by Alan Yudman
Only the accountants at whoever, whoever and whatshisname know whose names are in those envelopes. But being movies are my avocation, I feel the urge to predict. So here goes. One caveat, I have not seen every movie including Room, The Danish Girl, 45 Years and Brooklyn. My picks are based on what I saw. Predictions are based on what I believe based on what I have read and heard.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
MY PICK: SPOTLIGHT
MY PREDICTION: STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON
Here is where the Oscar voters try to stem the #Oscarssowhite critiques. The thing is, it is quite deserving of the honor. It is a well done piece of writing. But I cannot see anything for the SPOTLIGHT shining in my eyes.
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
MY PICK: CAROL
MY PREDICTION: THE BIG SHORT
I adored CAROL. I thought it was nuanced and tight. The tone seemed perfect for the time and the subject. I felt it.
Here is where THE BIG SHORT earns its bones. It too is well done and makes boring financial blah blah interesting and entertaining.
MY PICK: CAROL
MY PREDICTION: MAD MAX: FURY ROAD
Ed Lachman’s way of showing off his characters and setting a mood really established a feeling in Carol, right from the opening shot.
This is where Mad Max will get its nod. John Seale did a great job bringing George Miller’s vision to life.
MY PICK: George Miller
MY PREDICTION: Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu
Miller basically reinvented a dead franchise and made it better than any of the preceding movies. He also wrangled all those elements in a way Michael Bay can only dream of.
But Gonzalez Innaritu has won every precursor award, including the Directors Guild award which is always predictive of the Oscar winner.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
MY PICK: Rooney Mara
MY PREDICTION: Alicia Vikander
Mara was really the lead actress in Carol, but Oscar nominating and politics being what they are she got shoved into this category. Cate Blanchett was great, but this was a coming out party for Mara.
Vikander was amazing in Ex Machina and she is getting all the buzz here.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
MY PICK: Mark Rylance
MY PREDCITION: Sylvester Stallone
The otherwise meh, Bridge of Spies was saved by Rylance’s understated but powerful performance as the spy Rudolf Abel. He should be angry he’s not getting more notice but as his character might ask, “would it help”?
Stallone has won all the pre-Oscar awards and he was very good in Creed, the best he’s been in years. Time for a lifetime achievement award.
MY PICK: Brie Larson
MY PREDICITION: Brie Larson
Going off my own reservation here. I only saw Carol among the nominated performances, so I am going to join the party and pick Brie Larson who is getting all the buzz.s
MY PICK: Michael Fassbender
MY PREDICTION: Leonardo DiCaprio
Fassbender was marvelous, capturing Steve Jobs’ genius and psychosis. You admired him and hated him for the way he treated people. And Aaron Sorkin’s words flow from his mouth like butter.
There’s no denying DiCaprio was fantastic in a nearly wordless role. He’s won all the awards and he’ll win here too.
MY PICK: SPOTLIGHT
MY PREDICTION: THE REVENANT
No movie touched me more this year than Spotlight. What could have been a dull or pompous movie was emotional and dramatic. The performances were wonderful, the writing tight and the directing perfect. Spotlight is a great film.
I like The Revenant. It was beautifully shot and hits all the right notes. I just didn’t love it as much as the Academy will. It will be two in a row for Gonzalez Innaritu.
That’s it. I won’t pick best song because they are all terrible.
We can discuss after the trophies are handed out.