Maverick’s Movies Final 2016 Oscar Nomination Predictions

As you may know, Oscar nominations are out tomorrow. As always, here are my Final Predictions for tomorrow’s big day, as well as my rationale for why I’m predicting what I am.

The films are listed in alphabetical order, not likelihood to win.

Best Picture:

  1. The Big Short
  2. Bridge of Spies
  3. Brooklyn
  4. Carol
  5. Mad Max: Fury Road
  6. The Martian
  7. The Revenant
  8. Room
  9. Spotlight
  • If there are 10*
  1. Straight Outta Compton

Alternates: Sicario, Inside Out, Trumbo, Ex Machina

Under the current voting system, there can be anywhere between 5 and 10 Nominees for Best Picture. Typically we have 9. Last year we had 8. In order to get nominated, 5% of the Academy’s voting body has to put your film as number 1 on their ballots. It’s harder than it sounds, and the system rewards passion, not merely being well-liked. For predicting these, look to critic’s awards, which set the voting trends (but do not have members who actually vote in the Oscars), but more importantly to the guilds: Directors Guild, Screen Actors Guild, Writer’s Guild, etc. The same people who actually make up the Academy are the same people who vote for the guilds, so there is always a strong correlation between the two. Sicario and Straight Outta Compton have done nicely with the guilds, but will likely lack the required number of #1 votes to make it in, ultimately. Mad Max, on the other hand, will not appeal to a wide number of voters, but has enough of a diehard following in certain groups that it will likely make it.

Best Director:

  1. Todd Haynes- Carol
  2. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu- The Revenant
  3. Thomas McCarthy- Spotlight
  4. Adam McKay- The Big Short
  5. Ridley Scott- The Martian

Alternates. George Miller- Mad Max: Fury Road, Steven Spielberg- Bridge of Spies

There are quite a few people predicting George Miller for Mad Max. Let me say, I would not be shocked if he did in fact get in tomorrow. He’s gotten Golden Globe and Director’s Guild (DGA) Nominations. The DGA nominees almost never match the Oscar lineup 5/5. It is nearly always 4/5, with a surprising, less populist choice sneaking in. The DGA is bigger, and therefore rewards consensus. They have nominated Christopher Nolan three times, for example. They were more likely to reward Mad Max. The Academy’s directing branch, on the other hand, has never nominated Christopher Nolan (he is always the 1/5 that misses.) Instead, they nominate the likes of Terrence Malick for Tree of Life and Bennett Miller for Foxcatcher which missed the DGA. The reports of BAFTA voters refusing to even watch Mad Max, and Academy voters calling the film “moronic,” makes me think the strong genre (anti-Sci Fi/action) bias will prevail, and Todd Hayne’s more restrained work in Carol will get in instead.

Also, if Adam McKay does get in tomorrow for The Big Short, he will become “The Oscar Nominated Director of Anchorman, Step Brothers, and Talladega Nights” (He also played homeless deviant Dirty Mike in The Other Guys.)

Best Actor:

  1. Bryan Cranston- Trumbo
  2. Matt Damon- The Martian
  3. Michael Fassbender- Steve Jobs
  4. Leonardo DiCaprio- The Revenant
  5. Eddie Redmayne- The Danish Girl

Alt. Johnny Depp- Black Mass, Steve Carell- The Big Short, Will Smith- Concussion, Michael Caine- Youth

Cranston, Fassbender, DiCaprio & Redmayne have showed up at nearly every voting group for Best Actor this season. That final slot has been wide open. It’s a tight race between Damon (Golden Globe Winner, BAFTA nominee) and Depp (SAG Nominee). When in doubt, I usually fall back on whoever got into SAG, because they typically line up with the Oscar nominees closely, but this time, I’ll go with the actor who is in a film voters will prefer, and who has been hitting the campaign trail hard.

Best Actress:

  1. Cate Blanchett- Carol
  2. Brie Larson- Room
  3. Charlotte Rampling- 45 Years
  4. Saoirse Ronan- Brooklyn
  5. Alicia Vikander- The Danish Girl

Alt. Jennifer Lawrence- Joy, Rooney Mara- Carol, Maggie Smith- The Lady in the Van

This is a difficult category to predict because of a controversy surrounding something called “category fraud.” Category Fraud is the act of running a Leading Actor in Supporting, in order to give them a better chance at a nomination. Rooney Mara is the lead of Carol, and Alicia Vikander is the female lead of The Danish Girl. (Mara will have more screen time than any nominee in the history of Supporting Actress nominees if she is nominated.)

Vikander has started showing up in Lead categories (BAFTA, Golden Globes) for The Danish Girl, while also showing up for Ex Machina in Supporting. If enough voters put her in Lead, she will end up with two nominations and take Jennifer Lawrence’s spot. If she ends up in Supporting for The Danish Girl, Jennifer Lawrence will get in for Joy instead.

Best Supporting Actress:

  1. Jennifer Jason Leigh- The Hateful Eight
  2. Rooney Mara- Carol
  3. Rachel McAdams- Spotlight
  4. Alicia Vikander- Ex Machina
  5. Kate Winslet- Steve Jobs

Alt. Alicia Vikander- The Danish Girl, Helen Mirren- Trumbo, Jane Fonda- Youth.

 As I said above, Vikander could go Supporting here instead.

