Friday, February 26, 2016

2016 Oscar Predictions

The Oscars are this coming Sunday Feb. 28 and it's time to make my annual predictions. This year has not been particularly exciting with no huge blockbuster dominating the proceedings. The new Star Wars has not generated much excitement, but Mad Max: Fury Road has garnered a bunch of nominations and will probably sweep the technical awards. I usually try to see all of the Best Picture and acting nominees. This time I did catch nine and a half of the top film candidates (I only got through the first hour of Mad Max on HBO.Go before I had explosion overload, I'll try to get back to the rest of it.) I've seen most of the acting nominees, three of the five feature documentaries, one each of the foreign and feature animated films, and all of the short films (I wrote them up for and here's a link). I always say some year I will see all of the nominees but I never make it. Here are my predix:

Picture: The Revenant
I want The Big Short or Spotlight to win, but I have a feeling Oscar voters will go with this sweeping Western.

Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
He got mauled by a bear and really suffered during filming. Plus Eddie Redmayne won last year, so he can't win again even though he's playing a transgender character.

Actress: Brie Larsen, Room
Interesting that the star of a small indie film is taking all the awards this year, just like last year with Julianne Moore in Still Alice, demonstrating that big studios don't make pictures with strong female leads.

Supporting Actor: Sylvester Stallone, Creed
I really want Mark Rylance of Bridge of Spies to win, but it's probably going to be Stallone getting his Long Overdue Recognition Consolation Prize for Still Being Alive.

Supporting Actress: Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl
It's between Vikander and Kate Winslet who is also in the Long Overdue category plus she did a foreign accent and made herself look different in Steve Jobs. But Vikander was outstanding as the android in Ex Machina which Oscar voters saw because it's up for Best Original Screenplay.

Director: Alejandro G. Inarritu, The Revenant
Even though Inarritu won last year for Birdman and the director of the Best Picture doesn't always also win, I think Academy voters will go for a double win since they don't want to award an "action" picture like Mad Max with the prestigious Best Director accolade. Only two other directors have won consecutive Oscars: John Ford for The Grapes of Wrath (1940) and How Green Was My Valley (1941) and Joseph Mankiewicz for A Letter to Three Wives (1949) and All About Eve (1950).

Original Screenplay: Spotlight

Adapted Screenplay: The Big Short
Consolation prizes for not winning Best Picture for these two films which would have been a better choice than The Revenant.

Special Effects, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, Film Editing, Production Design, Make-Up and Hairstyling: Mad Max: Fury Road

Animated Feature: Inside Out

Foreign-Language Film: Son of Saul

Documentary Feature: Amy
It's fascinating that two of the nominees are about self-destructive female singers, the other being What Happened, Miss Simone. (We saw Amy on Amazon and the Nina Simone doc and the one of the Ukraine on Netflix. I am now obsessed with Nina Simone and listen to her "My Baby Just Cares for Me" incessantly. More on that in a future blog.)

Animated Short Film: Sanjay's Super Team
This is against my better judgement. I much preferred The World of Tomorrow, but Sanjay was shown before Pixar's The Good Dinosaur and World of Tomorrow has really dark humor, not an Oscar strong point in this category. BTW, I saw all the short film nominees at Time and Space Limited in Hudson, NY and at IFC in Manhattan (The latter charged twice as much.)

Live-Action Short Film: Ave Maria
Very funny featurette about a Jewish family stranded at a convent in disputed Israeli/Palestinian territory.

Documentary Short Film: Body Team 12

Cinematography: The Revenant

Costume Design: Cinderella

Score: The Hateful Eight

Original Song: The one that Lady Gaga did--I've never even heard of the movie it was from--so she can have an Oscar to go with her Golden Globe and six Grammys.

Good luck on your predictions and I will blog about the show itself next week including the Academy's problem with diversity.

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