2016 Oscar Predictions – Best Picture

2016 OSCAR PREDICTIONS: BEST PICTURE

(UPDATED: JULY 9, 2015)

The first half of the year is coming to an end and we still have yet to have a REAL frontrunner in any category.  Surely you can look at films like “Bridge of Spies,” “The Revenant,” and “Steve Jobs” and say they all have a cloud of expectations around them but they’re nothing like previous years when the world sat anxiously awaiting things like “Nine” or “The Aviator” or “War Horse.”  The Weinstein Company looks to have some tricks up their sleeve with films like “Adam Jones” and “Tulip Fever” hitting later in the year.  Buzz is quiet on those.  “The Walk” has been named as the opening film of the New York Film Festival this year.  Based on the past few years, the opener sneaks into some of the major races (“Captain Phillips”) but it then there are those that don’t QUITE do the trick (“Gone Girl”).  You never know with Robert Zemeckis.  There’s still plenty of year left and not much to go on.  Summer is fully underway.  Get ready for more festival announcements.

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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. "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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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. "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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5. "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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NEXT IN LINE (IN CASE THERE’S TEN)

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6. "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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7. "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.
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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. "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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10. "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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OTHER TOP-TIER CONTENDERS

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11. "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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12. "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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13. "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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14. "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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15. "Freeheld"

Lionsgate
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The writer of "Philadelphia" penning something for Julianne Moore and Ellen Page. The film sounds like so great and perhaps it provides a narrative for Moore to win a second Oscar in a row?
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16. "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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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).
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18. "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.
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19. "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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20. "The Program"

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).
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ALSO IN CONTENTION

21 “Youth” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

22 “MacBeth” (The Weinstein Company)

23 “Mad Max: Fury Road” (Warner Bros.)

24 “Inside Out” (Pixar)

25 “Everest” (Universal Pictures)

26 “Bleed for This” (Open Road)

27 “Snowden” (Open Road)

28 “A Bigger Splash” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

29 “Sicario” (Lionsgate)

30 “Spotlight” (Open Road)

OTHER CONTENDERS

31 “Everybody Wants Some” (Paramount Pictures)

32 “Adam Jones” (The Weinstein Company)

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

34 “Spectre” (Sony Pictures)

35 “Truth” (Sony Pictures Classics)

36 “Tulip Fever” (The Weinstein Company)

37 “Me & Earl & the Dying Girl” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

38 “Money Monster” (Sony Pictures)

39 “Love and Mercy” (Roadside Attractions)

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

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41. “Creed” (The Weinstein Company) || 42. “The Last Face” (No U.S. Distribution)** || 43. “The Light Between the Oceans” (No U.S. Distribution)** || 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. “The 33″ (Alcon Entertainment)** || 50. “Grandma” (Open Road) ||

**=could be pushed 2016

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