88th Academy Awards – my predictions

Yes, it’s one of “those” posts again. Anyway…

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Yes, it’s one of “those” posts again. Anyway…

Original Song

Nominations

Earned It (Fifty Shades of Grey) from Fifty Shades of Grey

Manta Ray from Racing Extinction

Simple Song #3 from Youth

Till it Happens to You from The Hunting Ground

Writing’s on the Wall from Spectre

Winner

Spectre’s Writing’s on the Wall – the previous James Bond opening credits song was Skyfall from Skyfall, which also won Original Song. The James Bond opening credits song is a tradition of film making, and Spectre proved popular with critics. It’s likely that Writing’s on the Wall will win for the same reason.

Cinematography

Nominations

Carol

The Hateful Eight

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Revenant

Sicario

Winner

Roger Deakins is the Leonardo DiCaprio of cinematographers – could he finally win? Immanuel Lubezki, on the other hand, has won Cinematography for the past two years with Gravity and Birdman or (the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), and is likely to win again this year for The Revenant, on account of how it was cinematographed with natural light, which Lubezki manipulated to get the most from a shot. That’s cinematography in the purest sense of the art, so Lubezki will likely win.

Documentary Short Subject

Nominations

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

Winner

Pretty obvious, this one. A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness is about honour killings in Pakistan. This needs to win, or some people will probably be offended or something.

Documentary Feature

Nominations

Amy

Cartel Land

The Look of Silence

What Happened, Miss Simone?

Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom

Winner

Well, Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom is about the war in Ukraine. This needs to be win, or some people will probably be offended or something.

Costume Design

Nominations

Carol

Cinderella

The Danish Girl

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Revenant

Winner

Well, Carol and Cinderella‘s Sandy Powell makes-up two-fifths of this category, which isn’t something other nominees can say. So Powell’s more likely to win, even if she isn’t the majority of nominees. It’s confusing like that. But, it’s still probably going to be Carol or Cinderella, the question is, which one? This is Cinderella‘s only nomination, so Cinderella will probably win on account of having nothing else going for it.

Sound editing

Nominations

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian

The Revenant

Sicario

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Winner

This one will probably go to Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Most of it involves high-scale action sequences that require good sound editing to be aurally coherent. That, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens was sound-edited with Skywalker Sound, which is the best in the business.

Sound mixing

Nominations

Bridge of Spies

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian

The Revenant

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Winner

To be honest, I don’t really know the difference between sound mixing and sound editing. At a guess, I’d say that sound mixing is controlling audio levels on various tracks compared to each other, in which case Star Wars: The Force Awakens could take it, but then so could The Martian as a lot of that involves distorted radio chatter. But, Star Wars: The Force Awakens has Skywalker Sound, so I rest my case.

Makeup & Hairstyling

Nominations

Mad Max: Fury Road

The 100 Year old man who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared

The Revenant

Winner

Tough one to guess. Mad Max: Fury Road would win if it also claims Costume Design, but The 100 Year old man who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared is only nominated for this one category, so it makes sense to assume that will win as all the other nominations have other cateogries. But The Revenant was also try to create a naturalism, so I’ll be surprised if the makeup artists and hairstylists were really that involved at all in The Revenant. That said, Mad Max: Fury Road won’t claim Costume Design, so it won’t claim Makeup & Hairstyling either. That will be The 100 Year old man who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared.

Live Action Short Film

Nominations

Ave Maria

Day One

Alles Wird Gut

Shok

Stutter

Winner

Well, Day One is about a woman in the military. So if it doesn’t win, someone will probably be offended or something.

Animated Short Film

Nominations

Bear Story

Prologue

Sanjay’s Super Team

We Can’t Live Without Cosmos

World of Tomorrow

Winner

Prologue is pencilled, and employs a minimalist style, so that will probably win on account of the pure talent visible on screen.

Animated Feature Film

Nominations

Anomalisa

Boy and the World

Inside Out

Shaun the Sheep

When Marnie was There

Winner

Anomalisa is Charlie Kaufman, who apparently is perfect.

Actor in a Supporting Role

Nominations

Christian Bale as Michael Burry in The big Short

Tom Hardy as John Fitzgerald in The Revenant

Mark Ruffalo as Michael Rezendes for Spotlight

Mark Rylance as Rudolf Abel for Bridge of Spies

Sylvester Stallone as Robert Balboa for Creed

Winner

For some reason, everyone raves about Rylance despite him being the same character in all of his roles: glum, one note and underplaying to the point of yawning. But in Bridge of Spies, Rylance is the centre of a debate about American patriotism, so if Rylance doesn’t win, the Oscars will look like they don’t care. Either that or they’ve been won over too easily. Regardless, it’ll be Rylance. Though I’d prefer it to be Ruffalo.

Actress in a Supporting Role

Nominations

Jennifer Jason Leigh as Daisy Domergue for The Hateful Eight

Rooney Mara as Therese Belivet for Carol

Rachel McAdams as Sacha Pfeiffer for Spotlight

Alicia Vikander as Gerda Wegener for The Danish Girl

Kate Winslet as Joanna Hoffman in Steve Jobs

Winner

To be fair to Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs wasn’t her usual kind of role. The problem is, I doubt the Oscars will really care about that when they give Winslet the award. Winslet’s exactly who you’d expect to be win an Oscar, and the fact that this one might actually be legitimate is irrelevant.

