Journey to the 2016 Oscars – EastCoastMovieGuys' Predictions

By Josh Melo

The highly anticipated 2016 Oscars are finally here! With Chris Rock preparing his sure to be scathing (and hopefully hilarious) monologue, attention will turn to the nominees. Will Alejandro G. Inarritu go for two wins in a row? Will Lubezki three-peat in the cinematography category? Who know? Certainly not me, but I’m here to provide my insight nonetheless! Read on to find out who I believe will take home the gold in tonight’s Oscar ceremony.

Without any further adieu, here are my predictions:

Best Picture

Aside from Brooklyn and Bridge of Spies, every film on this list has a legitimate shot at taking home the top prize. Throughout awards season each of these films has been bestowed with the highest honour, so it’s really anyone’s guess as to who will take it at the Oscars. Recent momentum would have The Revenant winning the category but Spotlight has long been considered the favourite. My gut wants Fury Road, or even Room, to take it but I’m going to go with momentum, The Revenant wins Best Picture!

  • The Big Short
  • Bridge of Spies
  • Brooklyn
  • Mad Max: Fury Road (Should Win)
  • The Martian
  • The Revenant (Will Win)
  • Room
  • Spotlight

Best Director

Another tight race. George Miller’s batshit crazy car chase in the desert was a feat no other would dare try to replicate, but the Academy has been a bit stingy when it comes to genre fare. Tom McCarthy’s Spotlight was a masterclass in direction, bringing life to what could have been a very stagnant movie going experience. And then there’s Oscar favourite Inarritu, the man can do no wrong in the Academy’s eyes and is poised to once again take home the Oscar. Though I think Miller is more deserving of the award, I’ll say Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu will win for Best Director.

  • Adam McKay, The Big Short
  • George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road (Should Win)
  • Alejandro González Iñárritu, The Revenant (Will Win)
  • Lenny Abrahamson, Room
  • Tom McCarthy, Spotlight

Best Actor

Going in to this years awards season many had DiCaprio pegged for his first Oscar win. But then the acclaim for Michael Fassbender’s performance came in. His rendition of Steve Jobs quickly shot him to the top of people’s predictions lists. While the outcome of various awards shows has lead to a mixed bag, I tend to think Fassbender will come out on top. Sorry Leo, you’ll get it next year.

  • Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
  • Matt Damon, The Martian
  • Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant (a very close second)
  • Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs (Should and Will Win)
  • Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl

Best Actress

Out of all of the categories this one warranted the least amount of thought. Everyone nominated is wholly deserving of the praise heaped upon them by critics (maybe not J-Law but whatever), but Brie Larson is THE Best Actress of 2015. Her turn in Room was raw, unnerving and utterly brilliant. If anyone will cause an upset it will be Cate Blanchett but Brie Larson will take home the prize.

  • Cate Blanchett, Carol (Potential Upset)
  • Brie Larson, Room (Should and Will Win)
  • Jennifer Lawrence, Joy
  • Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years
  • Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn

Best Adapted Screenplay

My initial reaction wants to say Emma Donohue for Room but looking at what McKay and Goddard did for their respective projects deserves a second look. The Big Short could have easily turned out to be a boring exercise in number crunching and doomsaying, yet the slightly juvenile and hilarious touch McKay and Randolph wrote the script with made that film the success that it was. The same goes for Goddard and The Martian. Writing for a single man in a remote location isn’t an easy thing, let alone making it funny. I say McKay and Randolph win with Goddard close in second.

  • Charles Randolph and Adam McKay, The Big Short (Will Win)
  • Nick Hornby, Brooklyn
  • Phyllis Nagy, Carol
  • Drew Goddard, The Martian (Might Win)
  • Emma Donohue, Room

Best Original Screenplay

I would love to see Straight Outta Compton win the category, not only for diversities sake, but because it was a truly masterful screenplay. But Spotlight will more than likely take home to gold here. Ex Machina was one of my favourite films of the year, but even it’s sci-fi goodness paled in comparison to what McCarthy and Singer did with their journalist drama. Somehow making mundane conversation completely enthralling and addressing religion without being overtly one-sided, Spotlight is the clear winner here.

