2016 Oscar Predictions – Best Picture
2016 OSCAR PREDICTIONS: BEST PICTURE
(UPDATED: NOVEMBER 25, 2015)
We are in the final stretch of the year with “The Revenant” screening for DGA, AMPAS, and critics. The consensus flying around is that its a contender. “The Hateful Eight” and “Joy” are next with a wildcard possibility for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” for a late surge.
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AND THE PREDICTED NOMINEES ARE
1. "Spotlight" Open Road Films
Telluride and Venice launched the film off in a big way and was one of the runners-up for the People's Choice award at TIFF. Tom McCarthy is a previous nominee and the film has the angle of capturing the journalistic view which many could respect. Can Open Road really compete with the bigger studios with deeper pockets? The box office is telling us that it can.
2. "The Revenant" 20th Century Fox
Alejandro G. Inarritu is coming off winning three Oscars last year for "Birdman" and this highly anticipated revenge drama could wet their whistles once again. It should be said, no director has ever directed back-to-back Best Picture wins. He has 87 years of history stacked up against him. Also, production problem rumors and getting it in under the gun could spell some trouble. Not to mention, a later release in the year.
3. "Bridge of Spies" Walt Disney Pictures
Steven Spielberg is revered in the Academy. The reviews were solidly in favor of the film's uplifting and straight-forward demeanor however, the "passion" isn't really palpable at the moment. Will Spielberg be able to come on top when his last film "Lincoln," which was loved by more, couldn't muster the top prize?
4. "Room" A24 Films
The film is unanimously loved by critics and audiences, capturing the heartstrings along the way. A smaller venture that could make a play for the big award if enough passion rallies behind it during the precursors.
5. "Brooklyn" Fox Searchlight Pictures
Debuting at Sundance in January 2015, there was no telling the passion that the film would gain from supporters. NYFF was probably its biggest lovefest yet and it continues to grow. A dark horse for Fox Searchlight, the two-time Oscar champ at the moment.
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6. "The Martian" 20th Century Fox
The film has exceeded expectations, bringing not only overwhelming positive marks but four weeks of big box office numbers. Ridley Scott is well respected and this could be an avenue for an overdue card to be played. Does the film ignite a lot of passion for voters? That waits to be seen.
7. "Inside Out" Pixar
Animated features like "Toy Story 3" and "Up" found their way into the Best Picture category but those were in years of the "straight ten." On a sliding scale, it's difficult to know if AMPAS will feel inclined to put this near the top of their ballots. Pixar is a strong machine and they'll be pushing for it but who knows how it will fair by the year's end. The hunt is on.
8. "Carol" The Weinstein Company
The reviews at the Cannes Film Festival were very kind to this Todd Haynes film about two women who fall in love. With an outstanding cast that includes two-time Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett, Oscar-nominee Rooney Mara, Kyle Chandler, and Sarah Paulson, this could be Haynes' makeup after missing out for gems like "Far from Heaven" and "I'm Not There." Independent Spirit Awards went big for it.
9. "Son of Saul" Sony Pictures Classics
A foreign entry in Best Picture, with this slate seems ballsy but you have no idea how many people LOVE "Son of Saul" when they see it on the festival circuit. Could be a dark horse that comes true. SPC believes in it.
10. "Anomalisa" Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures is backing this critically beloved film that debuted at Telluride. Could is join Pixar as an Animated Feature/Best Picture nominee? Charlie Kaufman films are well liked. 100% so far on Rotten Tomatoes shows support. But that December 30th release? Is that too little too late?
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11. "The Danish Girl" Focus Features
Starting off strong at Toronto, Hooper's film proved to be another divisive take for the Oscar-winning director. Focus Features backing will keep it naturally in the conversation. Good thing going for it is that the tech branches may fall over themselves in categories like Cinematography, Costumes, Makeup, etc.. It may have overall guild support to last. It needs a revival soon though.
12. "The Hateful Eight" The Weinstein Company
It's hard to go by a test screening report but the first one says its over 3 hours with overture and intermission. That sounds both amazing and dreadful. Not sure which one they'll go for.
13. "Joy" 20th Century Fox
David O. Russell is an Academy favorite at this point, pulling in three Best Picture nominations for his last three features. Test screenings have occurred, getting mixed word on the other side, which is always difficult to gauge. How will Fox handle three seemingly strong Best Picture players during the season? That's the real hiccup.
14. "Steve Jobs" Universal Pictures
Telluride and NYFF gave it a formidable launching pad into the season but the box office has been minimal. When critics started weighing in, it wasn't as strong as it once looked. It's a 50/50 shot with Academy voters. They could all in or we could have another surprise a la "Inside Llewyn Davis" on our hands where it falls apart near the finish line.
15. "Straight Outta Compton" Universal Pictures
Given the subject matter, this doesn't seem like something that Oscar would normally go for, and history is certainly not on its side. However, in a year where a film like this dominated the box office, with strong reviews intact, "Straight Outta Compton" presents a unique opportunity for the new, younger, and more the overall level-headed AMPAS members to rally behind in a film that brings depth in culture. The fight is real from Universal so watch out.
16. "Black Mass" Warner Bros.
With Johnny Depp in the hunt for his first Academy Award, a Best Picture nomination alongside a Best Actor nod is almost always synonymous. Academy members are loving it and people are still buzzing about. Seems like a late guild surge in the making.
17. "Mad Max: Fury Road" Warner Bros.
If there's a film that the critics awards can do plenty good for its George Miller's outstanding dystopian thriller. The tech branches will have plenty to chew on and the director's branch will have plenty to consider in the form of George Miller. Warner Bros. feels the urge to push and should continue that venture. Is it a dark horse?
18. "The Big Short" Paramount Pictures
Late entries can often do some damage in the big race and with Paramount Pictures backing, this "Wolf of Wall Street" type looks like it could charm. Is it too late in December?
19. "Sicario" Lionsgate
This smart and dark thriller emulates films like "Traffic," "No Country for Old Men," and more. If AMPAS is in the mood for this type of gritty look at drug trafficking, then it's a no-brainer. Otherwise, techs are its best bet.
20. "Youth" Fox Searchlight Pictures
Fox Searchlight backing a film that could heavily appeal to the older demographic of Academy members. The film also stands a good chance at three acting nominations which would show strong support from the acting branch.
**=could be pushed 2016
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