I started writing this on the eve of my favorite night of the year, The Academy Awards, and from my excitement you would think I was attending the event myself. But no, I will be watching the Oscars comfortably from my couch tonight just like most film buffs out there. I initially wanted to write this as a documentation of strictly my predictions but it evolved into more of an opinion piece of who I want to win. I did not make predictions in every award category, just ones I had strong opinions about. So, without further ado, here are my predictions and picks for the 2016 Oscars:
At the start of award season, The Revenant seemed to be the front runner to take home the big award; a seemingly perfect movie with all the ingredients of a ‘best picture’. As more awards were given, taking us deeper into Hollywood’s biggest season and closer to the big night, Spotlight seemed to be the film to beat. While it didn’t win any of the three Golden Globes it was nominated for, it won the BAFTA for best screenplay and a SAG for performance by a cast. Nominated for six Academy Awards, I think it will most likely take home the Oscar for best picture. Spotlight is a really amazing film; its intriguing and thought provoking and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I do think, however, that The Revenant equally, though for different aspects of film making, deserves the honor and I will be more than pleased if either win best picture.
Best Actor in a Leading Role
Every single leading actor nominee were phenomenal in their roles. This is more of a ‘my pick’ than a prediction, but Leonardo DiCaprio deserves it so much. His performance was truly wonderful in The Revenant; how he was able to take control of a scene and convey so much emotion without even speaking, showcasing once again what a diverse and truly talented actor he is. Though he has been nominated for a total of five acting Oscars, he has yet to win. One would have thought that his portrayal of Arnie Grape in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape would have won him the award. Then again his performance as Howard Hughes in The Aviator was definitely Oscar worthy. And yet again, the Oscar was deserved for The Wolf of Wall Street. Alas, Leo has remained empty handed when it comes to the Academy Awards, so maybe 2016 is his year to finally hold the gold statue in his hand. It is 100% deserved and long overdue and I think the 88th Academy Awards just might be his time.
Best Actress in a Leading Role
The Oscar for best leading actress will likely go to Cate Blanchett for Carol or Brie Larson for Room. This is Blanchett’s sixth nomination and could be her third win. She gave a beautifully elegant performance as the older and married love interest of Therese (Rooney Mara). Blanchett always transforms seamlessly into her characters which is exhibited again in Carol. I would be very happy if she took home the award.
Brie Larson, first time Oscar nominee, took home the Golden Globe for her performance in Room. She delivered a heart wrenching and emotionally raw performance that was extremely realistic.
Both Larson and Blanchett have one key thing in common; their on screen chemistry with their co-stars. It would be completely plausible to believe that Ma (Larson’s character) and her son Jack (Jacob Tremblay) were actually related. Blanchett and Mara seemed to be truly in love. They fit perfectly together, making Carol an even more beautiful love story.
Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Picking who will win, and who I want to win, is tough in the supporting actor category. Every actor nominated brought to the screen wonderful performances. Sylvester Stallone in Creed, who won the Golden Globe, seems to be the fan favorite and there is talk that the Academy should, and will, give him the award for four decades of playing Rocky Balboa.
My personal pick however, is Tom Hardy in The Revenant. Though some say he “mumbled” his way through the film, I think he did a fantastic job, completely transforming into the scheming Fitzgerald.
Best Actress in a Supporting Role
I really loved all the supporting actress nominees this year but Jennifer Jason Leigh in The Hateful Eight and Rooney Mara in Carol stood out to me. Mara embodied Therese’s quiet confidence and shy yet poised demeanor and her chemistry with Blanchett was perfect.
Leigh’s performance as Daisy Domergue was harsh and uncensored and she managed to carry her brashness though the film till her final demise through hanging.
Who The Academy will untimely give it to, I can’t say for sure.
Achievement in Cinematography
There is no question that The Revenant should and will win for cinematography. Emmanuel Lubezki did a breathtaking job, capturing gorgeous shots of the harsh landscape, making his cinematography a form of storytelling in itself.
Sandy Powell will likely take home an Oscar for costume design. The 1950s aesthetic of the fur coats and dresses in Carol and the dream like, larger than life ballgowns of Cinderella, both designed by Powell, are absolutely gorgeous and added even more depth to both stories.
Adam McKay made me love, and I mean really love, a movie with a subject matter that I could not care less about. I don’t understand anything about the world of finance and I don’t care to, but The Big Short was one of my favorite movies of the year and for that the directing Oscar should go to McKay. He made an, enjoyable, insightful and funny film and he deserves the Oscar.
Original screenplay will probably go to Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy for Spotlight, a powerful and gripping film based heavily on dialogue which was written masterfully.
Ennio Morricone, who has worked on several other Quentin Tarnatino films, composed a score that fit absolutely perfect in The Hateful Eight and should, without a doubt win him an Oscar. Morricone’s score sets the tone of the film, with eerie and haunting sounds that make the movie.
The biggest snubs, keep in mind only in my opinion, are Carol and The Hateful Eight for best picture and Steven Spielberg for directing. Everything about Carol and The Hateful Eight was perfect; their screenplays, production design, cinematography, acting and entertainment factor.
While I am a bit bias considering that Steven Spielberg is my favorite director of all time, I think he should have at least been nominated for his directing in Bridge of Spies. It was not his best film but I loved it and thought his storytelling was wonderful.
Jacob Tremblay should also have been nominated for best supporting actor. He is the best child actor I have ever seen. His performance in Room was so real and unbelievably believable, espescially for his age.