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“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” in Best Picture? Updated Oscar Predictions

Harrison Ford Star Wars
If it’s a Friday late in the year, it must be time for an update to my predictions. Of course, it’s not just any Friday today though, it’s the release date for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I’m saving a more in depth look at the film until Monday (with probably another piece or two to come next week as well), once more folks have gotten a chance to see it, but today I’m mentioning it alongside my Oscar predictions. Why? Well, basically people seem to be raving and as it starts its history making run at the box office, awards chatter is going to be begin, so I wanted to address that ASAP. This isn’t the last I’ll speak of the two together, but that’s just the thrust of today’s piece, alongside the usual update that I bring you…

So, do I have Star Wars: The Force Awakens in Best Picture? No, but I do have it winning some technical category Oscars and I also have it moving up a few places in a few major Academy Award categories. Basically, it seems like a beast in the techs, with a major citation only coming if Academy members decide that they just can’t ignore the box office. As for the other contenders, it’s still Spotlight’s to lose in the biggest categories, though Best Director could be a place where a split once again happens, probably either favoring Ridley Scott for The Martian or even George Miller for Mad Max: Fury Road. The Big Short, Bridge of Spies, Carol, and Room are also ones to look out for in various categories, to one degree or another. Sit tight, the final decisions are looming for Oscar voters next month.

Here now are my most up to date Academy Award predictions:

BEST PICTURE

1. Spotlight
2. The Martian
3. Carol
4. Room
5. The Revenant
6. The Big Short
7. Brooklyn
8. The Hateful Eight
9. Trumbo
10. Mad Max: Fury Road

Next in line: 11. Steve Jobs 12. Bridge of Spies 13. Star Wars: The Force Awakens 14. Beasts of No Nation The Danish Girl 15. Sicario 16. Youth 17. The Danish Girl 18. Youth 19. Inside Out 20. Love & Mercy 21. Creed 22. Black Mass 23. Son of Saul 24. 45 Years 25. In the Heart of the Sea 26. Concussion 27. Suffragette 28. Straight Outta Compton 29. Anomalisa 30. Truth

BEST DIRECTOR

1. Tom McCarthy – Spotlight
2. Ridley Scott – The Martian
3. George Miller – Mad Max: Fury Road
4. Todd Haynes – Carol
5. Alejandro G. Iñárritu – The Revenant

Next in line: 6. Lenny Abrahamson – Room 7. Quentin Tarantino – The Hateful Eight 8. John Crowley – Brooklyn 9. Adam McKay – The Big Short 10. Danny Boyle – Steve Jobs 11. Steven Spielberg – Bridge of Spies 12. Denis Villenueve – Sicario 13. David O. Russell – Joy 14. Cary Fukunaga – Beasts of No Nation 15. J.J. Abrams – Star Wars: The Force Awakens 16. Tom Hooper – The Danish Girl 17. Paolo Sorrentino – Youth 18. Jay Roach – Trumbo 19. Bill Pohlad – Love & Mercy 20. László Nemes – Son of Saul

BEST ACTOR

1. Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant
2. Michael Fassbender – Steve Jobs
3. Matt Damon – The Martian
3. Bryan Cranston – Trumbo
5. Eddie Redmayne – The Danish Girl

Next in line: 6. Steve Carell – The Big Short 7. Will Smith – Concussion 8. Johnny Depp – Black Mass 9. Michael Caine – Youth 10. Tom Hanks – Bridge of Spies 11. Jake Gyllenhaal – Southpaw 12. Samuel L. Jackson – The Hateful Eight (Could go Supporting) 13. Michael B. Jordan – Creed 14. John Cusack – Love & Mercy 15. Tom Courtenay – 45 Years 16. Ian McKellen – Mr. Holmes 17. Géza Röhrig – Son of Saul 18. Abraham Atta – Beasts of No Nation 19. Chris Hemsworth – In the Heart of the Sea 20. Joseph Gordon-Levitt – The Walk

BEST ACTRESS

1. Brie Larson – Room
2. Saoirse Ronan – Brooklyn
3. Jennifer Lawrence – Joy
4. Cate Blanchett – Carol
5. Charlotte Rampling – 45 Years

Next in line: 6. Lily Tomlin – Grandma 7. Carey Mulligan – Suffragette 8. Blythe Danner – I’ll See You in My Dreams 9. Emily Blunt – Sicario 10. Helen Mirren – Woman in Gold 11. Maggie Smith – The Lady in the Van 12. Bel Powley – The Diary of a Teenage Girl 13. Sandra Bullock – Our Brand is Crisis 14. Meryl Streep – Ricki and the Flash 15. Amy Schumer – Trainwreck 16. Juliette Binoche – Clouds of Sils Maria 17. Sarah Silverman – I Smile Back 18. Julianne Moore – Freehold 19. Charlize Theron – Mad Max: Fury Road 20. Olivia Wilde – Meadowland

