Abzee’s Oscar Predix for the year in film 2015
With just a week to go before the nominations for the 88th Academy Awards are announced, and a day prior to the ballots being closed for the same… here then, in keeping with my annual tradition, are my predictions (in alphabetical order) for the Oscars 2016.
THE BIG SHORT
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD
I’ll probably regret not including THE MARTIAN in this list, but over the past few weeks THE BIG SHORT is gaining late season traction; and with its Academy friendly ensemble, I suspect it will sneak in at the expense of the one-man show from Mars. But how cool is it to have FURY ROAD in that lineup, and an almost sure lock at that.
If the Academy goes with 6 films in this category, then naturally the film that gets in will be
If they nominate 7, then
BRIDGE OF SPIES
STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON
And when 10,
The gritty SICARIO has every chance of getting in as well, while BROOKLYN is a dark horse. CREED and EX MACHINA are long shots.
Todd Haynes CAROL
Alejandro Inarritu THE REVENANT
Tom McCarthy SPOTLIGHT
George Miller MAD MAX: FURY ROAD
Ridley Scott THE MARTIAN
Steven Spielberg is always a threat, and the Cold War setting of his historical drama-thriller BRIDGE OF SPIES could very well see him in the final five. Lenny Abrahamson for ROOM and Ryan Coogler for CREED are dark horses. Adam McKay for THE BIG SHORT is a long shot that is looking less and less like one and getting more formidable.
Best Actor in a Leading Role
Bryan Cranston TRUMBO
Matt Damon THE MARTIAN
Leonardo DiCaprio THE REVENANT
Michael Fassbender STEVE JOBS
Eddie Redmayne THE DANISH GIRL
Michael B. Jordan is a very formidable threat for CREED, while Johnny Depp for BLACK MASS is still a dark horse siphoning votes from the base that want this to be his comeback. Steve Carell for THE BIG SHORT and Will Smith for CONCUSSION are long shot surprises.
Best Actress in a Leading Role
Cate Blanchett CAROL
Brie Larson ROOM
Charlotte Rampling 45 YEARS
Saoirse Ronan BROOKLYN
Lily Tomlin GRANDMA
Jennifer Lawrence is reaching default nomination status, so she is a dark horse for JOY especially given that it is helmed by David Russell who has directed her to 2 Oscar noms translating into 1 Oscar win. If it were not for category fraud lobbying, Rooney Mara could very well be in the final five for CAROL alongside her fellow actress from the film Cate Blanchett.
Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Idris Elba BEASTS OF NO NATION
Mark Rylance BRIDGE OF SPIES
Michael Shannon 99 HOMES
Sylvester Stallone CREED
Jacob Tremblay ROOM
Expect Benicio Del Toro to be very much in here for his work in SICARIO, especially if the Academy members feel wary about acknowledging Elba given that he is part of a film that represents a shift in the way films could be made and viewed in the future. Mark Ruffalo for SPOTLIGHT is a dark horse since they may want somebody to represent this fine ensemble.
Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Jennifer Jason Leigh THE HATEFUL EIGHT
Rooney Mara CAROL
Rachel McAdams SPOTLIGHT
Alicia Vikander EX MACHINA
Kate Winslet STEVE JOBS
This is a strange year for this category. Alicia Vikander has had a breakthrough year, and she should ideally be getting leading nominations for her work in both THE DANISH GIRL and EX MACHINA, but the precursor campaign has been a confused one with her being nominated leading at one critics body and supporting at another for either performances. Same with Rooney Mara for CAROL- hers is in fact a rather obscene strategy by the makers to net both leading and supporting awards for both actresses. One fears that in the confusion, older members of the Academy may just not bother and we could see Mara and especially Vikander go home without any nom in what is a deserving year for both of them. Category fraud has also meant that actual worthy supporting turns from Jane Fonda in YOUTH and Kristen Stewart in CLOUDS OF SILS MARIA are languishing on the outside waiting to get in. Elizabeth Banks has also had a good year and she too is a dark horse for LOVE & MERCY, while Helen Mirren in TRUMBO is a formidable threat.
Best Foreign Film
EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT Colombia
THE FENCER Finland
LABYRINTH OF LIES Germany
SON OF SAUL Hungary
Ireland’s VIVA can potentially crash this party, while Denmark’s A WAR and Jordan’s THEEB are long shots.
Best Original Screenplay
BRIDGE OF SPIES Matt Charman, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen
THE HATEFUL EIGHT Quentin Tarantino
SICARIO Taylor Sheridan
SPOTLIGHT Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer
STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON Andrea Berloff and Jonathan Herman
INSIDE OUT is very likely to be in the final five given Pixar’s Academy run. EX MACHINA and Alex Garland is a long shot.
Best Adapted Screenplay
THE BIG SHORT Adam McKay
CAROL Phyllis Nagy
THE MARTIAN Drew Godard
ROOM Emma Donoghue
STEVE JOBS Aaron Sorkin
One can never rule out Charlie Kaufman, and so his ANOMALISA can very well get in here… as can Nick Hornby’s BROOKLYN. John McNamara’s screenplay for TRUMBO is also a dark horse.
BRIDGE OF SPIES Janusz Kaminski
CAROL Edward Lachman
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD John Seale
THE REVENANT Emmanuel Lubezki
SICARIO Roger Deakins
Robert Richardson for THE HATEFUL EIGHT is a dark horse, while Dariusz Wolski for THE MARTIAN is also primed to finally get his first nomination.
THE BIG SHORT Hank Corwin
CREED Claudia Castello and Michael P. Shaver
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD Jason Ballantine and Margaret Sixel
THE MARTIAN Pietro Scalia
STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS Maryann Brandon and Mary Jo Markey
My decision to bet against THE REVENANT (Stephen Mirrione) may prove to be unwise, but THE FORCE AWAKENS has got to show up in some major category and it has already been honoured by the American Cinema Editors award. SPOTLIGHT (Tom McArdle) is also a dark horse, while SICARIO (Joe Walker) is a long shot.
Best Original Score
BRIDGE OF SPIES Thomas Newman
THE DANISH GIRL Alexandre Desplat
INSIDE OUT Michael Giacchino
STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS John Williams
STEVE JOBS Daniel Pemberton
CAROL and THE HATEFUL EIGHT both have more than better odds to make it to the final five, the former will net Carter Burwell his first nomination while the latter will add another feather to the cap of Ennio Morricone. But I also have a feeling that they will give those two slots – the new entrant to the club and the old veteran – to Daniel Pemberton and perennial default nominee John Williams respectively. Howard Shore’s minimalist score for SPOTLIGHT is a dark horse and could show up if the film turns up in big numbers come nominations day.