88th Annual Academy Awards Predictions

Above: Who will take home Oscar gold?
Above: Who will take home Oscar gold?

Sunday is the film industry’s biggest day, as Chris Rock hosts the 88th Annual Academy Awards from the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. There are a couple clear favourites in the big categories, but there are also a bunch of close races that could produce surprises during the awards ceremony on ABC.

So who is going home with some hardware? Here are my predictions for nine of the top categories.

BEST PICTURE
And the nominees are:
The Big Short
Bridge of Spies
Brooklyn
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Room
Spotlight

And the Oscar goes to… The Revenant
The Big Short or Spotlight could snag this award, but my money is on The Revenant getting the nod. It is a beautiful, visceral film that excels in various ways, more so than its closest competitors in this race.

BEST DIRECTOR
And the nominees are:
Adam McKay, The Big Short
George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road
Alejandro G. Inarritu, The Revenant
Lenny Abrahamson, Room
Tom McCarthy, Spotlight

And the Oscar goes to… Alejandro G. Inarritu.
It’s going to be a repeat for Inrarritu, who won last year for Birdman. As mentioned above, The Revenant is stunning and rich with great performances and stunning visuals, all of which ultimately lands in the lap of the director and earns Inarritu his second straight trophy.

BEST ACTOR
And the nominees are:

Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
Matt Damon, The Martian
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
Michael Fassbender, Jobs
Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl

And the Oscar goes to… Leonardo DiCaprio.
Sensing a trend? The Revenant is going to have a big night and this is the year that Leo gets his statue. His performance is great in a physically daunting way and it helps that he’s largely isolated throughout lots of the film, rather than being part of an ensemble like he’s been in previous Oscar-nominated performances.

BEST ACTRESS
And the nominees are:
Cate Blanchett, Carol
Brie Larson, Room
Jennifer Lawrence, Joy
Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years
Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn

And the Oscar goes to… Brie Larson.
This one is a slam dunk. Larson has collected trophies throughout Award Season and will get one here as well for her performance as a mother caring for her son while confined to a room by an abusive captor. Anyone else getting the nod here would be a major upset.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
And the nominees are:
Christian Bale, The Big Short
Tom Hardy, The Revenant
Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight
Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
Sylvester Stallone, Creed

And the Oscar goes to… Sylvester Stallone.
Every year it feels like there is one legacy winner – someone who get the nod as much for years of service as their specific performance. That would be Sly this year. His performance is understated, which is why it was surprising and earned a nomination. Ruffalo and Rylance both turned in stronger performances in my opinion, but Rocky is getting his hand raised here.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
And the nominees are:
Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
Rooney Mara, Carol
Rachel McAdams, Spotlight
Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl
Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

And the Oscar goes to… Alicia Vikander.
This is a wide open category and really anyone (maybe save for McAdams) could get the nod here. My pick is Vikander because (a) she had a very strong performance opposite Redmayne and (b) he’s not getting a second-straight statue and a terrific film like The Danish Girl isn’t going home empty from the major categories.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
And the nominees are:
Anomalisa
Boy and the World
Inside Out
Shaun the Sheep Movie
When Marnie Was There

And the Oscar goes to… Inside Out

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
And the nominees are:
Bridge of Spies, Matt Charman and Ethan Coen & Joel Coen
Ex Machina, Alex Garland
Inside Out, Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley; Original story by Pete Docter, Ronnie del Carmen
Spotlight, Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy
Straight Outta Compton, Screenplay by Jonathan Herman and Andrea Berloff; Story by S. Leigh Savidge, Alan Wenkus and Andrea Berloff

And the Oscar goes to… Spotlight

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
And the nominees are:
The Big Short, Charles Randolph and Adam McKay
Brooklyn, Nick Hornby
Carol, Phyllis Nagy
The Martian, Drew Goddard
Room, Emma Donoghue

And the Oscar goes to… The Big Short

Enjoy the show!

E. Spencer Kyte

E. Spencer Kyte is a freelance journalist based in Abbotsford, British Columbia, where he lives with his wife and dog. In addition to his work here, he writes about sports for Complex Canada and covers the UFC for various outlets. His mom also still tells him what to do on a regular basis, even though he’s nearly 40. He tweets from @spencerkyte.

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