Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Oscar Nominations Predictions

Best Picture

Nowadays, this category (The Big One), can have anywhere between 5 and 10 nominees. Personally I think this is a bit stupid. I like the days when there were a solid 5 nominees here. But hey, we adapt. So, with all this in mind, here are my predictions.

1. Spotlight
2. The Revenant
3. The Martian
4. The Big Short
5. Mad Max: Fury Road

In case it goes deeper than five....

6. Bridge of Spies
7. Carol
8. Brooklyn
9. Room
10. Straight Outta Compton

Everyone is claiming Spotlight as the one sure thing, and the eventual winner. It did just lose the Golden Globe to The Revenant, but then again, last year's Oscar winner, Birdman, lost the golden Globe as well, so who knows. I believe both Spotlight and The Revenant are shoo-ins. I also think The Martian has jumped up recently in probability, and The Big Short has dropped a bit, but still, both will be announced come Thursday morning. As will Mad Max: Fury Road. Yeah, that's right, a Mad Max film is going to be nominated for Best Picture. So that should be the top five, but as I stated earlier, we could get up to ten nominees. I think it is going to be only five, and maybe up to seven at the most. This means Bridge of Spies and Carol possibly getting nominated. The final three on the above list are just here as filler. Who knows. The final question is what will happen with Star Wars: The Force Awakens? Could it have gotten enough of a push (you may have heard something about this movie over the past month or so) to sneak in to this list? Obviously, I am saying no, but I suppose it wouldn't be that big of a shocker if it does. Other darker horse possibilities include such films as Inside Out, Steve Jobs, Sicario, and/or Trumbo. Personally, I would like to see The Hateful Eight, but who the hell am I kidding?

Best Director

1. Ridley Scott for The Martian
2. Alejandro G. Inarritu for The Revenant
3. Tom McCarthy for Spotlight
4. George Miller for Mad Max: Fury Road
5. Todd Haynes for Carol

Even though Spotlight is the frontrunner for BP, I do not think the film's director is the frontrunner, or even close to it. I think the Oscar is going to either last year's winner, Inarritu (which, thanks to Alfonso Cuaron's win for Gravity, would be three consecutive years with a Mexican director taking home the gold), a man who did just win the Golden Globe, or maybe Ridley Scott, a well-respected man, who despite having been nominated three previous times, has never won the award, even when his film, Gladiator, took home BP in 2000. Granted, The Big Short's Adam McKay could easily get one of the final two nods, or maybe even Spielberg for Bridge of Spies (talk about well-liked in Hollywood), especially if the film is up for BP, but I am sticking with Miller and Haynes, the latter of which may just be wishful thinking on my part. I suppose David O. Russell, for Joy, could also surprise. As for Quentin Tarantino? Again, who the hell am I kidding?

Best Actor

1. Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant
2. Eddie Radmayne in The Danish Girl
3. Michael Fassbender in Steve Jobs
4. Matt Damon in The Martian
5. Bryan Cranston in Trumbo

People are always asking, when is Leo going to win his Oscar? When is Leo going to win his Oscar? When is Leo going to win his Oscar!? Well kids, it looks as if it is going to be rather soon. So can ya'll shut the hell up now!!? Sure, Redmayne is playing transgender, which is a trendy subject these days, but he just won last year. Fassbender is Steve Jobs, and Oscar loves biopics, Matt Damon, lost and in need of rescuing AGAIN, and Cranston is playing Hollywood blacklisted icon, Dalton Trumbo, but come on, it looks like Leo is finally getting his gold. Seriously, shut up about it already!! I know my lovely wife is not going to be happy about it (not his biggest fan), but it is going to happen. But I digress. This is probably the closest any of the acting categories have to a five for five lock, just in case there is a surprise here, and either Cranston or Damon are left snubbed, let's not forget Johnny Depp in Black Mass and/or Will Smith in Concussion. Michael Caine in Youth? Maybe, but quite dark horsey.

