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“Spotlight”: Another September look at Oscar predictions

spotlight michael keaton mark ruffalo
My oh my how things can change! Just a few weeks ago, I put up Oscar predictions for September that I thought I was pretty confident in. Alas, nothing stays the same, so now I’m back with an updated look at what the Academy Award nominations could look like. I’m going to two a month from now on, with potentially one a week by the end of the season, but right now, it’s time to get serious. You’ll notice a bunch of changes in the predictions, mostly spurred on by having seen some of the contenders, a few of which are now pretenders, quite honestly. That’s the name of the game though, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise to either you or me. On my end, I’m just still trying to get a feel for the race. What you’ll see today reflects a more realistic look at the field than before, so there’s that as well. It’ll get updated again next month, obviously, but for now…this is it.

The main thing to notice below is my new winner. Having seen Spotlight, which is a masterpiece, I honestly think it could go all the way. The film will be among the most beloved this year, has important subject matter, sharp direction by Tom McCarthy, and incredibly acting, especially from Michael Keaton as well as Mark Ruffalo, the latter giving the performance of the year so far. I could easily see it winning Best Picture, as it is undeniably the frontrunner at this point. You’ll also notice me backing off of Our Brand is Crisis completely and settling in on a new middle ground for The Martian, as well as placing The Big Short in the running for things in a bunch of categories. Things have been tinkered with all around, but there will be more done soon enough, so stay tuned…

Here now is how I see the Academy Award nominations going down, as of today:

BEST PICTURE

1. Spotlight
2. Bridge of Spies
3. Steve Jobs
4. The Revenant
5. Carol
6. The Hateful Eight
7. Brooklyn
8. The Martian
9. Room
10. Joy

Next in line: 11. The Danish Girl 12. The Light Between Oceans (possible 2016 release) 13. Inside Out 14. The Big Short 15. Truth 16. Beasts of No Nation 17. Sicario 18. Miles Ahead (possible 2016 release) 19. Our Brand is Crisis 20. The Walk 21. By the Sea 22. Macbeth 23. Suffragette 24. The End of the Tour 25. In the Heart of the Sea 26. Trainwreck 27. Freeheld 28. Son of Saul 29. Anomalisa 30. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

BEST DIRECTOR

1. Tom McCarthy – Spotlight
2. Danny Boyle – Steve Jobs
3. Steven Spielberg – Bridge of Spies
4. Todd Haynes – Carol
5. Alejandro G. Iñárritu – The Revenant

Next in line: 6. Ridley Scott – The Martian 7. David O. Russell – Joy 8. Quentin Tarantino – The Hateful Eight 9. John Crowley – Brooklyn 10. Derek Cianfrance – The Light Between Oceans (possible 2016 release) 11. Tom Hooper – The Danish Girl 12. Lenny Abrahamson – Room 13. Cary Fukunaga – Beasts of No Nation 14. Adam McKay – The Big Short 15. George Miller – Mad Max: Fury Road 16. Angelina Jolie – By the Sea 17. Robert Zemeckis – The Walk 18. Don Cheadle – Miles Ahead (possible 2016 release) 19. Ron Howard – In the Heart of the Sea. 20. David Gordon Green – Our Brand is Crisis

BEST ACTOR

1. Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant
2. Michael Fassbender – Steve Jobs
3. Eddie Redmayne – The Danish Girl
4. Tom Hanks – Bridge of Spies
5. Matt Damon – The Martian

Next in line: 6. Johnny Depp – Black Mass 7. Joseph Gordon-Levitt – The Walk 8. Steve Carell – The Big Short 9. Don Cheadle – Miles Ahead (possible 2016 release) 10. Jake Gyllenhaal – Southpaw 11. Paul Dano – Love & Mercy (Could go Supporting) 12. Jason Segel – The End of the Tour (Could go Supporting) 13. Tom Hiddleston – I Saw the Light 14. Bryan Cranston – Trumbo 15. Michael Caine – Youth 16. Bradley Cooper – Burnt 17. Christian Bale – The Big Short (Could go Supporting) 18. Robert Redford – Truth (Could go Supporting) 19. Brad Pitt – By the Sea 20. Abraham Atta – Beasts of No Nation

BEST ACTRESS

1. Jennifer Lawrence – Joy
2. Saoirse Ronan – Brooklyn
3. Cate Blanchett – Carol or Truth
4. Alicia Vikander – The Danish Girl
5. Brie Larson – Room

Next in line: 6. Lily Tomlin – Grandma 7. Sandra Bullock – Our Brand is Crisis 8. Carey Mulligan – Suffragette 9. Emily Blunt – Sicario 10. Blythe Danner – I’ll See You in My Dreams 11. Angelina Jolie – By the Sea 12. Marion Cotillard – MacBeth 13. Julianne Moore – Freehold (Could go Supporting) 14. Juliette Binoche – Clouds of Sils Maria 15. Charlotte Rampling – 45 Years 16. Amy Schumer – Trainwreck 17. Meryl Streep – Ricki and the Flash 18. Olivia Wilde – Meadowland 19. Charlize Theron – Mad Max: Fury Road (Could go Supporting) 20. Melissa McCarthy – Spy

