100% Accurate Oscar Predictions
Ah, awards season. The time for agreeing to join a prediction pool with family and friends, realizing you’ve never seen any of the movies and don’t recognize most of the names, and then just circling the names that sound the most “Hollywood” in hopes someone named Emmanuel Lubezki actually knows what he or she is doing. Is there anything better?
Now it’s time for the Oscars. If the Oscars were a wine, it would be Sauvignon Blanc: classy, a bit snobby, and — most notably — white. You’re probably looking at the nominations right now going “HUHHHH???” but have no fear, fellow reader. You might not have the slightest clue who the Oscar favorites are this year, but that’s okay. The important thing is that I know who the favorites are. And — when I say “favorites” — I mean actual favorites. Not the crummy Gold Derby or Indiewire favorites. I’m privy to the Academy voters’ picks, and that makes me an asset to you when you decide to make your own Oscar predictions.
So let’s get to it.
Best Visual Effects
- Ex Machina
- Mad Max: Fury Road
- The Martian
- The Revenant
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens
This one is easy. Mad Max: Fury Road wins in a landslide. Historically, the winner of this category uses effective CGI and film trickery. Mad Max was lauded for the opposite of that, as director George Miller favored practical effects in his movie. In fact, there were no digitally-imposed visual effects at all in the film. If you saw a car flipping, a car flipped. If you saw an explosion, something actually exploded. If you saw a man’s face getting ripped off, well, you get the point.
All on-screen deaths were real people getting killed. Really. The character who played Immortan Joe had his daughter on set during the filming of his death scene. When his face was torn apart, his daughter yelped in horror. Miller noticed the crying girl and immediately filmed it, using her screams as audio for another part of the film. Producers warned George Miller this could cause a stir in the media, but Miller was vehemently opposed to “faking out the audience with bullshit CGI.” Surprisingly, the media loved Miller’s practical effects, and the Mad Max director vowed to triple the “measly” Fury Road body count of 110 in the next installment.
Best Costume Design
- Carol — Sandy Powell
- Cinderella — Sandy Powell
- The Danish Girl — Paco Delgado
- Mad Max: Fury Road — Jenny Beavan
- The Revenant — Jacqueline West
Another easy one. Sandy Powell wins for Carol. Simply put, of all the costumes designed this year, Powell’s costumes in Carol were the most costumey out of all of the costumes. Ask any critic (or Academy voter) and he or she will agree wholeheartedly. Also, as a dual-nominee for her work in Cinderella, Powell’s face will rightfully take up 40% of the screen to the other nominees’ 20% as the winner is announced.
- Carol — Ed Lachman
- The Hateful Eight — Robert Richardson
- Mad Max: Fury Road — John Seale
- The Revenant — Emmanuel Lubezki
- Sicario — Roger Deakins
In a never-before-seen event, this category will end in a 5-way tie. Many voters do not know what the term “cinematography” means, let alone what good cinematography actually is. In order to save themselves from embarrassment, the voters will agree that all five nominated films were in fact movies that were shot on cameras, thus all five films successfully adhered to the criteria for this category and each is deserving of the award.
Best Production Design
- Bridge of Spies
- The Danish Girl
- Mad Max: Fury Road
- The Martian
- The Revenant
Admittedly, this is one of the hardest categories to pick. Bridge of Spies makes the land of Russia feel like a living, breathing, non-gray place. Mad Max: Fury Road and The Martian put you in another whole world, figuratively and literally. The Revenant depicts the simultaneous beauty and overall cruelty of nature. All four of the above-mentioned films have wonderful production designs, and all are deserving of an Oscar.
However, none of those four will go home with the award. That’s right, the winner in this category will be The Danish Girl. The duo of Michael Standish and Eve Stewart designed a wonderful landscape for the fictional “Denmark.” It seemed so real and surreal at the same time. Whenever a place in “Denmark” was shown in the film, I actually believed in the existence of that location. I recall saying to my girlfriend, “We should go to Denmark for vacation. It looks like a nice place.” Then she reminded me we could never go to Denmark for the simple fact that IT’S NOT REAL! Standish and Stewart did a marvelous job in creating this fairytale land from scratch, and — for that — they will go home with some much-deserved hardware.
