Tomorrow is the day that the race to the Oscar finish line begins. Academy Award nominations will be announced in the morning and then the real campaigning begins. Although some of the wins are almost certain locks, others races are just beginning to heat up.
I haven’t seen all the films….yet, but I’ve seen quite a few and have read up on all the politicking going on in Hollywood. And, surprise, surprise I have thoughts on those nominations. So below are my guesses on who will get the nominations in what are considered the top nine categories and a few thoughts on who I think should get them, but won’t because of the games people play.
BEST ANIMATED FILM
Inside Out – The reality is that no other film needs to be nominated, this one is a LOCK!
The Peanuts Movie – It was a great reboot of a classic that even the old folks in the academy can say they grew up with
Shawn the Sheep – If there were a movie that could fleece (see what I did there) the Oscar away from Inside Out this would be the one.
The Good Dinosaur – This is a maybe, it’s good. It’s Pixar/Disney so by all standard rules of Hollywood it will get one, but sometimes those folks get frisky and they could get away without giving this one a nom.
????????? – I have no idea what the fifth film will be, but if it’s The Minions, heads need to roll…..
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Steve Jobs – Aaron Sorkin is rightfully loved by Hollywood and he was genius in showing us into the mind of a genius….this is a lock for a nom if not a win.
The Martian – This is pretty much the other lock and top contender for the win. The book was great but really scientist, the movie didn’t dumb it down but helped it make sense.
Room – this is not a lock but it should be, I didn’t read the book, but the movie was so great it made me want to.
Brooklyn – Hollywood is loving this film so expect it to get lots of love and noms
Carol – Again this is one of Hollywood’s favorites so it should get a nom too.
Also Rans – Trumbo & The Big Short
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
The Hateful Eight – Any piece of paper that Quentin Tarantino has put pen to the academy worships at, so expect a nom for him, maybe not a win, although it wouldn’t be undeserved.
Inside Out – The script was the genius of this animated film. It should be a lock
Spotlight – My guess is it’s a lock. I haven’t seen it yet, but it’s loved and it’s socially relevant.
Straight Outta Compton – I’ll have more in a few to say about this film in a few, but I suspect it’s a lock as well.
Trainwreck – This is the questionable one. Amy Schumer is a genius and young Hollywood loves her. The problem is old Hollywood is terrified of her. She could get the nomination because the old folks may not want to seem to anti her, but there is no way she’ll win.
Also Rans – Trumbo, Ex Machina, Bridge of Spies, & Joy
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs) – They love her, as do I. She does an accent. She’s the conscience of the movie. Oh and she’s Kate F’ing Winslet. She’s a lock!
Rooney Mara (Carol) – It hardly makes sense that she’s in this category since she’s plays the title character, that she’s in Supporting but that’s the politicking. Cate Blanchett is the bigger name so they give her the lead campaign and put Rooney in the supporting so they don’t have to complete against each other. She’s a lock.
Jennifer Jason Leigh (Hateful Eight) – She is the film. She’s comic genius in a film that is amazing. Another lock!
Helen Mirren (Trumbo) – The film is getting mixed love, but The Queen never gets mixed reviews.
Alicia Vikander (Ex-Machina) – She’s this year’s Jessica Chastain. The movie is a genre film so this could be iffy, but she’s great and the new It girl!
Also Rans – Rachel McAdams (Spotlight) & Jane Fonda (Youth)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Idris Elba (Beasts of No Nation) – He’s supposedly great in this although I haven’t seen it yet. Hollywood loves him. And there are limited people of color in the discussion this year, so he’s a lock!
Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies) – This was supposed to be Oscar Bait, and yet this is the only nom it’s a lock for. Spielberg and Hanks have lost that magic touch.
Mark Ruffalo (Spotlight) – Like I said Hollywood is loving this important film about something and they need to give it some love. Add to that they love him, I mean they gave him a nom for The Kids Are Alright (even though the film sucked).
Sylvester Stallone (Creed) – An old legend must get a nomination in this category, I’m not sure if it’s an actual law, but if it is, it’s one they have never broken. He’s a lock!
Jacob Tremblay (Room) – just like the old guy rule they have to give a nom to a newby. The kid is all of like 8 years old, they don’t get much more newby…and he’s F’ing awesome in an impossible role.
Spoiler – Christian Bale (The Big Short) – He’s really good and Hollywood would give him an award for pooping, so he could spoil it for young Jacob.
Should but Won’t – Tom Hardy (The Revenant) – His performance is the best in the movie, but this is Leo’s year and his movie so they haven’t given him the campaign he deserves because they can’t take any attention away from Leo.
Brie Larson (Room) – She’s cleaning up with all the critic awards and she is great. She’s a lock!
Cate Blanchett (Carol) – She was the frontrunner until Hollywood saw Room. They love this two time winner and with reason. Another lock!
Saorise Ronan (Brooklyn) – They’re loving this film and they love her in it. She’s the third lock.
Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl) – If she doesn’t get this nomination you will hear me scream. She’s the heart of this movie. Eddie is great, but without each other the movie isn’t. Add to it, like I said earlier, this is her year of being “IT”
Jennifer Lawrence (Joy) – They love her. America loves her. She’s the best thing about a movie that’s not all that.