Best Actress

1. Brie Larson in Room
2. Saoirse Ronan in Brooklyn
3. Cate Blanchett in Carol
4. Charlotte Rampling in 45 Years
5. Jennifer Lawrence in Joy

This category might get complicated. You see, after Larson and Ronan, the frontrunners to win, we have the film Carol, and its two leads, Blanchett and Rooney Mara. But here's the rub. Mara, who is actually in the film a bit more than Blanchett, is being billed as Supporting. She went lead at the Globes, but she is going supporting here. The thing is, voters can put her wherever they damn well please, and she could actually snag that fifth nod, which is up in the air. She has a better shot in the Supporting race (which is why the studio played it this way), but we could still see her her. Alicia Vikander is also being billed as Supporting for The Danish Girl, even though she went lead at the Globes, but that one feels slightly less like category fraud. Slightly. Anyhoo, you can check both of these ladies out in my Supporting Actress predictions. Meanwhile, here in Lead Actress, we also have Rampling, who seems like a sure bet, and then that damn fifth spot. That spot will probably go to Jennifer Lawrence in Joy. Yeah, the film has not been all that well received, but the girl is Hollywood's darling these days. Let's not forget the great Lily Tomlin, who could be tossed into the fray for her role in Grandma. Again, we could seriously still see Mara in this spot, or Vikander, or even, in a fun surprise, Charlize Theron for her role in Mad Max. Stranger things have happened. Earlier in the race, I would have included Carey Mulligan for Suffragette, but the film flopped, and all her buzz went away.

Best Supporting Actor

1. Sylvester Stallone in Creed
2. Mark Rylance in Bridge of Spies
3. Christian Bale in The Big Short
4. Mark Ruffalo in Spotlight
5. Tom Hardy in The Revenant

Ladies and gentlemen, we are about to live in a world where Sylvester Stallone has an acting Oscar. That's right. So take that! Meanwhile, Rylance and Bale are all pretty solid bets to grab nods on Thursday morning. Then it will most likely be a member of the Spotlight cast. I mean, if that film is the expected winner (a thing I am still not sold on), you would think it would have at least one acting nod. I went with Ruffalo, but Michael Keaton is just as possible. The fifth spot should go to Tom Hardy in The Revenant (Leo isn't alone in that film, ya know), but the poor schmuck seems to be getting no love this awards season. Here's to hopin'. Another fun surprise could be Jacob Tremblay for Room, but again, not likely. I suppose Michael Shannon could sneak in for 99 Homes, or even Paul Dano for Love and Mercy, but they are pretty dark horses themselves. Then again, there is bound to be at least on surprise in here, right?

Best Supporting Actress

1. Rooney Mara in Carol
2. Alicia Vikander in The Danish Girl
3. Kate Winslet in Steve Jobs
4. Jennifer Jason Leigh in The Hateful Eight
5. Helen Mirren in Trumbo

If ya wanna know about the category fraud going on here, scroll back to Best Actress. Because it is worse than ever this awards season. As I said earlier, Mara has a better shot here than in her proper category, and she is probably the closest thing this category has to a frontrunner. Actually, this is the one acting category that does not have a true frontrunner. It would not be surprising to see Mara, Vikander, or Winslet winning this. Leigh is also a shoo-in for a nod Thursday morning, but probably not for the Oscar itself, sadly enough. Then we have that damn fifth spot again. I am (obviously) going with Mirren here, but it could just as easily be Rachel McAdams for Spotlight (frontrunner coattails?), Jane Fonda in Youth, or Joan Allen in Room. Still though, wouldn't it be fun to hear Jennifer Jason Leigh's name announced on Oscar night? Yeah, just wishful thinking. I suppose Mara, one of the best of her generation, is deserving of the win, but come on people, she is the lead of the film. Fucking Oscar.

Best Original Screenplay

1. Spotlight
2. Bridge of Spies
3. The Hateful Eight
4. Inside Out
5. Straight Outta Compton

Best Adapted Screenplay

1. Steve Jobs
2. Room
3. Brooklyn
4. The Martian
5. The Big Short

I think Original is pretty much a done deal. These five are strong contenders (though Trainwreck might sneak in), with Spotlight taking home the Oscar. As for Adapted, Sorkin is most likely winning another Oscar for Steve Jobs. The others are pretty sure things for nods as well, although Carol could sneak in there instead of one of the bottom three. Maybe Trumbo too. Maybe.

So there ya have it. I suppose I could go on with categories like Cinematography (Carol, Sicario, Mad Max, The Revenant, The Hateful Eight) or Costume Design (The Danish Girl, Brooklyn, Mad Max, and in a battle between Sandy Powell and Sandy Powell, Carol and Cinderella) or Production Design (Mad Max, Carol, The Martian, Bridge of Spies, The Danish Girl), but I'll stop at these. I'll return on Thursday, to run down the actual nominees, and letchya'll in on how well I did.

That's it gang. See ya 'round the web.