to seal the deal on this one.
“Bridge of Spies” Written by Matt Charman and Ethan Coen & Joel Coen.
“Ex Machina” Written by Alex Garland.
“Inside Out” Screenplay by Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley; Original story by Pete Docter, Ronnie del Carmen.
“Spotlight” Written by Josh Singer & Tom McCarthy.
“Straight Outta Compton” Screenplay by Jonathan Herman and Andrea Berloff; Story by S. Leigh Savidge & Alan Wenkus and Andrea Berloff.
Another WGA win and the sort of significant subject matter on display is all superb for a film that took a lot of research to properly construct a great script. Though Ex Machina and Inside Out do strive to come up, Spotlight beats them down to be topper.
Best animated feature film of the year:
“Anomalisa” Charlie Kaufman, Duke Johnson and Rosa Tran
“Boy and the World” Alê Abreu
“Inside Out” Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera
“Shaun the Sheep Movie” Mark Burton and Richard Starzak
“When Marnie Was There” Hiromasa Yonebayashi and Yoshiaki Nishimura
Pixar’s hugely critical and commercial success means it is time for the studio to score Oscar for their great mantle. Anomalisa is also an awesome film, but Inside Out is more awesome.
Best documentary feature:
“Amy” Asif Kapadia and James Gay-Rees
“Cartel Land” Matthew Heineman and Tom Yellin
“The Look of Silence” Joshua Oppenheimer and Signe Byrge Sørensen
“What Happened, Miss Simone?” Liz Garbus, Amy Hobby and Justin Wilkes
“Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom” Evgeny Afineevsky and Den Tolmor
The Look of Silence is my best doc of the year, but it matters little as far as Oscar is concerned. While these categories can shock us few times and Netflix has done a ton to push their docs, Amy is the most widely seen of the bunch and has some interesting ways of balancing the tragic story of the musician with the price of fame. So I go for it.
Best foreign language film of the year:
“Embrace of the Serpent” Colombia
“Son of Saul” Hungary
“A War” Denmark
Another tricky category, but the unanimous critical acclaim and Cannes’ recognition for Son of Saul certainly does a lot for a film. But many are rooting for sunnier projects like Mustang, which has slowly risen in the ranks as far as competition goes. By the by, Victoria is not qualified as it has too much English, else it’s a brilliant foreign film.
Achievement in cinematography:
“Carol” Ed Lachman
“The Hateful Eight” Robert Richardson
“Mad Max: Fury Road” John Seale
“The Revenant” Emmanuel Lubezki
“Sicario” Roger Deakins
It’s his hatrick victory!! After sweeping out the wins for Gravity and Birdman, Lubezki is now all set to be the first cinematographer to win back-to-back-to-back in Oscars history. And the sad thing is, Roger Deakins continues to miss out on winning though he is nominated over 10 times.
Achievement in costume design:
“Carol” Sandy Powell
“Cinderella” Sandy Powell
“The Danish Girl” Paco Delgado
“Mad Max: Fury Road” Jenny Beavan
“The Revenant” Jacqueline West
This is where choices go tough in regards to technical categories. Sandy Powell makes a strong case for herself with two films that are arguably the kinds you expect to see win. That said, Mad Max will likely cement a win here for Jenny Veavan, who has 10 past nominations and just a single win. So, I’m inclined to Mad Max, how wild and creative the film all was.
Achievement in production design:
“Bridge of Spies” Production Design: Adam Stockhausen; Set Decoration: Rena DeAngelo and Bernhard Henrich
“The Danish Girl” Production Design: Eve Stewart; Set Decoration: Michael Standish
“Mad Max: Fury Road” Production Design: Colin Gibson; Set Decoration: Lisa Thompson
“The Martian” Production Design: Arthur Max; Set Decoration: Celia Bobak
“The Revenant” Production Design: Jack Fisk; Set Decoration: Hamish Purdy
Guys, have a glance at all the stunning cars! Mad Max must be able to take this trophy home. So much is happening in this apocalyptic world and it feels so breezy and lively. Witness this much deserved Oscar and enjoy it. But again, maybe Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies lurks around a win, much like Lincoln did a few years back in this category.
Achievement in film editing:
“The Big Short” Hank Corwin
“Mad Max: Fury Road” Margaret Sixel
“The Revenant” Stephen Mirrione
“Spotlight” Tom McArdle
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” Maryann Brandon and Mary Jo Markey
A tie between The Big Short and Mad Max. You know where I’m putting my money and it’s not in the stocks. Margaret Sixel received over 400 hours of footage from her husband George Miller and she moulded it into one of the best action movies ever made. Everything is clearly visualized and the film has breathless pacing. Such a lovely piece of editing that makes the film look like almost a single shot.
