Final 2016 Academy Awards Predictions

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The time has come. The Academy Award nominations will be announced tomorrow morning, January 14th. It is still a wide open year, and even though the guilds have allowed the audience to see where the industry is leaning, nothing is set in stone. Well, maybe Leo for Best Actor, but you never know. I do know one thing, there will be a surprise or two tomorrow that no one really expected to happen and it is truly hard to predict where that might occur. Could this be the year we finally get ten Best Picture nominees or do we only get five or six? Like I said earlier, it is wide open and phase one will come to a close with nominations in the morning. Below is a rundown of all the major categories (I have not see any of the short films so I will not presume to predict them) and my final predictions. Enjoy!!!


  1. Spotlight
  2. The Big Short
  3. The Revenant
  4. The Martian
  5. Mad Max: Fury Road
  6. Carol
  7. Bridge of Spies
  8. Brooklyn
  9. Straight Outta Compton
  10. Sicario
  • Alt:  Room; Inside Out; Ex Machina; Beasts of No Nation; Star Wars: The Force Awakens

These are the ten I am going with, but I honestly have no idea how many films will eventually become Oscar nominated. Spotlight is still number one, but watch out for surging films The Big Short and The RevenantThe Martian and Mad Max are safe bets and you can always count on Spielberg. Carol I think is going to have good a showing tomorrow, even if it has not been widely nominated from the guilds. Those last three spots are tricky. Brooklyn and Straight Outta Compton are looking really strong and if there are ten films in, I am going with Sicario which has looked really impressive with the guilds. Room has not looked good so far and you never know about The Force Awakens.


  1. Alejandro G. Iñárritu (The Revenant)
  2. Ridley Scott (The Martian)
  3. George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road)
  4. Tom McCarthy (Spotlight)
  5. Todd Haynes (Carol)
  • Alt:   Adam McKay (The Big Short); Steven Spielberg (Bridge of Spies); Denis Villeneuve (Sicario); F. Gary Gray (Straight Outta Compton); J.J. Abrams (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)

Iñárritu and Scott are sure-fire locks. Miller and McCarthy I am pretty certain are in, but just because the critics love you does not mean the Academy will vote you in. The DGA had those four, plus McKay, but in the usual one director discrepancy between the DGA and Academy, I am going all in for Haynes. He deserves it for his masterful work in Carol, but I would not be surprised if it matches up with DGA and McKay gets in either. I also hope Miller receives a nomination, but could all the critical adulation he has received backfire and leave him out? It could happen in the wide open year.


  1. Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant)
  2. Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs)
  3. Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl)
  4. Bryan Cranston (Trumbo)
  5. Johnny Depp (Black Mass)
  • Alt:  Matt Damon (The Martian); Will Smith (Concussion);Ian McKellen (Mr. Holmes); Steve Carell (The Big Short)

DiCaprio, Fassbender, Redmayne, and Cranston are set. It is that last spot that is up for grabs. Depp received a SAG nomination, so I feel comfortable sticking with him, especially since it is Depp doing great work in a somewhat quality film. If not him, it will be Damon, who won at the Globes. I have stuck with Depp all year and I am not backing out now, even if the buzz is quiet.


  1. Brie Larson (Room)
  2. Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn)
  3. Cate Blanchett (Carol)
  4. Jennifer Lawrence (Joy)
  5. Charlotte Rampling (45 Years)
  • Alt:  Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl); Lily Tomlin (Grandma); Maggie Smith (The Lady in the Van); Carey Mulligan (Suffragette); Charlize Theron (Mad Max: Fury Road)

These will be the five nominees unless Vikander (The Danish Girl) gets nominated here instead of supporting for that film. If she is nominated in the lead category, I feel that Rampling will be left out, once again missing out on a nomination.


  1. Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies)
  2. Idris Elba (Beasts of No Nation)
  3. Sylvester Stallone (Creed)
  4. Christian Bale (The Big Short)
  5. Mark Ruffalo (Spotlight)
  • Alt:  Benicio del Toro (Sicario); Paul Dano (Love & Mercy); Jacob Tremblay (Room); Michael Keaton (Spotlight); Michael Shannon (99 Homes); Tom Hardy (The Revenant)

The hardest category to predict and one that I know I will be wrong about in the morning. The toughest one to pick is whether or not Dano receives a nod, even though if he was running in the lead category he might have a better shot, and that goes for  Keaton as well. I am giving up on Dano…and going with Ruffalo, who does have the more showy role in Spotlight. Tough, tough decisions, and I will regret one of these picks tomorrow morning.


