Oscar Predictions 2016

The Oscars have been hit with controversy this year, but the actual nominations themselves aren’t particularly surprising. It’s pretty clear that The Revenant is likely to be taking back a bunch of the major Oscars, and Mad Max will end up with a good number of technical Oscars. Once again, given that I am not involved in any Oscar pool this year, I will be abstaining from the documentary and short film categories. Now, on to the predictions:

Best Motion Picture of the Year

Should win: Mad Max: Fury Road

Prediction: The Revenant

Mad Max is hands down one of my favourite movies of 2015, and it had the surprise factor – no one actually thought it would be so good or do so well at the box office. However, The Revenant is more likely to win in this category

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Should win: Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant)

Prediction: Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant)

This is Leonardo’s award to lose this year. The most locked category of the night for sure.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Should win: Charlotte Rampling (45 Years)

Prediction: Brie Larson (Room)

Charlotte Rampling did an incredible job in 45 Years, but arguably the momentum that has been building for Brie Larson is likely to give her the win for this category. It’s a pretty strong list of nominees this year unlike the last, so much so that two actresses were shafted into the Supporting Actress category.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Should win: Sylvester Stallone (Creed)

Prediction: Sylvester Stallone (Creed)

This is not a strong category in my point of view, and my vote would have gone to either Stallone or Mark Rylance (for Bridge of Spies).

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Should win: Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl)

Prediction: Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl)

Alicia Vikander has had a particularly bountiful year, and honestly her performance in The Danish Girl was the best part of the movie (sorry Eddie). Both her and Rooney Mara rightfully should have been contending for Best Actress, but since they are in the Supporting category, in my opinion Vikander has a better chance.

Best Achievement in Directing

Should win: George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road)

Prediction: Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu (The Revenant)

Innaritu’s work on Birdman (to me) was far more exciting than The Revenant, and in all honesty Miller created a modern masterpiece with Mad Max: Fury Road. The odds are still not in Miller’s favour though, and Innaritu is likely to clinch the statuette for a second year running.

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen

Should win: Inside Out

Prediction: Spotlight

Inside Out was just such an original and well-written movie I feel it should win, but Spotlight is likely to get the “consolation” award here as it is unlikely to win any other major award despite the number of nominations.

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published

Should win: The Big Short

Prediction: The Big Short

Almost all the nominees in this category are deserving, but The Big Short is so uniquely written that it stands out from the rest of the field.

Best Achievement in Cinematography

Should Win: Ed Lachman, Carol

Prediction: Emmanuel Luzbeki, The Revenant

Carol is one of the most beautifully lensed movies of the year, and is my favourite. However, any of the nominees here are hugely deserving, and The Revenant’s more challenging vistas mean that Luzbeki stands a better chance here.

Best Achievement in Editing

Prediction: Mad Max: Fury Road

It could not have been easy to edit a coherent two hour film from the constantly moving footage of Mad Max: Fury Road, and Margaret Sixel did a really great job here.

Best Achievement in Production Design

Prediction: Mad Max: Fury Road

The unforgettable production designs in Mad Max should ensure it a win in the category.

Best Achievement in Costume Design

Prediction: Cinderella

Although I think (again) that Jenny Beavan did an excellent job for Mad Max, Sandy Powell’s costume designs for Cinderella are solid and more traditional, which is likely to give her the edge here.

Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling

Prediction: Mad Max: Fury Road

I honestly don’t think The Revenant can win here, and The 100 Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared is simply not as high profile as the other two nominees.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score

Prediction: Ennio Morricone, The Hateful Eight

The very fact that Ennio Morricone had never actually won an Oscar for Original Score (apart from his honorary Oscar) means his chances here are high.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song

Prediction: ‘Til It Happens to You

I had thought Furious 7’s hugely popular “See You Again” would have been a shoo-in for this category, but it was strangely snubbed. Personally I felt Sam Smith’s theme song for Spectre was a particularly weak entry, and the combined star power of Diane Warren and Lady Gaga should be sufficient to give the song a win.

Best Achievement in Sound Mixing

Prediction: Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Achievement in Sound Editing

Prediction: Mad Max: Fury Road

The technical difficulties of Mad Max in terms of a good sound mix and edit means the film is likely to win for both categories.

Best Achievement in Visual Effects

Prediction: The Revenant

While Mad Max was impressive for its restrained use of visual effects, that is likely also likely to reduce its chance of winning in this technical category. Sorry Star Wars, but I think The Revenant stands a better chance here.

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

Prediction: Inside Out

It’s a really good mix of nominated animated films this year, but Inside Out ranks amongst one of the best movies I’ve seen in 2015, not just in the category of animated films. It would be a travesty if it lost out to any of the other nominees here.

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year

Prediction: Son of Saul

I have not seen any of the movies nominated for this category, but the Academy always has a preference for movies about the Holocaust.



Genre: Action, Comedy

Director: Tim Miller

Screenplay: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick

Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, T.J. Miller, Gina Carano, Leslie Uggams, Brianna Hildebrand, Karan Soni, Jed Rees, Stefan Kapicic, Randal Reeder, Isaac C. Singleton Jr.

Running Length:  107 minutes

Synopsis: Based upon Marvel Comics’ most unconventional anti-hero, Deadpool tells the origin story of former Special Forces operative turned mercenary Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds), who after being subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers, adopts the alter ego Deadpool. Armed with his new abilities and a dark, twisted sense of humor, Deadpool hunts down the man who nearly destroyed his life.

Review:  There’s no denying that the superhero movie genre is now one of the most popular, and in 2016 alone there are a whopping 7 superhero movies being released from both the Marvel and DC camps, with many more planned in the few years ahead. There’s also no denying that everyone is suffering from a little bit of superhero fatigue, which helps explain why Deadpool is such an appealing movie for many cinemagoers. After all, Deadpool is pretty much an anti-superhero, and together with one of the best movie marketing campaigns in recent years, have left many (including myself) anticipating the film with bated breath. Of course, it also helps that the film is being released in February instead of during the summer blockbuster season, with a much sparser release schedule.

Inspired marketing campaign aside, the actual Deadpool movie is indeed quite a refreshing change of pace, even though beneath that irreverent façade lies a pretty standard superhero origins movie. I’ve never witnessed any superhero (or movie, including spoofs) take so many potshots at the superhero movie genre, and in this aspect Deadpool is a tremendous success. Ryan Reynolds is totally in his element as the wisecracking, manic Deadpool, and his comic timing and delivery is close to flawless. Nothing is spared, and everything is fearlessly skewered – Ryan’s own failure in Green Lantern, the X-Men, even 20th Century Fox, and much, much more.

Deadpool also breaks the fourth wall repeatedly, turning to the audience and addressing them directly multiple times, and in one scene, even managing to break the fourth wall a second time while breaking the fourth wall (it truly needs to be seen to be believed). It’s smart to the point of being smart-alecky, and while a lot of it works, there are times where the self-aware, ironic shtick becomes a little tiresome.

The film is also not suited for everyone, as it is far raunchier and violent than usual superhero films, more than deserving of its R (locally, M18) rating.  However, if you have a stomach for the violence and are a fan of off-kilter humour, Deadpool will be a very rewarding cinematic experience that is refreshingly different from any other superhero movie before it.

Rating: *** (out of four stars)