Once again we have an Oscar season embroiled in controversy; progress is slow in Hollywood.  I am interested to see how Chris Rock approaches this, I believe it will be fun to watch.  This could be the year where Leo wins his first Oscar.  It seems like the Best Actor category is stacked in his favor.  Some sure things out there, and some categories that seem impossible to predict.  I am most intrigued by best picture this year, because I think there is a VERY strong argument for Mad Max: Fury Road, but I believe that George Miller is the likely director winner, which means I DON’T think this film sweeps picture and director.  It happens, but not often.

Best Original Score (Music)

I think this category is a LOCK for Ennio Morricone; he is widely considered one of the greatest artists this category has ever known.  His influences are seen in the work dozens of other artists.  Morricone, oddly, has never won an Oscar for a score.  He was awarded an “Honorary” Oscar in 2007 for his body of work.   A number of films and directors that he has collaborated with have; but he has not.  I can’t see the Academy passing him over this year.  The Hateful Eight soundtrack was incredibly good – and this category is light this year.  It has to be Morricone?

Best Actor

Of course, there are great performances here to dispute.  With Fassbender, Cranston, Damon and Redmayne in the field one could hardly say this is a true LOCK – but it just seems that all of the momentum is about the coronation of Leo DiCaprio.  His performance The Revenant was gripping.  No one is ever going to forget the bear fight.  I feel that this is deserved, his time has come.  I think this is a lock.

Best Director

I like George Miller for the win here.  Personally I don’t think its even close.  His film was the best work in the category both from a story telling and technical perspective.  I think some of the new comers to the category had some great work, but when compared to what Miller did and also compared to Miller’s body of work (which like it or not, matters in this category) – I gotta believe it’s Miller time.

Now we move on to the categories that seem a bit more difficult to call.

Best Supporting Actor

Last year, JK Simmons won – which was awesome.  This year we have Sylvester Stallone in the “hearts of the audience” role.  I loved his performance in Creed, and I believe the academy would too.  It was the kind of gritty, dig down deep kind of performance that Stallone has not shown in a long time.  It seems like this would be his to lose, but you can’t ignore Ruffalo or Bale.  I think Stallone makes the most sense, but I can’t say it’s a lock – this is a strong field.

Best Supporting Actress

No one is predicting Rooney Mara – which shocks me. Her performance in Carol was RIVETING.  I can’t understand how she isn’t even in the conversation?  I would have called her a lock, but the buzz isn’t there at all.  Alicia Vikander and Jennifer Jason Leigh are far more mentioned.  I think the Leigh has the hollywood legacy in her favor. Her performance in Hateful Eight was really good.  I didn’t see Danish Girl so I can’t speak to Vikander, but I thought she was amazing in Ex Machina.  I am predicting Vikander because of the award season buzz – but I really think it should be Mara.

Best Picture

As I said, I think Mad Max; Fury Road was the best movie made this year.  However, that doesn’t mean it will win.  Spotlight seems more likely.  I found Spotlight to be a very well executed movie.  It was All the President’s men, complete with a Bradlee.  The thing is – it wasn’t particularly unique, it’s a movie that I haven’t seen before – but I felt like I have seen before.  That’s why I love Mad Max for this category, it was groundbreaking – a great theater experience, a great story with great performances and great direction.  This was the best product.  I am predicting Spotlight will win.

Other Predictions

Best Actress: Charlotte Rampling.  Blanchett is so decorated at this point, I think the academy goes Rampling

Animated Feature: Inside out

Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki, Revenant – this was a big part of the movie for sure.  More so that Richardson in Hateful 8.

Best Costumes: Mad Max, with some serious competition from the Revenant

Documentary Feature: Amy, watch this movie – you will gain a whole new appreciate for the talent of this individual

Editing: Revenant

Makeup: Mad Max (has to be?)

Sound Editing: Martian

What do you think?



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