Projection: Oscar – FINAL Oscar Nomination Predictions, 1/13/2016


oscars still

Time to bid adieu to Phase One.

In less than 24 hours we will know all the nominees for the 88th Academy Awards. There will surely be a few surprises – whether those surprises are categorized as “pleasant” or not remains to be seen.

The Director’s Guild nominations were announced yesterday, resulting in chalk. No surprises whatsoever. It would make sense for those five to carry over and receive Oscar nominations…and yet DGA and Oscar rarely match 5-for-5. Names like Todd Haynes and Steven Spielberg are lurking, but if one (or both) make it in, who gets knocked out? You might be shocked to hear that many are positing the notion that George Miller and Tom McCarthy are the two most likely to be supplanted. Could happen…or not.

The acting races are, frankly, as unpredictable as they’ve ever been. “Category Fraud” stirs that pot even more vigorously. Rooney Mara and Alicia Vikander have both seemed like certain nominees for months…but what category (or categories) do they land in? Hard to find anyone who has watched Carol and The Danish Girl and doesn’t state unequivocally that Mara and Vikander are leads…yet both were submitted in the Supporting category by their studios. How voters choose to address the controversy may shift the balance of one category or the other. If both performances are nominated in Best Actress, which two performances get knocked out? Conventional logic would dictate Charlotte Rampling and Jennifer Lawrence, but who knows. Vikander could land a double-nomination, for Danish Girl and Ex Machina. There’s more heat on the latter at the moment, so does that lead to a double nomination…or does it leave The Danish Girl on the outside?

danish girl eddie redmayneWhile we’re on that subject, is Eddie Redmayne a sure thing in Best Actor? He got the SAG nomination, but this year it sorta seems like the SAGs will be even less indicative than usual. If Matt Damon is viewed as carrying The Martian, a film Academy voters seem to love, shouldn’t he land a nomination? The Big Short is the hottest title of the moment, so does that mean Steve Carell makes the leap and gets a Best Actor nomination? After all, Paramount submitted him as lead…even though, yeah, he’s probably supporting. Round and round we go with Category Fraud. Is there still a shot for Michael B. Jordan or Will Smith?

And then there’s the big one, Best Picture. How many films actually make it in? The preferential balloting system dictates that there can be somewhere between five and 10 nominees in the category. With so many films in play, one’s first inclination is that the count would skew high this year, yet having love spread so thin may actually result in a lower overall total of Best Picture nominees. A lot of it will depend on the number of ballots that are returned (rough blind estimate: somewhere between 5,500 and 6,000) and the number of films that populate the 1 and 2 slots on those ballots.

The results of all that PricewaterhouseCoopers number-crunching will tell the tale. And it’s almost time for the unveiling.

A couple notes on this final round-up.  First, no notes or explanations…this is just a listing of the contenders, in order. Second, the numbering is based on how likely a film or person is to be nominated, not necessarily how likely that film or person is to win. Make sense? Tomorrow, once the field is set, I’ll return to ranking each nominee’s chances of winning.

Here’s a final round-up of where we stand today, One Day Away from the announcement of the 88th Academy Award nominations…

Oh and by the way – a quick reminder that no one knows anything, there will likely be plenty of surprise inclusions and exclusions, and this season is ridiculously confounding.

Best Picture

  1. Spotlight
  2. The Big Short
  3. The Martian
  4. The Revenant
  5. Mad Max: Fury Road
  6. Bride of Spies
  7. Brooklyn
  8. Carol
  9. Room

  10. Straight Outta Compton
  11. Inside Out
  12. Sicario
  13. Ex Machina
  14. Trumbo
  15. The Hateful Eight

Best Director

  1. Ridley Scott, The Martian
  2. Alejandro G. Inarritu, The Revenant
  3. Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
  4. George MillerMad Max: Fury Road
  5. Adam McKay, The Big Short

  6. Todd Haynes, Carol
  7. Steven Spielberg, Bridge of Spies
  8. Denis Villeneuve, Sicario

Best Actress

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

  6. Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl
  7. Rooney Mara, Carol
  8. Sarah Silverman, I Smile Back
  9. Charlize Theron, Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Actor

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

  6. Steve Carell, The Big Short
  7. Johnny Depp, Black Mass
  8. Will Smith, Concussion
  9. Michael B. Jordan, Creed
  10. Ian McKellen, Mr. Holmes
  11. Michael Caine, Youth

Best Supporting Actress

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

  6. Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl
  7. Rachel McAdams, Spotlight 
  8. Kristen Stewart, Clouds of Sils Maria
  9. Jane Fonda, Youth
  10. Elizabeth Banks, Love & Mercy

Best Supporting Actor

  1. Sylvester Stallone, Creed
  2. Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
  3. Christian Bale, The Big Short
  4. Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation
  5. Jacob Tremblay, Room

  6. Michael Shannon, 99 Homes
  7. Benicio Del Toro, Sicario
  8. Michael Keaton, Spotlight
  9. Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight
  10. Jason Mitchell, Straight Outta Compton
  11. Paul Dano, Love & Mercy
  12. Steve Carell, The Big Short

Best Original Screenplay

  1. Tom McCarthy & Josh Singer, Spotlight
  2. Quentin Tarantino, The Hateful Eight
  3. Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley, Inside Out
  4. Alex Garland, Ex Machina
  5. Jonathan Herman, Andrea Berloff, Straight Outta Compton

