And The Oscar Goes to …(Dewey Singleton’s 2016 Academy Award Predictions)

Wednesday marked the end of voting for the 88th annual Academy Awards. All the campaigns that started in the middle of August have now come to a screeching halt. All that’s left is for those envelopes to be opened on the Dolby Theatre stage on Sunday. So after much digging and research, I can finally reveal my predictions for who’s going to be bringing home Oscar gold.

Best Picture

oscars

Winner – Revenant

Predicting Best Picture this year is as complicated as they come. Normally when it’s easy to see where this category is headed just based on how the critic and guild awards went, but they have been all over the place. The guilds loved Revenant (DGA), Spotlight (SAG, WGA) and The Big Short (PGA, WGA). Revenant taking home the top prize at BAFTA provided some clarity to the tight race, but you can’t discount a movie like Mad Max: Fury Road, with ten Oscar nominations and a ton of love from various guilds as well. In short we are facing a four-way race for Best Picture. It would be fascinating if the four-way race opened the door for a film like Room (with only four nominations) to pull a massive upset. An upset of this magnitude would be reminiscent of what Chariots of Fire did in 1981.

In this race, it’s important to note that Oscar ballots are filled in order of preference ( you rank your favorite with a 1 and your least favorite with the higher number.) Many Oscar voters second and third choices on their ballots will play a significant role in who ends up winning.

My thinking on this category is that The Big Short and Spotlight focus on social issues and cancel out one another. As much Mad Max: Fury Road is a favorite among film critics, no movie has ever won Best Picture and not been nominated in a writing category since 1931. Revenant is a beautiful, barbaric adventure that has a dedicated group of fans. Revenant winning Best Picture at BAFTA shows that it has momentum going into Oscar voting.

Best Director

Winner- Alejandro González Inarritu

This category often goes in line with Best Picture. However, in two of the last four years, voters have gone rogue with their directorial choice. The biggest indicator where the votes will land for Best Director is DGA Awards. The DGA has only been wrong in seven out of 68 years in predicting the Oscar winner for direction. With that in mind, it’s a safe bet that The Revenant’s Inarritu will win Sunday night in what is a tough field. He will become only the third director after John Ford and Joseph L. Mankiewicz to win back-to-back Oscars and the first to do it in 65 years. No director in the history of the Oscars has pulled off back to back Director, and Best Picture wins.

Best Actor

Leonardo DiCaprio

Winner – Leonardo Dicaprio, The Revenant

 

Usually, one the most competitive Oscar categories have now turned into more of a coronation. Micheal Fassbender, Matt Damon, Bryan Cranston, and Eddie Redmayne all were brilliant in their respective films. However, Leonardo Dicaprio reaches deep (at least physically) in The Revenant and is masterful. It’s the type of performance that is routinely recognized by the Academy.

Best Actress

room2

The Winner: Brie Larson, Room

Once again this category is a competitive one. While Cate Blanchett is dazzling in Carol, Charlotte Rampling breaks our hearts in 45 years, Jennifer Lawrence is a delight in Joy, and Saoirse Ronan lights up the screen in Brooklyn, they simply aren’t on Brie Larson level this Oscar season. Brie Larson has won every major critic Award and won a BAFTA, SAG, Golden Globe, and a critics choice award. She’ll win on Sunday.

Best Supporting Actor

Sylvester Stallone

Winner – Sylvester Stallone, Creed

The unwritten rule when it comes to the Oscars is, rarely does someone win if they only receive one nomination. This year will be an exception as Stallone will bring home the Oscar on Sunday night. Even with a list of nominees as deep as this category has – Bale, Hardy, Rylance, and Ruffalo – Stallone’s performance was a knockout (pardon the pun). Returning to the Oscar stage after 39 years, when he was there for his work in the original Rocky, and leaving victorious will make for quite a “Rocky” moment.

Best Supporting Actress

alicia vikander

Winner- Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl

This category has come down to two actresses – Alicia Vikander from The Danish Girl and Kate Winslet from Steve Jobs. Focus Features has campaigned heavily on Vikander’s behalf, and it has paid off as she has won both the SAG and Critic’s Choice Award. Winslet has been gaining momentum with her wins at both the Golden Globes and BAFTA. What will separate these two actresses is Vikander’s involvement in Ex Machina (an Oscar-nominated film). Because of Vikander’s participation in that movie, she will garner a few more votes.

 

The Other Categories

The rest of these categories are one’s that you are interested in either because of an insane love of film (like yours truly), or the office has a Oscar pool. What I am going to do is put in bold who I’m predicting the winner will be on Sunday.

Animated Feature Film

Anomalisa

Boy and the World

Inside Out

Shaun the Sheep Movie

When Marnie Was There

Cinematography

Carol

The Hateful Eight

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Revenant

Sicario

Costume Design

Carol

Cinderella

The Danish Girl

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Revenant

Documentary (Feature)

Amy

Cartel Land

The Look of Silence

What Happened, Miss Simone?

Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom

Documentary (Short Subject)

Body Team 12

Chau, beyond the Lines

Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah

A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness

Last Day of Freedom

Film Editing

The Big Short

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Revenant

Spotlight

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Foreign Language Film

Embrace of the Serpent

Mustang

Son of Saul

Theeb

A War

Makeup and Hairstyling

Mad Max: Fury Road

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out

the Window and Disappeared

The Revenant

Music (Original Score)

Bridge of Spies

Carol

The Hateful Eight

Sicario

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Music (Original Song)

“Earned It,” Fifty Shades of Grey

“Manta Ray,” Racing Extinction

“Simple Song #3,” Youth

“Til It Happens To You,” The Hunting Ground

“Writing’s On The Wall,” Spectre

Production Design

Bridge of Spies

The Danish Girl

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian

The Revenant

Short Film (Animated)

Bear Story

Prologue

Sanjay’s Super Team

We Can’t Live without Cosmos

World of Tomorrow

Sound Editing

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian

The Revenant

Sicario

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Sound Mixing

Bridge of Spies

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian

The Revenant

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Visual Effects

Ex Machina

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian

The Revenant

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Writing (Adaptive Screenplay

The Big Short

Brooklyn

Carol

The Martian

Room

Writing (Original Screenplay)

Bridge of Spies

Ex Machina

Inside Out

Spotlight

Straight Outta Compton

Dewey Singleton - Film Critic
Dewey Singleton - Film Critic
I'm a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association and have been doing reviews for many years. My views on film are often heard in markets such as Atlanta, Houston, and satellite radio. My wife often tolerates my obsession for all things film related and two sons are at an age now where 'Trolls' is way cooler than dad. Follow me on twitter @mrsingleton.

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