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Oscars 2016: Who Will Win and Who Should Win

February 27, 2016
11 min read

After months and months of Oscar Predictions, we have finally arrived to the day when we make one final call on who is going to win the golden statuette. This year has seen a lot of ups and downs in terms of the what’s exactly is going to win Best Picture. It started with ‘Spotlight’ coming out of Telluride Film Festival as the frontrunner. After four months of staying at the top of everyone’s predictions chart, towards the end of the year, it started to lose its sheen. ‘The Big Short’, with its zeitgeist theme, became the favorite of those who by this point had got bored out of ‘Spolight’s’ frontrunner status. Then came the industry guilds and BAFTAs. By winning DGA and BAFTA for Best Film, ‘The Revenant’ laid its claim to be the strongest contender to win the top prize at the Oscars.  But before ‘The Revenant’ won DGA, the other two important guild awards, SAG and PGA, went to ‘Spotlight’ and ‘The Big Short’ respectively. So, the question arises: Is ‘The Revenant’ really the frontrunner to win ? Well, my answer is yes (I explain the reasons in commentary below). In spite of many Oscar experts predicting ‘The Big Short’ to win and some even predicting ‘Spotlight’ to win, my money is squarely on ‘The Revenant’. Not only that. I feel, in general, it is going to be very good night for ‘The Revenant’. It may end the night anywhere between four to seven Oscars. Anyway, we here at The Cinemaholic do our best to make the most accurate predictions, and that’s howa couple of years back we were correctly able to predict 23 out of 24 Oscar winners, and predicted 86 out of 106 nominations correctly this yearWith that said, we present to you our Oscar 2016 winners predictions with exclusive commentary to go with every category.


BEST PICTURE

The Big Short
Bridge of Spies
Brooklyn
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Room
Spotlight

Will Win: The Revenant
Could Win: Spotlight 
Should Win: Room

Commentary: Can a director win two back-to-back Best Picture awards –something that’s never been achieved in Oscars 88 years history ? After his DGA and BAFTA wins, we can safely presume he can. There are many who believe ‘The Revenant’ can’t be a consensus choice, and therefore, can’t win. My argument is, a film only needs to be a consensus choice (as I explained it here) if it doesn’t have a very passionate support behind it. The way Oscar voting for selecting Best Picture works (explained here) is if a film starts with a massive lead at the end of first round of counting (that takes into account first-place votes), it is extremely difficult for any film to catch up in the subsequent rounds. Also, it doesn’t help the causes of ‘The Big Short’ and ‘Spotlight’ that both of them are going to split the “socially-conscious” votes, that in the end is only  going to benefit ‘The Revenant’. Personally, I would have liked to see ‘Room’ win, because that’s the best film (along with ‘Brooklyn’) that I saw last year

 

BEST DIRECTOR

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

Will Win: Alejandro G. Inarritu, The Revenant
Could Win: George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road
Should Win: George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road

Commentary: After winning the DGA, this is Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s award to lose. Though, in what seems to be a very unlikely scenario, if it isn’t ‘The Revenant”s night, the well-deserved George Miller could take this prize. 

 

BEST ACTOR

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

Will Win: Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
Could Win: None
Should Win: Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant

Commentary: Do I need to even comment on this ? It has been Leo’s year. And finally, he will get his long-overdue Oscar. 

 

BEST ACTRESS

Cate Blanchett, Carol
Brie Larson, Room
Jennifer Lawrence, Joy
Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years
Saoirse Ranon, Brooklyn

Will Win: Brie Larson, Room
Could Win: None
Should Win: Saoirse Ranon, Brooklyn

Commentary: Many may not realize this, but Brie Larson is as locked to win Best Actress as Leo is to win Best Actor. Though, as much I love ‘Room’, I think Saoirse Ranon gave the best female performance of last year. 

