The Oscar race has officially begun thanks to both Telleuride and Toronto's respective film festivals showcasing the major players.
There's been glowing reviews for the likes of The Martian, Brooklyn, Room, Steve Jobs, not to mention already-released films like Inside Out.
With thanks to Jameson, we've analysed the Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director and Best Animated Feature categories and come up with some very early predictions for how this year's Oscar race will look. We'll stress that we haven't seen quite a number of these (some we have, we're just not allowed talk about), so our analysis is based on speculation and past records.
We begin with...
This category is looking particularly dodgy this year, with some familiar faces and one or two new entries. We predict there'll be one or two upsets on the night, but here's our early predictions:
EDDIE REDMAYNE - The Danish Girl
MICHAEL FASSBENDER - Steve Jobs
LEONARDO DiCAPRIO - The Revenant
MATT DAMON - The Martian
IDRIS ELBA - Beasts Of No Nation
The smart money says to go with Eddie Redmayne, considering how well he did last year. It's not unheard of to win an Oscar two years on the trot, but he's got a decent shot. If what we're hearing about The Revenant is to be believed, Leonardo DiCaprio should win purely for being able to survive the hellish shoot. Fassbender could do very well with Steve Jobs whilst there's all sorts of praise for Idris Elba's performance in Beasts Of No Nation.
Again, much like the Best Actor category, Best Actress is looking like a Group of Death with no clear winners at this stage. There's no Meryl Streep performance looking likely, so that effectively rules out her swooping in to steal the show. Here's how we think the nominations will pan out:
CAREY MULLIGAN - Suffragette / Far From The Madding Crowd
JENNIFER LAWRENCE - Joy
SAOIRSE RONAN - Brooklyn
CATE BLANCHETT / ROONEY MARA - Carol
BRIE LARSON - Room
Based on what we've heard about Room, it looks like Brie Larson has this sewn up. Considering we haven't seen or heard anything about Suffragette, Joy or Brooklyn, they could very well take the winner's slot from Larson. Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara have a decent chance, but whoever doesn't take this slot will take the Best Supporting slot instead. If there was any justice in the world, Charlize Theron would win it for her performance as Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road. Fat chance of the Academy giving a nomination to something audiences actually enjoyed and had a healthy box office.
This year will see ten nominations in the offing for Best Picture, which will mean there'll hopefully be a wider pool for the Academy to draw upon. There could be one or two upsets among the indie dramas, like Joy or The Danish Girl, being pushed out in favour of more populist choices like Mad Max: Fury Road or Inside Out. Here's what we're thinking so far:
BEASTS OF NO NATION
THE DANISH GIRL
Considering Allejandro Innaritu won last year with Birdman, the odds of his film The Revenant taking home another Oscar are pretty unlikely. Not impossible, just unlikely. Tom Hooper's already got one before so The Danish Girl is also unlikely. Irish entries Room and Brooklyn have a pretty decent shot, particularly Room as many of the major trades are backing it for a Best Picture gong. Inside Out could be in with a shout, as is Sicario and Beasts Of No Nation. Again, if justice prevailed, Mad Max: Fury Road would get a look-in at some point.
There was quite a bit of backlash concerning just how one-note the nominations across all categories, so the feeling is that this year's nominations will be more diverse than they have been in previous years. We think the Best Director category, in particular, will be a lot more open and diverse than it has been in recent years - which can only be a good thing. Here's what we've got:
Sarah Gavron for SUFFRAGETTE
Todd Haynes for THE DANISH GIRL
George Miller for MAD MAX: FURY ROAD
Allejandro Innaritu for THE REVENANT
Danny Boyle for STEVE JOBS
George Miller has a pretty decent shot at taking home Best Director here. For one, Mad Max: Fury Road was an incredibly complex shoot that required a lot of technical skills. So to was The Revenant, which makes us think it's a two-way tie between Innaritu and Miller for the top spot. We haven't seen Suffragette yet, but again, all signs are positive and only one woman has won the Best Director gong - which is pretty damn disgraceful, quite frankly.
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
For us, this race has already been decided and it's going to Inside Out. Everything else is just filler.
SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS: SPONGE OUT OF WATER
THE PEANUTS MOVIE
SHAUN THE SHEEP
There could very well be some foreign animation that could swoop in, but it's unlikely. As it stands, we have yet to see anything that could possibly beat Inside Out in our minds. The film's even a contender in the Best Picture category, so there's that too. Minions made a s**t-ton of money so in this category, that's already a given it'll get nominated. Shaun The Sheep is the least likely, as is Spongebob Squarepants - despite the fact they were both excellent films. Peanuts, we haven't seen, but it's a safe bet that it'll get nominated purely on grounds of nostalgia.
So that's our early predictions for how the 2016 Oscars will shake out. We won't know anything concrete until later in the year and we won't know the winners until February 28th. What do you think of our predictions? Got any of your own? Let us know in the comments!
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