  1. Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl)
  2. Rooney Mara (Carol)
  3. Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs)
  4. Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight)
  5. Jane Fonda (Youth)
  • Alt:  Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina); Helen Mirren (Trumbo); Elizabeth Banks (Love & Mercy); Joan Allen (Room); Kristen Stewart (Clouds of Sils Maria)

Once again, if Vikander (TDG) goes lead, she will get into this category for her role in Ex Machina. If not, the top four are set. I have stuck with Fonda since she wowed everyone at Cannes. I know the film has not been received as well here in the states, but I am not turning my back on her. If not Fonda, it will be Mirren.


  1. Spotlight
  2. Inside Out
  3. Bridge of Spies
  4. The Hateful Eight
  5. Straight Outta  Compton
  • Alt:   Trainwreck; Sicario; Ex Machina; Joy; Son of Saul

I would not be surprised if Ex Machina or Trainwreck sneak in over anyone of these other than Spotlight. 


  1. Carol
  2. The Big Short
  3. Brooklyn
  4. Steve Jobs
  5. Room
  • Alt:  The Martian; Anomalisa; The Revenant; Trumbo; Beasts of No Nation

It is a tough one for that last spot. It could easily go to Room, The Martian or The Revenant. Sticking with the little indie where the Writer’s usually always support and promote.


  1. Carol
  2. Mad Max: Fury Road
  3. The Revenant
  4. Sicario
  5. Bridge of Spies
  • Alt: The Hateful Eight; The Martian; Brooklyn; Steve Jobs

These are the five that should get in, but I worry about the wavering support for Carol in the industry. It still should have enough to get in and it should be in!


  1. Mad Max: Fury Road
  2. The Big Short
  3. Spotlight
  4. The Revenant
  5. The Martian
  • Alt:  Sicario; Carol; Bridge of Spies; Room; The Hateful Eight;  Brooklyn

Sicario could easily get in. It received an ACE Eddie and Spotlight did not. Wide open year.


  1. Inside Out
  2. Anomalisa
  3. The Good Dinosaur
  4. The Peanuts Movie
  5. Shaun the Sheep Movie
  • Alt: Minions


  1. Son of Saul
  2. Mustang
  3. Theeb
  4. The Brand New Testament
  5. Labyrinth of Lies
  • Alt:  Viva; A War; Embrace of the Serpent; The Fencer


  1. The Look of Silence
  2. Amy
  3. Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief
  4. Listen to Me Marlon
  5. Cartel Land
  • Alt: Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom; He Named Me Malala; Heart of a Dog;  The Hunting Ground; What Happened, Miss Simone?


  1. Carol
  2. Mad Max: Fury Road
  3. Bridge of Spies
  4. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  5. The Martian
  • Alt: The Revenant; The Danish Girl; Brooklyn; Crimson Peak; Cinderella;


  1. Carol
  2. The Danish Girl
  3. Mad Max: Fury Road
  4. Brooklyn
  5. Cinderella
  • Alt: Crimson Peak; The Revenant; Bridge of Spies; Macbeth; The Hateful Eight


  1. Mad Max: Fury Road
  2. The Revenant
  3. Black Mass
  • Alt: Mr. Holmes


  1. The Hateful Eight
  2. Carol
  3. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  4. The Danish Girl
  5. Spotlight
  • Alt: Mad Max: Fury Road; Sicario; Inside Out; Bridge of Spies; Steve Jobs; The Martian


  1. “Till It Happens to You,”  The Hunting Ground
  2. “See You Again,”  Furious 7
  3. “Writings on the Wall,”  Spectre
  4. “Simple Song 3,”  Youth
  5. “Earned It,”  Fifty Shades of Grey
  • Alt: “I’ll See You in My Dreams,” I’ll See You in My Dreams; “The Light That Never Fails,”  Meru


  1. Mad Max: Fury Road
  2. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  3. The Revenant
  4. The Martian
  5. Sicario
  • Alt: Bridge of Spies; The Hateful Eight; Inside Out; Jurassic World


  1. Mad Max: Fury Road
  2. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  3. The Revenant
  4. The Martian
  5. Bridge of Spies
  • Alt: Sicario; The Hateful Eight; Straight Outta Compton; Jurassic World


  1. Mad Max: Fury Road
  2. The Martian
  3. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  4. The Walk
  5. The Revenant
  • Alt: Ex Machina; Jurassic World; Tomorrowland; Ant-Man; In the Heart of the Sea

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