2016 Oscar Predictions – Best Picture

2016 OSCAR PREDICTIONS: BEST PICTURE

(UPDATED: MAY 18, 2015)

Cannes Film Festival is underway with Gus Van Sant’s “The Sea of Trees” getting pummeled by critics and Woody Allen’s “Irrational Man” received so-so notices along the way.  Some newer films have been added to the mix from the Weinstein Company including “Tulip Fever” and a possible late entry this year with Warren Beatty’s still untitled film about Howard Hughes, which still has no distributor.  As expected by any of us who believe in Todd Haynes, “Carol” has showed itself to be a formidable contender in the top categories.  Before you know it, we’re in the summer and Venice and Telluride will be right around the corner.

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AND THE PREDICTED NOMINEES ARE

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1. The Revenant

20th Century Fox
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One year after scoring big with the Academy for "Birdman," Alejandro G. Inarritu is back and teamed up with Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy in a seemingly dark but intriguing film about a man who hunts the men who left him for dead after he's mauled by a bear.
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2. 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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3. Bridge of Spies

Walt Disney Pictures
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Steven Spielberg is always in contention for every film he's helming. Disney will always have their best foot forward when pushing one of their big projects. Tom Hanks stars with a great cast that includes Alan Alda, Amy Ryan, and Billy Magnusen.
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4. 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 already seems very excited to get it out this year and reap the benefits.
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5. 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.

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NEXT IN LINE (IN CASE THERE’S TEN)

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6. Brooklyn

Fox Searchlight Pictures
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The past few years have yielded an highly regarded Sundance film in the Oscar conversation. The word for it and its stars are great.
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7. 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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8. Suffragette

Focus Features
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Focus Features bringing this tale to the screen and there's been word since last year that its something special. Dark horse?
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9. Demolition

Fox Searchlight Pictures
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Relationship/family dramas have popped up every now and again with the Academy. This one with director Jean-Marc Vallee and stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Naomi Watts. Could be a dark horse?
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10. The Good Dinosaur

Pixar
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Is Pixar back in the hunt again? Some people (and rightfully so based on early production trouble) see "Inside Out" as the pony for the race this year. Things can change on a dime with a November release.

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OTHER TOP-TIER CONTENDERS

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11. Black Mass

Universal Pictures
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Scott Cooper is gaining admirers along the way with films like "Crazy Heart" and "Out of the Furnace" though the remain a bit divisive. This Whitey Bulger film could be his chance to breakout in a big way.------------------------SYNOPSIS: The true story of Whitey Bulger, the brother of a state senator and the most infamous violent criminal in the history of South Boston, who became an FBI informant to take down a Mafia family invading his turf.
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12. Freeheld

Lionsgate
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The writer of "Philadelphia" penning something for Julianne Moore and Ellen Page. The film sounds like so much fun and perhaps it provides a narrative for Moore to win a second Oscar in a row?-------------------------SYNOPSIS: New Jersey car mechanic Stacie Andree and her police detective girlfriend Laurel Hester both battle to secure Hester's pension benefits after she was diagnosed with a terminal illness.
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13. 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.------------------------SYNOPSIS: His passion and ingenuity have been the driving force behind the digital age. However his drive to revolutionize technology was sacrificial. Ultimately it affected his family life and possibly his health. In this revealing film we explore the trials and triumphs of a modern day genius, Steven Paul Jobs.
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14. Icon

No U.S. Distribution**
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The long-awaited Lance Armstrong film directed by Stephen Frears, an Academy favorite and starring Ben Foster (way overdue for Oscar love).-------------------SYNOPSIS:An Irish sports journalist becomes convinced that Lance Armstrong's performances during the Tour de France victories are fueled by banned substances. With this conviction, he starts hunting for evidence that will expose Armstrong.
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15. 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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16. By the Sea

Universal Pictures
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Angelina Jolie may have had an admiral misfire with "Unbroken" but people are noticing and anticipating her abilities as a director. This drama with hubby Brad Pitt sounds like something that could land her in the big leagues. Sounds like elements of Harold Pinter's "Betrayal" (my favorite play BTW).
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17. Joy

20th Century Fox
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David O. Russell is a hot commodity with Oscar and for his actors. He's in talks until proven otherwise. This seemingly dramatic telling of Joy Magano, the entrepreneur that created the Miracle Mop, will have many watching just on its cast alone.
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18. A Bigger Splash

Fox Searchlight Pictures
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There can often be a quirky choice from out of nowhere that takes on the crowd. From the director of "I Am Love," Tilda Swinton, Ralph Fiennes, Matthias Schoenaerts, and Dakota Johnson star.
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19. I Saw the Light

Sony Pictures Classics
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Call it a wildcard. Sony Pictures Classics picked up this film about Hank Williams and could be the biopic of the year with Tom Hiddleston and Elizabeth Olsen.
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20. Southpaw

The Weinstein Company
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Though the trailer disgustingly gave away everything about the film's plot and motivations, Weinstein has spoken very high about the film and its chances in the race this year. Could be the summer hit that does damage a la "The Help."
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ALSO IN CONTENTION

21 Truth (No U.S. Distribution)**

22 Spotlight (Open Road)

23 Mr. Holmes (Roadside Attractions)

24 MacBeth (The Weinstein Company)

25 That’s What I’m Talking About (Paramount Pictures)

26 Me & Earl & the Dying Girl (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

27 Snowden (Open Road)

28 Inside Out (Pixar)

29 The Last Face (No U.S. Distribution)**

30 The Martian (20th Century Fox)

OTHER CONTENDERS

31 Sicario (Lionsgate)

32 The Light Between Oceans (No U.S. Distribution)

33 Youth (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

34 Tulip Fever (The Weinstein Company)

35 Spectre (Sony Pictures)

36 Everest (Universal Pictures)

37 Money Monster (Sony Pictures)

38 Beasts of No Nation (Netflix)

39 Adam Jones (The Weinstein Company)

40 Our Brand is Crisis (Warner Bros.)

41. Mad Max: Fury Road (Warner Bros.) || 42. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Walt Disney) || 43. Ricki and the Flash (TriStar Pictures) || 44. Triple 9 (Open Road) || 45. The Whole Truth (No U.S. Distribution)** || 46. Concussion (Sony Pictures) || 47. Midnight Special (Warner Bros.) || 48. Mississippi Grind (A24 Films) || 49. Untitled Warren Beatty/Howard Hughes Film (No U.S. Distribution)** || 50. The 33 (Alcon Entertainment) ||

**=could be pushed 2016

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