Final 2016 Academy Awards Predictions

Spotlight_82467-520x300  download2-816x460

90-3  75

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

2016 Golden Globe Nominations

90   90-1

90-3   90-2

Todd Haynes’ Carol leads the pack with five nominations at the 2016 Golden Globe Awards. This is great news and I really hope this leads to a best picture and a best director nomination for Todd Haynes at the Oscars. The film also garnered nominations for both LEADS, Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara (Mara will be running in the supporting category at the Oscars…) and a nod for Best Original Score for Carter Burwell. And although I was not unsure if George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road would receive any nominations, but gloriously it received Best Picture – Drama and Best Director nods. Great, great news and I think this means it is a shoe-in for both at the Oscars. I actually am beginning to think Miller is the frontrunner, especially if he receives a DGA nomination and wins.

I am still very surprised that Michael Keaton and Mark Ruffalo got shut out of the Best Supporting Actor category, as they did for the Screen Actors Guild nominations. Are they canceling each other out or what? They are both deserving, but the category is jam-packed with talented and deserving actors. Idris Elba, Michael Shannon, Sylvester Stallone, Mark Rylance and, yes!!!, Paul Dano all received supporting actor nods. Huge news for Dano and I am beginning to feel Elba and Shannon have a great shot at the Oscars.

No Johnny Depp for Best Actor. He has been nominated ten times at the Globes, but not this time as Will Smith squeezed in over him. He still has the SAG nomination, but this Best Actor field, although not as heavy as the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor categories, is going to be difficult to pick for the Oscars. And look at the hot, in-demand actress of the moment Alicia Vikander, receiving a Best Actress nod for The Danish Girl and a Best Supporting Actress nod for her mesmerizing performance in Ex Machina. Can she pull off  two nominations in the supporting category at the Oscars? I doubt it but she deserves it. Saoirse Ronan received the only nomination for the highly lauded Brooklyn, which I was little surprised to see the HFPA not recognize in the Best Picture – Drama and Best Screenplay categories, especially with its immigrant ties to Europe. I cannot imagine seeing that film miss out in the screenplay category at the Oscars. No way and it will not.

It is looking like Bryan Cranston and Helen Mirren are on a role, receiving nominations for Best Actor – Drama and Best Supporting Actress, for their roles in Trumbo. Spotlight kept the momentum going receiving nominations for Best Picture – Drama, Best Director, and Best Screenplay. It is still the overall frontrunner. The Martian bounced back with nominations for Best Picture – Musical/Comedy…, Best Director, and Best Actor – Musical/Comedy for Matt Damon. That film still took a real hit by not receiving any SAG nominations and that is where the industry is leaning. And the late arrivals, The Revenant, Joy and The Hateful Eight, all got some attention, with the most coming for Iñárritu’s survivalist drama, receiving Best Picture – Drama, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Original Score nominations. It will be big at the Oscars I am presuming.

Now, we have to keep in mind that the HFPA are their own little sect of foreign journalists and although their awards show is the little brother to the big Academy Awards and they want it to shine, this is not indicative of what is going to happen come the Oscar nominations. It is a little bit of a sign, but nothing that is set in stone. It really boils down to what the industry likes and feels are the strongest films, not what the critics and journalists do. The support is rising big time for films that were on the cuff, such as The Big Short and Trumbo, while heavyweights Spotlight, The Revenant, Room, Carol and Mad Max: Fury Road are looking pretty good right now. The question is, where does The Martian, Joy, The Hateful Eight, Steve Jobs, Brooklyn and Bridge of Spies stand? The PGA and DGA will answer a lot of those questions.

It really is a wide open year and going into the big industry nominations coming soon, the lead up to the nominations are probably going to be more exciting than the actual awards. It also kind of feels like that, lets hope we get a few curve balls when the winners are announced. I am beginning to feel that Spotlight for Best Picture, Leonardo DiCaprio for Best Actor and Brie Larson for Best Actress are slowly settling in, but then again, no one has won anything yet. All the rest is up for grabs. It is going to be interesting to see how this season unfolds. Golden Globe Awards will be unveiled on Sunday, January 10th.

Below is a full list of all the film and television nominations. What do you think? Enjoy!!!

Best Picture (Drama)

  • Carol
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Revenant
  • Room
  • Spotlight

Best Picture (Musical or Comedy)

  • The Big Short
  • Joy
  • The Martian
  • Spy
  • Trainwreck

Best Director – Motion Picture

  • Todd Haynes – Carol
  • Alejandro G. Inarritu – The Revenant
  • George Miller – Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Ridley Scott – The Martian
  • Tom McCarthy – Spotlight

Best Actor (Drama)

  • Bryan Cranston – Trumbo
  • Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant
  • Michael Fassbender – Steve Jobs
  • Eddie Redmayne – The Danish Girl
  • Will Smith – Concussion

Best Actress (Drama)

  • Cate Blanchett – Carol
  • Brie Larson – Room
  • Rooney Mara – Carol
  • Saoirse Ronan – Brooklyn
  • Alicia Vikander – The Danish Girl

Best Actor (Musical or Comedy)

  • Christian Bale – The Big Short
  • Steve Carell – The Big Short
  • Matt Damon – The Martian
  • Al Pacino – Danny Collins
  • Mark Ruffalo – Infinitely Polar Bear

Best Actress (Musical or Comedy)

  • Jennifer Lawrence – Joy
  • Amy Schumer – Trainwreck
  • Melissa McCarthy – Spy
  • Maggie Smith – The Lady in the Van
  • Lily Tomlin – Grandma

Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture

  • Paul Dano – Love & Mercy
  • Idris Elba – Beasts of No Nation
  • Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies
  • Michael Shannon – 99 Homes
  • Sylvester Stallone – Creed

Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture

  • Jane Fonda – Youth
  • Jennifer Jason Leigh – The Hateful Eight
  • Helen Mirren – Trumbo
  • Alicia Vikander – Ex Machina
  • Kate Winslet – Steve Jobs

Best Screenplay

  • Room – Emma Donaghue
  • Spotlight – Tom McCarthy, Josh Singer
  • The Big Short – Adam McKay
  • Steve Jobs – Aaron Sorkin
  • The Hateful Eight – Quentin Tarantino

Best Original Score

  • The Revenant – Bryce Dessner, Carsten Nicolai, Ryuichi Sakamoto
  • The Hateful Eight  – Ennio Morricone
  • Steve Jobs – Daniel Pemberton
  • Carol  – Carter Burwell
  • The Danish Girl – Alexandre Desplat

Best Original Song

  • Fifty Shades of Grey – “Love Me Like You Do”
  • Love & Mercy – “One Kind of Love”
  • Furious 7 – “See You Again”
  • Youth – “Simple Song #3”
  • Spectre – “Writings on the Wall”

Best Foreign Language Film

  • The Brand New Testament (Belgium)
  • The Club (Chile)
  • The Fencer (Finland)
  • Mustang (France)
  • Son of Saul (Hungary)

Best Animated Feature

  • Anomalisa
  • The Good Dinosaur
  • Inside Out
  • The Peanuts Movie
  • Shaun the Sheep

Best TV Series (Drama)

  • Empire
  • Game of Thrones
  • Mr. Robot
  • Narcos
  • Outlander

Best TV Series (Comedy)

  • Casual
  • Mozart in the Jungle
  • Orange is the New black
  • Silicon Valley
  • Transparent
  • Veep
Best Limited Series, Mini-series or TV Movie
  • American Crime
  • American Horror Story: Hotel
  • Fargo
  • Flesh & Bone
  • Wolf Hall
Best Actress In A TV Series, Drama
  • Caitriona Balfe – Outlander
  • Viola Davis – How To Get Away With Murder
  • Eva Green – Penny Dreadful
  • Taraji P. Henson  – Empire
  • Robin Wright – House of Cards
Best Actor In A TV Series, Drama
  • Jon Hamm – Mad Men
  • Rami Malek – Mr. Robot
  • Wagner Moura– Narcos
  • Bob Odenkirk – Better Call Saul
  • Liev Schreiber – Ray Donovan
Best Actress In A Musical Or Comedy Series
  • Rachel Bloom – Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
  • Jamie Lee Curtis – Scream Queens
  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus – Veep
  • Gina Rodriguez – Jane the Virgin
  • Lily Tomlin – Grace & Frankie
Best Actor In A TV Series, Musical Or Comedy
  • Aziz Anzari – Master of None
  • Gael García Bernal – Mozart in the Jungle
  • Rob Lowe – The Grinder
  • Patrick Stewart – Blunt Talk
  • Jeffrey Tambor – Transparent
Best Actor In A Series, Miniseries Or Limited Series Made For Television
  • Idris Elba – Luther
  • Oscar Isaac – Show Me a Hero
  • David Oyelowo – Nightingale
  • Mark Rylance – Wolf Hall
  • Patrick Wilson – Fargo
Best Actress In A Series, Miniseries Or Limited Series Made For Television
  • Lady Gaga – American Horror Story: Hotel
  • Kirsten Dunst – Fargo
  • Sarah Hay – Flesh & Bone
  • Felicity Huffman – American Crime
  • Queen Latifah – Bessie
Best Supporting Actress In A Limited Series, Mini-Series Or TV Movie
  • Uzo Aduba – Orange Is the New Black
  • Joanne Froggatt – Downton Abbey
  • Regina King – American Crime
  • Judith Light – Transparent
  • Maura Tierney – The Affair
Best Supporting Actor In A Limited Series, Mini-series or TV Movie
  • Alan Cumming – The Good Wife
  • Damien Lewis – Wolf Hall
  • Ben Mendelsohn – Bloodline
  • Tobias Menzies – Outlander
  • Christian Slater – Mr. Robot

Photo credits by

Film Trailers: MAD MAX: FURY ROAD


I am always a little hesitant, well, highly concerned with remakes and sequel/prequel films, especially films that are over 20 years old. Remakes of 70s and 80s films do not always work, A Nightmare on Elm StreetRed Dawn, etc., but as I watched this trailer, not thinking I was going to enjoy it all, I was pleasantly surprised. I grew up watching the Mad Max films and did not think I would be as excited and eager with anticipation for this new Mad Max film from creator-director George Miller. Mad Max: Fury Road stars Tom Hardy, in the role Mel Gibson made famous, as the titular renegade in a post-apocalyptic landscape where violence, car cashes and craziness ensues at all costs. This trailer is fantastic and basically states that this film is going to be a crazy-ass ride. I like the casting of a high quality actor like Hardy in this role and enjoyed seeing Charlize Theron looking quite different and intense, even quite mad. And, those half skull, mouth masks looks crazy and creepy as hell. I have to say I am looking forward to this and I really did not think I would be. Here is to hoping this thing kicks some ass, which it will regardless. The film will be released next summer on May 15th, 2015. Enjoy!!!

Photo credit by IMDB and trailer by YouTube.