1) The Revenant
3) Mad Max: Fury Road
4) The Big Short
5) Bridge of Spies
6) The Martian
If The Revenant does not win Best Picture, it will be one of those films we look at in five or ten years and ask, "How did it not win?" While there were many great films this year, none of them reached the artistic level of Alejandro G. Inarittu's masterpiece.
Prediction: The Revenant. Spotlight has a shot, and Mad Max: Fury Road is a dark horse, but I will be surprised if The Revenant doesn't win.
Best Actor (Leading)
1) Leonardo DiCaprio - The Revenant
2) Michael Fassbender - Steve Jobs
3) Bryan Cranston - Trumbo
4) Matt Damon - The Martian
To Be Seen: Eddie Redmayne - The Danish Girl
While I missed out on The Danish Girl, this category is a lock for Leonardo DiCaprio. Any other name being called will be utterly shocking. He's won practically every award out there for his performance, and he's due.
Prediction: Leonardo DiCaprio. No doubt.
Best Actress (Leading)
1) Brie Larson - Room
2) Jennifer Lawrence - Joy
3) Saorise Ronan - Brooklyn
4) Cate Blanchett - Carol
5) Charlotte Rampling - 45 Years
Jennifer Lawrence, Saorise Ronan and Cate Blanchett are all terrific in their roles, but this one is a lock for Brie Larson. She deserves to win, and she will win.
rediction: Brie Larson. Maybe the Academy will shock people with someone other than Larson and DiCaprio in the top acting categories, but I doubt it.
Best Supporting Actor
1) Tom Hardy - The Revenant
2) Christian Bale - The Big Short
3) Mark Ruffalo - Spotlight
4) Mark Rylance - Bridge of Spies
To Be Seen: Sylvester Stallone - Creed
Another category where I missed out on one performance, and maybe Stallone wins, but I'd be shocked. I know he won a Golden Globe for his performance, but they can't really give him an Oscar for playing Rocky Balboa for the seventh time. Can they? I loved Tom Hardy in The Revenant (I think it's obvious that I loved The Revenant). He probably has no chance of winning. As great as his performance is, he's barely been nominated for other awards this season, let alone won them.
Prediction: Mark Ruffalo. It was really close for me between Hardy, Christian Bale and Ruffalo. You can really put those three in any order. He's deserving, and Spotlight deserves to get recognized because it is a fantastic film. What could prevent Ruffalo from winning is his strong work as an environmental and political activist. The Academy doesn't often want their stage being used to discuss ongoing world issues - they want it to be a big pat on the back of the movie industry. We'll see if that keeps Ruffalo out this year.
Best Supporting Actress
1) Rooney Mara - Carol
2) Rachel McAdams - Spotlight
3) Kate Winslet - Steve Jobs
4) Jennifer Jason Leigh - The Hateful Eight
To Be Seen: Alicia Vikander - The Danish Girl
This is a tough category to call. I really liked all of the performances, and I hear Alicia Vikander is great in The Danish Girl. I saw Vikander in Ex Machina, and can tell she is a talented actress. I have been a fan of Rooney Mara's work, and her performance in Carol really makes the movie.
Prediction: As much as I would like Mara or Rachel McAdams to win, I think the Academy is going to go to one of their favorites in Kate Winslet.
1) Alejandro G. Inarritu - The Revenant
2) George Miller - Mad Max: Fury Road
3) Adam McKay - The Big Short
4) Tom McCarthy - Spotlight
5) Lenny Abrahamson - Room
Mad Max: Fury Road deserves some love, and George Miller could very well win in this category. I think the film will get recognized in many of the technical categories, and lose out here and for Best Picture. But, it would be the most awesome Academy Awards ever if George Miller won Best Director and Mad Max: Fury Road won Best Picture. Adam McKay also deserves consideration for making The Big Short what it is. His vision for that film works so well.
Prediction: Alejandro G. Inarritu. The guy is on a roll, and he is more than deserving for The Revenant; a true masterpiece. The only thing that could stop him is that he won Best Director last year.
Best Original Screenplay
1) Josh Singer & Tom McCarthy - Spotlight
2) Alex Garland - Ex Machina
3) Matt Charman and Ethan Coen & Joel Coen - Bridge of Spies
4) Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley; Original story by Pete Docter, Ronnie del Carmen - Inside Out
5) Jonathan Herman and Andrea Berloff; Story by S. Leigh Savage & Alan Wenkus and Andrea Berloff - Straight Outta Compton
Ex Machina was one of my favorite films of the year. The script and acting are fantastic. It could have earned a Best Picture nomination in my book. I am pulling for it to pull of an upset tonight, but I don't have much hope of it coming true.
Prediction: Josh Singer & Tom McCarthy for Spotlight. The biggest tragedy of the night will be if Spotlight goes home completely empty-handed. I think this is the category that gives it the best shot at winning.
Best Adapted Screenplay
1) Charles Randolph and Adam McKay - The Big Short
2) Phyllis Nagy - Carol
3) Emma Donaghue - Room
4) Drew Goddard - The Martian
5) Nick Hornby - Brooklyn
I don't know how any of the other screenplays can beat out Charles Randolph and Adam McKay for The Big Short. But, who knows where they are going to go with this category. I think The Big Short is the only true standout.
Prediction: Charles Randolph and Adam McKay. How cool will it be if Adam McKay, the guy behind Step Brothers and The Other Guys (and a bunch more Will Ferrell movies) has an Academy Award? You know they will throw that in on the marketing for every silly comedy he does next. It will be amazing. I hope he wins.