Final Oscar Predictions: Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda!

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What a long and lively season it has been. Most excitingly, this year’s Oscar ceremony is less predictable, with many categories open for slaughter. We could very well see a Best Picture winner with the lowest win tally in eons, or even a potential steamroller in The Revenant. Now onto the final prediction dive, where I also share some Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda’s: what could win, what I would pick, and what should have been nominated. Oscar Prediction pages can also be found here.

Of course, if you missed the filmmixtape Best of the Year or my votes for the craft categories, be sure to check those out too! On to the predictions…

BEST PICTUREIt’s down to a battle of big canvas craft and small scale dramatic fireworks between The Revenant and Spotlight. My money is on Spotlight, helped by broad support on the preferential ballot (probably getting the lion’s share of #2 and #3 votes) versus The Revenant‘s vocal dissenters.

  • COULDA – The Big Short
  • WOULDA – Room
  • SHOULDACarol

BEST DIRECTORMuch as the internet has been hoping for a George Miller win all season, Mad Max: Fury Road just never just the bid from a major awards body to push him ahead. Alejandro G. Iñárritu is about to be our first back-to-back winner in the modern era.

  • COULDA – George Miller – Mad Max: Fury Road
  • WOULDA – George Miller – Mad Max: Fury Road
  • SHOULDA – Todd Haynes – Carol

BEST ACTOR – Keep complaining internet, nothing stands in DiCaprio’s way. This isn’t the best year for the category.

  • COULDA – not a chance, anyone else
  • WOULDA – Michael Fassbender – Steve Jobs
  • SHOULDA – Paul Dano – Love and Mercy

BEST ACTRESS – An incredible year for the category, so good that it’s kind of a shame that eventual winner Brie Larson dominated all of the majors. Spread the love, awards voters.

  • COULDA – Saoirse Ronan – Brooklyn
  • WOULDA – Brie Larson – Room
  • SHOULDA – Emily Blunt – Sicario

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BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – Stallone wins in the first standing O of the night.

  • COULDA – Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies
  • WOULDA – Sylvester Stallone – Creed
  • SHOULDA – Oscar Isaac – Ex Machina

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESSIt feels risky to predict Kate Winslet here, until you consider the momentum that’s been built by wins at BAFTA and the Globes. Do they like Vikander enough to vote for her in a movie they don’t?

  • COULDA – Alicia Vikander – The Danish Girl
  • WOULDA – Kate Winslet – Steve Jobs
  • SHOULDA – Sarah Paulson – Carol

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY Spotlight

  • COULDABridge of Spies
  • WOULDASpotlight
  • SHOULDAI’ll See You in My Dreams

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY – The Big Short

  • COULDARoom
  • WOULDARoom
  • SHOULDASteve Jobs

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BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATUREAmy has been challenged by The Look of Silence all season, and lately by Netflix’s spend for What Happened, Miss Simone?. But you can’t hold back the widest seen film from winning.

  • COULDAThe Look of Silence
  • WOULDAThe Look of Silence
  • SHOULDAHeart of a Dog

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILMSon of Saul has been the most prominent all season, but I wonder if the rumors of needing the executive committee for the nomination spells the chances for a Mustang upset.

  • COULDAMustang
  • WOULDAMustang
  • SHOULDAThe Second Mother

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE – Nothing can stop a new Pixar classic. Inside Out.

  • COULDAAnomalisa
  • WOULDAShaun the Sheep
  • SHOULDA – …

cate-blanchett-carol

BEST EDITINGMad Max: Fury Road. Even though it would be a shocker, if Spotlight takes this, there’s your Best Picture winner.

  • COULDAThe Big Short
  • WOULDAMad Max: Fury Road
  • SHOULDASicario

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY – Remember when Lubezki was frustratingly unheralded for more interesting work? This will be his third straight win, this time for The Revenant.

  • COULDAMad Max: Fury Road
  • WOULDAMad Max: Fury Road
  • SHOULDAIt Follows

BEST COSTUME DESIGN – Good will for Mad Max: Fury Road.

  • COULDACarol
  • WOULDA – Carol
  • SHOULDACrimson Peak

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGNMMFR awaits Oscar Valhalla!

  • COULDABridge of Spies
  • WOULDAMad Max: Fury Road
  • SHOULDARoom

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BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLINGThe Revenant wins the wound battle.

  • COULDAMad Max: Fury Road
  • WOULDAMad Max: Fury Road
  • SHOULDACrimson Peak

BEST ORIGINAL SONG – Gaga: “Til It Happens to You” from The Hunting Ground

  • COULDAFifty Shades of Grey
  • WOULDAThe Hunting Ground
  • SHOULDAI’ll See You in my Dreams

BEST ORIGINAL SCOREThe Hateful Eight

  • COULDACarol
  • WOULDACarol
  • SHOULDAIt Follows

rachel-mcadams-mark-ruffalo-brian-dg-arcy-michael-keaton-and-john-slattery-in-spotlight-cred-kerry-hayes-open-road-films_wide-a9ace4a3a9d3d271a45d19c7c220201b7656c7eb-s900-c85

BEST SOUND MIXINGThe Revenant

  • COULDAThe Martian
  • WOULDABridge of Spies for that opening sequence
  • SHOULDASon of Saul

BEST SOUND EDITINGThe Revenant

  • COULDAMad Max: Fury Road
  • WOULDASicario
  • SHOULDAInside Out

BEST VISUAL EFFECTSStar Wars: The Force Awakens

  • COULDAThe Revenant
  • WOULDAMad Max: Fury Road
  • SHOULDAAvengers: Age of Ultron

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BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT Stutterer

BEST ANIMATED SHORTWorld of Tomorrow (pictured above, streaming now on Netflix)

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORTClaude Lanzman: Spectres of Shoah

Good luck on those Oscar pools!

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