- The Revenant
- Steve Jobs
- Bridge Of Spies
- The Hateful Eight
- Inside Out
I still believe Carol is going to win Best Picture, although the reaction seemed slightly muted at Telluride, I think the filmmaking will be respected enough, the story will be enough to ignite passion, plus it will also have the “importance” factor working for it and the two actresses involved (Cate being one of the most respected and Rooney a very respected up-and-comer), along with Harvey Weinstein’s campaigning, may send this movie to a Best Picture win.
Joy could also take it, considering David O. Russell films being so popular with the Academy and his recent streak of getting nominations for, not only his films, but his actors as well. Though some pundits predict that a backlash is brewing, and Joy may just not be up to the standards that O. Russell has set for himself previously.
The Revenant is a reasonable prediction considering the technical mastery that’s obvious from the trailer alone, but I don’t think they’re going to reward Alejandro in back-to-back years.
Steve Jobs has gotten very positive reviews, though with some criticisms of the ending and some say the direction is a problem while others have said the script is a problem, though the acting has been universally praised and could make a play for Best Picture, depending on the campaign.
And there’s Spotlight, which I think will round out the top five. The movie has very, very good reviews with a killer cast, but like Steve Jobs, there’s something about that seems a bit ‘been there, done that’, thought that hasn’t stopped The Academy before.
Six through ten are films that I think will fill out the top ten but I don’t think that the Academy will embrace as much as the top five. Brooklyn might be a little too female-centric (though that same case could be made for Carol or Joy, but the reviews don’t seem as enthusiastic as they are for Carol and what I predict they’ll be for Joy), though it has the reviews, Bridge of Spies seems a little bland, The Hateful Eight looks like lesser Tarantino, Room too small and dark, and Inside Out is an animated film, though it’s quite beloved by many.
- Todd Haynes, Carol
- David O. Russell, Joy
- Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, The Revenant
- Danny Boyle, Steve Jobs
- Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
It’s in my opinion that Best Director is going to come down to David O. Russell versus Todd Haynes and I think Todd Haynes is going to win, David O. Russell maybe considered due, and he might have the more crowd-pleasing film, but I think the strength of the film, will propel Todd Haynes to a Best Director win. They can award O. Russell in another category.
- Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
- Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
- Johnny Depp, Black Mass
- Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl
- Tom Hanks, Bridge Of Spies
I know it’s September, but as bleak as this category is turning out to be, I’m very close to saying that the first four in this category are very close to being what some would call locks. I think it will be a fight between Leonardo DiCaprio and Michael Fassbender, Fassbender having the showier role while DiCapiro also has a very technical role, though much more subdued, I believe the overdue factor will push DiCaprio over the edge to a win. Depp, though also considered overdue, won’t have the support of his film on his side and some critics have suggested that his performance was a bit too over-the-top, and Depp just playing another one of his cartoon characters (though I disagree). Some of have suggested that Redmayne might win a second before The Danish Girl screened, but after the movie screened to luke-warm reviews, most have realized that isn’t happening, though considering the nature of his role, a nomination is practically a done deal. Tom Hanks getting nominated for Bridge Of Spies is just a hunch. He was widely considered snubbed by many for Captain Phillips and there might be enough support, especially in a weak year for this particular category, for Hanks to slip into that last slot for Best Actor.
- Cate Blanchett, Carol
- Jennifer Lawrence, Joy
- Brie Larson, Room
- Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn
- Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years
Cate Blanchett has not one, but two, reportedly great performances this year (Carol and Truth). I believe she’ll be nominated in what I believe is most likely a best picture winner, and she will be helped, not only by the fact she’s in a likely Best Picture winner, but also because she will have not one but two performances that are considered Best Actress-worthy, along with a campaign by Harvey Weinstein. All of this will propel her to a third win.
Jennifer Lawrence is nearly assured a nomination, though the movie’s quality is still up in the air, I think it’s a pretty safe bet that it’s going to be a hit with the Academy as far as nominations go, but as far as wins..? It’s hard to say since the film hasn’t screened yet, but I don’t think that The Academy will go for yet another Jennifer Lawrence performance in a David O. Russell movie so soon…though she almost won in supporting for American Hustle, so I suppose it’s possible.
Brie Larson has been getting stellar reviews for her performance in Room and it’s highly likely that that’s she going to get a hard critical awards shove, especially after her overlooked work in the indie drama “Short Term 12”. Some of you might be surprised that I don’t have her higher than three and that would be because of her distributor. A24 is still unproven with Academy Award campaigns, and after Jessica Chastain was snubbed in a year that was somewhat wide-open, I have my doubts, but I think she’ll pull through.
