Oscars 2016: Our Predictions

Finally, the nominations we’ve all been waiting for are out. The 88th Academy Awards, which will be held on February 28 at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, California, has 24 categories – and will be hosted by comedian Chris Rock for the second time. 

No major surprises with the nominations (as voted by close to 6000 industry professionals), but there were some notable snubs. The Revenant expectedly received 12 nominations, with action flick Mad Max: Fury Road garnering 10. This is the second consecutive year Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu’s film has picked up maximum nominations. We will go over each of the main categories here with our comments and predictions:


The Big Short, Bridge Of Spies, Brooklyn, Mad Max, The Martian, The Revenant, Room, Spotlight
Snubs: Carol, Ex Machina, Straight Outta Compton, Inside Out (which should have ideally replaced The Martian on this list).
Prediction: It will come down to a head-to-head battle between journalist drama Spotlight and picturesque survival drama The Revenant. My money is, however, on Mad Max: Fury Road, which could just walk away with the night’s major award – and deservedly so – especially after it swept the Critics’ Choice awards recently, winning 9 out of its 10 nominations.


Lenny Abarahamson (Room), Alejandro G. Inarritu (The Revenant), Tom McCarthy (Spotlight), Adam McKay (The Big Short), George Miller (Mad Max)
Snubs: Steven Spielberg for Bridge Of Spies, Todd Haynes for Carol and Ryan Coogler for Creed, Danny Boyle for Steve Jobs
Prediction: It’s Inarritu v/s George Miller. The winner here will also go on to have his film pick up the main prize. Again, my money is on George Miller – and not simply because Inarritu only just won this award last year. Miller reinvents the action genre and gave us the most pulsating action movie in decades. Despite the Golden Globes snub, he should win big here. However, knowing the Academy and its traditionally conservative Oscar-bait choices, they are likely to go with an against-all-odds man-versus-nature Leo vehicle.


Bryan Cranston (Trumbo), Matt Damon (The Martian), Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant), Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs), Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl)

Snubs: Michael B. Jordan for Creed, Michael Keaton for Spotlight, Steve Carell for The Big Short
Prediction: This is a sure shot (finally!) Leo win. He has done everything, including eat a raw liver and fight a bear, to finally land this award. This is his sixth nomination, and could be his first win. If, miraculously, last year’s winner Eddie Redmayne pulls it off for The Danish Girl, it’d be a loss for humanity in general.


Cate Blanchett (Carol), Brie Larson (Room), Jennifer Lawrence (Room), Charlotte Rampling (45 Years), Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn)
Snubs: Alicia Vikander for Ex Machina, Laia Costa for Victoria, Charlize Theron for Mad Max
Prediction: Brie Larson is the favourite for her performance as a kidnapped mother in captivity with her young son. In any other year, though, it’d have
come down to Saoirse Ronan and Cate Blanchett for their diametrically opposite roles in 1950s New York.


Christian Bale (The Big Short), Tom Hardy (The Revenant), Mark Ruffalo (Spotlight), Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies), Sylvester Stallone (Creed)
Snubs: Every other male actor in Spotlight and The Big Short, Jacob Tremblay (Room), Samuel L. Jackson for Chi Raq, Oscar Isaac for Ex Machina
Prediction: This is the toughest category to predict. It’s wide open, and every one of them deserves it. My personal favourite is Mark Rylance for Bridge Of Spies, but since the movie hasn’t gotten much love in awards season, it will come down to a direct shootout between sentimental favourite Stallone for ‘Creed’ and Mark Ruffalo in Spotlight. Stallone could steal it – more as a lifetime achievement award.


Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight), Rooney Mara (Carol), Rachel McAdams (Spotlight), Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl), Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs)
Snubs: They’re all here
Prediction: Winslet won at the Globes, but she was utterly surprised, because everyone expected either Jennifer Jason Leigh (because a Tarantino film always gets a supporting favourite) or Alicia Vikander for one of her two fantastic roles in a stellar 2015. Again, though, it could be Kate Winslet – and perhaps Steve Jobs’ only win on the night.


The Big Short, Mad Max, The Revenant, Spotlight, Star Wars
Snubs: Room, Steve Jobs, Bridge Of Spies
Prediction: Director George Miller’s wife Margaret Sixel is an overwhelming favorite to win it for Mad Max. Frankly, nobody else deserves it more. She literally defined the pulsating film.


Embrace Of The Serpent (Columbia), Mustang (France), Son Of Saul (Hungary), Theeb (Jordan), A War (Denmark)
Snubs: El Club (Chile), The Brand New Testament (Belgium)
Prediction: Son Of Saul, all the way. No doubts here.


Bridge Of Spies, Ex Machina, Inside Out, Spotlight, Straight Outta Compton
Snubs: Golden Globe winner Aaron Sorkin for Steve Jobs, Quentin Tarantino (The Hateful Eight), Amy Schumer for Trainwreck
Prediction: Alex Garland has to win it for the beautiful Inside Out, one of the most original and poignant animated films of all time. However, the Academy will favour the high-profile Spotlight or indie Ex Machina instead.


The Big Short, Brooklyn, Carol, The Martian, Room
Snubs: None
Prediction: Though my heart roots for Emma Donoghue’s ‘Room’, the winner will most likely be the writing pair of Adam McKay and Charles Randolph for simplifying and stylizing complicated financial parlance in ‘The Big Short’.


It doesn’t matter, because ‘Inside Out’ has this in the bag. Anomalisa is a distant second.


Bridge of Spies, Carol, The Hateful Eight, Sicario, Star Wars
Prediction: Ennio Morricone is the favourite for his sassy Tarantino-driven score, but my personal favourite is Carter Burwell for ‘Carol’.


Carol, The Hateful Eight, Mad Max, The Revenant, Sicario
Snubs: Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn
Prediction: Surely, Roger Deakins has to get one finally for Sicario. But it will instead be ‘Chivo’ Lubezki for ‘The Revenant’ – who won consecutive Oscars for his work on ‘Gravity’ and ‘Birdman’. Could this be his historical hat trick?
NOTE: The Indian connection is limited to Asif Kapadia’s nomination for his documentary on Amy Winehouse Amy, and Sanjay Patel for his quirky terrific short Sanjay’s Super Team. They’re both favorites in their respective categories to take home the coveted trophies. 
Expect both the Sound awards to go to Mad Max OR The Revenant (they won’t be split), while Production Design could go to period cold war drama, Bridge of Spies. 


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