Updated after the fact. So how’d I do?
Here are my 2016 Oscar predictions based on fluff and superstition, not having seen most of the films. Because these days the cinema is too expensive and the experience too poor to actually want to go see most of them:
Writing (Original Screenplay): I’m finding this tricky to predict. Not a good start is it. The only one I’ve seen is Ex Machina, and I don’t think that will win. Though I did like it. It could be any of the others really. I’ll guess at Straight Outta Compton.
UPDATE: Ah, Spotlight. Should have known.
Writing (Adapted Screenplay): Probably Room. Which I haven’t seen. I’ve heard it’s very good and that.
UPDATE: The Big Short. I’m clearly not very good at predicting writing awards.
Visual Effects: This is the kind of category Star Wars would normally win, just so that they don’t go home completely empty handed. But this year I don’t think it will. Ex-Machina was very impressive for its budget so it could have a shot. But the effects in The Revenant are so damn impressive, it just has to win. The only thing that might hinder it is that the bulk of the effects work is virtually invisible. It might be too seamless for its own good.
UPDATE: I guess the Revenant was too seamless for it’s own good because it really deserved that. But nice to have the underdog win I suppose. Ex Machina would have been my second choice anyway.
Sound Editing/ Sound Mixing: Apparenty around 50% of the time these awards go to the same film, so I’ll take that bet. It would be tempting to predict Mad Max, but I have a feeling that this is one of the few categories that Star Wars actually has a shot at.
UPDATE: Dammit, should have stuck with Mad Max
Short Film (Live Action): It’s always impossible to predict the smaller categories because they’re not widely seen enough by the people voting for them. Or by anyone else. Or by me. So I’ll take a punt at Stutterer, whatever that is.
UPDATE: Good punt
Short Film (Animated): Same dilemma as above, expect that I have actually seen one of nominees this year: the wonderful World of Tomorrow. Don Hertzfeldt isn’t exactly the kind of filmmaker you’d expect to win Oscars, so I wouldn’t normally predict this to win. However, with it being on Netflix US, it might just have a big enough profile to do it. I have not heard of any of the others.
UPDATE: Bear Story? Pah
Best Production Design: Probably Mad Max. Though personally I would vote for the amazing production design in The Revenant, for complete seamlessness and minimalism.
Music (Original Song): I really do not care about any of these nominees. I haven’t a clue. Fifty Shades of Grey? Just because it would be amusing for that to win an Oscar? Fuck knows.
UPDATE: I’m not really interested in Sam Smith. And this award is the first positive thing I’ve heard about his Bond theme. But his speech was pretty good I must admit.
Music (Original Score): I think people will vote for Morricone’s The Hateful Eight score, because nostalgia.
UPDATE: Triumph for nostalgia.
Make Up and hairstyling: Mad Max had some pretty mad make up and hairstyling.
UPDATE: Of course it did
Foreign Language Film: Son of Saul. Because I’ve not heard of the others. Well that’s not strictly true but I couldn’t tell you much about them. Both nominee and winner choices are usually pretty abysmal for this category, because hardly anyone sees them. So anything goes.
UPDATE: 4:3 aspect ratio FTW
Film Editing: Mad Max, no brainer.
UPDATE: Brain not required
Documentary (Short Subject). Dunno. The Claude Lanzmann thing?
UPDATE: It was not, it was the A Girl in the River thing. Who knew.
Documentary (Feature): Amy, without a doubt. Not that I’ve seen it. Or any of the others.
UPDATE: Of course it was. I will watch it at some point.
Directing: If I say George Miller will you guess already what my Best Picture choice is going to be, think I’m a fool, and stop reading? (Ok, it’ll probably be Alejandro again, but humour me…)
UPDATE: Interesting that they would give this to Alejandro again, yet it didn’t win best picture. I guess they thought he just put in the hard work.
Costume Design: Mad Max had some pretty mad costumes.
UPDATE: Indeed it did
Cinematography: The Revenent’s cinematography was revelatory. For me it is the real beginning of digital cinema. I find it hard to imagine anything else winning. I’ve yet to see Sicario but I’m sure it’s beautiful. Roger Deakins certainly deserves to win one, but yet again, he won’t. The Hateful Eight was stunning in completely opposite ways, but I think the Revenent’s innovation will be rewarded. So it’s Chivo again.
UPDATE: This was very much deserved, even if Chivo is getting a bit greedy now.
Animated Feature Film: I’ve not seen Inside Out yet. I will soon. It’s going to win. The only one of the nominees I’ve seen is Shaun The Sheep, which was fine but a long way from Aardman’s best. I am excited for Anomalisa but it’s not the kind of film that wins Oscars.
Actress in a Supporting Role: Jennifer Jason Leigh was great in The Hateful Eight so I’d love to see her get it. But Kate Winslet probably will. Word on the street is saying Vikander so I will probably be wrong. I have not seen Steve Jobs but I want to. I have not seen The Danish Girl and I do not want to.
UPDATE: So it was Vikander after all. I still don’t want to see The Danish Girl. I’m going to pretend she won this for Ex Machina.
Actor in a Supporting Role: Mark Rylance, not that I’ve seen Bridge of Spies. But everyone was gushing over him at the time.
UPDATE: Everyone seemed surprised by this. Not me.
Actress in a Leading Role: Probably Brie Larson right? The Academy likes Jennifer Lawrence, but Jennifer Laurence is so 4 years ago and Brie Larson is the new Jennifer Lawrence.
UPDATE: Hollywood has a new Jennifer Lawrence.
Actor in a Leading Role: I reckon Leo will probably actually get it this time, and it seems like everyone else does too. Not that it was an amazing performance (it was perfectly fine), but he’ll get it all the same. It’s been talked about too much.
UPDATE: Nice speech, I guess he had a long time to prepare it.
Best Picture: I’m going to put myself out there and say Mad Max. Most people seem to think that The Revenant is a lock in, and if not that then Spotlight. And that Mad Max hasn’t a single solitary hope. They are probably right. But I just have a feeling about Mad Max. This is probably a misguided hangover of a feeling from before the other contenders were even released. But it’s a film that had such wide-ranging appeal and acclaim, everyone seems to like it. Ultimately it’s just wishful thinking on my behalf, I want a completely mad Best Picture winner. Not that the Revenant would be a bad choice but its misguided attempts to be ‘worthy’ make me hope it’s Mad Max instead, which very definitely attempted nothing of the kind. And yet it sort of is.
UPDATE: Wishful thinking slightly, it was Spotlight after all. The voters liked Mad Max enough to give it visually all the technical awards, but didn’t have the guts to give a trippy action film the Best Picture Oscar. Predictable (except that I didn’t).
13/24. More than 50% at least but still I am disappointed at my predictive powers. But then I was pretty much just guessing blindly.