I was debating whether the Oscars were worth writing about. I worked a lot the last few days, I’m tired, and, at this point, host Chris Rock’s joke that they’re the “White BET awards” seems entirely accurate.
Still, people would not care if the Oscars did not matter. It’s why whether Iron Fist is white or Asian is a huge topic. It’s why whether or not Idris Elba can play James Bond seems like an entirely legitimate question and the determination that he’s too “street” an entirely legitimate answer.
Nonetheless, I offer you two-for-one predictions: who will win at the Ocars in the big categories I have insight in and who, in my humble opinion, should win among the uniformly pale options provided by the Academy.
Also, there’s a chance I could get these predictions right. Sometimes, bragging rights are worth it.
“The Big Short”
“Bridge Of Spies”
“Mad Max: Fury Road”
Who Will Win: Spotlight
I’ll admit this isn’t a total slamdunk and I’m biased but Spotlight is the movie to beat in my opinion. An issues movie with a stellar ensemble, it’s only rivaled in this “lane” by Bridge of Spies, which is great but not as provocative or timely. The Revenant won the Golden Globe but I simply can’t stand the idea of Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu winning Best Picture and Best Director two years in a row. Spread the love for Christ’s sake.
Who Should Win: Mad Max: Fury Road
Don’t fight me on this.
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu – “The Revenant”
Adam McKay – “The Big Short”
George Miller – “Mad Max Fury Road”
Lenny Abrahamson – “Room”
Tom McCarthy – “Spotlight”
Who Will Win: Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu
The Academy loves to split the categories when there isn’t a clear frontrunner. Gonzalez won last year as well as his film Birdman and he and The Revenant has momentum with Golden Globe wins but I don’t see the Oscars repeating the exact same results as last year. Given the present backlash, I can only imagine that would add to the narrative that the Oscars are the same, year-in, year-out.
Who Should Win: George Miller
What 70 year-old George Miller was able to accomplish was nothing short of genius.
Bryan Cranston – “Trumbo”
Matt Damon – “The Martian”
Leonardo DiCaprio – “The Revenant”
Michael Fassbender – “Steve Jobs”
Eddie Redmayne – “The Danish Girl”
Who Will Win: Leonardo DiCaprio
He died in the ocean, he pissed in jars, and this year he suffered frostbite and slept in a buffalo carcass. He’ll win as the youngest “you earned it” legacy vote ever. It’s disappointing and predictable so let’s just rip this bandaid off and move the fuck on.
Who Should Win: Michael Fassbender
He is simply the most exciting actor of the moment and of every film he’s in. That’s especially true of Steve Jobs, where he shoulders the title character with aplomb and fires the Aaron Sorkin dialogue like an expert rifleman, with careful aim and skillful precision.
Cate Blanchett – “Carol”
Brie Larson – “Room”
Jennifer Lawrence – “Joy”
Charlotte Rampling – “45 Years”
Saoirse Ronan – “Brooklyn”
Who Will Win: Brie Larson
She won a Golden Globe. She’s Jennifer Lawrence 2.0. There ya go.
Who Should Win: Brie Larson
She won a Golden Globe. She’s Jennifer Lawrence 2.0. There ya go.*
*Alternatively, Charlotte Rampling would be my pick but I know Hollywood better. If it’s not Helen Mirren or Judi Dench, elderly women aren’t winning Oscars.
Best Supporting Actress
Jennifer Jason Leigh – “The Hateful Eight”
Rooney Mara – “Carol”
Rachel McAdams – “Spotlight” –
Alicia Vikander – “The Danish Girl”
Kate Winslet – “Steve Jobs”
Who Will Win: Kate Winslet
There’s always one gratuitous award. Last year, it was Cate Blanchett who won her second Oscar. This year, Winslet. Additionally, because DiCaprio is a lock and Sorkin not nominated for Best Screenplay, the Academy gets to recognize Steve Jobs in a small way.
Who Should Win: Jennifer Jason Leigh
Leigh’s Daisy Domergue was a wonderfully unique woman, a murdress without shame and a cackling laugh. Her rapport with Kurt Russell in The Hateful Eight was one of the best parts of that film as well as her role in the bloody detente that forms the film’s climax. This would also be a Tarantino recognition vote, if the Academy can be convinced of this by tomorrow.
Best Supporting Actor
Christian Bale – “The Big Short”
Tom Hardy – “The Revenant”
Mark Ruffalo – “Spotlight”
Mark Rylance – “Bridge Of Spies”
Sylvester Stallone – “Creed”
Who Will Win: Sylvester Stallone
Stallone is a legendary figure and his Rocky Balboa character holds a special place for him and for generations. He deserves this award. The fact that neither the film nor the director Ryan Coogler or star Michael B. Jordan are nominated is a crime but in this small way, Creed will be recognized and Stallone can rightfully be congratulated for his 40+ years in Hollywood. Also, you can be sure he definitely will not forget to thank Coogler and Jordan this time.
Who Should Win: Sylvester Stallone
Best Adapted Screenplay
Drew Goddard – “The Martian”
Nick Hornby – “Brooklyn”
Adam McKay & Charles Randolph – “The Big Short”
Phyllis Nagy – “Carol”
Emma Donoghue – “Room”
Who Will Win: The Big Short
An unexpected Oscars contender, writers Adam McKay and Charles Randolph took the unenviable task of adapting a tale of the white guys who saw the Great Recession coming, with all the financy-smancy words that come with it. With the help of a naked Margot Robbie, Anthony Bourdain, and Selena Gomez, they succeed. Pay the man, Johnny.
Who Should Win: The Big Short
I’m tempted to say The Martian but The Big Short is just such a perfectly distilled script on a challenging subject that I want to reward the effort.
Best Original Screenplay
Matt Charman, Joel Coen, Ethan Coen – “Bridge Of Spies”
Alex Garland – “Ex Machina”
Josh Cooley, Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve – “Inside Out”
Tom McCarthy & Josh Singer – “Spotlight”
Jonathan Herman, Andrea Berloff, S. Leigh Savage – “Straight Outta Compton”
Who Will Win: Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer.
They have momentum with a WGA award and a Spirit Award just today. But all of that is political nonsense because Marty Baron himself (portrayed by Liev Schrieber in the film) said he was impressed by their writing process and the result that came from it. If Spotlight is the Best Picture frontrunner I think it is, it’s a good bet it’s got this too.
Who Should Win: Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer
Got your own predictions? Share them in the comments.