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Hollywood Contenders: Updated Academy Award Predictions

spotlight michael keaton mark ruffalo
As always at this point in the season, it’s time for my weekly Oscar predictions update. The Academy Awards are only about two months away, with nominations being announced in around three weeks or so, which makes this truly crunch time. Oscar voters are watching their screeners, attending screenings, and filling out their ballots as the year turns to a close. As 2015 becomes 2016, members of the Academy will be finalizing their decisions, so the pressure is on to make sure that I get these predictions as accurate as possible, which is no small task this year. If ever there was a season where very little has locked itself in for nominations, it’s this one. Still, I’ve got a little bit more time to figure it all out, including today, so that’s what I’m going to be doing now…

What you’ll notice below in this update is that it’s only been a small amount of tinkering, as opposed to large ships in my predictions. The Oscar race has slowed down momentarily as the year wraps up, so there’s not a lot to be done here, aside from playing hunches. I’ve done that in a few places, mainly in Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay, but there are still tons of possibilities to be worked out. For example, Best Supporting Actor is such a competitive field that you could probably make the case for almost a half dozen other contenders, outside of the five that I opted to go/stay with. It’s just that sort of a year. Take a look at what I have, but keep in mind that it’s all still very much subject to change.

Here now are my newly updated Academy Award predictions:

BEST PICTURE

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

Next in line: 11. Bridge of Spies 12. Steve Jobs 13. Star Wars: The Force Awakens 14. Beasts of No Nation 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. Bryan Cranston – Trumbo
3. Will Smith – Concussion
5. Matt Damon – The Martian

Next in line: 6. Eddie Redmayne – The Danish Girl 7. Steve Carell – The Big Short 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. Helen Mirren – Woman in Gold 8. Blythe Danner – I’ll See You in My Dreams 9. Emily Blunt – Sicario 10. Maggie Smith – The Lady in the Van 11. Bel Powley – The Diary of a Teenage Girl 12. Carey Mulligan – Suffragette 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. Alicia Vikander – Ex Machina 9. Elizabeth Banks – Love & Mercy 10. Jane Fonda – Youth 11. Joan Allen – Room 12. Julie Walters – Brooklyn 13. Cynthia Nixon – James White 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. Bridge of Spies
4. Love & Mercy
5. Ex Machina

Next in line: 6. Sicario 7. Inside Out 8. Trainwreck 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. Fifty Shades of Grey (Love Me Like You Do)

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 rest of the season progresses along towards its conclusion!

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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