Posted in Film Awards

One Mann’s Movies Special: The 2016 Academy Awards – Will Win; Should Win

After my decent effort (11/17) of predicting the 2016 BAFTA awards, it’s time to look at the BIG one: the 2016 Academy Award presentations to be made next Sunday, February 28th. So below you will find my predictions as to what/who I think WILL win (considering how normal Hollywood biases apply) and what/who I think SHOULD win the coveted Oscar.

I’ve specifically excluded many of the minor categories since I haven’t seen enough of the films  (though that probably doesn’t stop the voters!). So excluded from the list below are: “Animated Films” (though “Inside Out” gets my vote for “Animated Feature” – and won); “Documentaries” (although ditto for “Amy” for “Documentary Feature” – which also won); the “Shorts” category and the “Foreign Language” film category.

I’m also ashamed to admit that I’ve still not got to see a small number of the films in the list: “Trumbo”; “45 Years” and “Straight Outta Compton” (I’ve marked these in the lists with an asterisk).

Can Bob-the-Movie-Man do better with my Oscar predictions?  I’ll repost this blog with the results on the night!

[Note: I’ve changed my mind on the Best Supporting Actress award – I reedited this BEFORE the event – and no DeLorean involved!]

Now updated with the results!  

My score was 12/18 which I’m quite happy with.  Just didn’t see the Mad Max technical love-in, and certainly DIDN’T see or approve of the Best Film award.  

 

Best Film

Best Film Composite

  • Brooklyn
  • The Revenant
  • Bridge of Spies
  • The Big Short
  • The Martian
  • Spotlight
  • Room
  • Mad Max: Fury Road

Will Win:  The Revenant.  Should Win:  The Revenant

Did Win: Spotlight.  (Sorry, but that seems a travesty given the flow of the other awards. #nothappy).

A solid nominations list, this shows its been a really good year for film. Two films missing from the list (imho) are “Carol” and “Ex Machina”, which I would probably swap in place of “Spotlight” and “Bridge of Spies”. It’s unlikely that “The Martian” will win, since the Oscar seldom goes to a Comedy or Musical (LOL – see here).  I think the “Revenant” is done with such verve and style it should win on the night.

 Actor in a Leading Role

Best Actor composite

  • Bryan Cranston – Trumbo*
  • Matt Damon – The Martian
  • Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant
  • Michael Fassbender – Steve Jobs
  • Eddie Redmayne – The Danish Girl

Will Win:  Leonardo DiCaprio.  Should Win:  Leonardo DiCaprio.

Did Win: Leonardo DiCaprio.

Surely to God this must be DiCaprio’s year mustn’t it?  If he doesn’t he’ll just have to grin and ‘bear’ it!

Actress in a Leading Role

Best Actress composite

  • Cate Blanchett – Carol
  • Brie Larson – Room
  • Saoirse Ronan – Brooklyn
  • Charlotte Rampling – 45 Years*
  • Jennifer Lawrence – Joy

Will Win:  Brie Larson.  Should Win:  Brie Larson.

Did Win: Brie Larson.

This is a wide-open category. Perhaps the surprise is Charlotte Rampling’s nomination ahead of Alicia Vikander for either the “The Danish Girl” or “Ex Machina” (surely leading actress roles!!).  Cate Blanchett might get it, but it would be wonderful if young Ms Larson snatched it to match her BAFTA win for her excellent performance in “Room”.

Actor in a Supporting Role

Supporting Actor composite

  • Christian Bale – The Big Short
  • Tom Hardy – The Revenant
  • Mark Ruffalo – Spotlight
  • Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies
  • Sylvester Stallone – Creed

Will Win:  Sylvester Stallone.  Should Win: Mark Rylance.

Did Win: Mark Rylance.  (Hoorah! – head over heart).

Hmm.. this is a tricky one, since the award really should go to Rylance for his quiet yet mesmerising performance as the Russian spy. However, there is an emotional symmetry behind the Academy recognising Stallone for his Rocky reboot and – I rather fear – that heart might rule the head on the night.  It was a good performance by Stallone, but…

Actress in a Supporting Role

Supporting Actress composite

  • Jennifer Jason Leigh – The Hateful Eight
  • Rooney Mara – Carol
  • Alicia Vikander – The Danish Girl
  • Rachel McAdams – Spotlight
  • Kate Winslet – Steve Jobs

Will Win:  Alicia Vikander.  Should Win: Rooney Mara.

Did Win: Alicia Vikander.  (#delighted!)

When is an actress “Supporting” rather than “Leading”?  Surely the main female in any film must be the “leading” actress? Clearly the Academy thinks not, else 3 of these 5 wouldn’t be there (and arguably that’s 4 out of 5 since Mara is a co-lead).

This is another really tough category to predict.  I was ‘gobsmacked’ to see Winslet take the BAFTA for this category, but without the positive British momentum perhaps the flow will head towards Jason Leigh for her brilliantly over the top performance for Tarantino. However, the two actresses I would really like to see recognised in this category are Alicia Vikander (for either “The Danish Girl” or “Ex Machina”, both equally good) and Rooney Mara – my personal preference – just exquisite in “Carol”.

Cinematography

Cinematography composite

  • Carol
  • The Hateful Eight
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Revenant
  • Sicario

Will Win: The Revenant.  Should Win: Carol.

Did Win: The Revenant.

Another category stuffed with films with memorable scenes.  I think the voting for this will go with Emmanuel Lubezki’s epic work on “The Revenant”, but my personal choice would be the ‘quietest’ of the five – Edward Lachman’s beautifully rendered view of 1950’s America in “Carol”.

Costume Design

costume composite

  • Carol
  • Cinderella
  • The Danish Girl
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Revenant

Will Win: Mad Max: Fury Road.  Should Win: Carol.

