Tomorrow, the nominations for the 88th Academy Awards will be announced and, like last year, the nominees for all 24 categories will be announced in the telecast. At 5:30am PST, directors Guillermo del Toro (Crimson Peak, Pan's Labyrinth) and Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain, Life Of Pi) will announce the nominees for some of the technical categories (including cinematography, make-up and hairstyling, sound editing) as well as Best Original Song and Best Documentary Feature.
Then at 5:38am PST, Cheryl Boone Isaacs (President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences) and actor John Krasinski (The Office) will announce the rest of the nominees, including the acting categories, Best Director and Best Picture.
As has been my practice for the last few years, I like to try and predict who will be nominated (this is done for Best Picture, Best Director and the four acting awards). Below is my list of who I think will be named on Thursday.
NB. Just like the last few years, the Academy rules state that there could be anywhere between five and ten Best Picture nominees. I have selected ten films. If the total number of films nominated is less than ten, but one of the movies selected is named in my list of ten, I will count it as a successful prediction.
The Big Short
Bridge Of Spies
Mad Max: Fury Road
Straight Outta Compton
Todd Haynes (Carol)
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (The Revenant)
Tom McCarthy (Spotlight)
George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road)
Ridley Scott (The Martian)
Bryan Cranston (Trumbo)
Matt Damon (The Martian)
Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant)
Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs)
Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl)
Cate Blanchett (Carol)
Brie Larson (Room)
Jennifer Lawrence (Joy)
Charlotte Rampling (45 Years)
Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Christian Bale (The Big Short)
Idris Elba (Beasts Of No Nation)
Mark Rylance (Bridge Of Spies)
Michael Shannon (99 Homes)
Sylvester Stallone (Creed)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight)
Rooney Mara (Carol)
Helen Mirren (Trumbo)
Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl)
Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs)
Usually a score of 15 is adequate, but given the fact that there could be anywhere between 5 and 10 Best Picture awards, I'ill be happy with a prediction of 18 or higher. Last year, I got 27 out of 33. I'm not that confident this year, and I'll tell you for why: there's a big question mark hanging over the lead Actress and Supporting Actress categories as there's a very real possibility that Rooney Mara and/or Alicia Vikander may be nominated as Best Actress for Carol and The Danish Girl, rather than in Supporting Actress. Different bodies have put them in different categories (although Mara has been more frequently placed in Supporting Actress, whilst Vikander has been equally in both). If one or both are bumped up to lead Actress then there are a couple of possibilities of what could happen; it's likely that Rachel McAdams will get a nod for her role in Spotlight or that Vikander herself will get a Supporting Actress nomination for Ex Machina.
As for Supporting Actor, there's a lot of strong roles that have had previous nominations throughout awards season so it's the most fluid of categories in a way - you could easily see Paul Dano (Love & Mercy) or Mark Ruffalo (Spotlight) included in there, maybe even a nod for nine year old Jacob Tremblay for Room.
In Lead Actor, I've gone for Matt Damon but wouldn't be too surprised to see Johnny Depp in his place for Black Mass (Depp got the SAG nomination ahead of Damon).
There are always sone surprises - last year, nothing for Laura Dern or Bennett Miller in the run-up and then Oscar nominations for Wild and Foxcatcher.
I'll post the nominees on Thursday afternoon so everyone can point and laugh and see how wrong I got it. Possibly.