Visual Effects

Nominations

Ex Machina

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian

The Revenant

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Winner

One of the things that I actually liked about Star Wars: The Force Awakens is that the special effects were very convincing. The way director J. J. Abrams deployed them was to mix them with live action in such a way to resemble a real, practical shoot. The seamlessness of reality with hyper-reality means that, just because of the attitude taken to it, Star Wars: The Force Awakens should win this one.

Film Editing

Nominations

The big Short

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Revenant

Spotlight

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Winner

The reason Gravity won Film Editing is because of the way it was edited together to create a seamlessness. Most of it was CGI, but those CGI elements were edited to resemble a long take. Editing is about how many cuts are used, but how they’re used. And The Revenant‘s director Alejandro G. Innaritu’s a big fan of long takes. While Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) didn’t win, despite having few visible cuts, The Revenant will probably take home Film Editing, particularly the “bear scene”.

Production Design

Nominations

Bridge of Spies

The Danish Girl

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian

The Revenant

Winner

Potentially, all nominations have a more equalised chance of winning than the nominations of other categories. But production design is tightly-associated with makeup & hairstyling and costume designed. Particularly with makeup & hairstyling, Mad Max: Fury Road and The Revenant are two-thirds of that categories’ nominations. But Mad Max: Fury Road won Best Production Design at the British Academy Film Awards this year, so it’ll likely win the same at the Oscars.

Adapted Screenplay

Nominations

The big Short

Brooklyn

Carol

The Martian

Room

Winner

The big Short is based on a non-fiction novel, which was adapted into a narrative. The other source materials were already narrative-based, so The big Short is the most impressive achievement.

Original Screenplay

Nominations

Bridge of Spies

Ex Machina

Inside Out

Spotlight

Straight Outta Compton

Winner

This is a rather confusing category. The only original screenplays here are Ex Machina and Inside OutBridge of Spies and Spotlight are based on real people, and Straight Outta Compton‘s based on an album. Between Ex Machina and Inside OutInside Out scored better critically and is nominated for Best Animated Feature. So Inside Out will probably take it.

Original Score

Nominations

Bridge of Spies

Carol

The Hateful Eight

Sicario

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Winner

Well, this is going to be another tough one. Some consider Star Wars: The Force Awakens‘ John Williams to be the best composer (even though it’s Murray Gold). But, The Hateful Eight‘s Ennio Morricone is also a classic western composer. It definitely comes down to those two. Best Original Score’s previously been given to Star Wars, but none of its successive films. To be honest, the only memorable track from Star Wars: The Force Awakens is its opening fanfare, which isn’t an original track to that film specifically. So it’ll be The Hateful Eight.

Foreign Language Film

Nominations

Embrace of the Serpent (Spanish/Español: El abrazo de la serpiente)

Mustang (French/français: Mustang)

Sun of Saul (Hungarian/Magyar: Saul Fia)

Theeb (Arabic/العربية :ذيب)

A War (Danish/dansk: Krigen)

Winner

Well, العربية is in Arabic, so the subject matter is probably Oscar bait to begin with.

Directing

Nominations

The big Short

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Revenant

Room

Spotlight

Winner

The Revenant is Innaritu, who won Directing last year for Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), which was mostly down to making a film that tells the Academy what they want to hear: film critics are lazy, comic book films are a “cultural genocide” and real art is in decline. So it’s likely that the Oscars will want to keep licking the hand that feeds them.

Actress in a Leading Role

Nominations

Cate Blanchett as Carol Aird in Carol

Brie Larson as Joy Newsome in Room

Jennifer Lawrence as Joy Mangano in Joy

Charlotte Rampling as Kate Mercer in 45 Years

Saoirse Ronan as Ellis Lacy in Brooklyn

Winner

Well, Blanchett is always nominated. It seems that if Blanchett’s in a film, Blanchett has to be nominated for that film. Lawrence is, contrary to popular belief, a good actor. Ronan deserves it, but Blanchett always takes these things.

Actor in a Leading Role

Nominations

Bryan Cranston as James Trumbo in Trumbo

Matt Damon as Mark Watney in The Martian

Leonardo DiCaprio as Hugh Glass in The Revenant

Michael Fassbender as Steven Jobs in Steve Jobs

Eddie Redmayne as Lili Elvenese (b. Einar Wegener) in The Danish Girl

Winner

Well, Redmayne deserved to win for his performance as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, and a transsexual character is the ultimate transformation that an actor can make, if it’s convincing. But… Redmayne’s also nominated against Fassbender, who’s on this list simply out of the ability to memorise Aaron Sorkin’s dialogue without screwing up. Really, it comes down to this: DiCaprio slept in a hollow log and was deprived of food to fully characterise himself. What more does DiCaprio have to do? I’m telling you – this will be DiCaprio’s year. And it makes me thrilled to be alive just to witness it.

Best Picture

Nominations

The big Short

Bridge of Spies

Brooklyn

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian

The Revanent

Room

Spotlight

Winner

Bridge of Spies is nominated because it’s Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks and Rylance and is about American patriotism. That doesn’t mean it’s Oscar-worthy, however. That goes to Spotlight, a film which exposes the truth: peadophiles are everywhere. They could be in your neighbourhood, even next door. There are some films that transcend their medium to be a well-told story, and Spotlight needs to win simply because people need to know the true history on-which it’s based.

Author: the Purple Prose Mage

I'm not Batman, but I wish that I were.

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