Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.

These Oscars could make history

As the race to Best Picture enters its final stretch, Tom Shone makes his final predictions 

 

Tom Shone | February 26th 2016

Enough mealy-mouthed prevarication. After an Oscar season whose Best Picture race has turned into a genuine nail-biter, it’s time to put down in all 24 categories. Let’s take them in descending order of certainty, with the most certain first: Leonardo DiCaprio for Best Actor for “The Revenant” and Brie Larson for Best Actress for “Room”. The pair’s momentum has not slackened since the awards season began DiCaprio’s long hard slog of a performance echoing his long hard slog towards an Oscar. Likewise, Larson’s seal-like flexibility in “Room” has not given any ground to Saoirse Ronan’s subtler work in“Brooklyn”, so expect her to win easily. 

The acting categories are a little lacking in imagination this year – you can tell from how calm the races are. Fairly or not, Sylvester Stallone has had a lock on the old-geezer vote for months for his supporting role in “Creed”. If there is going to be an upset in the acting categories on the night, it could well be Kate Winslet besting Alicia Vikander for Best Supporting Actress – Winslet won the award at both the Screen Actors Guild and BAFTA for the way she lent guts to the windy talkathon “Steve Jobs”. But those old goats at the Academy like to reward ingénues in this category so I expect Vikander to win for the better-liked film, “The Danish Girl”. 

The rest of the evening will turn largely on how evenly the Academy will divvy up the spoils between their two favorites, George Miller’s “Mad Max: Fury Road” and Alejandro González Iñárritu’s “The Revenant”. “Mad Max” stands a chance of winning Editing, Sound Editing, Production Design, Make-Up, Costumes and Visual Effects – the craft awards, basically. It could lose Costume, though, to veteran British seamstress Sandy Powell for her exquisite work in “Carol” – the Academy typically prefer to go period in this category. Another tough contest will be for Visual Effects, in which “Max” goes up against the box-office juggernaut “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”. The urge to reward J.J. Abrams will be strong, and a vote for Miller’s film in this category slightly undermines its claim to authenticity – its action sequences were the work of stuntmen not computers – so I’m giving it, by a whisker, to Abrams. 

The Script awards usually tie in to Best Picture in some way, but as the film that I think is going to win this year’s Best Picture is largely silent, they will likely be split between the two other Best Picture contenders, “The Big Short” and “Spotlight”, by way of a runner-up prize.  That clears a nice path for “The Revenant” to put together a medium-sized sweep of five or six: one or both of the sound awards, Best Cinematographer, Best Actor, Best Director – and Best Picture. Iñárritu’s film has critics, audiences and, going into the home stretch, the momentum.  It’s the most muscular piece of film-making of 2015. The urge to make history and give Iñárritu back-to-back wins (after last year’s victory with “Birdman”) feels irresistible.

But it’ll be close, even if it sweeps. What’s going to lend Sunday night some suspense is that most of the categories you might normally use as Best Picture bellwethers (Editing, Script, Score) are, for various reasons, not expected to go to “The Revenant”, which means that its triumph, if it comes, will be late, sudden and decisive. “As long as you can still grab a breath, you fight,” says DiCaprio’s Hugh Glass in the film. Doubtless that will be Iñárritu’s motto for the evening. 

 BEST PICTURE
Will Win: The Revenant
Could Win: Spotlight
Should Win: The Revenant

BEST DIRECTOR
Will Win: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Could Win: George Miller
Should Win: Alejandro González Iñárritu

BEST ACTOR
Will Win: Leonardo DiCaprio
Could Win: —
Should Win: Bryan Cranston (Trumbo)

BEST ACTRESS
Will Win: Brie Larson
Could Win: —
Should Win: Saoirse Ronan

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Will Win: Sylvester Stallone
Could Win: Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies)
Should Win: Mark Rylance

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Will Win: Alicia Vikander
Could Win: Kate Winslet
Should Win: Rooney Mara (Carol)

BEST ORIGINAL SCRIPT
Will Win: Spotlight
Could Win: —
Should Win: Spotlight

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Will Win: The Big Short
Could Win: Room
Should Win: Carol

BEST EDITING
Will Win: Mad Max: Fury Road
Could Win: The Big Short
Should Win: Mad Max: Fury Road

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Will Win: The Revenant
Could Win: Mad Max: Fury Road
Should Win: The Revenant

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Will Win: The Hateful Eight
Could Win: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Should Win: Carol

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Will Win: Inside Out
Could Win: —
Should Win: Inside Out

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Will Win: Son of Saul
Could Win: —
Should Win: Son of Saul

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Will Win: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Could Win: Mad Max: Fury Road
Should Win: Mad Max: Fury Road

BEST SOUND MIXING
Will Win: The Revenant
Could Win: Mad Max: Fury Road
Should Win: The Revenant

BEST SOUND EDITING
Will Win: Mad Max: Fury Road 
Could Win: The Revenant
Should Win: The Revenant

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Will Win: Mad Max: Fury Road
Could Win: Carol
Should Win: Mad Max: Fury Road

BEST MAKE-UP
Will Win: Mad Max: Fury Road
Could Win: —
Should Win: Mad Max: Fury Road

BEST COSTUMES
Will Win: Carol
Could Win: Cinderella
Should Win:  Carol

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
Will Win: The Hunting Ground
Could Win: Spectre
Should Win: The Hunting Ground

BESY DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Will Win: Amy
Could Win: The Look of Silence
Should Win: The Look of Silence

BEST ANIMATED SHORT
Will Win: World of Tomorrow
Could Win: Sunjay’s Super Team
Should Win: World of Tomorrow

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT
Will Win: Shok
Could Win: Ave Maria
Should Win: Ave Maria

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT  
Will Win: Body Team 12
Could Win: Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah
Should Win: Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah

Readers' comments

Sign in or Create your account to join the discussion.