2016 OSCAR PREDICTIONS: BEST PICTURE
(UPDATED: MARCH 5, 2015)
There is plenty to look forward to in 2015. Pixar is back with two entries and assuming that we keep the trend of history-making choices by the Academy, I’m going with an Animated Feature film finally winning Best Picture. “The Good Dinosaur” looks and sounds like something that will runaway with the hearts of movie-goers. I believe that we’re close to an animated film being fully embraced in that way. Besides that, we have standard pics to get excited for. “The Revenant” will bring Alejandro G. Inarritu back to the fray just after winning big for “Birdman.” Gus Van Sant is back in the hunt with “The Sea of Trees,” as the film will look for distribution this year. Angelina Jolie’s “By the Sea” looks like something special, though at the moment, I have it being our new Best Picture nominee with nothing else for it (you can be ballsy this early out). Ridley Scott looks to recapture the essence of his former self with the adaptation of “The Martian” with Matt Damon and Jessica Chastain. Steven Spielberg is teaming with Tom Hanks again for “St. James Place.” “Brooklyn” by John Crowley received stellar notices out of Sundance and looks like an exceptional vehicle for Fox Searchlight again and its star Saoirse Ronan. Todd Haynes is back on the Weinstein team with “Carol” and a stellar cast that includes Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, and Sarah Paulson. Cary Fukanaga will dive in with “Beasts of No Nation” while Danny Boyle is back with the Aaron Sorkin-scripted “Steve Jobs” with Michael Fassbender. Look for Richard Linklater to rebound off his “Boyhood” loss with “That’s What I’m Talking About” and Jean-Marc Vallee is with Jake Gyllenhaal on “Demolition.”
Looking at studio strength this far out, 20th Century Fox and the Weinstein Company look like solid bets to run the gauntlet this year. Warner Bros. will have “In the Heart of the Sea” by Ron Howard and “Black Mass” by Scott Cooper.” One year after “Fury” failed to deliver for Sony Pictures, they’ll be back in the hunt with “Concussion” starring Will Smith, the next James Bond film “Spectre,” Cameron Crowe’s latest “Aloha,” and “Money Monster” by two-time Oscar-winning actress Jodie Foster.
Political messages will be abound this year as well. “Truth” starring Robert Redford as Tom Brokaw is sure to turn some heads. “Snowden” with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and directed by Oliver Stone has the makings of something substantial, especially with a Christmas Day release.
The “overdue” veterans are out in full force. David O. Russell is lending his hand to “Joy” with Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper. Quentin Tarantino will look for his first Best Picture and Director Oscars with “The Hateful Eight,” a vehicle perhaps for Kurt Russell, Michael Madsen, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Samuel L. Jackson. We failed to get a woman in Best Director this year with Ava DuVernay, so maybe the Academy will look to Oscar-nominee Courtney Hunt this year for “The Whole Truth.” The Sundance hit “The Diary of a Teenage Girl” was praised for its direction by Marielle Heller.
Let’s not forget a mention for Sean Penn’s “The Last Face,” Justin Kurzel’s “MacBeth” Antoine Fuqua’s “Southpaw,” and John Hillcoat’s “Triple Nine.” There are countless others to mention but this is just a starting point. Let’s look forward to an outstanding year.
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AND THE PREDICTED NOMINEES ARE
1. The Good DinosaurPixar
2. The Revenant20th Century Fox
3. Sea of TreesNo U.S. Distribution
4. BrooklynFox Searchlight Pictures
5. CarolThe Weinstein Company
NEXT IN LINE
6. A Bridge of SpiesWalt Disney Pictures
7. By the SeaUniversal Pictures
8. Irrational ManSony Pictures Classics
9. Beasts of No NationFocus Features
10. The Hateful EightThe Weinstein Company
OTHER TOP-TIER CONTENDERS
11. Mr. HolmesRoadside Attractions
12. Black MassUniversal Pictures
13. GeniusNo U.S. Distribution
14. TruthNo U.S. Distribution
15. Steve JobsUniversal Pictures
16. That's What I'm Talking AboutParamount Pictures
17. IconNo U.S. Distribution
18. In the Heart of the SeaWarner Bros.
19. Me & Earl & the Dying GirlFox Searchlight Pictures
**=could be pushed 2016
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