  6. Taylor Sheridan, Sicario
  7. Matt Charman, Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, Bridge of Spies
  8. David O. Russell, Joy
  9. Amy Schumer, Trainwreck
  10. Ramin Bahrani, Amir Naderi, 99 Homes 

Best Adapted Screenplay

  1. Adam McKay, Charles Randolph, The Big Short
  2. Aaron Sorkin, Steve Jobs
  3. Phyllis Nagy, Carol
  4. Emma Donaghue, Room
  5. Drew Goddard, The Martian

  6. Nick Hornby, Brooklyn
  7. Alejandro G. Inarritu, Mark L. Smith, The Revenant
  8. John McNamara, Trumbo
  9. Charlie Kaufman, Anomalisa 
  10. Andrew Haigh, 45 Years 

Best Cinematography

  1. John Seale, Mad Max: Fury Road
  2. Emmanuel Lubezki, The Revenant
  3. Roger Deakins, Sicario
  4. Edward Lachmann, Carol
  5. Robert Richardson, The Hateful Eight

  6. Janusz Kaminski, Bridge of Spies
  7. Dariusz Wolski, The Martian
  8. Maryse Alberti, Creed
  9. Danny Cohen, Room 
  10. Alwin H. Kuchler, Steve Jobs 

Best Costume Design

  1. Sandy Powell, Carol
  2. Sandy Powell, Cinderella
  3. Jenny Beavan, Mad Max: Fury Road
  4. Odile Dicks-Mireaux, Brooklyn
  5. Paco Delgado, The Danish Girl

  6. Kate Hawley, Crimson Peak 
  7. Jacqueline West, The Revenant 
  8. Courtney Hoffman, The Hateful Eight 

Best Film Editing

  1. Margaret Sixel, Mad Max: Fury Road
  2. Hank Corwin, The Big Short
  3. Stephen Mirrione, The Revenant
  4. Pietro Scalia, The Martian
  5. Tom McCardle, Spotlight

  6. Michael Kahn, Bridge of Spies 
  7. Maryann Brandon, Mary Jo Markey, Star Wars: The Force Awakens 
  8. Joe Walker, Sicario 

Best Production Design

  1. Mad Max: Fury Road
  2. Bridge of Spies
  3. The Danish Girl
  4. The Martian
  5. Carol

  6. Star Wars: The Force Awakens 
  7. Crimson Peak
  8. Cinderella 
  9. The Revenant

Best Animated Feature

  1. Inside Out
  2. Anomalisa
  3. Shaun the Sheep Movie
  4. The Peanuts Movie
  5. Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet

  6. The Good Dinosaur 
  7. Boy and the World 
  8. Minions 

Best Documentary Feature

  1. The Look of Silence
  2. Amy
  3. Listen to Me Marlon
  4. Cartel Land
  5. The Hunting Ground

  6. Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom
  7. What Happened, Miss Simone?
  8. Where to Invade Next
  9. Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief 
  10. Best of Enemies 
  11. He Named Me Malala 

Best Foreign Language Film

  1. Son of Saul (Hungary)
  2. Mustang (France)
  3. Labyrinth of Lies (Germany)
  4. Viva (Ireland)
  5. The Brand New Testament (Belgium)

  6. Embrace of the Serpent (Colombia)
  7. Theeb (Jordan)
  8. A War (Denmark)
  9. The Fencer (Finland)

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

  1. Mad Max: Fury Road 
  2. The Revenant 
  3. Mr. Holmes


  4. Black Mass 
  5. Concussion

Best Visual Effects

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

  6. Ant-Man
  7. The Revenant 
  8. The Walk

Best Sound Editing

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

  6. Everest 
  7. Spectre 
  8. Jurassic World 
  9. Inside Out 

Best Sound Mixing

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

  6. The Hateful Eight
  7. Spectre 
  8. Everest 
  9. Jurassic World 
  10. In the Heart of the Sea 

Best Original Score

  1. The Hateful Eight, Ennio Morricone
  2. Star Wars: The Force Awakens, John Williams
  3. Bridge of Spies, Thomas Newman
  4. Spotlight, Howard Shore
  5. Carol, Carter Burwell

  6. The Danish Girl, Alexandre Desplat
  7. Inside Out, Michael Giacchino
  8. Sicario, Johann Johannsson
  9. The 33, James Horner

Best Original Song

  1. “See You Again” from Furious 7 
  2. “Til it Happens to You” from The Hunting Ground 
  3. “Simple Song #3” from Youth 
  4. “Writing’s On the Wall” from Spectre 
  5. “Love Me Like You Do” from Fifty Shades of Grey 

  6. “So Long” from Concussion 
  7. “Feels Like Summer” from Shaun the Sheep Movie 
  8. “I’ll See You in My Dreams” from I’ll See You in My Dreams 
  9.  “Earned It” from Fifty Shades of Grey 
  10. “Mean Ol’ Moon” from Ted 2



About Author

I married into the cult of cinema at a very young age - I wasn't of legal marriage age, but I didn't care. It has taken advantage of me and abused me many times. Yet I stay in this marriage because I'm obsessed and consumed. Don't try to save me -- I'm too far gone.