Saoirse Ronan is in a widely critically acclaimed movie that appeared at Sundance Film Festival that has Fox Searchlight as it’s distributor, a previous nominee, in a critically acclaimed movie with her performance being heralded as a standout, I think she’s almost assured a nomination with all of these factors combined.
Charlotte Rampling is one that I’m iffy on, I think it’s a mixture of want and the fact that she’s got enormous critical acclaim for the film and for her performance but she has two major factors working against her. One, her distributor (Sundance Selects) is not a good distributor when it comes to Oscar Campaigns. It’s a small company and she’ll need a hard critical shove to breakthrough but she might be competing with Brie Larson for those same critical notices and Brie Larson simply has the showier, more sympathetic, role. I’d like to think they’d go for both, but as of right now, I’m not so sure.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
- Idris Elba, Beasts Of No Nation
- Robert De Niro, Joy
- Michael Keaton, Spotlight
- Tom Hardy, The Revenant
- Samuel L. Jackson, The Hateful Eight
From reviews, it appears that Idris Elba may be locked and loaded for a Supporting win, he has the role and the performance, but De Niro is widely considered one of the best actors of all-time, with many predicting him for a possible upset in 2012 for Silver Linings Playbook. An earlier version of the script suggests that he has the role to justify a possible win, but it’s been widely reported that O. Russell has changed the script quite a bit so who knows how much he’s either dialed up or dialed down De Niro’s character.
Michael Keaton was a threat to win last year for his outstanding performance in Birdman, and most think he deserved the Oscar that year, and he’s getting good notices but Mark Ruffalo is receiving raves as well and with this movie being so ensemble-led, I think it will be hard for Keaton to stand a chance against some of his co-stars and make a play for the win.
Tom Hardy and Samuel L. Jackson, I don’t feel will be major threats, though Tom Hardy has quite a bit of respect,and if his part is big enough, he might be a threat, though he doesn’t seem like the type to campaign hard.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
- Rooney Mara, Carol
- Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl
- Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs
- Diane Ladd, Joy
- Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
I think it’s going to be a battle between Rooney Mara and Alicia Vikander with Rooney Mara coming out on top due to having a better movie, a better campaign, and being a little better known and respected. Mara has also received the Cannes Best Actress award for her performance which could also help her chances.
Alicia Vikander has been said to have the showier role, but reviews for The Danish Girl have been below expectations, so I think that she’s assured a nomination but a win against Rooney seems unlikely.
Kate Winslet doesn’t like a threat for the win, she already has an Oscar and overall I feel the nomination will be her reward.
Diane Ladd, though on paper seems like someone that could be a possible winner, but from what I’ve read about the screenplay, she has a very small role, she’ll campaign like crazy, she’s somewhat notorious for that, but I don’t think it’ll be enough for a win.
Jennifer Jason Leigh has been in the business a long time, and many view her as overdue for a nomination, but early screenplay reports indicate that her character consists of racial slurs and walking around chained to someone which doesn’t sound like a winning role…though again, this is coming from what I believe was an earlier version of the script so the character may’ve been changed since those reports were made but I don’t think it will be the type of character that the Academy will reward with a win.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
- David O. Russell, Joy
- Tom McCarthy, Josh Singer, Spotlight
- Quentin Tarantino, The Hateful Eight
- Matt Charman, Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, Bridge of Spies
- Bob Petersen, Pete Docter, Inside Out
This is a relatively weak category with what I believe to be an obvious winner, and that would be David O. Russell for Joy. I think that Joy is going to have quite a few nominations but I think that this will be it’s only win, and only because of the weakness of the category, and David O. Russell is considered overdue for an Academy Award. The only one that may come close to overtaking Joy is Spotlight, but I think that’s a very slim chance. As far as the rest, I think the nomination will be their reward.
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
- Phyllis Nagy, Carol
- Aaron Sorkin, Steve Jobs
- Alejandro Gonzelaz Inarritu,The Revenant
- Nick Hornby, Brooklyn
- Emma Donoghue, Room
I think the narrative for Carol, plus the fact that Phyllis Nagy has been working on getting this adaptation made for almost twenty years, will work in her favor, it also helps that the actual script itself is excellent, without taking too many liberties with the material it’s based off of.
Aaron Sorkin is known for having dialogue-heavy screenplays with meaty characters but he won for a screenplay in a similar style with “The Social Network”, will they want to reward something in similar vein as something he’s already previously won for?
The Revenant’s story is an interesting one, but from what I saw of the trailer, it seems to me that it’s more of a technical marvel than a writing one, but the fact that it’s going to be a major player when Oscar season rolls around, and that there will be a lot of across-the-board support for the movie itself, will help it’s chances greatly for a nomination in this category.
Brooklyn and Room, I feel, won’t be top-tier Best Picture contenders, but I think there will be enough support for the movies themselves for the screenplays to be nominated.