A list of the possible outcomes (and my own preferred winners) for the Academy Awards (also known as the Oscars) 2016, due to be announced on 28 February 2016.
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It’s D-Day this Sunday. A year of hard slog, promotion and engagement over possibly the most important matter on everyone’s hearts and minds.
No, it’s not whom the next President of the United States of America will be.
No, it’s not even whether Britain should plump for a ‘Brexit’.
Its whether a crowd of mostly caucasian cinematic personalities deserve to win the most coveted lump of 13½ inches of britannia metal (a pewter-like alloy which is then plated in copper, nickel silver, and finally, 24-karat gold) in the entertainment industry.
The nominees for the core categories are below. I’ve noted the people and films I think should win and also the films that probably will. Hyperlinked to each film is the review we have published. It would be great if you could throw your own views into the mix, so feel free to do so at the bottom of this page.
One thing’s for sure about Oscar though – you can never quite tell who is going to scoop the award on the night, which is half the fun.
- The Big Short.
- Bridge Of Spies.
- Mad Max.
- The Martian.
- The Revenant – Our preferred win. Also, probable win.
Comments: In terms of sweeping, technically sophisticated cinematic technique and its recent BAFTA haul, I think The Revenant will get this. But the director won the two big awards last year, so will this compel Oscar voters to give this to another film? I think Mad Max is a definite no-no, Bridge Of Spies was too little hyped, Room too small-scale and Spotlight too plain as a movie to scoop the big awards. It’s either this,The Big Short or The Martian, in descending order.
- Adam McKay, The Big Short
- George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road
- Alejandro G. Iñárritu, The Revenant – Our preferred win. Also, probable win.
- Lenny Abrahamson, Room
- Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
Comments: It’s more than probable that Inarritu will win two years in a row for his highly cinematic and visually accomplished wester-in-the-raw. He has just scooped the BAFTA for this (and Best Film) so could very well win his second Oscar. However, there are some accomplished and acclaimed director’s alongside him, including Abrahamson whose Room was a dramatic tour de force and certainly had you thinking.
Comments: Eddie Redmayne grabbed the award last year for his physical transformation into the disabled physics genius Stephen Hawking in The Theory Of Everything. I think his turn in this film as the first person to undergo a sex change operation, accomplished though it undoubtedly is, is not upon a par. DiCaprio’s grimacing and spitting in The Revenant may yet win (he won the BAFTA recently and I would like him to get his long coveted Oscar), but I suspect Fassbender might still be in with a chance.
Comments: It might be Blanchett to win here for the unaccountably well-received Carol (I won’t discuss it any further but one of my reviewers, like so many others, went gag-ga over this). But there has been a bit of a buzz about Larson in Room, for her wrought turn.
Rampling’s calm, quiet, meticulously layered performance in 45 Years would be worthy of an award in any year, but her previous comments about race and the movie industry won’t curry much favour in a Hollywood poised for big race discussions in the weeks, months and years that will follow this ceremony.
Comments: this category is a difficult one to call for me. Bale has already won a Best Support Oscar (for ‘The Fighter’) so this might sway people to vote against him. I haven’t seen the film (or Bridge Of Spies) so cannot judge about him and Rylance, but I thought Hardy was exceptionally mendacious and grimy in his role. Stallone may however get the nod for a thoroughly competent turn in Creed.
Comments: A tough call between Mara and Winslet to win for this; Kate has got some good headlines for her role, I suspect Mara and Cate Blanchett as a ‘love match’ double win for Carol might make Oscar seem ‘down with the lesbians’ in a year where it has been bashed with equality and diversity. I still think Vikander was delightfully impressive in The Danish Girl, more impressive than Redmayne. It’s amazing MacAdams was even nominated – nothing personal at all as she was competent enough, but did she have enough to do to be Oscar worthy?
Comments: Bridge Of Spies received some attention, but I suspect the neat, methodical organisation, the increasing tension created by research in Spotlight might nab this award. Spotlight was rather un-flashy in terms of filmic technique (there is very little cinema in it in fact) but the writing was rock solid and morally unimpeachable throughout. I liked the script for Inside Out very much though. In fact, it swept me away with how clever and well researched it was. It’s not often developmental psychological theory can be married with animated fantasy…to do this well is a great achievement.
Comments: Screenplay wins can be difficult to judge. I suspect that with its arch, covert dialogue, Carol could scoop this one. But The Big Short, certainly judging by the trailers, has a louder, brasher, masculine tone that could see it through.