Thursday, February 25, 2016

And the Oscars Go To...: My Picks and Predictions for The 88th Annual Academy Awards

For movie and award show fans, THIS is OUR Super Bowl!

With race and politics aside, here are my labored picks and predictions for The 88th Annual Academy Awards.  The ONE true thing is that I still love the Cinema and there were many achievements made this year on celluloid.

Best Picture:
"The Big Short"
"Bridge of Spies"
"Mad Max: Fury Road"
"The Martian"
"The Revenant"

My Pick: I would love for the action of MAD MAX: FURY ROAD to win, with SPOTLIGHT next on my list.  It seems like a tight race though and…

My Prediction: I feel the grit and grandeur of THE REVENANT will prevail.

Best Actor:
Bryan Cranston, "Trumbo"
Matt Damon, "The Martian"
Leonardo DiCaprio, "The Revenant"
Michael Fassbender, "Steve Jobs"
Eddie Redmayne, "The Danish Girl"

My Pick and Prediction: Leonard DiCaprio for THE REVENANT. It is just time. FINALLY!

Best Actress:
Cate Blanchett, "Carol"
Brie Larson, "Room"
Jennifer Lawrence, "Joy"
Charlotte Rampling, "45 Years"
Saoirse Ronan, "Brooklyn"

My Pick and Prediction:  This would be Blanchett’s third win and I just don’t feel that is going to happen. Brie Larson’s star turn in ROOM has been winning all awards season and I am sure she will cap it off with a win here.

Best Supporting Actor:
Christian Bale, "The Big Short"
Tom Hardy, "The Revenant"
Mark Ruffalo, "Spotlight"
Mark Rylance, "Bridge of Spies"
Sylvester Stallone, "Creed"

My Pick and Prediction: Rocky Balboa comes full circle.  My parents would be so proud.  ROCKY was one of the very first movies I saw as a kid and to see this come to fruition all these years later would be a wonderful thing.  So, yes, I will be through the rafters when Sylvester Stallone wins for CREED.

Best Supporting Actress:
Jennifer Jason Leigh, "The Hateful Eight"
Rooney Mara, "Carol"
Rachel McAdams, "Spotlight"
Alicia Vikander, "The Danish Girl"
Kate Winslet, "Steve Jobs"

My Pick: Of the acting categories, this one seems to be the toughest to call.  I am rooting for either Jennifer Jason Leigh for THE HATEFUL EIGHT or Kate Winslet for STEVE JOBS, but…

My Prediction: Alicia Vikander, THE DANISH GIRL also rocked it in EX MACHINA and peaked at the right time during Awards season.  I think she will get the win here.

Best Director:
Adam McKay, "The Big Short"
George Miller, "Mad Max: Fury Road"
Alejandro Iñárritu, "The Revenant"
Lenny Abrahamson, "Room"
Tom McCarthy, "Spotlight"

My Pick: George Miller for MAD MAX: FURY ROAD is my personal fave.

My Prediction: Alejandro Iñárritu, THE REVENANT for the grind of helming his masterpiece alone.

Best Foreign Language Film:
Embrace of the Serpent," Colombia
"Mustang," France
"Son of Saul," Hungary
"Theeb," Jordan
"A War," Denmark

My Pick and Prediction: SON OF SAUL, Hungary. No Contest.

Best Screenplay (Adaptation):
"The Big Short" by Charles Randolph and Adam McKay
"Brooklyn" by Nick Hornby
"Carol" by Phyllis Nagy
"The Martian" by Drew Goddard
"Room" by Emma Donoghue

My Pick: ROOM

My Prediction: THE BIG SHORT

Best Screenplay (Original):
"Bridge of Spies" by Matt Charman and Ethan Coen & Joel Coen
"Ex Machina" by Alex Garland
"Inside Out" by Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley; original story by Pete Docter, Ronnie del Carmen
"Spotlight" by Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy
"Straight Outta Compton" by Jonathan Herman and Andrea Berloff; original story by S. Leigh Savidge & Alan Wenkus and Andrea Berloff

My Pick: My tastes gravitate more so toward INSIDE OUT and STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON, but…

My Prediction: SPOTLIGHT brilliantly shed light on a topical subject matter with both intense fierceness and entertainment quality that packed a punch.

Best Cinematography:
"The Hateful Eight"
"Mad Max: Fury Road"
"The Revenant"

My Pick and Prediction: THE REVENANT

Best Costume Design:
"Carol," Sandy Powell
"Cinderella," Sandy Powell
"The Danish Girl," Paco Delgado
"Mad Max: Fury Road," Jenny Beaven
"The Revenant" Jacqueline West

My Pick and Prediction: This is such a toss-up and while I think Sandy Powell may actually win, I get the feeling she may cancel herself out with these two nods beaming that golden fella right to Jenny Beaven for MAD MAX: FURY ROAD.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling:
"Mad Max: Fury Road" Lesley Vanderwalt, Elka Wardega and Damian Martin
"The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared" Love Larson and Eva von Bahr
"The Revenant" Siân Grigg, Duncan Jarman and Robert Pandini