Did Win: Mad Max: Fury Road

The BAFTA went to Mad Max ahead of more ‘obvious’ British candidates, so I will put my money on that for this category.  However, I would still view Carol as so gorgeously decorative that it deserves to win.

Directing

Director Composite

  • Adam McKay – The Big Short
  • George Miller – Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Alejandro G. Iñárritu – The Revenant 
  • Room – Lenny Abrahamson
  • Spotlight – Tom McCarthy

Will Win: Alejandro G. Iñárritu.  Should Win: Alejandro G. Iñárritu.

Did Win: Alejandro G. Iñárritu.

Iñárritu will surely win this for “The Revenant”… or I’ll go and eat a raw bison liver.

Film Editing

Editing composite

  • The Big Short
  • Spotlight
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • The Revenant

Will Win: The Revenant.  Should Win: Mad Max: Fury Road.

Did Win: Mad Max: Fury Road.

I’d personally have dropped “Spectre” into this category, if for nothing else than for the apparently continuous ‘tracking shot’ in the first five minutes. I think this will go to “The Revenant”, though it’s difficult to tell whether some of the extraordinary scenes were down to editing or special effects or a mixture of the two. Nothing contributes to an action film like the editing, and for me Margaret Sixel deserves this award for delivering a literally high octane experience like no other this year in “Mad Max: Fury Road”.

Make-Up and Hair Styling

Hair composite

  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Revenant
  • The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out a Window and Disappeared*

Will Win: Mad Max: Fury Road.  Should Win: Mad Max: Fury Road.

Did Win: Mad Max: Fury Road

A curiously light category:  no Carol? no Brooklyn?  I’ve only seen two of the three, but Mad Max is the one that stands out.

Music (Original Score)

Music composite

  • Bridge of Spies
  • The Hateful Eight
  • Carol
  • Sicario
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Will Win: The Hateful Eight.  Should Win: The Hateful Eight.

Did Win: The Hateful Eight.

It’s wonderful to see Carter Burwell’s music for “Carol” recognised in this category (overlooked at the BAFTAs). This year saw the return of two titans of the film soundtrack world:  John Williams with “Star Wars” and Ennio Morricone with “The Hateful Eight”. For me, Morricone’s score was the most impressive and he should follow his BAFTA win with the Oscar.

Music (Original Song)

Song composite

  • “Earned It” – Fifty Shades of Grey
  • “Manta Ray” – Racing Extinction
  • “Simple Song #3” – Youth
  • “Til it Happens to You” – The Hunting Ground
  • “Writings on the Wall” – Spectre

Will Win: Writings on the Wall.  Should Win: Manta Ray.

Did Win: “Writings on the Wall”.

There’s no telling where the Oscar might go on this one… with Lady Gaga in the mix with “Til it Happens to You” and Sam Smith’s hit (loved and hated in equal measure).  My personal favourite is the moody “Manta Ray”.

Production Design

Prod design composite

  • Bridge of Spies
  • The Danish Girl
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • The Revenant

Will Win: Mad Max: Fury Road.  Should Win: Mad Max: Fury Road.

Did Win: Mad Max: Fury Road.

I recently watched Mad Max again… and it is a masterpiece of design and organisation, with filming in the Namibia desert in conditions almost as extreme as “The Revenant”.

Sound Editing

Sound composite

  • Sicario
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • The Revenant
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Will Win: Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  Should Win: The Martian.

Did Win: Mad Max: Fury Road.

(What’s the difference between Sound Editing and Sound Mixing?  There is a good explanation here.  But it always seems a little greedy that the subject gets two of the awards!)   As a non-technician, I will probably get this wrong, but Star Wars has a long held tradition for its ground-breaking work in sound. I thought some of the dialogue in “The Revenant” was incomprehensible, but I suspect it might still win!  For me, “The Martian” is the one where I noticed the sound design most prominently.

Sound Mixing

Sound Mixing composite

  • Bridge of Spies
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • The Revenant
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Will Win: The Revenant.  Should Win: Mad Max: Fury Road.

Did Win: Mad Max: Fury Road.

Again, I will probably get this wrong, but the BAFTA for sound went with “The Revenant” so I will follow that lead.

Visual Effects

Visual composite

  • Ex Machina
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • The Revenant
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Will Win: Mad Max: Fury Road.  Should Win: Ex Machina.

Did Win: Ex Machina.  (#delighted-to-be-wrong)

“The Revenant” had some astonishing (yet subtle) special effects in it, so good to see it nominated in this category.  I ‘m not sure the vote will go the same way as the BAFTAs here (“Star Wars”), so I am going to plump for “Mad Max” to win this one. But my love would stay with the beautiful and sensual realisation of Eva in “Ex Machina”.

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

Adapted Screenplay composite

  • The Big Short
  • Brooklyn
  • The Martian
  • Carol
  • Room

Will Win: The Big Short.  Should Win: The Big Short.

Did Win: The Big Short.

One of my favourite films of 2016 so far, largely down to the excellent and entertaining script adapted from Adam McKay’s book.

Writing (Original Screenplay)

screenplay original composite

  • Bridge of Spies
  • Ex Machina
  • Inside Out
  • Spotlight
  • Straight Outta Compton*

Will Win: Spotlight.  Should Win: Ex Machina.

Did Win: Spotlight.

The BAFTA went to “Spotlight”:  one of the films (and I seem to be in a minority here) that I was disappointed with.  Though not very “wordy”, I would go with “Ex Machina” for this.

 


There’s nothing more contentious than movie awards!  No you agree with my suggestions?  Who else do you think was robbed by not being nominated this year?  Please feel free to comment below!

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