Best Original Score
- Bridge of Spies — Thomas Newman
- Carol — Carter Burwell
- The Hateful Eight — Ennio Morricone
- Sicario — Jóhann Jóhannsson
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens — John Williams
This is a category known to give Academy voters fits. Time and time again, the voters must be reminded that by “score” it means “composed music” and not “the number of points, goals, runs, etc., at any given point in a competitive game or series.” On a hunch, I bet most voters foul this up again and award Ennio Morricone the Oscar for his work on The Hateful Eight, the sole reason being that “eight” is a number and indicative of some type of score, while the four other films in this category contain no numbers and can be considered “scoreless.”
- Cate Blanchett — Carol as Carol Aird
- Brie Larson — Room as Joy “Ma” Newsome
- Jennifer Lawrence — Joy as Joy Mangano
- Charlotte Rampling — 45 Years as Kate Mercer
- Saoirse Ronan — Brooklyn as Eilis Lacey
Most people have Brie Larson winning for her role in Room, as she gives a breathtaking performance as a mother who cares for her child within the confines of a tiny room. Personally, I believe Ms. Larson should win the Oscar for Best Actress, but, unfortunately, she will not go home with the award.
Lately, the Oscars have gotten a lot of flack for being “too white.” The trend #OscarsSoWhite was even trending again this year. Voters want to distance themselves from this horrid reputation as the “white” award show, and, in order to do this, expect voters to go the ethnic route. Rumor has it voters are zeroing in on Saoirse Ronan as a winner, because, with a name like that, she must be some kind of minority. Right? Little do the voters know, Saoirse Ronan is a very pale, very Irish young woman with an adorable brogue. With her victory, the Oscars might just become whiter (somehow).
So, anyway, Saoirse Ronan will win for her performance in Brooklyn.
- Bryan Cranston — Trumbo as Dalton Trumbo
- Matt Damon — The Martian as Mark Watney
- Leonardo DiCaprio — The Revenant as Hugh Glass
- Michael Fassbender — Steve Jobs as Steve Jobs
- Eddie Redmayne — The Danish Girl as Lili Elbe / Einar Wegener
My gut tells me Eddie Redmayne will upset Leonardo DiCaprio and win his second consecutive Oscar. Mr. Redmayne did something unheard of and may forever change the art of acting. Who else would literally become a member of the opposite sex just for a movie? Seriously, this Eddie guy is something else. First, he gave himself ALS to “get into character” for his role as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. Now, for The Danish Girl, he went through sex reassignment and physically became a woman. And when filming was over? Well, it’s nothing, really. Redmayne just GOT ANOTHER SEX REASSIGNMENT AND BECAME A MAN AGAIN. IS THERE ANYTHING THIS GUY CAN’T DO??? SERIOUSLY??? And you’re gonna try to tell me Leonardo deserves the Oscar for just screaming and crying for what felt like 6 hours? Please.
With that being said, I don’t think my gut is telling the truth. Redmayne’s role was great, but the traditional Oscar voters will not be as enamored with Redmayne’s dedication as the rest of the human world. Leonardo DiCaprio will win his first Oscar for his performance in The Revenant, which is cool, I guess. He’ll thank his friends, family, the cast, the crew, the First Nations people who helped make the film, and then he’ll say something about climate change and saving the environment that will make everyone stand and cheer. You heard it here first.
- Adam McKay — The Big Short
- George Miller — Mad Max: Fury Road
- Alejandro G. Iñárritu — The Revenant
- Lenny Abrahamson — Room
- Tom McCarthy — Spotlight
We already went over George Miller’s unique directing style earlier, and that makes him the prohibitive favorite here. However, he’ll run into trouble against directors Tom McCarthy and Alejandro Iñárritu for the films Spotlight and The Revenant, respectively.
