It is the responsibility of the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences to present the most distinguished works of the year. Covering nearly all aspects of the filmmaking process, the Academy analyzes each film released throughout the year for quality and impact. The four most contested among the awards received during the Oscars are Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Actress. Predicting the full list of winners is practically impossible, so I offer here some of my predictions for the 2016 Oscars.
Best Picture: The Revenant
This may be the easiest pick of the year. While the Academy could easily disagree and give the award to “Spotlight” or another well-made film, I believe no other film this year can truly compete.
Best Director: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
Behind every great film is an even greater director. Having demanded so much of himself and his crew, Inarritu created a film that stunned all viewers with “The Revanant.”
Best Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio
At the danger of echoing the entire internet, it’s about time for Leonardo DiCaprio to get an Oscar. His role in “The Revenant” was simply jaw-dropping. The dedication required to climb inside a dead horse and eat a raw bison liver should be enough to make his case.
Best Actress: Brie Larson
Having already won a British Academy of Film and Television Arts Award and a Golden Globe for her performance in “Room,” Brie Larson is a strong pick for Oscars predictors. For those second-guessing, Charlotte Rampling may just strike gold with her first performance in “45 Years.”
Best Supporting Actor: Tom Hardy
While my heart is with Sylvester Stallone, returning to the franchise with his film “Creed,” it is hard for me to look past the harrowing performance of Tom Hardy in “The Revenant.” However, there is always room for an underdog.
Best Supporting Actress: Alicia Vikander
Many are calling for a second award for Eddie Redmayne’s performance in “The Danish Girl.” While possible, I view it as far more likely for his costar, Alicia Vikander, to bring an Oscar back for the film.
Best Animated Feature: Inside Out
Does this require much explanation? As one of the few animated films I watched this year, “Inside Out” quickly reminds our generation of the old “Toy Story” days of childhood.
Best Documentary Feature: Cartel Land
While many are predicting “Amy,” the story of Amy Winehouse’s career and life, to be the winner, I am predicting an upset. “Cartel Land,” impressive as it is, will have more than enough competition in a category that is often underappreciated.
Best Adapted Screenplay: The Big Short
This film, while incredibly impressive, will likely get the edge due to its important topic. Covering the issues surrounding Wall Street corruption, “The Big Short” has done well enough at previous competitions to warrant a win here as well.
Best Original Screenplay: Spotlight
While approaching a difficult topic, the film “Spotlight” is an easy prediction for this year. It follows an investigative journalism team as they examine practices within the Catholic Church.
Best Cinematography: The Revenant
Emmanuel Lubezki could win this Oscar for the third year in a row. Those who have seen “The Revenant” can attest to the beautiful shots in natural light that set it apart from the fellow nominees.
Best Costume Design: Carol
While my expertise in the area of costume design leaves much to be desired, I would hazard a guess that “Carol,” while perhaps not taking home as many awards as desired, may be able to add this Oscar to its numbers.
Best Film Editing: The Revenant
There is little that can compare to “The Revenant” in my mind. However, if another wins, I would expect it to be “Mad Max.”
Best Original Score: The Hateful Eight
As per usual, Quentin Tarantino delivered a shocking film via “The Hateful Eight.” While impressive, the score make the highs and lows of the film far more pronounced than one may anticipate.
Best Original Song: Writing’s on the Wall from Spectre
Sam Smith, popular pop artist, may have just earned his first Oscar. While followed closely by Lady Gaga and Diane Warren, odds are that Sam Smith has the best chance of winning.
Best Production Design: Mad Max: Fury Road
The stunning shots in the middle of deserts, followed by action-packed fight scenes in small caverns, will likely be the winning factors for “Mad Max.”
Best Sound Editing: Mad Max
If you saw “Mad Max: Fury Road” in IMAX you are likely still deaf. Naturally, high volume is not the same as high quality. Thankfully for “Mad Max,” the breadth of auditory assault may become an easy win for the film.