The Watchers

The Watchers

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Awards Season 2016: Tez's Official Oscar Predictions 2016

Tonight, the great and good of Hollywood will convene to celebrate the best of film-making in 2015 at the 88th Annual Academy Awards, which will be hosted for the second time by Chris Rock. It has become a tradition for me to predict the nominations and the winners in the main six categories (the four acting categories, Best Director and Best Picture).  I've done this since 2003 with varying degrees of success. So, without further ado, here are my predictions for who will win.

Best Supporting Actress: Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl)

With no disrespect to any of the other nominees, this is a two horse race between Alicia Vikander and Kate Winslet. Both have previous wins behind them (Vikander got the SAG and Critics' Choice; Winslet the BAFTA and the Golden Globe). Both performances are strong, even if I found Winslet's more mannered and more actorly, less naturalistic than Vikander's. There would be a certain amount of pleasure in seeing Winslet win her second Oscar on the same night DiCaprio wins his first. However, because Vikander won the SAG Award- voted on by actors, many of whom make up the Academy voting list- I'm gonna put her ahead. However, I won't be at all surprised if Winslet nabs it. 

Best Supporting Actor: Sylvester Stallone (Creed)

Simply put, I found Stallone's performance in Creed to be exceptional and he actually does act as a supporting character to Donny. He's witty, wise and heartbreaking- he also has a lot of goodwill in Hollywood and a lot of people would love to see him take the main prize tonight (as Critics' Choice and Golden Globe wins have shown). Interestingly, he's won both awards he's been nominated for; I really hope he makes the perfect three tonight.

Best Actress: Brie Larson (Room)

Closest you can get to a cast-iron bet tonight. Larson's moving and emotive performance, having to convey such a difficult situation yet bearing it so bravely, has completely swept the awards season boards- SAG, Golden Globes, BAFTA, Independent Spirits- so any other name tonight would be a huge surprise. And I do mean huge. 

Best Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant)

OK. Do I think Leo deserves to win? No, I don't. His performance in The Revenant is perfectly decent but he's done better performances. Do I think he will win? Without a shadow of a doubt. We're in the same situation as Scorsese and The Departed; it almost feels like 'his turn'. Similar to Larson, he's swept the boards where he's been nominated so it's a fairly foregone conclusion.

Best Director: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (The Revenant)

With BAFTA, Golden Globe and DGA wins, it does look like it'll be second time around for Inarritu tonight. Interesting fact: if he does win, Inarritu will be the first director since Joseph L. Mankiewicz to win back-to-back Best Director Oscars and the first in over sixty years.  His direction is solid enough and his partnership with cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezski is one of the strongest I've seen. I would be shocked to see another director win tonight.

Best Picture: Spotlight

This might come back to bite me, but I genuinely think Spotlight deserves to win the Best Picture Oscar over The Revenant. Whether it will, I don't know. Spotlight is an absolute masterclass in cinema: its script is superb (and will, with any justice, bag the Best Original Screenplay Oscar), the acting performances throughtout the ensemble are on point, the direction is solid, the themes of the film are topical without being polemical or heavy-handed. Were I a member of the Academy, this is where my vote would be going. However, it does look likely that The Revenant might get it. 

Last year, I got 4 out of 6 (all four acting awards) but fell foul of Inarritu and Birdman. I'm not making the same mistake on Best Director this year. However, I'm not sure on Best Picture or on Best Supporting Actress. I reckon another 4 out of 6. 

There'll be a full blog tomorrow discussing my thoughts on the ceremony and a list of all the winners.


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