Tom McCarthy boldly staged a full-scale reenactment of the church’s child molestation scandal, and hired Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Liev Schreiber, Rachel McAdams, and others not as actors but as journalists, and tasked them with uncovering the truth behind the scandal. It was a genius stroke of directing, as McCarthy meticulously plotted everything exactly as the real scandals occurred. Little did the hired journalists know, but McCarthy was actually filming the entire reenactment. It resulted in over a year of total footage, which was edited down to a 129-minute feature called Spotlight.
Iñárritu had a similar strategy for The Revenant. He wanted the now-famous bear attack scene to look as real as possible, so he found a 500-pound grizzly bear and sent it running toward actor Leonardo DiCaprio. The camera crew was instructed to film regardless of how badly DiCaprio begged. Originally, the film was supposed to end directly following the bear attack scene, with Hugh Glass suffering a brutal death and the rest of the fur trappers deciding to travel home to be with their families. To Iñárritu’s surprise, DiCaprio went toe-to-toe with the bear and killed it. Since Iñárritu did not get DiCaprio’s death on camera, he needed to write an alternate ending to the film, culminating in an extra two hours of running time to finish off Glass’ story.
So between Miller, McCarthy, and Iñárritu, who is going to win the Oscar?
Trick question. Neither of these three will win. Adam McKay will walk away with the Oscar for Best Director for his work on The Big Short. This might sound like a surprise, but rumor has it the Oscar voters could not stay awake during Spotlight or The Revenant, and the male voters did not appreciate Mad Max’s feminist undertones. The Big Short is light and fun to watch. Plus, it is the only film in this category that does not include murder or rape. Sometimes the winner of Best Director just needs to make sure the actors are acting like normal, everyday people. Adam McKay did just that.
- The Big Short
- Bridge of Spies
- Mad Max: Fury Road
- The Martian
- The Revenant
This is really anyone’s guess. Period pieces tend to succeed in this category, so films like Bridge of Spies and Brooklyn have the edge there. However, those films aren’t exactly blowing voters away. For that matter, neither are The Big Short and Room. That leaves four films left for consideration: Mad Max, The Martian, The Revenant, and Spotlight.
The Martian might have been the funniest movie of the year — perhaps of all time — but voters believe the title is too misleading to award it Best Picture. One voter was quoted as saying:
“What Martian? There’s just a man in space the whole time! There’s no aliens at all in the movie! The Martian? It should’ve been called The Lonely Man! At least then it’d be true! Liars!”
As for Mad Max: Fury Road, voters accused it, too, of being falsely titled:
“Mad Max? Where in the movie was he mad? More like Sad Max! Cheer up! And where’s Mel Gibson? That wasn’t Mel. Do you take me for a fool, George Miller?”
So two movies remain in the running: The Revenant and Spotlight. Both have their ups and downs. The Revenant consists of some really cool scenes marred by a lot of literal and figurative crawling. Spotlight includes some powerful performances but might come on too heavy-handed at times. So the winner?
Gotcha again. Neither. For the first time ever, no Best Picture nominees will win the most coveted Oscar of the night. Voters will use the little-known write-in option on their ballots and award a film with no nominations at all with Best Picture. The movie?
FURIOUS 7. That’s right. Vin Diesel. The Rock. The late Paul Walker. This movie was a box office success and a rollicking thrill ride. Voters loved everything about this movie and will award it Best Picture in an attempt to show young viewers they are hip and that they “get it.” An anonymous voter was quoted as saying:
“Furious 7 was so cool! My favorite part was when the one car drove faster than the other cars that were going really fast! And that song at the end? UGH! We’ll miss you Paul!”
So there you have it. These predictions are flawless, so do with them what you will. Good luck making your own predictions, and have a happy end to awards season!