Well, it’s that time of year again, where everyone becomes an expert as to who will win the respective categories at the Oscars. This year’s Academy Awards are quite interesting in that we could possibly finally see Leonardo DiCaprio win that coveted Best Actor award (as if it actually means anything).
So, here goes nothing at trying to predict who will win. A little description about the nominees in each category will be added before my final verdict. Here we go!
Disclaimer: We will not cover all the categories, but just the ones for which we feel we are capable of making a decision.
A consistent theme that will become apparent is the love that The Revenant will be getting this year. It’s no different in the biggest category of the night. It seems as though The Revenant might have a great chance at winning the Best Picture considering the hype on the internet. I would not count out the brilliantly constructed Spotlight and the ridiculous Big Short. Oh, and that little action film from May called Mad Max: Fury Road may just have a chance (one can only hope!).
Final Verdict: I think Spotlight will have the edge but films like The Revenant and The Big Short may just have a shot to pip Spotlight and get that win.
It’s great to see a diversity of genres represented in this category. However, if anyone thinks that an actor other than Leonardo DiCaprio will win this is quite delusional. I don’t know if his performance is the best this year, but it is the one that completely stands out from the others who have been nominated. His primary competition may be Michael Fassbender, who puts in an utterly outstanding performance in Steve Jobs where he makes the audience forget that he doesn’t even look like Jobs. The attention to detail in his performance is incredible which ultimately helps his case.
Final Verdict: Let’s see, I think Eddie Redmayne will win the Oscar…. Yeahhhh, no. It’s definitely going to be Leonardo DiCaprio finally getting that coveted statue and we can move on to discussing the next Actor who has been “snubbed” by the Academy.
This category is a lot more open in terms of multiple actors having a chance at winning an Oscar. We, of course, have Academy darling Cate Blanchett and her performance in Carol. We also have Brie Larson with her performance in Room who has been winning the Best Actress award at all of the pre-Oscar awards and galas. And then there’s the charming performance by Saoirse Ronan in Brooklyn. Ronan has a much better chance of winning a BAFTA tomorrow, but considering the performance and “suffering” put in by Larson, she seems to be the one that will get all the awards.
Final Verdict: Out of a nomination list that features a ton of great performances, with a few that aren’t even on the list, but there’s a similar criterion being applied with both Brie Larson and Leo’s performances. Their performances show the suffering of their characters and the visible change in their appearance to which the Academy has a likening.
Best Supporting Actor
The nomination list for Best Supporting Actor is also a very strong one. We’ve got another performance from The Revenant with Tom Hardy‘s performance as John Fitzgerald; we’ve got the overwhelming audience response for Sylvester Stallone reprising his role as Rocky Balboa in Creed; and the understated performance by Mark Rylance as Rudolf Abel in Bridge of Spies. However, Hardy’s biggest competitor may be Mark Ruffalo and his performance as Mike Rezendes in Spotlight. However, like I noted before, we’ve got a theme of distress and suffering this year and Tom Hardy certainly fits that bill.
Final Verdict: This will be another category that The Revenant takes home and rightfully so with Tom Hardy winning the award for best supporting actor. However, it’s not one that he will take home easily as the competition is quite high in this category with a lot of sympathy voting being directed towards Sly Stallone.
Best Supporting Actress
This was a weirdly nominated category this year with two performances that could have easily been nominated in the “Best Actress” category. Both Alicia Vikander and Rooney Mara had performances which should have been classified as Lead performances rather than as supporting the respective actors in their films. A third actress to watch will be Kate Winslet who had a very strong performance in Steve Jobs. These three films were all films not widely seen by the general audience but the overwhelming consensus is that these three great actresses all have a chance at winning.
Final Verdict: In another hotly contested category, Alicia Vikander seems to be the actor from The Danish Girl who will win the award for Best supporting actress. Her performance in The Danish Girl carried the film more so than the other competitors in her category.
All 5 directors in this category have made remarkable films this year. However, two of them are clearly a level below their competitors. Both Lenny Abrahamson and Adam McKay have made great films in Room and The Big Short respectively but the work that Tom McCarthy (Spotlight), Alejandro Inarritu (The Revenant) and the wily George Miller (Mad Max) have put in is quite outstanding. There is a feeling that Mckay shouldn’t even have been nominated, with many arguing his nomination should have gone to Ridley Scott (The Martian). Regardless, I would’ve said McCarthy has this award on lock, but since The Revenant came out, the sentiment has certainly shifted towards last year’s Oscar winner Mr. Inarritu. There is quite the diversity of genres and themes being played here, from crazy desert laden action to a feast of bear maulings and revenge to a story of heartbreak and redemption by a group of journalists.
Final Verdict: Another tough category where 3/5 directors all have a legitimate shot at winning this award. Inarritu might just get that back-to-back award this year, but it would be nice to see either Miller or McCarthy win instead.
I don’t think there’s any question as to who’s winning the award for best cinematography. Yes, it’s Leonardo DiCaprio! Well, no but wouldn’t that be something special. Rather, it will actually be his cinematographer from The Revenant, Emmanuel Lubezki, who also won the Oscar last year for Birdman. One thing to keep in mind is that his victory won’t be because the other cinematographers weren’t up to par; rather, his competitors would win any other year if not for Lubezski being THAT good. Roger Deakins seems to have lost out once again for his beautiful work on Sicario while John Seale‘s masterful work to bring Mad Max to life was an absolute stroke of genius. Ed Lachman‘s use of 16mm in Carol gave it that beautiful old-school sheen while the use of 70mm Panavision by Robert Richardson in close-quarter settings for The Hateful Eight was something most thought could only be used in large landscape pieces.
Final Verdict: The vast, grueling, long takes of Lubezki have become quite iconic in the last month or so. It’s not the story, or the direction, or even the acting that people first associate with The Revenant, but rather its beautiful cinematography which will get “Chivo” his third consecutive Oscar.
Best Animated Feature Film
There was a point where many thought that Inside Out was a favourite to at least be nominated for a Best Picture, let alone actually contending to win the award. Well, a nomination didn’t happen (even though there were still 2 spots available for Best Picture), however, there is no doubt that it won’t win the Best Animated Film. The only competition that Inside Out may have is Anomalisa, the adult-oriented animation about the mundanity of life.
Final Verdict: Considering that Inside Out was being considered for a Best Picture nomination earlier in 2015, there is no doubt that it will win the award for Best Animated Film. One other factor working in Inside Out’s favour is that it is a film much more accessible to a larger audience and works for both adults and children in two very different ways.