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Christian Bale, The Big Short
Tom Hardy, The Revenant
Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight
Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
Sylvester Stallone, Creed

Will Win: Sylvester Stallone, Creed
Could Win: Tom Hardy, The Revenant
Should Win: Tom Hardy, The Revenant

Commentary: Many think Sylvester Stallone is a surefire lock to win. I don’t. If ‘The Revenant’ starts sweeping the awards, Tom Hardy could be the biggest beneficiary and pull off the biggest upset of the night. Having said that, don’t have your hopes high if you are a Hardy fan. Stallone is an industry veteran and also a very popular actor. That should be enough to carry him over the finish line. 

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
Rooney Mara, Carol
Rachel McAdams, Spotlight
Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl
Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

Will Win: Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl
Could Win: Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs
Should Win: Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl

Commentary: Alicia Vikander is all but certain to win this — she also deserves it considering she’s exceptional in ‘Ex Machina’ too. Though, there is a very slim chance of Winslet pulling off an upset in case voters think it is too early to give an Oscar to Vikander — though, historically, Academy members love to reward young and upcoming actresses (See Lupita N’yongo, Jennifer Lawrence).

 

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

The Big Short
Brooklyn
Carol
The Martian
Room

Will Win:  The Big Short
Could Win: Room
Should Win: Room

Commentary: The Big Short should take this easily. It is the only place where voters will get a chance to reward the film. There’s a tiny possibility, though, that Room might pull off an upset going by how well-liked it is. 

 

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Bridge of Spies
Ex Machina
Inside Out
Spotlight
Straight Outta Compton

Will Win: Spotlight
Could Win: None
Should Win: Ex Machina

Commentary: Spotlight should win this easily considering no film offers a significant competition. Personally, I would have liked to see Ex Machina win. 

 

BEST FILM EDITING

The Big Short
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant
Spotlight
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Will Win: Mad Max: Fury Road
Could Win: The Big Short
Should Win: Mad Max: Fury Road

Commentary: The MOST important award of the night. This one award will reveal who’s going to big prize of the night. If Mad Max: Fury Road wins this, it will be the first clue that ‘The Big Short’ or ‘Spotlight’ is not winning Best Picture — which means ‘The Revenant’ has a clear path to win. But if ‘The Big Short’ or ‘Spotlight’ wins this, ‘The Revenant’ fans should start getting worried. 

 

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Carol
The Hateful Eight
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant
Sicario

Will Win: The Revenant
Could Win: Mad Max: Fury Road
Should Win: The Revenant

Commentary: Chivo is all set to win his third Oscar in a row. He won last year for ‘Birdman’ and the year before that for ‘Gravity. Again, if it is not ‘The Revenant’ night, as I am predicting it to be, ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ could crash the party.

 

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

Bridge of Spies
Carol
The Hateful Eight
Sicario
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Will Win: The Hateful Eight
Could Win: None
Should Win: Carol

Commentary: In a fair world, ‘Carol’ should have won this hands down. But of course, this isn’t a fair world, so ‘The Hateful Eight’ will take the trophy.

 

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

“Earned It,” Fifty Shades of Grey
“Manta Ray,” Racing Extinction
“Simple Song No. 3,” Youth
“Til It Happens to You,” The Hunting Ground
“Writing’s on the Wall,” Spectre

Will Win: “Til It Happens to You,” The Hunting Ground
Could Win: “Earned It,” Fifty Shades of Grey
Should Win: “Earned It,” Fifty Shades of Grey

Commentary: An opportunity to give Lady Gaga an Oscar ! I don’t think voters are going to let that go. My personal favorite in this category is Weeknd’s song, which has close to zero chance of pulling off an upset. 

 

BEST SOUND EDITING

Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Sicario
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Will Win: Mad Max: Fury Road
Could Win: The Revenant
Should Win: Mad Max: Fury Road

Commentary: Both the sound categories are tricky. And the funny thing is, most voters don’t understand the sound categories at all. If a ‘The Revenant’ sweep happens, this award could easily fall in its lap too. But I am still holding my hopes on ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’, which without questions has some of the best editing of sound. 