Achievement in makeup and hairstyling:
“Mad Max: Fury Road” Lesley Vanderwalt, Elka Wardega and Damian Martin
“The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared” Love Larson and Eva von Bahr
“The Revenant” Siân Grigg, Duncan Jarman and Robert Pandini
This category is a toss-up between spattered paint faces and wide gawky beards. But I’m leaning on Mad Max one more time.
Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score):
“Bridge of Spies” Thomas Newman
“Carol” Carter Burwell
“The Hateful Eight” Ennio Morricone
“Sicario” Jóhann Jóhannsson
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” John Williams
I’m shocked at its lack of a Best Screenplay nomination, but anyways this film receives this musical recognition without a doubt. You go Ennio! If you’re there, everybody has to move away. You’re the best, get it.
Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song):
“Earned It” from “Fifty Shades of Grey”
Music and Lyric by Abel Tesfaye, Ahmad Balshe, Jason Daheala Quenneville and Stephan Moccio
“Manta Ray” from “Racing Extinction”
Music by J. Ralph and Lyric by Antony Hegarty
“Simple Song #3” from “Youth”
Music and Lyric by David Lang
“Til It Happens To You” from “The Hunting Ground”
Music and Lyric by Diane Warren and Lady Gaga
“Writing’s On The Wall” from “Spectre”
Music and Lyric by Jimmy Napes and Sam Smith
To be frank, this is one of the weaker years for a Best Song category, but it seems to be coming down to a song by Lady Gaga in a film no one watched. I at least listened to it, so my interest is on Lady Gaga, with music and lyrics by Diane Warren.
Best documentary short subject:
“Body Team 12” David Darg and Bryn Mooser
“Chau, beyond the Lines” Courtney Marsh and Jerry Franck
“Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah” Adam Benzine
“A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness” Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
“Last Day of Freedom” Dee Hibbert-Jones and Nomi Talisman
I had seen two of these shorts and neither of them seem to be equivocal. It has come down to Body Team 12 and ‘Shoah‘. It may sound simple, but I’m going with the one about the virus over the cataclysm.
Best animated short film:
“Bear Story” Gabriel Osorio and Pato Escala
“Prologue” Richard Williams and Imogen Sutton
“Sanjay’s Super Team” Sanjay Patel and Nicole Grindle
“We Can’t Live without Cosmos” Konstantin Bronzit
“World of Tomorrow” Don Hertzfeldt
This is incredibly difficult, I’ve watched Don Hertzfeldt’s World of Tomorrow many times, but while Pixar hasn’t won an Oscar for their shorts in some time, they could be due to win one with ‘Sanjay’s Super Team‘. I’m going to pick World of Tomorrow, but don’t be surprised by it going the other way.
Best live action short film:
“Ave Maria” Basil Khalil and Eric Dupont
“Day One” Henry Hughes
“Everything Will Be Okay (Alles Wird Gut)” Patrick Vollrath
“Shok” Jamie Donoughue
“Stutterer” Benjamin Cleary and Serena Armitage
Having seen all of these, Everything Will Be Okay easily wins as far as being the most stressful for me to watch, but I believe Shok to be the film with enough going for it to win.
Achievement in sound editing:
“Mad Max: Fury Road” Mark Mangini and David White
“The Martian” Oliver Tarney
“The Revenant” Martin Hernandez and Lon Bender
“Sicario” Alan Robert Murray
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” Matthew Wood and David Acord
These sound awards are easily the toughest as each film qualifies. That said, i’m going with guts, and saying Mad Max will take it.
Achievement in sound mixing:
“Bridge of Spies” Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom and Drew Kunin.
“Mad Max: Fury Road” Chris Jenkins, Gregg Rudloff and Ben Osmo
“The Martian” Paul Massey, Mark Taylor and Mac Ruth
“The Revenant” Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño, Randy Thom and Chris Duesterdiek
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” Andy Nelson, Christopher Scarabosio and Stuart Wilson
Look at the above. A lack of musicals this year takes away chances of seeing this award split from the winner for Best Sound Editing.
Achievement in visual effects:
“Ex Machina” Andrew Whitehurst, Paul Norris, Mark Ardington and Sara Bennett
“Mad Max: Fury Road” Andrew Jackson, Tom Wood, Dan Oliver and Andy Williams
“The Martian” Richard Stammers, Anders Langlands, Chris Lawrence and Steven Warner
“The Revenant” Rich McBride, Matthew Shumway, Jason Smith and Cameron Waldbauer
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Neal Scanlan and Chris Corbould
Unless one of the Best Picture nominees takes away with all the technical awards, which has a high chance, it will not be shocking to see Star Wars grab this one prize. It was seen by everyone and it combines lots of CGI with practical effects. Ex Machina would be a pretty awesome win as well, given how much more subtle the efficacious work is.
So that’s it for predictions. Let’s see where things end up tomorrow. and whatever happens, I’m very much exciting to the host Chris Rock’s monologue. Ceremony starts at 5:30 am on Feb 29th. Are you ready?
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