  • Matt Charman and Coen Bros., Bridge of Spies
  • Alex Garland, Ex Machina
  • Josh Cooley, Peter Docter, and Megan LeFauve, Inside Out
  • Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer, Spotlight (Will Win)
  • Andrea Berloff, Jonathan Herman, S. Leigh Savidge and Alan Wenkus, Straight Outta Compton (Potential Upset)

Best Supporting Actor

Coming at this from a critical standpoint, Tom Hardy should win for his grisly portrayal of a frontiersman in The Revenant. But everyone loves a comeback and the years biggest came in the form of Rocky himself, Sylvester Stallone. An argument could be made for anyone in this category, but with the history surrounding Stallone and the stellar performance he gave, this is his category to lose.

  • Christian Bale, The Big Short
  • Tom Hardy, The Revenant (Should Win)
  • Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight
  • Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
  • Sylvester Stallone, Creed (Will Win)

Best Supporting Actress

Rooney Mara was the early frontrunner for the award but Alicia Vikander quickly proved she was in it to win it. Delivering a number of award worthy performances throughout 2015, Vikander will most likely go home the winner.

  • Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
  • Rooney Mara, Carol (Potential Upset)
  • Rachel McAdams, Spotlight
  • Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl (Should and Will Win)
  • Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

Best Animated Feature

I’m not going to pretend I’ve seen all of these, but even then Inside Out is the clear choice. Providing a return to form to Pixar and delivering an emotional, witty and entertaining film, Inside Out has the category in the bag. Though, if The Good Dinosaur has been nominated I would have totally gone with that!

  • Anomalisa (If anything is going to upset Inside Out, it’s Anomalisa)
  • Boy and the World
  • Inside Out (Will Win)
  • Shaun the Sheep Movie
  • When Marnie Was There

Best Original Song

As much as I loathed Fifty Shades of Grey, “Earned It” by The Weeknd is the only song on this list that doesn’t put me to sleep. Plus, they need to put some sort of praise in the trailer for the sequel and “winner of Best Original Song at the Oscars” doesn’t sound too bad. Scratch all of that, I just listened to “Til It Happens To You”. THIS!

  • “Earned It”, Fifty Shades of Grey (Potential Upset)
  • “Manta Ray”, Racing Extinction
  • “Simple Song No. 3”, Youth
  • “Til It Happens To You”, The Hunting Ground (Will Win)
  • “Writing’s on the Wall”, Spectre

Best Original Score

The Hateful Eight was a slog of a film in my opinion, but one thing I never complained about was the films score. That being said, the Academy loves John Williams. With The Force Awakens reigniting everyone’s passion for Star Wars, it’s hard to imagine him not being recognized. I say The Force Awakens takes it with The Hateful Eight as a potential runner up.

  • Bridge of Spies
  • Carol
  • The Hateful Eight (Potential Upset)
  • Sicario
  • Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (Will Win)

Best Cinematography

Fury Road was pure genius and Sicario was easily one of the best films of the year. But The Revenant has Cinematography hands down. Shot in (almost) all natural light and featuring gorgeous single take sequences of both action and organic beauty means yet another win for esteemed cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki.

  • Carol
  • The Hateful Eight
  • Mad Max: Fury Road (Longshot Second Place)
  • The Revenant (Will Win)
  • Sicario (Longshot Second Place)

Best Costume Design

Costume Design is always a tricky one to predict. Depending on the year the Academy goes for crazy and outlandish finery while the next they go for sultry and sophisticated  garb. I want to say Cinderella but I think Mad Max will win it for the over the top Wastelander outfits and disgusting prosthetic disguises.

