You’ll have to wait until tomorrow for my Super Tuesday predictions – but here are my right-down-to-the-wire Oscar predictions.
Amazingly enough, I’ve actually seen all the Best Picture nominees this year. Not sure that’s ever happened before. I haven’t managed to write much about any of them – I think the only one I properly reviewed was “Room,” though I also reviewed “Carol” which is nominated in a bunch of other categories. I had intended to write a long piece about “Spotlight” and “The Big Short,” and to at least say something about “The Revenant” and “Brooklyn,” each of which I thought was interesting and worth writing about. And perhaps I still will do so – but not before the Oscars.
So: here are my predictions, and my feelings about them.
Sound Mixing: I don’t really have a good idea, so I’m going with “Mad Max, Fury Road,” which I think will clean up in most technical categories. [UPDATE: Got it.]
Sound Editing: Again, “Mad Max, Fury Road,” and I feel a bit more confident about this one than I do about mixing. [UPDATE: Got it.]
Song: The only one I’ve heard is “Simple Song #3” from “Youth,” which I don’t think is going to win, so I’m giving it to Lady Gaga for “‘Til It Happens To You” from “The Hunting Ground.” [UPDATE: I don’t think I was the only one in the audience who was surprised to get this one wrong.]
Score: Of the nominees, I’ve seen “Carol,” “Bridge of Spies” and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Of those three, I vote for “Carol.” [UPDATE: Didn’t see “The Hateful Eight,” so don’t feel bad about not getting this one.]
Visual Effects: “Mad Max, Fury Road.” I will be genuinely upset if they decide to honor “Star War: The Force Awakens” instead. Will be disappointed but not surprised if it goes to “The Revenant” – because that bear was pretty awesome. Will be surprised and pleased if it goes to “Ex Machina” which was marvelous. [UPDATE: I am surprised and pleased!]
Makeup: “Mad Max, Fury Road.” “The Revenant” featured some really impressive wounds, though, so they’ve got a legitimate shot at this one. But “Mad Max” was so creative, I’m pulling for it. [UPDATE: Got it.]
Costume Design: “Carol,” because costumes were such a huge part of the story, and were done so well, and because I think people will want to honor “Carol” somewhere. [UPDATE: I thought “Mad Max” would lose one of these technical awards, just picked the wrong one.]
Production Design: “Mad Max, Fury Road.” It’s kind of crazy if they don’t win this one. [UPDATE: Got it.]
Editing: This is a weird one, because the choices are so different from one another. Arguably, “The Big Short” is a pure creation of editing – but I didn’t like the way it was edited, so I can’t vote for it. In the end, I’m pulling for “Mad Max, Fury Road” once again. [UPDATE: Got it.]
Cinematography: This is going to go to whichever film wins Best Director. So I’m giving it to “Mad Max, Fury Road.” I’ll be pretty bummed if “The Revenant” gets it, even though it was beautifully shot. [UPDATE: Honestly, I’m not bummed. “The Revenant” was gorgeous to look at. It’s a perfectly legitimate win. I just wanted Miller to win for Director and was being spiteful.]
Foreign Film: “Son of Saul,” which I haven’t seen, is supposed to be a lock. So, that. [UPDATE: Got it.]
Documentary Feature: I haven’t seen most of them, but my bet is “Amy” because I think sentiment wins. And also because it would be crazy to give it to “The Look of Silence” after “The Act of Killing,” which may be the best documentary I’ve ever seen, lost out to “Twenty Feet From Stardom,” which was, to be fair, very good. [UPDATE: Got it.]
Animated Film: “Inside/Out” has to win this. But I’m rooting for “Anomalisa” because so weird, right? [UPDATE: Got it.]
Adapted Screenplay: It’s going to “The Big Short,” and on some level that’s deserved because that was such a difficult job. But I’m not convinced the result is a success, and I think “Room,” “The Martian” and “Brooklyn” all also were marvelous adaptations. Heck, I’ll throw in “Carol.” They all deserve awards. [UPDATE: Got it.]
Original Screenplay: It’s going to “Spotlight,” and I’m okay with that. [UPDATE: Got it.]
Supporting Actress: I haven’t seen most of the performances, so this is a pretty ignorant vote. But I’m pulling for Alicia Vikander in “The Danish Girl” because she was so amazing in “Ex-Machina.” [UPDATE: Got it.]
Supporting Actor: I’m rooting for Sylvester Stallone, for “Creed,” partly because he was wonderful, partly because the movie itself was so good (and deserved a Best Picture nomination), and partly because I was less-impressed by Mark Rylance’s turn in “Bridge of Spies” than everybody else seems to have been. [UPDATE: Mark Rylance is a wonderful actor, so I can’t really be too annoyed, but I really don’t get what the big deal was about that particular performance. And both “Creed” and Stallone really earned some love.]
Actress: It’s going to be Brie Larson, for “Room,” and that is richly deserved – which is no knock on Charlotte Rampling, Saoirse Ronan, or Cate Blanchett. (I haven’t seen “Joy,” but I bet Jennifer Lawrence was excellent in it.) [UPDATE: Got it.]
Actor: It’s going to be Leonardo DiCaprio for “The Revenant.” Which is actually fine. [UPDATE: Got it.]
Director: I really want it to be George Miller for “Mad Max: Fury Road.” But I’m betting it’s Alejandro Iñárritu for “The Revenant.” [UPDATE: Unfortunately, got it. I was very happy to see Iñárritu win last year for “Birman,” which I thought was wonderful. But if he deserved to win this year, then George Miller deserved to win more. The weaknesses of their respective movies were very similar. But Miller’s world-building was on a whole other level. “Mad Max” is a very simple story, but it’s a visionary tour-de-force.]
Best Picture: This one is actually quite hard. If I were voting, myself, for the film that had the greatest impact on me, I’d be voting for “Room.” If I were trying to pick the most Oscar-y movie that was also well-made on every level, it’d be “Spotlight.”
But it’s probably going to be “The Revenant.”
[UPDATE: Guess I missed this one – but I’m going to give myself partial credit for saying that “Spotlight” is the film that should win if Oscar was being Oscar, and, indeed, it did.]
And we’ll soon see what the Academy thought.