Oscars 2016 – Full predictions for the 88th Academy Awards

Chris Rock will host the Oscars 2016 live from Hollywood
Chris Rock will host the Oscars 2016 live from Hollywood

Tonight, the Oscars 2016 will be dished out live from the Dolby Theater in Hollywood. After a year of great films, the awards are wide open with no clear frontrunner going into the big night.

Alejandro G. Inarritu’s survival drama The Revenant is leading the field with 12 nominations. Blockbuster hits Mad Max: Fury Road and The Martian are close behind, with 10 and seven nods respectively. The Revenant‘s biggest Best Picture competitors – Spotlight and The Big Short – scored six and five nominations.

Here are my full predictions for the Oscars 2016, including all of the major categories. Be sure to check out my Oscars live blog later tonight for all of the winners, losers and reaction.


Best Picture

Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant
Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant

Nominees: The Big Short, Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, The Revenant, Room, Spotlight

A few months ago, it was anybody’s guess who would pick up Best Picture. Now that all of the precursor awards have been handed out, it’s still pretty tough to call. The DGA honoured The Revenant, whilst the PGA plumped for The Big Short and Spotlight picked up the SAG Award for the best cast of the year. The Revenant, however, also scooped the top prizes at the Golden Globes and BAFTAs, which give it the edge here.

In terms of deserving winners, the likes of Spotlight and Room are far better films, but there’s no doubting the raw cinematic power of Inarritu’s epic follow-up to Birdman.

Prediction: The Revenant


Best Director

Tom Hardy in Mad Max: Fury Road
Tom Hardy in Mad Max: Fury Road

Nominees: Adam McKay (The Big Short), George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road), Alejandro G. Inarritu (The Revenant), Lenny Abrahamson (Room), Tom McCarthy (Spotlight)

This is, without doubt, a strong category. However, there’s only one winner here this year. Alejandro G. Inarritu could become only the third filmmaker to win consecutive Best Director Oscars, following John Ford in 1939-40 and Joseph L. Mankiewicz in 1949-50.

The Revenant is a tremendous directorial achievement and, despite the strong work of the others in this category, Inarritu deserves to win and it’s highly likely that the Academy will agree.

Prediction: Alejandro G. Inarritu (The Revenant)


Best Actor

Michael Fassbender as the title character in Steve Jobs
Michael Fassbender as the title character in Steve Jobs

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

This is the easiest one to predict by a very long way. The narrative of the entire awards season has been that this is the time for Leo’s victory, after four failed attempts to score an acting prize at the Oscars. His performance in The Revenant is tremendous, committed and absolutely deserves to be garlanded by the Academy.

It’s a shame that some of the other men in this category won’t get the chance to win, particularly given that Fassbender has accumulated a tonne of strong roles in recent years. However, there’s no doubting that it’s Leo who is going to emerge victorious at Oscars 2016.

Prediction: Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant)


Best Actress

Jacob Tremblay and Brie Larson in Room
Jacob Tremblay and Brie Larson in Room

Nominees: Cate Blanchett (Carol), Brie Larson (Room), Jennifer Lawrence (Joy), Charlotte Rampling (45 Years), Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn)

This year, the Best Actress category is a major battleground with at least twice as many serious competitors as there were spaces in the nominations field. Many of the precursor awards have been picked up by Brie Larson for her deeply effective, incredibly nuanced work in Room and it looks very likely that she will repeat that feat at Oscars 2016.

There’s no doubt that Carol should have received more love from the Academy and Brooklyn is a subtle treat, but their lead performances do not have the sheer power of Larson’s. She both deserves to win and will be the victor.

Prediction: Brie Larson (Room)


Best Supporting Actress

Alicia Vikander steals the show in The Danish Girl
Alicia Vikander steals the show in The Danish Girl

Nominees: Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight), Rooney Mara (Carol), Rachel McAdams (Spotlight), Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl), Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs)

Category fraud makes this one quite tough to predict. Alicia Vikander and Rooney Mara have ping-ponged between leading and supporting nominations at the various ceremonies to date, with studios trying to maximise their chances of victory. As a result, Kate Winslet has picked up many of the precursor prizes for her work in Steve Jobs. With both heavyweights in the category at the Oscars 2016, Winslet’s chances seem slim.

Vikander seems like the likely winner here, having completely stolen The Danish Girl from Eddie Redmayne with a performance of real control and potency. She plays a woman put in a rare and troubling situation, who manages to deal with it in a truly remarkable way. The Academy will honour her for that, unless there’s a real desire amongst members to throw Carol a bone.

Prediction: Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl)


Best Supporting Actor

Sylvester Stallone and Michael B Jordan in Creed
Sylvester Stallone and Michael B Jordan in Creed

Nominees: Christian Bale (The Big Short), Tom Hardy (The Revenant), Mark Ruffalo (Spotlight), Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies), Sylvester Stallone (Creed)

Again, this is an interesting category because of the absence of a major player at other ceremonies. Sylvester Stallone’s performance in Creed was overlooked by a number of awards bodies, including at the BAFTAs, but it has been recognised by the Academy at the Oscars 2016.

Stallone seems likely to win the Oscar given the real groundswell of emotion behind his reprisal of the role of Rocky Balboa. America loves the Rocky franchise and Stallone gives one of the best performances of his career. As good as Rylance, Hardy and Ruffalo were in their respective films, Stallone is going to win.

Prediction: Sylvester Stallone (Creed)


Best Original Screenplay

Mark Ruffalo and Michael Keaton in Spotlight
Mark Ruffalo and Michael Keaton in Spotlight

Nominees: Bridge of Spies, Ex Machina, Inside Out, Spotlight, Straight Outta Compton

There are a few wildcard nominees in this category. It’s great to see the likes of Alex Garland sci-fi Ex Machina and Pixar animation Inside Out rubbing shoulders with the more traditional dramas that would usually make up this field. This category is a prime example of how the Oscars can shine a light on films that might have flown under the radar of the mass audience, but deserve to be seen.

That said, the winner here will be Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer’s script for Spotlight. The film is unlikely to get the nod for either Best Picture or Best Director, so this seems like the most logical category in which to reward the film for being one of the most accomplished works of the year.

Prediction: Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer (Spotlight)


Best Adapted Screenplay

Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling in The Big Short

Nominees: The Big Short, Brooklyn, Carol, The Martian, Room

This is another category in which one of the Best Picture losers will get their chance at glory. Given that The Big Short is distinctly unlikely to beat The Revenant to the top prize, it will probably be thrown a bone for its script, penned by Adam McKay and Charles Randolph.

It’s far from the best film in the category, with Carol far more deserving of the victory, but the Academy seem likely to plump for the financial crisis drama.

Prediction: Adam McKay and Charles Randolph (The Big Short)


Best Animated Feature: Inside Out
Best Foreign Film: Son of Saul
Best Documentary: Amy
Best Original Score: The Hateful Eight
Best Original Song: ‘Writing’s On The Wall’ from Spectre
Best Sound Editing: Mad Max: Fury Road
Best Sound Mixing: Mad Max: Fury Road
Best Production Design: The Danish Girl
Best Cinematography: The Revenant
Best Makeup and Hairstyling: Mad Max: Fury Road
Best Costume Design: Carol
Best Editing: The Big Short
Best Visual Effects: Mad Max: Fury Road


Do you agree with my predictions for the Oscars 2016? Who should win the big prizes tonight? Let me know in the comments section.

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