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

1. Mark Ruffalo – Spotlight
2. Bruce Dern – The Hateful Eight
3. Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies
4. Idris Elba – Beasts of No Nation
5. Seth Rogen – Steve Jobs

Next in line: 6. Kurt Russell – The Hateful Eight 7. Michael Keaton – Spotlight 8. Tom Hardy – The Revenant 9. Joel Edgerton – Black Mass 10. Ryan Gosling – The Big Short 11. Sam Elliot – Grandma 12. John Cusack – Love & Mercy (Could go Lead) 13. Bradley Cooper – Joy 14. Benicio del Toro – Sicario 15. Samuel L. Jackson – The Hateful Eight 16. Michael Shannon – 99 Homes 17. Harvey Keitel – Youth 18. Jeff Daniels – Steve Jobs 19. Emory Cohen – Brooklyn 20. Billy Bob Thornton – Our Brand is Crisis

Michael Keaton – Spotlight (Could go Supporting)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

1. Rooney Mara – Carol
2. Jennifer Jason Leigh – The Hateful Eight
3. Kate Winslet – Steve Jobs
4. Rachel McAdams – Spotlight
5. Kristen Stewart – Clouds of Sils Maria

Next in line: 6. Elizabeth Banks – Love & Mercy 7. Jessica Chastain – The Martian 8. Zoe Kazan – Our Brand is Crisis 9. Sarah Paulson – Carol 10. Melanie Laurent – By the Sea 11. Ellen Page – Freeheld (Could go Lead) 12. Joan Allen – Room 13. Helena Bonham Carter – Suffragette 14. Rachel Weisz – The Light Between Oceans (possible 2016 release) 15. Amy Ryan – Bridge of Spies 16. Cynthia Nixon – James White 17. Meryl Streep – Suffragette 18. Katherine Waterston – Steve Jobs 19. Melissa Leo – The Big Short 20. Elizabeth Olsen – I Saw the Light

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

1. Spotlight
2. Inside Out
3. Joy
4. The Hateful Eight
5. Trainwreck

Next in line: 6. Grandma 7. Bridge of Spies 8. Sicario 9. Miles Ahead (possible 2016 release) 10. Love & Mercy 11. Ex Machina 12. By the Sea 13. Our Brand is Crisis 14. Suffragette 15. Ricki and the Flash 16. Anomalisa 17. I’ll See You in My Dreams 18. Straight Outta Compton 19. The Good Dinosaur 20. Irrational Man

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

1. Steve Jobs
2. Carol
3. The Martian
4. Brooklyn
5. Room

Next in line: 6. The Revenant 7. The Big Short 8. Truth 9. The Danish Girl 10. Star Wars: The Force Awakens 11. Beasts of No Nation 12. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl 13. The End of the Tour 14. Black Mass 15. In the Heart of the Sea 16. The Light Between Oceans (possible 2016 release) 17. Macbeth 18. Mad Max: Fury Road 19. The Walk 20. I Saw the Light

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

1. Inside Out
2. Anomalisa
3. The Good Dinosaur
4. The Little Prince
5. Shaun the Sheep Movie

Next in line: 6. The Peanuts Movie 7. Minions 8. Kung Fu Panda 3 9. Home 10. Monster Trucks

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
2. Mad Max: Fury Road
3. The Martian
4. Carol
5. The Hateful Eight

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

1. The Revenant
2. Sicario
3. Spectre
4. The Martian
5. The Hateful Eight

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

1. The Hateful Eight
2. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
3. Cinderella
4. The Revenant
5. Far from the Maddening Crowd

BEST FILM EDITING

1. Spotlight
2. Steve Jobs
3. The Revenant
4. Bridge of Spies
5. The Martian

BEST MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING

1. The Danish Girl
2. Black Mass
3. Mad Max: Fury Road

BEST SOUND MIXING

1. Spectre
2. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
3. The Martian
4. Mad Max: Fury Road
5. Jurassic World

BEST SOUND EDITING

1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
2. The Martian
3. Mad Max: Fury Road
4. Spectre
5. Sicario

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
2. The Martian
3. Jurassic World
4. Avengers: Age of Ultron
5. Ant-Man

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

1. Spectre
2. Bridge of Spies
3. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
4. Steve Jobs
5. Spotlight

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

1. Ricki and the Flash
2. Spectre
3. Love & Mercy
4. I’ll See You in My Dreams
5. Southpaw

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

1. Cartel Land
2. The Look of Silence
3. Where To Invade Next (possible 2016 release)
4. He Named Me Malala
5. The Hunting Ground

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FEATURE

1. Son of Saul
2. The Assassin
3. Goodnight Mommy
4. A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting on Existence
5. A War

BEST ANIMATED SHORT

? (Still to come)

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT

? (Still to come)

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT

? (Still to come)

Stay tuned for more Oscar predictions early next month!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He also contributes to several other film-related websites.

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