Best Supporting Actor:

  1. Christian Bale- The Big Short
  2. Idris Elba- Beasts of No Nation
  3. Mark Ruffalo- Spotlight
  4. Mark Rylance- Bridge of Spies
  5. Sylvester Stallone- Creed

Alt. Jacob Tremblay- Room, Michael Shannon- 99 Homes, Benicio Del Toro- Sicario, Paul Dano- Love & Mercy, Tom Hardy- The Revenant

This is easily the hardest category to predict this year. Pretty much every award’s group has gone for somebody different, with the only constant being Mark Rylance. I think Bale, Rylance, and Elba are safe. The last two spots are up in the air. Stallone will likely win if he gets nominated, but the fact that he missed a Screen Actor’s Guild nomination suggests he has a chance at missing a nomination here entirely. The Spotlight actors have missed with most groups. Ruffalo has the showiest part and got into BAFTA though. It needs some acting nominations if it wants to stay the Best Picture frontrunner. Don’t discount Michael Shannon. His film came from a tiny distributor, but showed up this season anyway, and clearly has a lot of passion behind it.

Best Adapted Screenplay:

  1. The Big Short
  2. Brooklyn
  3. Steve Jobs
  4. The Martian
  5. Room

Alt. Carol, Trumbo, Anomalisa, The Revenant

This is a category playing a game of Musical chairs. The only one assured a nomination is The Big Short. Carol could VERY easily get in (probably over Room), but I’m gonna go with those 5.

Best Original Screenplay:

  1. Bridge of Spies
  2. Ex Machina
  3. The Hateful Eight
  4. Inside Out
  5. Spotlight

Alt. Sicario, Straight Outta Compton, Joy

This is another “musical chairs” situation. Bridge of Spies, Inside Out, and Spotlight are safe, but Hateful Eight underperformed critically and financially. Tarantino’s name alone will still probably get it in, but if Compton or Sicario get Best Picture nominations, watch out for them sneaking in here. As for Ex Machina, I’m still shocked it has made a showing here, but it has hit screenplay precursors frequently, and Sci Fi bias aside, seems to have a lot of support. It is still the most vulnerable of the 5, though.

Best Cinematography:

  1. Carol
  2. Bridge of Spies
  3. Mad Max: Fury Road
  4. The Revenant
  5. Sicario

Alt. The Hateful Eight, The Martian

Best Editing:

  1. The Big Short
  2. Mad Max: Fury Road
  3. The Martian
  4. The Revenant
  5. Spotlight

Alt. Sicario, Steve Jobs

Best Production Design:

  1. Bridge of Spies
  2. Carol
  3. The Danish Girl
  4. Mad Max: Fury Road
  5. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Alt. Crimson Peak, Cinderella, The Martian, The Revenant

Best Costume Design:

  1. Brooklyn
  2. Carol
  3. Cinderella
  4. Crimson Peak
  5. The Danish Girl

Alt. The Hateful Eight, Mad Max: Fury Road, Trumbo, Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Best Makeup & Hairstyling

  1. Black Mass
  2. Mad Max: Fury Road
  3. The Revenant

Alt. Mr. Holmes, The 100 Year Old Man who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared

Best Sound Mixing:

  1. Bridge of Spies
  2. Mad Max: Fury Road
  3. The Martian
  4. The Revenant
  5. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Alt. Straight Outta Compton, The Hateful Eight, Sicario, Son of Saul, The Big Short

Best Sound Editing:

  1. Mad Max: Fury Road
  2. The Martian
  3. The Revenant
  4. Sicario
  5. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Alt. The Hateful Eight, Inside Out

Best Visual Effects:

  1. Jurassic World
  2. Mad Max: Fury Road
  3. The Martian
  4. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  5. The Walk

Alt. Ant Man, The Revenant, Ex Machina

The Revenant could very easily sneak in here. Its bear mauling scene netted it nominations from the Animator’s Guild and the Visual Effects Society. There is also a lot of subtle Visual Effects work on display in the film. For now, I’ll go with the showier option, however.

Best Original Score:

  1. Bridge of Spies
  2. Carol
  3. The Danish Girl
  4. The Hateful Eight
  5. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Alt. Inside Out, Spotlight, Sicario, Brooklyn

Best Original Song:

  1. So Long- Concussion
  2. See You Again- Furious 7
  3. Til it Happens to You- The Hunting Ground
  4. Writing’s on the Wall- Spectre
  5. Simple Song #3- Youth

Alt. I’ll See you in my Dreams- I’ll See you in my Dreams, Feels like Summer- Shaun the Sheep, Love Me Like You Do- 50 Shades of Grey

Best Animated Film:

  1. Anomalisa
  2. Boy and the World
  3. Inside Out
  4. The Prophet
  5. Shaun the Sheep Movie

Alt. The Good Dinosaur, The Peanuts Movie

I’m not going to do Foreign, Documentary, and the Shorts categories right now. I can tell you that Amy and The Look of Silence are the two Documentary Frontrunners, and Son of Saul will certainly get into Foreign.

Total Nomination Tally:

  1. Carol 8
  2. Mad Max: Fury Road 8
  3. The Martian 8
  4. The Revenant 8
  5. Bridge of Spies 7
  6. Spotlight 6
  7. The Big Short 5
  8. The Danish Girl 5
  9. Star Wars: The Force Awakens 5
  10. Brooklyn 4
  11. The Hateful Eight 3
  12. Room 3
  13. Steve Jobs 3
  14. Ex Machina 2
  15. The Hunting Ground 2
  16. Inside Out 2
  17. Sicario 2
  18. 45 Years 1
  19. Anomalisa 1
  20. Beasts of No Nation 1
  21. Boy and the World 1
  22. Cinderella 1
  23. Black Mass 1
  24. Concussion 1
  25. Creed 1
  26. Crimson Peak 1
  27. Furious 7 1
  28. Jurassic World 1
  29. The Prophet 1
  30. Shaun the Sheep: The Movie
  31. Spectre 1
  32. Straight Outta Compton 1
  33. Trumbo 1
  34. Youth 1
  35. The Walk 1












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