2015 Oscar Nominations Prediction Spectacular!


You know how this works. I predict, I make a fool of myself. Let’s get to it…

Best Picture

  • The Big Short 
  • Bridge of Spies
  • Carol
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • The Revenant
  • Spotlight

There’s going to be anywhere from 5 to 10 nominations, although people who are really into statistics have consistently said that it’s nearly impossible -given Oscar’s tabulation system- to actually have ten nominees. Anyway, the above seven are the ones I think are safe. And then…
If there are eight nominees: add Brooklyn
If there are nine nominees: add Room
If there are ten nominees: add Straight Outta Compton

Best Director

  • The Big Short (Adam McKay)
  • Bridge of Spies (Steven Spielberg)
  • The Martian (Ridley Scott)
  • The Revenant (Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu)
  • Spotlight (Tom McCarthy)

This category is going to be a bloodbath. No one really knows who’s on top, and there are as many as seven directors who seem likely to get in. There is only room for five, of course. I’m preparing for the worst, assuming both George Miller and Todd Haynes -by far the two most deserving contenders in this category- won’t make the list. I don’t want to get my hopes up just for them to be crushed.

Best Lead Actor

  • Bryan Cranston (Trumbo)
  • Matt Damon (The Martian)
  • Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant)
  • Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs)
  • Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl)

This is one of the easiest categories to predict this year, which is a shame, because voters seem to have settled for mediocrity. None of these performances is better than Michael B. Jordan’s star-making turn in Creed, or Tom Hanks’s channeling of Jimmy Stewart’s righteous legacy in Bridge of Spies. Here’s hoping either one of them manages a surprise appearance on Thursday.

Best Lead Actress

  • Cate Blanchett (Carol)
  • Brie Larson (Room)
  • Charlotte Rampling (45 Years)
  • Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn)
  • Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl)

The question that is making everybody’s brain hurt is whether Alicia Vikander and Rooney Mara will be nominated in lead, in supporting, or not get nominated at all. Since Vikander has two roles in contention, I’m going to assume she gets nominated in both categories (more on that later). As for Mara, I could easily see her making an appearance here, but I can’t bring myself to predict her. Although a nomination for critical darling Charlotte Rampling might be an even more foolish thing to predict.

Best Supporting Actor

  • Christian Bale (The Big Short)
  • Idris Elba (Beasts of No Nation)
  • Mark Ruffalo (Spotlight)
  • Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies)
  • Sylvester Stallone (Creed)

This category is a big head-scratcher. Stallone was once perceived as the front-runner to win, then he didn’t get nominated anywhere but at the Golden Globes. The Big Short and Spotlight seem to be the front-runners for Best Picture, so I’m inclined to include an acting nominee from each one. But I wouldn’t be surprised if Benicio Del Toro or Room‘s Jacob Tremblay end up nominated.

Best Supporting Actress

  • Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight)
  • Rooney Mara (Carol)
  • Helen Mirren (Trumbo)
  • Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina)
  • Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs)

The whole Mara and Vikander thing has left this category looking very unsteady. I’ll just try to do my best even if that means predicting Helen Mirren…

Best Original Screenplay

  • Bridge of Spies (Matt Charman, Joel Coen, Ethan Coen)
  • Ex Machina (Alex Garland)
  • The Hateful Eight (Quentin Tarantino)
  • Inside Out (Josh Cooley, Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve)
  • Spotlight (Tom McCarthy, Josh Singer)

This seems like a pretty obvious list to me. I do fear Ex Machina could be too “genre” for the Academy, in which case it could get replaced with Straight Outta Compton or Sicario. 

Best Adapted Screenplay

  • The Big Short (Adam McKay, Charles Randolph)
  • Brooklyn (Nick Hornby)
  • Carol (Phyllis Nagy)
  • Room (Emma Donoghue)
  • Steve Jobs (Aaron Sorkin)

This seems like a solid prediction until you realize I’ve let The Martian out. I’m thinking it is snubbed for having the least “prestigious” source material. But then again, I might be underestimating it. I could see practically any of these five film (except maybe The Big Short) falling out to make room for it. I would be afraid of The Revenant getting nominated, too, if the movie didn’t have so little dialogue.

Best Animated Feature

  • Anomalisa
  • Kahlil’s Gibrain’s The Prophet  
  • Inside Out
  • The Good Dinosaur
  • Shaun the Sheep Movie 

This what I’m thinking: I’m thinking The Peanuts Movie is met with some of the bias that kept The Simpsons Movie and The Lego Movie from getting nominated. And I’m thinking that The Prophet, an omnibus film with segments directed by some of the biggest names in international animation, will take its spot.

Best Cinematography

  • Bridge of Spies (Janusz Kaminski)
  • Carol (Ed Lachman)
  • Mad Max: Fury Road (John Seale)
  • The Revenant (Emmanuel Lubezki)
  • Sicario (Roger Deakins)

It has to mean something if the American Society of Cinematographers and the British Academy agree 100% on their nominees for Best Cinematography, right? Although the last time they had the same five nominees (in 2012), Les Miserables ended up being snubbed in favor of Django Unchained. Tarantino and cinematographer Robert Richardson are back in the race this year, so I wouldn’t be surprised if The Hateful Eight snuck in here.

