The 88th Academy Awards will take place on February 28 at 8pm, and while some awards are all but locks, others are more up in the air. Here are my thoughts and predictions on who will take home the shiny golden statues for the Big 6 awards come Sunday night.
It is pretty much a three horse race between “The Revenant,” The Big Short,” and “Spotlight.” “Revenant” won best film at the Golden Globes and BAFTAs, but “Big Short” won the Producers Guild Award, which can often mean just as much (you have to go back to 2006 for the last time a film that didn’t win at the PGA won the Oscar). “Spotlight” seemed to be every critic’s favorite film at the end of the year, so it has an outside shot; films like “Mad Max” and “The Martian” should just be satisfied with their nomination and call it a day. “Revenant” was my favorite film from 2015 and it’s what I’m going with.
COULD WIN: The Big Short
SHOULD WIN: The Revenant
WILL WIN: The Revenant
Again, a three horse race but really it’s between two front runners. Defending Best Director winner Alejandro G. Iñárritu did an amazing job on “Revenant,” and like the film he won a Golden Globe and BAFTA, but he did let his budget balloon from $65 million to a buck thirty five, so some may take that into account. George Miller is also getting some love for “Mad Max: Fury Road,” and Adam McKay for “The Big Short.” I didn’t like “Mad Max” (yeah, yeah, I suck) but it was well directed. “Big Short,” however, was a mess, and that falls on McKay. Tom McCarthy did a fantastically subtle job with “Spotlight,” but the Academy does not reward subtle.
COULD WIN: George Miller
SHOULD WIN: Tom McCarthy
WILL WIN: Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Really it is the Leo and Fassy show, and the other three should just be happy to have an invitation. DiCaprio is the front runner, having won a lot of awards and honestly may simply have a lot of voters throwing their hands up and saying “screw it, let’s finally give him an Oscar.” But Fassbender was equally as great in the criminally under-viewed and underappreciated “Steve Jobs.” I LOVE Leo and am a big fanboy of his, and loved him in “Revenant” and will stand and cheer if (when) he wins, but I thought Fassbender was better. Bryan Cranston is finally an Oscar nominee, so that’s cool, and Matt Damon is a nice guy so cool he earned another nod (?) but they don’t have a realistic shot in hell. Eddie Redmayne won last year, so don’t count him out, but no one is really talking about “The Danish Girl” outside his costar.
COULD WIN: Eddie Redmayne
SHOULD WIN: Michael Fassbender
WILL WIN: Leonardo DiCaprio
I mean, it’s going to be Brie Larson for “Room” and I could just stop typing now and that would be all I needed to say. Jennifer Lawrence is the new Meryl Streep, and will likely always earn an Oscar nomination for just showing up in a movie. Cate Blanchett could win for “Carol.” But she won’t.
COULD WIN: Cate Blanchett
SHOULD WIN: Brie Larson
WILL WIN: Brie Larson
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Sylvester Stallone will likely win for the same reason DiCaprio will, and that’s he has a nice story behind him. After earning two Oscar nominations for “Rocky” in 1976, he has really done a lot of nothing, and almost became a joke with how he can’t act. So being actually pretty good in “Creed,” and having one “Oscar scene” in particular, didn’t hurt. Christian Bale was the only thing about “Big Short” that worked, and for my money Mark Rylance was amazing in “Bridge of Spies” and was the best supporting actor from 2015. Mark Ruffalo had some powerful moments in “Spotlight” and Tom Hardy the same in “Revenant.” This could go to any of the five men, but I think Stallone’s tale of redemption pushes him to the top.
COULD WIN: Mark Ruffalo
SHOULD WIN: Mark Rylance
WILL WIN: Sylvester Stallone
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
When they announced Rachel McAdams as one of the nominees I was ecstatic, because I honestly thought I was the only person who thought she was the best member of the “Spotlight” ensemble. I didn’t see “Danish Girl” but Alicia Vikander is my bae and is the front runner here. Kate Winslet rounds out the batch for her work in “Steve Jobs” and also won the Golden Globe and BAFTA. Meanwhile Jennifer Jason Leigh got a nomination for “Hateful Eight,” which, why? I loved Winslet in “Jobs” and thought McAdams was brilliant in “Spotlight,” but popular opinion is leaning towards Vikander. This will be one of the night’s most interesting awards.
COULD WIN: Kate Winslet
SHOULD WIN: Rachel McAdams
WILL WIN: Alicia Vikander
Now a few quick blurbs on how the Oscars would have looked if I ran them.
First off, Seth Rogen would have gotten a Best Supporting Actor nomination. He had not one but two emotionally moving monologues in “Steve Jobs,” but everything in that film was overlooked, so. Speaking of that film, Aaron Sorkin would have not only gotten a Best Adapted Screenplay nomination, but would have won. Him not getting a nod is a disgrace and laughable.
“Straight Outta Compton” would have gotten a lot more love. It got a Best Original Screenplay nomination, but it easily should have earned a Best Picture, Best Cinematography and Best Supporting Actor for Jason Mitchell’s dramatic yet fun portrayal of Eazy-E.
“Jurassic World” would have at least gotten a Best Visuals nomination, just to say it was an Oscar nominated film, but I also would’ve given it a Best Pic nod because I loved it so much.
Adam Driver would get a Best Supporting nod for his portrayal of Kylo Ren, the best villain of the 21st century.
“Mad Max” and “The Martian” wouldn’t have Best Picture nominations because, come on, they’re not great movies. But that’s for another day.