Todd’s FINAL 2015 Oscar Predictions

One week from tonight, the 88th Annual Academy Awards will air with Chris Rock hosting and unlike some other years, there is real and legitimate intrigue as to what will win the big prize in Best Picture. Meanwhile, other categories have strong front runners but upsets are always possible. So with seven days to go, here are my FINAL predictions for who will win in each categories, with the exception of the three short film races. Here we go!

BEST PICTURE

For Room, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, Brooklyn and Bridge of Spies – it’s an honor to be nominated. This is truly a close race between the trio of The Big Short, The Revenant and Spotlight and any one of them could easily emerge victorious. All have won important precursors. Of the three, my gut is that Short is running third in this tight derby. All week my inclination has been to pick Spotlight, but The Revenant seems to have the hot hand in these late proceedings.

FINAL PICK: The Revenant

Runner-Up: Spotlight

BEST DIRECTOR

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu looks poised to win his second directing prize in a row after 2014’s Birdman for his work in The Revenant. If so, he would be the first auteur to do that in 65 years. In my estimation, only George Miller could be an upset winner for Mad Max, but that’s doubtful. Inarritu has won the Golden Globe and the DGA and is a safe bet.

FINAL PICK: Inarritu

Runner-Up: Miller

BEST ACTOR

Speaking of safe bets involving The Revenant, Leonardo DiCaprio at last looks poised to win a gold statue. He is the heavy favorite over competitors Matt Damon, Michael Fassbender, Eddie Redmayne and Bryan Cranston.

FINAL PICK: DiCaprio

Runner-Up: Ummmm… Cranston? Seriously, Leo is a major favorite

BEST ACTRESS

Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn) and Charlotte Rampling (45 Years) could be spoilers, but the front runner is definitely Brie Larson’s turn in Room.

FINAL PICK: Larson

Runner-Up: Ronan

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

If the Academy doesn’t go for nostalgia here, you might see Mark Rylance win for Bridge of Spies. Yet I do believe Sylvester Stallone will knock out his foes for Creed.

FINAL PICK: Stallone

Runner-Up: Rylance

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs) has won some precursors and Rooney Mara (Carol) stands an outside shot, but Alicia Vikander had a big 2015 and I’ll pick her for The Danish Girl.

FINAL PICK: Vikander

Runner-Up: Winslet

For the remainder of the categories, I’m simply listing my picks with the runner-up:

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

FINAL PICK: Spotlight

Runner-Up: Inside Out

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

FINAL PICK: The Big Short

Runner-Up: Room

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

FINAL PICK: Inside Out

Runner-Up: Anomalisa

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

FINAL PICK: Son of Saul

Runner-Up: Mustang

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

FINAL PICK: Cartel Land

Runner-Up: Amy

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

FINAL PICK: The Hateful Eight

Runner-Up: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

FINAL PICK: “Til It Happens to You” from The Hunting Ground

Runner-Up: “Earned It” from Fifty Shades of Grey

BEST SOUND EDITING

FINAL PICK: The Revenant

Runner-Up: Mad Max: Fury Road

BEST SOUND MIXING

FINAL PICK: Mad Max: Fury Road

Runner-Up: The Revenant

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

FINAL PICK: Mad Max: Fury Road

Runner-Up: The Revenant

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

FINAL PICK: The Revenant

Runner-Up: Mad Max: Fury Road

BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

FINAL PICK: Mad Max: Fury Road

Runner-Up: The Revenant

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

FINAL PICK: Carol

Runner-Up: Mad Max: Fury Road

BEST FILM EDITING

FINAL PICK: The Big Short

Runner-Up: Mad Max: Fury Road

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

FINAL PICK: Mad Max: Fury Road

Runner-Up: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

2015 Golden Globe Predictions

Four days before Oscar nominations are revealed, Hollywood will throw their annual party and awards ceremony known as the Golden Globes, put on by the Hollywood Foreign Press (whoever they are). The always entertaining Ricky Gervais is back to host and the show honors 2015’s best in movies and television. I won’t bother with the TV stuff (just because I haven’t followed it anywhere close to what I do with film). As you may know, the Globes divide the picture and lead actor races in two: Drama and Musical/Comedy. This has been a source of some controversy recently with titles like The Wolf of Wall Street and American Hustle being questionably placed into Comedy. The ante was upped this year when Ridley Scott’s The Martian made that category. It has laughs to be sure, but really?

I’ll go through each race and predict the winners (and potential runner-up) and will update the blog either Sunday evening or Monday with how I did:

Best Picture (Drama)

Nominees:

Carol

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Revenant

Room

Spotlight

Outlook: Early critical precursors have placed Spotlight in the position of soft front runner for the Oscars and here. In fact, one of its main competitors The Big Short is in the other category so that helps even more. Potential spoilers could be Carol or just maybe Mad Max, but Spotlight is the odds on favorite here.