  • Carol
  • Cinderella (Potential Upset)
  • The Danish Girl
  • Mad Max: Fury Road (Will Win)
  • The Revenant (Potential Upset)

Best Sound Editing

Nobody does sound better than Star Wars. If anyone is going to steal this prize it’s Mad Max, but even that’s a stretch. The Force Awakens all the way!

  • Mad Max: Fury Road (Potential Upset)
  • The Martian
  • The Revenant
  • Sicario
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Should and Will Win)

Best Sound Mixing

Same as above, The Force Awakens all day. Mad Max  may steal the prize, and I can imagine a world where The Revenant‘s subtle (and not so subtle) brutality takes the win. But again, this is Star Wars’ prize to lose.

  • Bridge of Spies
  • Mad Max: Fury Road (Potential Upset)
  • The Martian
  • The Revenant
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Should and Will Win)

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

The Revenant‘s waxy beards were cool, but they were nothing compared to the chaos that was Immortun Joe and the War Boys. Mad Max takes this category easily.

  • Mad Max: Fury Road (Should and Will Win)
  • The 100-Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared
  • The Revenant

Best Live-Action Short

I haven’t seen any of these shorts… so I’ll give it to Stutterer. Thought I wouldn’t be “Shok”ed to see Shok pull out a win (HA!).

* I’m highlighting everything because I don’t know what else to do!

  • Ave Maria
  • Day One
  • Everything Will Be Okay
  • Shok
  • Stutterer

Best Animated Short

Once again, no idea who will win. I’m going to pick Bear Story because I’m assuming it’s the origin story for the bear that nearly kills Leonardo DiCaprio.

  • Bear Story (Will Win if it has anything to do with the aforementioned bear rape)
  • Prologue
  • Sanjay’s Super Team
  • We Can’t Live Without Cosmos
  • World of Tomorrow

Best Visual Effects

Star Wars: The Force Awakens… is there another answer?  No film came close to matching the visual quality of Star Wars. Mad Max may have blown people away with the seamlessness of it’s car stunts, but The Force Awakens built myriad believable worlds as well as countless inhabitants of those worlds. Star Wars wins!

  • Ex Machina
  • Mad Max: Fury Road (Close Second)
  • The Martian
  • The Revenant
  • Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (Will and Should Win)

Best Film Editing

I’ve given many of the technical awards to Star Wars, but I have to give this one to Mad Max. The editing of this film made it what it was. It may have been all action all of the time, but without a competent editorial team that action could have easily become muddled and chaotic. Mad Max for the win!

The Big Short

  • Mad Max: Fury Road (Will and Should Win)
  • The Revenant
  • Spotlight
  • Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (Potential Upset)

Best Production Design

The Martian and The Revenant were largely natural locations while Bridge of Spies and The Danish Girl were set in mundane cities. Mad Max shot on location and created magnificent, unique structures out of nothing. Easy decision, Mad Max wins!

  • Bridge of Spies
  • The Danish Girl
  • Mad Max: Fury Road (Should and Will Win)
  • The Martian
  • The Revenant (Potential Upset)

Best Documentary Short

Because I am lazy and tired, I’m going to guess at the next three categories. I haven’t watched any documentaries since Supersize Me and foreign language cinema I watch are throwaway Chinese action films. So I’ll say Best Doc. Short goes to Spectres of the Shoah. Best Doc. Feature goes to Cartel Land and Best Foreign Language Film goes to Son of Saul.

  • Buddy Team 12
  • Spectres of the Shoah
  • A Girl in the River
  • Last Day of Freedom

Best Documentary Feature

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

Best Foreign Language Film

  • Colombia: Embrace of the Serpent
  • France: Mustang
  • Hungary: Son of Saul
  • Jordan: Theeb
  • Denmark: A War

And there you have it! The official predictions for the 2016 Oscars. Here’s to hoping I fare better than I did with my Golden Globes predictions!