88th Academy Awards…Final Nomination Predictions

Best Pictures Oscars

The Academy Award nominations are only just over a day away, so it is time for my final predictions. I am confident in most of these predictions, and there have been some radical changes, and I do hope that we see some big shocks and surprises tomorrow, because this awards season has been unlike anything I’ve ever seen before.

Best Picture
* Bridge of Spies
* The Big Short
* Carol
*The Hateful Eight
* Mad Max: Fury Road
*The Martian
* Spotlight
* Steve Jobs
* The Revenant
* Room
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
* Brooklyn
* Son of Saul

I still have no idea what is winning this award. Honestly, I thought it would be Spotlight, but it is weakening, and I’m not really sold on it being named Best Picture, especially without any acting nominations. Bridge of Spies and The Big Short were both backup nominees last month, but they both have done excrutiatingly well with guilds, so I am predicting them both to make it, and unfortunately I am considering The Big Short as one of the frontrunners for Best Picture. Room and Carol are still in it, without much of a chance of winning it, but they are sitting pretty as some of the safest nominees this year. Brooklyn, which I personally was not a huge fan of, could very well make it, but I have dropped it back to a backup nominee, replacing it with The Martian, which I previously dropped in favour of Star Wars, Episode VII: The Force Awakens (which I have almost entirely removed from my above-the-line predictions). I am starting to believe that The Revenant is going to win Best Picture, so I am predicting it here more than ever. The Hateful Eight is in for me, but it is lingering near the bottom, and it could easily be dropped. Steve Jobs has done really well lately, so I can see it being nominated. Son of Saul is still my No Guts, No Glory prediction, and I hope it makes it in.


Best Director
* Todd Haynes (Carol)
* Alejandro González Iñárritu (The Revenant)
* Adam McKay (The Big Short)
* George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road)
* Ridley Scott (The Martian)
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
* Quentin Tarantino (The Hateful Eight)
* Steven Spielberg (Bridge of Spies)
*Thomas McCarthy (Spotlight)

A headache of a category. Never did I consider Adam McKay someone who had the potential to be nominated for Best Director, but somehow it seems to be happening this year. He and Thomas McCarthy will fight it out for the nomination, as their films seem to be the frontrunners for Best Picture. I put McCarthy as a backup nomination because I feel his work isn’t as showy as McKay’s. Iñárritu seems to be performing really well, and he could easily repeat his Best Director win from last year. Todd Haynes is a passion pick that I think could very possibly happen, and Ridley Scott is the veteran who directed his best film in decades. George Miller and Mad Max: Fury Road are starting to fall off the radar, and if they are weakening, I could easily see Steven Spielberg or McCarthy taking his place.


Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
* Bryan Cranston as Dalton Trumbo in Trumbo
* Matt Damon as Mark Watney in The Martian
* Leonardo DiCaprio as Hugh Glass in The Revenant
* Michael Fassbender as Steve Jobs in Steve Jobs
* Eddie Redmayne as Lili Elbe in The Danish Girl
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
* Géza Röhrig as Saul in Son of Saul
* Steve Carell as Mark Baum in The Big Short
* Will Smith as Dr. Bennett Omalu in Concussion

Not much change here either. I still think that Leonardo DiCaprio has this award locked up, and the men who will be applauding for him will probably be last year’s winner, Eddie Redmayne (a man who looked strong for a second win, but has sunk lower considering his film is quite weak), and Michael Fassbender, who looked to be the frontrunner, but his film’s disappointing box office receipts caused his status to fall somewhat. Bryan Cranston, who was previously dismissed as his film seemed weak, has made appearances at all the right precursors, and could very well be earning his first nomination. This is pretty much the exact same write-up I did in December (it is actually the exact same write-up), because it is just a safe category – those four spots seems relatively safe. The fifth spot, however, is up for grabs, and I hope Matt Damon can grab it, because his performance was fantastic. Carell could easily take that spot, but I have demoted him into the backup nominees, because I think Damon might be slightly stronger. If there is a shock in this category, it will either be the snubbing of Redmayne, Fassbender or Cranston (all who are safe, but not quite immune to being snubbed), or a completely left-field nominee take the fifth spot, most likely someone like Michael Keaton or Jacob Tremblay, who were campaigned in Supporting, despite being leads. But I am most confident about this category.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
* Cate Blanchett as Carol Aird in Carol
* Brie Larson as Joy Newsome in Room
* Rooney Mara as Therese Belivet in Carol
* Charlotte Rampling as Kate Mercer in 45 Years
* Saoirse Ronan as Eilis Lacey in Brooklyn
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
* Alicia Vikander as Gerda Wegener in The Danish Girl
* Maggie Smith as Mary Shepherd in The Lady in the Van
* Jennifer Lawrence as Joy Mangano in Joy

