2016 Oscar Predictions – Best Picture

2016 OSCAR PREDICTIONS: BEST PICTURE

(UPDATED: SEPTEMBER 4, 2015)

We have new found contenders in “Spotlight,” “Beasts of No Nation,” and to a smaller extent, “Everest.”  We await the first words (at this time of writing) on films like “Steve Jobs,” “Room,” “The Martian,” and more.  “Bridge of Spies” is playing for the long game while “The Revenant” is starting to look like something that can come in 2016.  “Miles Ahead” can also move if Sony Pictures Classics has other things up their sleeves.

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AND THE PREDICTED NOMINEES ARE

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1. "Bridge of Spies"

Walt Disney Pictures
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COMMENTARY:
There are many things that keep this near the top until further notice. Disney's relentless campaign strategies, Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks at the helm, a dynamite technical team, and a war film (a genre that Oscar loves.) It also has a very friendly Oscar release in the middle of October. NYFF World Premiere.
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2. "The Revenant"

20th Century Fox
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COMMENTARY:
"Birdman" won Best Picture last year with Inarritu helming it. This is the closest thing we have to an Oscar frontrunner even though its still shooting at this time of writing. Its said it will not be playing at any film festivals which should keep expectations curbed (or skyrocket). Will it be a last minute push back?
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3. "The Danish Girl"

Focus Features
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Tom Hooper is back and teamed up with the recently crowned Eddie Redmayne in a film that spills its Oscar bait all over the Dolby Theatre. Focus Features is already very excited to get it out this year and reap the benefits. TIFF entry. First trailer brought lots of excitement.
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4. "Steve Jobs"

Universal Pictures
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Danny Boyle teamed up with Aaron Sorkin, telling the story about Steve Jobs seems all too perfect. With a great cast in tow, will it live up to the hype. There may also be some unfair comparisons to "The Social Network" down the line. Telluride and NYFF play.
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5. "Carol"

The Weinstein Company
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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."

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NEXT IN LINE (IN CASE THERE’S TEN)

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6. "The Hateful Eight"

The Weinstein Company
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Tarantino fans will ban together to try to ensure this happens for Tarantino, especially following the script leak controversy. Once again though, he'll be under the wire to finish the film before the end of the year. Will the film suffer? Harvey backing helps regardless and the cast is super fun including Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Bruce Dern, and more. First trailer gave hope.
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7. "Brooklyn"

Fox Searchlight Pictures
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With Fox Searchlight moving films like "Demolition" and "A Bigger Splash" to 2016, they seemed to positioning this well-received Sundance film as their pony. It's playing on lots of the fall festival circuit. It may be a push.
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8. "In the Heart of the Sea"

Warner Bros.
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Ron Howard is back with a big scale epic. The marketing and anticipation for the film has already began (and it comes out at 12/11/15). This year's "Life of Pi" perhaps?
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9. "Beasts of No Nation"

Netflix
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This is a new animal to the awards race and could potentially change the movie landscape. Its a question if the Academy will embrace it or not? The Venice word was positive.
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10. "Joy"

20th Century Fox
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David O. Russell is an Academy favorite at this point. Since they went heavy on him last time around, this will definitely be on his radar and it stars Jennifer Lawrence. Default for now.

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OTHER TOP-TIER CONTENDERS

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11. "Miles Ahead"**

Sony Pictures Classics
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This passion project for Don Cheadle landed the high-profile closing spot at NYFF. Sony Pictures Classics picked it up soon after. You have to assume there's a big chance that its a huge player.
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12. "Spotlight"

Open Road
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Tom McCarthy started the year off rough with "The Cobbler" but the word on his film that focuses on sexual abuse in the Catholic church has people buzzing.
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13. "By the Sea"

Universal Pictures
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The teaser made it look promising and it landed the opening slot at AFI. Can Angelina Jolie Pitt redeem herself after "Unbroken" was met with lukewarm notices?
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14. "I Saw the Light"

Sony Pictures Classics
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The story of Hank Williams has been long overdue to come into cinema form. Sony Pictures Classics is a good studio, with a great Oscar track record, to get something like this in front of the right audiences. It'll also help that megastar Tom Hiddleston will help get butts in the seats.
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15. "The Walk"

Sony Pictures
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Chosen as the opener of the New York Film Festival. That should give some confidence that this is a player in some categories. Could it kick its award run off there? We have to wait and see. Sony backing.
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16. "Sicario"

Lionsgate
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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.
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17. "The Martian"

20th Century Fox
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Ridley Scott taking on science fiction again. The source material suggests an opportunity for him to knock it out of the park. Because it follows "Gravity" and "Interstellar," could it just be considered a copycat by comparison? Trailer looked unique enough (though it revealed SOOOO much). Also, TIFF premiere? They must believe.
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18. "Youth"

Fox Searchlight Pictures
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A hit out of Cannes with two awesome veteran actors, who are said to deliver outstanding performances. Could be that smaller film that sneaks in. Director Paolo Sorrentino has an Oscar for "The Great Beauty." He's in the club.
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19. "Genius"**

Lionsgate
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This biopic about Max Perkins, the editor that oversaw the works of Ernest Hemingway, Thomas Wolfe, and F. Scott Fitzgerald, has had my interest for sometime. With it picking up distribution now from Lionsgate, who has a very strong slate for this year, it could be one of Oscar's no brainers.
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20. "Mad Max: Fury Road"

Warner Bros.
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It's still one of the best reviewed films of the year. Critics *should* give it a few citations along with the way when precursors start getting handed out. It's a long shot, but its in the conversation. George Miller helps too.
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ALSO IN CONTENTION

21 “Suffragette” (Focus Features)

22 “Trumbo” (Bleecker Street)

23 “Our Brand is Crisis” (Warner Bros.)

24 “Truth” (Sony Pictures Classics)

25 “The Good Dinosaur” (Pixar)

26 “Inside Out” (Pixar)

27 “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” (Walt Disney Pictures)

28 “Straight Outta Compton” (Universal Pictures)

29 “Everest” (Universal Pictures)

30 “Snowden” (Open Road)

OTHER CONTENDERS

31 “Love & Mercy” (Roadside Attractions)

32 “Black Mass” (Warner Bros.)

33 “Grandma” (Sony Pictures Classics)

34 “MacBeth” (The Weinstein Company)

35 “Burnt” (The Weinstein Company)

36 “Spectre” (Sony Pictures)

37 “Room” (A24)

38 “Son of Saul” (Sony Pictures Classics)

39 “99 Homes” (Broad Green Pictures)

40 “The 33” (Warner Bros.)

 

**=could be pushed 2016

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