Best Costume Design

  • Brooklyn (Odile Dicks-Mireaux)
  • Carol (Sandy Powell)
  • Cinderella (Sandy Powell)
  • Crimson Peak (Kate Hawley)
  • The Danish Girl (Paco Delgado)

The Costume Design Branch often marches by the tune of their drum, and this mix of Best Picture contenders, British period dramas, and fairy tale confections seems to me like the kind of thing they love to reward. Crimson Peak is the riskiest of these predictions, but then again, its flamboyant designs are the kind of thing that gets nominated here all the time.

Best Documentary Feature

  • Amy
  • Cartel Land 
  • Listen to Me Marlon 
  • The Look of Silence
  • Meru  

Outside of Amy and Look of Silence, which have been gathering awards all year long, these predictions are pure uninformed guesswork. The Academy had a shortlist of 15 films. I picked three I had heard people talk about liking.

Best Film Editing

  • The Big Short (Hank Corwin)
  • Mad Max: Fury Road (Margaret Sixel)
  • The Martian (Pietro Scalia)
  • The Revenant (Stephen Mirrione)
  • Spotlight (Tom McArdle)

Best Picture front-runners with lots of action in them usually get nominated here. The fact that The Big Short‘s many montages make its editing very apparent should help it secure a nomination here, too. For the final spot, I’m clinging on to Spotlight‘s flawless assembly, even though something flashier like Bridge of Spies or Sicario could easily take its spot.

Best Foreign Film

  • The Brand New Testament (Belgium)
  • Embrace of the Serpent (Colombia)
  • Labyrinth of Lies (Germany)
  • Mustang (France)
  • Son of Saul (Hungary)

Nine movies remain in this race. Most of them, I haven’t seen, so I’m mostly basing my predictions on whatever the internet can tell me these movies are about. I have seen Son of Saul and Mustang, both of which seems to be likely nominees. Labyrinth of Lies is about Nazis (always a safe bet with Oscar) and Embrace of the Serpent has good buzz and seems like this year’s artsy choice (think Dogtooth or The Missing Picture). As for the fifth nominee, I just picked something that got nominated at the Golden Globes.

Best Makeup and Hair

  • Black Mass
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Revenant

Every year, the Academy releases a list of seven finalists for this award before nominations come out, which is really helpful since the Makeup branch tends to make unexpected and bizarre choices. Of the seven movies shortlisted this year, Mad Max and Revenant seem likely on account of being Best Picture front-runners, while Johnny Depp’s horrendous look in Black Mass becomes a logical bet when you consider Hitchcock got nominated.

Best Original Score

  • Carol (Carter Burwell)
  • The Hateful Eight (Ennio Morricone)
  • Inside Out (Michael Giacchino)
  • Spotlight (Howard Shore)
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens (John Williams)

This is one of the hardest categories to predict, with the Academy’s Music Branch being notorious for doing unexpected things. John Williams always gets nominated, and Morricone is a legend, so count both of them in. Outside of those two, I really have no idea. I’m sticking with previous winners Giacchino and Shore, while I count on the great Carter Burwell to finally get his first Oscar nomination for Carol. 

Best Original Song

  • “See You Again” (Furious 7)
  • “Til It Happens To You” (The Hunting Ground)
  • “I’ll See You in My Dreams” (I’ll See You in My Dreams)
  • “Cold One” (Ricki and the Flash)
  • “Simple Song #3” (Youth)

This category needs to go. The Academy’s list of eligible songs if just depressing. Some of them are good songs, yes, but there is simply no way to justify songwriting as a vital part of contemporary filmmaking that needs to be rewarded with awards, especially when other essential disciplines like Casting and Stunts don’t have their own categories. As for my predictions, I just threw in a couple songs that got nominated at the Golden Globes and mixed them up with some actually good tunes from I’ll See You in My Dreams and Ricki and the Flash.

Best Production Design

  • Bridge of Spies (Adam Stockhausen)
  • Carol (Judy Becker)
  • The Danish Girl (Eve Stewart)
  • Mad Max: Fury Road (Colin Gibson)
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Rick Carter, Darren Gilford)

A healthy mix of Best Picture contenders, British costume drama, and fantasy/science fiction extravaganzas. I have this feeling that The Martian will get nominated, but I don’t know at the expense of which film that could happen.

Best Sound Mixing

  • Mad Max: Fury Road  
  • The Martian
  • The Revenant
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • Straight Outta Compton

The Sound categories tend to be tricky to predict. These predictions are based on the fact that this category is usually a mix of Best Picture contenders with flashy sound effects, huge blockbusters, and a movie with lots of music in it.

Best Sound Editing

  • Mad Max: Fury Road 
  • The Martian
  • The Revenant
  • Sicario
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens 

This category is usually made up of four of the Sound Mixing nominees (it’s usually the musical nominee that gets left out). The fifth nominee can be something a little bit unexpected. Drive and All is Lost were nominees here in the past. For some reason I’m thinking Sicario shares certain similarities with those movies.

Best Visual Effects

  • Ant Man    
  • Mad Max: Fury Road 
  • The Martian
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens 
  • The Walk 

There are ten finalists in this category. Mad Max and The Martian are likely Best Picture nominees so they’re safe. Star Wars is the biggest movie in God knows how long, so it is also safe. It’s hard to guess what voters will find impressive beyond those three, but I expect them to make some unexpected picks.

One Reply to “2015 Oscar Nominations Prediction Spectacular!”

  1. Interesting picks but I really think if Peanuts Movie gets snubbed the nod will go to When Marnie was There not The Prophet. It’s Studio Ghibli’s last movie and it is beautiful film IMO.

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