 

BEST SOUND MIXING

Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Sicario
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Will Win: The Revenant
Could Win: Mad Max: Fury Road
Should Win: Mad Max: Fury Road

Commentary: Yes, I switched my position here. The reason being, we have often seen both sound categories being split between two different movies — most recently, it happened last year — and therefore, voters may try to play it smart by giving Sound Mixing to ‘The Revenant’, which looks like a classier choice in this category. 

 

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

Ex Machina
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Will Win: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Could Win: Mad Max: Fury Road
Should Win: Mad Max: Fury Road

Commentary: As much as I want ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ to win, the fact that Star Wars has won both the VES guild and BAFTA award for Best Visual Effects forces me to predict it to win Oscar too. But we all know, the Visual Effects in Max Max are beyond extraordinary. 

 

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Carol
Cinderella
The Danish Girl
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant

Will Win: Mad Max: Fury Road
Could Win: The Danish Girl
Should Win: Mad Max: Fury Road

Commentary: I would call this category the toughest one to predict. The reason being, all the five nominees have a realistic chance of winning this. I am going by BAFTA and Costume Designers guild, both of whom rewarded ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’. 

 

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

Bridge of Spies
The Danish Girl
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant

Will Win: Mad Max: Fury Road
Could Win: The Revenant
Should Win: Mad Max: Fury Road

Commentary: ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ should easily win this, unless, of course, ‘The Revenant’ in its sweeping streak, wins even this one. 

 

BEST MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING

Mad Max: Fury Road
The 100-Year Old Man Who Climbed Out a Window and Disappeared
The Revenant

Will Win: Mad Max: Fury Road
Could Win: None
Should Win: Mad Max: Fury Road

Commentary: Even a The Revenant sweep won’t be able to prevent Mad Max: Fury Road from winning this. 

 

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

Anomalisa
Boy and the World
Inside Out
Shaun the Sheep Movie
When Marnie Was There

Will Win: Inside Out
Could Win: None
Should Win: Anomalisa

Commentary: Inside Out had this award in the bag since the day it released. Even, the brilliance of Charlie Kaufman’s Anomalisa can’t stop it from winning. 

 

BEST DOCUMENTARY (FEATURE)

Amy
Cartel Land
The Look of Silence
What Happened, Miss Simone?
Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom

Will Win: Amy
Could Win: What Happened, Miss Simone?
Should Win: Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom

Commentary: ‘Amy’ is all but certain to win. ‘What Happened, Miss Simone?’ may look like a threat, but honestly, it isn’t. In my opinion, though, the best documentary of last year was ‘Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom’.

 

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Embrace of the Serpent
Mustang
Son of Saul
Theeb
A War

Will Win: Son of Saul
Could Win: Mustang
Should Win: Son of Saul

Commentary: There is a buzz in certain sections of the industry that ‘Mustang’, a crowdpleaser, can pull off an upset here. But I think, ‘Son of Saul’, with its Holocaust subject matter and innovative story-telling, is too great a film to be beaten. 

 

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT

Body Team 12
Chau, Beyond the Lines
Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah
A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness
Last Day of Freedom

Will Win: Body Team 12
Could Win: Chau, Beyond the Lines
Should Win: A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness

 

BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM

Bear Story
Prologue
Sanjay’s Super Team
We Can’t Live Without Cosmos
World of Tomorrow

Will Win: Sanjay’s Super Team
Could Win: Bear Story
Should Win: Sanjay’s Super Team

 

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM

Ave Maria
Day One
Everything Will Be Okay (Alles Wird Gut)
Shok
Stutterer

Will Win: Shok
Could Win: Stutterer
Should Win: Stutterer

Read More: The 50 Greatest Movies of 21st Century (2000-2015) 

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