It’s that time of year again. Time to see who will be awarded with this year’s set of Oscar statuettes. Refreshingly, this year’s race for some of the categories is quite open, particularly for the big prize of Best Picture. My goal was to see all 8 contenders before tonight’s ceremony. I’ll be two short (Room and Brooklyn), but I am still going to join in the spirit of the evening with my own set of predictions. For those where I feel I can if I’ve seen all/most of the nominees I’ll be stating will win/should win if the two are different in my view. It’ll be interesting to see how well I do when I watch the ceremony live in the early hours of Monday morning here in the UK!
I’ve struggled with this choice all week, changing my mind more than once. There is a great selection of eight films this year and from the six I have seen the variety has been fantastic. You have everything from the great sweeping epic of The Revenant, to the quirky black humour of The Big Short to the desert chases spectacle of Mad Max. From the winners at other ceremonies we are no clearer either, with the Producers’ Guild (PGA) going with The Big Short, the Screenactors’ Guild (SAG) going for Spotlight and the Golden Globes & BAFTAs selecting The Revenant. My hope is that Spotlight comes out on top, as of the six I’ve seen it’s my favourite, but I have a feeling The Revenant may continue its momentum.
Will win: The Revenant
Should win: Spotlight (or The Big Short..!)
The are some wonderful achievements by directors this year, but my choice would be for the favourite, The Revenant’s director Alejandro G. Inarritu. His vision for this film is quite an achievement, as the violent, tense scenes are interspersed with moments of calm and tranquility. If he does win it’ll be twice in a row after last year’s success for Birdman.
Will win: Alejandro G. Inarritu
Should win:Alejandro G. Inarritu
Well this is basically Leo’s Oscars isn’t it? Even the London’s Odeon Leicester Square has rebranded as Leodeon for the week. Is it a worthy performance for him to finally win his Oscar? Overall I say yes. He may not have a lot to say in this film, but you certainly feel he has become that character and is going through all that pain, grief, rage and hardship. It brings the film to life for the audience. I still feel his best performance was in The Aviator and was sad he lost out to Jamie Foxx that year, but an Oscar for Mr Glass wouldn’t be an undeserved one. The only other nominee I’ve seen thus far is Eddie Redmayne. I thought his performance was exceptional and more moving than the one he won for last year. Had Eddie not been successful in 2015 I’d find this a far harder choice, but perhaps once I’ve seen the rest I’ll hold another view!
Will win: Leonardo DiCaprio
Should win: Leonardo DiCaprio
It’s interesting that most of the best actress nominees are not performances linked to best picture films and therefore I have yet to see any of the performances. I will say, where is Charlize Theron for Mad Max but that’s a whole other debate! My prediction is for Brie Larson for Room. She has won at every awards ceremony to date and looks almost certain to win here, unless there is an upset. I know a few people who would love to see Saoirse Ronan sneak in.
Will win: Brie Larson
Best Supporting Actor
I have seen all but one of these performances and I’m truly torn. They are all very good in very different ways. Christian Bale is excellent in The Big Short, but no better than the rest of that ensemble in my view. Tom Hardy is a disturbing force in The Revenant, highlighting his versatility as an actor. Mark Rylance was excellent as the captured KGB spy in Bridge of Spies, but I’ve seen him even better than that on stage and Mark Ruffalo brought an added emotional element to the Spotlight team as they investigate the truth about a number of Boston’s Catholic priests. Then there is Sylvester Stallone. The Rocky movies hold a special place for many and his chances of receiving another nomination in the future seem slim. I therefore suspect that he may win this. It feels very Hollywood if he does. My heart however hopes Ruffalo or Rylance gets the nod.
Will win: Sylvester Stallone
Should win: Mark Ruffalo or Mark Rylance
Best Supporting Actress
Having only seen two of the nominees and indeed only one of the two favourites, this is more a prediction of Oscar voters than my view based on the category as a whole. From the two I’ve seen I hope Alicia Vikander wins. She is superb in The Danish Girl, bringing the emotional heart to the story. It seems if anyone will take this from her tonight it’ll be Kate Winslet, a favourite at the Oscars, but I’m going to cross my fingers for Vikander.
Will win: Alicia Vikander
Best Original Screenplay
I always find the screenplay categories fascinating and think it’s unfair that they are sometimes viewed as the consolation to the films that miss out on the Best Picture award. From those I have seen I would love to see Inside Out win, as for me it was one of the most original films I’ve seen in a long time. However, as an animated movie, this seems unlikely. Therefore my vote goes to my second choice Spotlight, which I think will succeed here after its success in other awards and its standing as a Best Picture favourite. As my favourite of the Best Picture films I’ve seen, I hope it is recognised here for brilliantly bringing such an important subject to the screen in an engaging, interesting film.
