Saturday, February 27, 2016

Predictions for 88th Annual Academy Awards

On the heels of last year's disastrous 6-5 record (after going 49-6 between 2010-14) I'm probably the last person you want to take advice from; but the 88th annual Academy Awards are right around the corner (tomorrow) and I'm looking for redemption. That said, I did even less studying than before (I'm sensing a trend, as I get older) so don't be surprised if we do even worse this year. Without further adieu pessimism, let the prognosticating begin...

Best Picture: The RevenantThe Big Short is gaining ground fast, and Spotlight looms dangerously close too; but I'm sensing a big night for Alejandro González Iñárritu and company.

Best Actor: Leonardo DiCaprioThe Revenant. This year's J.K. Simmons, aka a surefire bet.

Best Actress; Brie LarsonRoom. It should be Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn.) I want it to be Saoirse Ronan. It's probably going to be Larson.

Best Supporting Actor: Sylvester StalloneCreed. If I'm right, then the Academy has truly lost its collective mind. Nothing against Sly (he's very entertaining) but Mark Rylance should win... especially since Michael Shannon (99 Homes) didn't receive a nomination.

Best Supporting Actress: Alicia VikanderThe Danish Girl. We awarded her a Red Apple for her earlier turn as Ava in Ex Machina; but she was equally terrific opposite Eddie Redmayne. So good, we almost nominated her for Best Actress. Either way, she still has to get by Oscar favorite Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs.)

Best Director: Alejandro González IñárrituThe Revenant. I'm hearing George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road) of late; but if Iñárritu doesn't repeat, it will qualify as a huge upset.

Best Animated Feature: Inside Out. Many argue it should have received a Best Picture nod, but the Academy would have to be "out of their mind" not to give it Best Animated Feature.

Best Cinematography: The Revenant. I like Sicario a little bit better (Youth even more, although it's not nominated) but Emmanuel Lubezki did a great job too.

Best Foreign Language Film: Son of Saul. Watch out for Mustang, but the Academy appears to have an affinity for Holocaust films.

Best Adapted Screenplay: The Big Short. Adam McKay and Charles Randolph did a great job, but Drew Goddard received a lot of (well-deserved) praise for The Martian. Should be close.

Best Original Screenplay: Spotlight. It's 50/50 between Spotlight and Inside Out. Not sure what it says about the world, if a cartoon (albeit a clever one) beats out a sex abuse scandal for "best story." Here's hoping they don't.