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

1. Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies
2. Sylvester Stallone – Creed
3. Paul Dano – Love & Mercy
4. Idris Elba – Beasts of No Nation
5. Michael Shannon – 99 Homes

Next in line: 6. Mark Ruffalo – Spotlight 7. Jacob Tremblay – Room 8. Michael Keaton – Spotlight 9. Christian Bale – The Big Short 10. Benicio del Toro – Sicario 11. Tom Hardy – The Revenant 12. Harvey Keitel – Youth 13. Jason Segel – The End of the Tour 14. Kurt Russell – The Hateful Eight 15. Seth Rogen – Steve Jobs 16. Sam Elliot – Grandma 17. Joel Edgerton – Black Mass 18. Emory Cohen – Brooklyn 19. Ryan Gosling – The Big Short 20. Jason Mitchell – Straight Outta Compton

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

1. Rooney Mara – Carol
2. Alicia Vikander – The Danish Girl
3. Jennifer Jason Leigh – The Hateful Eight
4. Kate Winslet – Steve Jobs
5. Helen Mirren – Trumbo

Next in line: 6. Rachel McAdams – Spotlight 7. Kristen Stewart – Clouds of Sils Maria 8. Elizabeth Banks – Love & Mercy 9. Jane Fonda – Youth 10. Joan Allen – Room 11. Julie Walters – Brooklyn 12. Cynthia Nixon – James White 13. Helena Bonham Carter – Suffragette 14. Sarah Paulson – Carol 15. Marion Cotillard – MacBeth 16. Ellen Page – Freeheld 17. Luara Linney – Mr. Holmes 18. Jessica Chastain – The Martian 19. Olivia Cooke – Me and Earl and the Dying Girl 20. Rose Byrne – Spy

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

1. Spotlight
2. The Hateful Eight
3. Inside Out
4. Bridge of Spies
5. Love & Mercy

Next in line: 6. Sicario 7. Trainwreck 8. Ex Machina 9. Grandma 10. Joy 11. Youth 12. I’ll See You in My Dreams 13. Straight Outta Compton 14. Suffragette 15. Ricki and the Flash 16. 99 Homes 17. The Lady in the Van 18. Dope 19. The Good Dinosaur 20. By the Sea

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

1. Room
2. The Big Short
3. Brooklyn
4. The Martian
5. Carol

Next in line: 6. Steve Jobs 7. Anomalisa 8. The Revenant 9. Trumbo 10. Star Wars: The Force Awakens 11. The Danish Girl 12. Beasts of No Nation 13. The End of the Tour 14. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl 15. 45 Years 16. Black Mass 17. Mad Max: Fury Road 18. The Diary of a Teenage Girl 19. The Walk 20. In the Heart of the Sea

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

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

Next in line: 6. Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet 7. Minions 8. When Marnie Was There 9. Home 10. Boy and the World

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

1. Carol
2. The Danish Girl
3. Cinderella
4. The Hateful Eight
5. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

1. The Revenant
2. Sicario
3. The Hateful Eight
4. Mad Max: Fury Road
5. The Martian

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

1. The Danish Girl
2. Carol
3. The Hateful Eight
4. Trumbo
5. Cinderella

BEST FILM EDITING

1. Spotlight
2. The Martian
3. Mad Max: Fury Road
4. The Big Short
5. Steve Jobs

BEST MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING

1. Black Mass
2. Mad Max: Fury Road
3. Mr. Holmes

BEST SOUND MIXING

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

BEST SOUND EDITING

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

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
2. The Martian
3. The Walk
4. Mad Max: Fury Road
5. Avengers: Age of Ultron

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

1. The Hateful Eight
2. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
3. Carol
4. The Danish Girl
5. Bridge of Spies

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

1. The Hunting Ground (Til It Happens to You)
2. Furious 7 (See You Again)
3. Youth (Simple Song #3)
4. Spectre (Writing’s on the Wall)
5. Ted 2 (Mean Ol’ Moon)

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

1. Where To Invade Next
2. Amy
3. The Look of Silence
4. Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief
5. The Hunting Ground

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FEATURE

1. Son of Saul
2. Mustang
3. Labyrinth of Lies
4. A War
5. Theeb

BEST ANIMATED SHORT

1. Sanjay’s Super Team
2. My Home
3. An Object at Rest
4. Prologue
5. World of Tomorrow

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT

1. Claude Lanzmann: Specters of the Shoah
2. 50 Feet from Syria
3. Body Team 12
4. Last Day of Freedom
5. A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT

1. Stutterer
2. Day One
3. Winter Light
4. The Free Man
5. Bad Hunter

Stay tuned for more Oscar prediction updates as the month of December progresses along towards its conclusion, which will end 2015 as well!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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