I am just terrified of this category. I am predicting that Blanchett, Larson and Ronan are all incredibly safe for the nomination, with no change here. However, the last two spots are really terrifying. I would love for Charlotte Rampling to get nominated, but she’s in a tiny film. Rooney Mara was absolutely fantastic in Carol, and deserves a nomination here, but she’s being constantly touted in Supporting. Alicia Vikander is having quite a year, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see her get double nominations. I would hate for Jennifer Lawrence to be nominated for her performance in a truly mediocre film. This is the category I am most scared of, honestly.


Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
* Christian Bale as Dr. Michael Burry in The Big Short
* Idris Elba as Commandant in Beasts of No Nation
* Mark Rylance as Rudolf Abel in Bridge of Spies
* Michael Shannon as Rick Carver in 99 Homes
* Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa in Creed
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
* Jacob Tremblay as Jack Newsome in Room
* Benicio Del Toro as Alejandro Gillick in Sicario
*Michael Keaton as Walter Robinson in Spotlight
* Mark Ruffalo as Michael Rezendes in Spotlight
*Paul Dano as Brian Wilson in Love & Mercy

A horrible category. My backup nominees are as big as my actual predicted nominees, simply because I have no idea who is being nominated in the end. For some reason, Christian Bale is hitting all the right precursors and could find himself nominated, as could Idris Elba (both actors were truly mediocre in their respective performances). Mark Rylance is the critical darling, who I thought was great, and Sylvester Stallone is the veteran with the comeback narrative. Both are safe. Michael Shannon took everyone by surprise by steam-rolling the nominations, and could see himself gaining his second nomination tomorrow. I am not even going to list all the other people we could see nominated. This category needs to come with a bottle of wine, because that’s what we all need in order to understand this messy, strange category.


Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
* Jennifer Jason Leigh as Daisy Domergue in The Hateful Eight
* Rooney Mara as Therese Belivet in Carol
* Alicia Vikander as Ava in Ex Machina
* Kate Winslet as Joanna Hoffman in Steve Jobs
* Helen Mirren as Hedda Hopper in Trumbo
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
* Rachel McAdams as Sacha Pfeiffer in Spotlight
* Kristen Stewart as Valentine in Clouds of Sils Maria
* Jane Fonda as Brenda Morel in Youth

This category could either be locked up, or we could have only 2 out of 5 correct. I hope Rooney Mara is nominated in Lead, and if Vikander is also considered lead for The Danish Girl, she could get in for her much better work in Ex Machina. Kate Winslet was fantastic in Steve Jobs and I have a feeling she is winning the Oscar in the end. Jennifer Jason Leigh is fantastic in The Hateful Eight, and in a perfect world, she’d be winning. Helen Mirren is getting nominated everywhere for Trumbo for some reason, so I’ll just run with it. Only Winslet is absolutely safe here, so we could see absolutely anyone making it in, which makes this the most exciting category without a doubt. Just please, not Jane Fonda.


Best Original Screenplay
* Bridge of Spies
* The Hateful Eight
* Son of Saul
* Spotlight
* Inside Out
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
* Trainwreck
* 99 Homes
* Ex Machina

No change. This is the only award Spotlight will win, and deservedly. It is a weak category, but it is ripe for a surprise, such as 99 Homes or Ex Machina. A simple, easy category.


Best Adapted Screenplay
* The Big Short
* Carol
* Steve Jobs
* The Revenant
* Room
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
* The Martian
* Brooklyn
* Anomalisa

Not a difficult category, but a fascinating one to predict. I have absolutely no idea where this award will end up going, but it seems that Room and Carol are strong, as is Steve Jobs which is very safe. The Revenant could make it, but ultimately, this award will go to The Big Short.


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