Many believe The Revenant will take home Best Picture, and I do think it has a good chance of winning, but I only say this with scorn and frustration. The Revenant is pretty scenery and great acting, but not a movie that deserves Best Picture, especially with nominations like The Big Short and Spotlight. The Revenant basically cheated to get into the running with limited release in 2015 (and general release well into January), and The Big Short gained a lot of momentum with its release late in the year compared to Spotlight (a month earlier), the early favorite. Honestly, I’m rooting for Spotlight or Mad Max: Fury Road. Spotlight has a great chance, but Mad Max: Fury Road‘s genre and extensive nominations in the technical categories keep it from being a frontrunner at the top. The Big Short (if not The Revenant) will probably be recognized at Best Picture.
George Miller should win Best Director, but Iñárritu won the Director’s Guild this year, and it’s very infrequent that the DG winner does not also receive the Oscar. The last time a director won Director’s Guild and was nominated for, but did not win, the Academy Award was in 2002, when Rob Marshall (Chicago) lost to Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind). If Iñárritu wins, it’ll be the first consecutive win for Best Director since 1950-1951.
Leo is a shoo-in for Best Actor. The Revenant is a movie made to get him his Oscar. I only wish it was with Scorsese instead of Iñárritu.
Brie Larson seems to be the favorite for Best Actress, but many think Charlotte Rampling has a good chance for her role in 45 Years. Giving the award to Cate Blanchett would seem contrived when Rooney Mara (the actual protagonist of Carol) was pushed to Supporting Actress. A disputed category in predictions, those that choose previous Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence forget that while she’s a great actress, her roles are often the same. The nomination itself seems to simply be a staple of the past few years.
Predictions choose Sylvester Stallone for Best Supporting Actor, but this would be a choice based off nostalgia and sentiment, not merit. Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies) creates a clumsily charismatic character that you can’t not root for. Only he could have pulled off the role (in a way that reminds me of Christoph Waltz’s memorable (and eventually Oscar-winning) role in Inglourious Basterds).
Alicia Vikander has a good chance of winning over Kate Winslet, but anyone who saw Steve Jobs will agree that Winslet is absolutely charismatic. If it weren’t for Michael Fassbender’s Oscar-nominated power performance as the titular character, she would have stolen the spotlight. Vikander has a great breakout year, with a role in the recognized indie film Ex Machina (strongly starring next to Oscar Isaac and Domhnall Gleeson), but will it be enough to overtake the highly-decorated supporting actress winner of the 2016 BAFTA and Golden Globes?
Overall, it looks like Mad Max: Fury Road will most likely have to settle for many technical awards, but it doesn’t look like it will take home any of the high ballot awards. Mad Max: Fury Road and Spotlight losing out to The Revenant is the biggest shame of this movie awards season.