My Pick and Prediction: MAD MAX: FURY ROAD

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

My Pick: John Williams is such an icon and so is STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS, but…

My Prediction: So is Ennio Morricone for THE HATEFUL EIGHT

Best Animated Feature Film:
"Boy and the World"
"Inside Out"
"Shaun the Sheep Movie"
"When Marnie Was There"


My Prediction: INSIDE OUT

Best Documentary Feature:
"Amy," Asif Kapadia and James Gay-Rees
"Cartel Land," Matthew Heineman and Tom Yellin
"The Look of Silence," Joshua Oppenheimer and Signe Byrge Sørensen
"What Happened, Miss Simone?" Liz Garbus, Amy Hobby and Justin Wilkes
"Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom," Evgeny Afineevsky and Den Tolmor


My Prediction: AMY

Best Documentary Short Subject:
Body Team 12," David Darg and Bryn Mooser
"Chau, beyond the Lines," Courtney Marsh and Jerry Franck
"Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah," Adam Benzine
"A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness," Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
"Last Day of Freedom," Dee Hibbert-Jones and Nomi Talisman


My Prediction: BODY TEAM 12

Best Film Editing:
"The Big Short," Hank Corwin
"Mad Max: Fury Road," Margaret Sixel
"The Revenant," Stephen Mirrione
"Spotlight," Tom McArdle
"Star Wars: The Force Awakens,"Maryann Brandon and Mary Jo Markey

My Pick and Prediction: Margaret Sixel, MAD MAX: FURY ROAD

Best Original Song:
"Earned It" from "Fifty Shades of Grey,"Abel Tesfaye, Ahmad Balshe, Jason Daheala Quenneville and Stephan Moccio
"Manta Ray" from "Racing Extinction" J. Ralph and Lyric by Antony Hegarty
"Simple Song #3" from "Youth," David Lang
"Til It Happens To You" from "The Hunting Ground," Diane Warren and Lady Gaga
"Writing's On The Wall" from "Spectre," Jimmy Napes and Sam Smith

My Pick and Predction: Til it Happens to You from THE HUNTING GROUND, so powerful! I really hope it wins.

Best Production Design:
"Bridge of Spies" Production Design: Adam Stockhausen; Set Decoration: Rena DeAngelo and Bernhard Henrich
"The Danish Girl" Production Design: Eve Stewart; Set Decoration: Michael Standish
"Mad Max: Fury Road" Production Design: Colin Gibson; Set Decoration: Lisa Thompson
"The Martian" Production Design: Arthur Max; Set Decoration: Celia Bobak
"The Revenant" Production Design: Jack Fisk; Set Decoration: Hamish Purdy

My Pick and Prediction: MAD MAX: FURY ROAD

Best Animated Short Film:
"Bear Story" Gabriel Osorio and Pato Escala
"Prologue" Richard Williams and Imogen Sutton
"Sanjay's Super Team" Sanjay Patel and Nicole Grindle
"We Can't Live without Cosmos" Konstantin Bronzit
"World of Tomorrow" Don Hertzfeldt

My Pick and Prediction: SANJAY’S SUPER TEAM

Best Live Action Short Film:
"Ave Maria" Basil Khalil and Eric Dupont
"Day One" Henry Hughes
"Everything Will Be Okay (Alles Wird Gut)" Patrick Vollrath
"Shok" Jamie Donoughue
"Stutterer" Benjamin Cleary and Serena Armitage

My Pick and Prediction: AVE MARIA

Best Sound Editing:
"Mad Max: Fury Road" Mark Mangini and David White
"The Martian" Oliver Tarney
"The Revenant" Martin Hernandez and Lon Bender
"Sicario" Alan Robert Murray
"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" Matthew Wood and David Acord

My Pick and Prediction: MAD MAX: FURY ROAD

Best Sound Mixing:
"Bridge of Spies" Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom and Drew Kunin
"Mad Max: Fury Road" Chris Jenkins, Gregg Rudloff and Ben Osmo
"The Martian" Paul Massey, Mark Taylor and Mac Ruth
"The Revenant" Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño, Randy Thom and Chris Duesterdiek
"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" Andy Nelson, Christopher Scarabosio and Stuart Wilson

My Pick and Prediction: MAD MAX: FURY ROAD

Best Visual Effects:
"Ex Machina," Andrew Whitehurst, Paul Norris, Mark Ardington and Sara Bennett
"Mad Max: Fury Road," Andrew Jackson, Tom Wood, Dan Oliver and Andy Williams
"The Martian," Richard Stammers, Anders Langlands, Chris Lawrence and Steven Warner
"The Revenant," Rich McBride, Matthew Shumway, Jason Smith and Cameron Waldbauer
"Star Wars: The Force Awakens," Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Neal Scanlan and Chris Corbould




The 88th Annual Academy Awards will be held at The Dolby Theatre in Hollywood and will be telecast Live on ABC beginning with Live from the Red Carpet coverage on Sunday, February 28, 2016 on ABC-TV, 7pm EST/4pm PST.  Chris Rock will be the host.

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