Will win: Spotlight
Should win: Inside Out
Best Adapted Screenplay
The favourite here seems to be The Big Short and I suspect it will be successful on the night. I’ve recently finished Michael Lewis’s book and am incredibly impressed at how such a dense and complex story has been adapted in to a film which is relatively easy to follow and engages the audience in what could have been seen as a dry topic.
Will win: The Big Short
It’s seems very likely that Emmanuel Lubezki will win for a third year in a row (following Gravity and Birman) and that would be fine with me. One of the biggest strengths of The Revenant for me was how visually beautiful it is and a large part of that is down to his work.
Will win: Emmanuel Lubezki (The Revenant)
Best Original Score
My prediction for score goes to The Hateful Eight’s Ennio Morricone. The main reason – he has never won an Oscar before. This seems incredible to me when I think of all the wonderful film scores he is responsible for. Therefore I think the Academy will take this year to acknowledge him and his contribution to cinema.
Will win: The Hateful Eight (Ennio Morricone)
Oh how this category has lost its excitement for me. The 80s and 90s seemed full of music videos of the latest song from a film, with clips from the movie within them. In fact in years gone by the theme song seemed to be a huge part of the film Not so now in my opinion and this year’s choices are less than thrilling. I’m a big Sam Smith fan, but unlike Skyfall I don’t see this as Oscar worthy. From the remaining choices I’m going to guess that Lady Gaga’s collaboration with Diane Warren will win for their song from The Hunting Ground.
Will win: ‘Til It Happens To You from The Hunting Ground
Best Animated Feature
I loved Inside Out. It’s one of the best films I’ve seen for a long time and had this category not existed I’d have expected it to be in the main Best Picture lineup. I’ll be stunned if this doesn’t prove to be another successful year for Pixar and a very worthy winner it is too.
Will win: Inside Out
Should win: Inside Out
This seems to be a two horse race between Star Wars and Mad Max. It’s a tough call, as both are worthy winners. I’m sensing it’ll be a strong night for Mad Max in the creative categories, but I’m going to go with Star Wars for this one.
Will win: Star Wars
My vote here goes to Mad Max, whose editing is a huge part of creating its fast-paced action. It literally barely stops for breath from the moment it begins! It will be interesting just how well Mad Max does in these categories
Will win: Mad Max: Fury Road
Sound Editing & Sound Mixing
For those wondering (including me every year), sound editing relates to the creation of additional sounds in a film by sound technicians while sound mixing involves creating the overall soundscape of a film, mixing all the sounds you here in to one feature film. They are therefore different skills and may not necessarily go to the same film. Based on this year’s nominees, my choice for editing goes to Mad Max, while mixing goes to The Revenant which so successfully blends all the sounds in the film, particularly all the sounds of the natural landscape in which it is set.
Editing – Will win: Mad Max: Fury Road
Mixing – Will win: The Revenant
I think this will again go to Mad Max, for creating such a unique world for this story, which draws the audience in so successfully as you travel across the barren desert landscape.
Will win: Mad Max: Fury Road
This is a hard choice and will be decided on whether the Academy goes for something more traditional or not. One of the favourites is Mad Max, which most recently won the BAFTA. I personally did love the costumes in The Danish Girl and felt they perfectly captured the 1920s era of the story. Or there is the more traditional choices of Cinderella or Carol. I’m curious to see which way this one goes.
Will win: Mad Max: Fury Road
Hair & Makeup
I think this will be another success for Mad Max, unless of course Leo’s scarred back has stayed in the minds of voters when they come to vote!
Will win: Mad Max: Fury Road
Foreign Language Film
I always regret having less knowledge of the foreign films category. My vote here is for Son of Saul, for which I have only heard good things from everyone who has seen it.
Will win: Son of Saul
My choice for this category is for Amy, the feature about the late singer Amy Winehouse. Met with some controversiality due to the family’s statements that they do not support the final product, I still think this will most likely take the award.
Will win: Amy
Documentary Short Subject
Another category in which I can only go with what I have heard and read about the nominees and therefore my prediction is for Body Team 12, which deals with Red Cross workers in Liberia during the Ebola crisis.
Will win: Body Team 12
Short Film: Live Action
Although I haven’t seen any of the short film nominees, my fingers are crossed for Stutterer, as it stars Matthew Needham (currently doing a brilliant job at the RSC as Hotspur on the King and Country tour). I’m determined to try and see this whether it wins or loses.
Will win (I hope): Stutterer
Short Film: Animated
This is perhaps the category I have heard least about and therefore this is one I can only take a guess at and say Bear Story!
So, that’s my set of predictions. In a few short hours all will be revealed! Feel free to let me know what you think will be successful this year.