Spoilers – Charlotte Rampling (45 Years) or Dame Maggie Smith (The Lady in the Van) – remember that rule about recognizing an elder statesmen in Supporting Actor, they also like to recognize an elder stateswoman. So look out Alicia and Jennifer.
Long Shot – Sarah Silverman (I Smile Back) – They have campaigned so hard for her and she actually got a Screen Actor’s Guild nomination. But it’s kind of like Jennifer Aniston last year, the guild is younger and like to mix things up, the Academy not so much so.
Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant) – this poor guy almost died in the freezing cold filming this movie. He ate raw bison liver, and he’s a vegetarian. He actually settle d for less than his usual demand of 25 million to make this film. Dude suffered so he’s a lock. Okay he’s actually really good in it and probably deserves the nomination just not the award that he is going to get. You know the award he deserved for Revolutionary Road in 2009.
Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl) – If the dude had really wanted that second Oscar he would have actually gone through with the sex reassignment surgery. Dude just wasn’t willing to suffer enough to get the award. It also doesn’t help that he won last year, and no one is going to repeat like that unless you are the nicest guy in the world, or have everyone fooled into thinking you are.
Matt Damon (The Martian) – No one else could have made this movie the success it was but Matty. Everyone loves Matty. Everyone wants to be Matty. And He’s talented. He’s a lock for a nom,
Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs) – He‘s great in this film. He channels Steve Jobs without doing an impersonation. And they like him. I think he’ll get a nom.
Bryan Cranston (Trumbo) – He’s the only thing that is getting rave reviews from the film. Hollywood loves him. He could get the nom,
Spoilers – Johnny Depp (Black Mass) – At one point and time he was the front runner then along came Leo and his sob story. Then came his comments about not really wanting an Oscar. So I doubt he’s that much of a spoiler but you never know, Hollywood sometime falls for reverse psychology, right Joaquin?
Will Smith (Concussion) – I’ve never known exactly who all he has slept with to get the love he gets but it must be a lot of people and for this movie if he gets the love he really stepped up the casting couch thing to a new level. But he’s black and the Academy has to make up for last year’s all white noms, so look out Bryan and Michael.
Alejandro Innaritu (The Revenant) – They love him, they love this film. And he’s a genius and it’s a really good film. He’s a lock.
Ridley Scott (The Martian) – Dude has never gotten his Oscar love. IT’s a great film. It’s a great artistic film that was loved at the Box Office. He’s a lock.
Tom McCarthy (Spotlight) – He’s young and brass and they love the film. Maybe not a lock, but it will be a shocker if he doesn’t get a nom.
Adam McKay (The Big Short) – He does some great stuff in this film and they like it. He’s a contender.
George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road) – He took a genre film and made something so weird and unique that is visually stunning and wonderfully done. Add to that that it is a passion project. Yeah he stands a chance to maybe even be the winner.
Spoiler that should be nominated – Tom Hooper (The Danish Girl) – This guy is amazing and the film is wonderful, he so deserves the nomination but is overshadowed by the personality of the others.
Other Spoilers – Quentin Tarantino (Hateful Eight) – Deserved but they just don’t appreciate his directing style. Steen Spielberg (Bridge of Spies) – In case you didn’t know they love him.
This is the hardest category. It can be anywhere from 5 to 10 films nominated, but in order to get nominated you must get 5% of votes on the first ballot or something like that. It’s all a weird formula. My guess is it will only be eight films, but you never know.
The Revenant – A lock
The Martian – A lock
Spotlight – A lock
Carol – A semi lock
Brooklyn – A semi lock
Mad Max: Fury Road – it’s a great story. Not the movie, but the movie existing. Not that the story of the movie is bad it’s just not as good as George Miller’s story.
The Big Short – If they liked the Wolf of Wall Street they have to love this one.
Straight Outta Compton – It’s a real good movie and they need to support black artists so I think it will get a nomination.
Spoiler that should but probably won’t: The Danish Girl – This film is amazing and really needs to be seen by all, I just think the old folks are afraid of it.
Other Spoilers: Room, The Hateful Eight, Beasts of No Nation, Inside Out,
Longshot: Bridge of Spies
Okay in closing I need to clarify one thing that I have said a few times on here about possible nominations being focused on race. I agree with anyone out there that thinks that that sounds racist. It does sound racist, but I don’t mean it as racist, I mean it as a reality of the politics of these awards. Last year, the Academy got raked over the coals for no nominations going to people of color. But the thing is the Academy should not be dinged for that. Hollywood should be raked over the colas for that. They don’t give the opportunities to people of color. The talent is out there, and the roles should be cast for the most part using color blind casting. Why couldn’t the Astronaut in the Martian be African American? Why wasn’t the new Mad Max a Latino? The robot in Ex-Machina couldn’t have gone to a person of color. Hollywood has to do better, and so to throw a bone they’ll give a few nominations that way to avoid the outcry. That’s bullsh*%, but that’s the politics of it all.