Predicted Winner: Spotlight

Runner-Up: Carol

Best Picture (Musical/Comedy)

Nominees:

The Big Short

Joy

The Martian

Spy

Trainwreck

Outlook: Let’s dispense with the two outright comedies – Spy and Trainwreck – as they stand no real chance. Joy‘s mixed critical reaction probably leaves it out, too. So we’re down to The Big Short and The Martian. With the deserved controversy of having The Martian even here in the first place aside, Short seems to have the bigger momentum right now and it should edge out its main competitor.

Predicted Winner: The Big Short

Runner-Up: The Martian

Best Actor (Drama)

Nominees:

Bryan Cranston, Trumbo

Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant

Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs

Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl

Will Smith, Concussion

Outlook: While he’s famously never won an Oscar, Leo did take a Globe two years ago (in Comedy) for Wolf of Wall Street. Look for his dramatic work here to be recognized and it would frankly be fairly surprising if he didn’t win. I’d say Fassbender or maybe Cranston pose the only real upset threats.

Predicted Winner: DiCaprio

Runner-Up: Fassbender

Best Actress (Drama)

Nominees:

Cate Blanchett, Carol

Brie Larson, Room

Rooney Mara, Carol

Saoirise Ronan, Brooklyn

Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl

Outlook: My inkling here is that Blanchett and Mara will pretty much cancel each other out for their work in Carol. Vikander is a double nominee this year, but appears to be a long shot in this race especially. Ronan is certainly a possibility, but Larson is the likely recipient for her lauded work.

Predicted Winner: Larson

Runner-Up: Ronan

Best Actor (Musical/Comedy)

Nominees:

Christian Bale, The Big Short

Steve Carell, The Big Short

Matt Damon, The Martian

Al Pacino, Danny Collins

Mark Ruffal0, Infinitely Polar Bear

Outlook: First things first – Pacino and Ruffalo have zero shot. Like the previously discussed race, I could see Bale and Carell canceling one another out and that leaves Mr. Damon.

Predicted Winner: Damon

Runner-Up: Bale

Best Actress (Musical/Comedy)

Nominees:

Jennifer Lawrence, Joy

Melissa McCarthy, Spy

Amy Schumer, Trainwreck

Maggie Smith, The Lady in the Van

Lily Tomlin, Grandma

Outlook: Schumer had her breakout role with Trainwreck and stands a chance, but this is probably Lawrence’s race to lose.

Predicted Winner: Lawrence

Runner-Up: Schumer

Best Supporting Actor

Nominees:

Paul Dano, Love and Mercy

Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation

Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies

Michael Shannon, 99 Homes

Sylvester Stallone, Creed

Outlook: This race is a little trickier and could be ripe for an upset (Elba or Shannon wouldn’t shock me). However, this probably comes down to Rylance (who’s picked up numerous critic precursor notices) and Stallone (for the sentimental vote). I’m going with sentimentality trumping all else.

Predicted Winner: Stallone

Runner-Up: Rylance

Best Supporting Actress

Nominees:

Jane Fonda, Youth

Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight

Helen Mirren, Trumbo

Alicia Vikander, Ex Machina

Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

Outlook: Another race that could feature an upset (any one of these ladies are possible), but I’ll give the slight momentum to Leigh’s work.

Predicted Winner: Leigh

Runner-Up: Winslet

Best Director

Nominees:

Todd Haynes, Carol

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, The Revenant

Tom McCarthy, Spotlight

George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road

Ridley Scott, The Martian

Outlook: Don’t see Haynes or Inarritu prevailing, so that leaves this question: will the HFPA go with the likely Best Drama Picture winner’s director (McCarthy) or the outstanding visual work from Miller or Scott. Miller has picked up a number of precursor awards, so I give him the edge over Scott and I ultimately believe he’ll eek out the victory here.

Predicted Winner: Miller

Runner-Up: McCarthy

As for the other categories – here are my picks

Best Screenplay

Predicted Winner: Spotlight

Runner-Up: The Big SHort

Best Score

Predicted Winner: The Hateful Eight

Runner-Up: Carol

Best Song

Predicted Winner: “See You Again” from Furious 7

Runner-Up: “Love Me Like You Do” from Fifty Shades of Grey

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Winner: Inside Out

Runner-Up: Anomalisa

Best Foreign Language Film

Predicted Winner: Son of Saul

Runner-Up: Mustang

And there you have it, folks! My Golden Globe predictions…