Despite the #OscarsSoWhite controversy regarding the lack of diversity in the nominees, the Academy Awards ceremony will go on as scheduled at 5:30 p.m. Sunday on ABC.
The other thing the Oscars lacks this year is a clear frontrunner for the films that will take the top prizes, especially Best Picture. But that won’t stop me, and others, from making a few educated guesses.
Nominees: “The Big Short,” “Brooklyn,” “Bridge of Spies,” “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “The Martian,” “The Revenant,” “Room,” “Spotlight”
Who will win: This is perhaps one of the most exciting Best Picture races in the past few years, as there is no clear-cut choice, and just when one film starts to pull ahead, another catches up. But lately “The Revenant” has picked up speed, and going with Alejandro González Iñárritu worked out well last year.
Who should win: Ever since I saw “Brooklyn” I can’t get it out my head. Every frame in every scene is thought out to the most minute of details. Unfortunately, even in a race as close as this it’s definitely an underdog.
Nominees: Bryan Cranston, “Trumbo”; Matt Damon, “The Martian”; Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Revenant”; Michael Fassbender, “Steve Jobs”; Eddie Redmayne, “The Danish Girl”
Who will win: DiCaprio’s win at the Screen Actors Guild awards has put him in the lead. Plus, there will great injustice and Internet uproar if he does not win.
Who should win: DiCaprio, no question. The man has deserved an Oscar since “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?” in 1993.
Nominees: Cate Blanchett, “Carol”; Brie Larson, “Room”; Jennifer Lawrence, “Joy”; Charlotte Rampling, “45 Years”; Saoirse Ronan, “Brooklyn”
Who will win: Larson will take home the gold after racking up almost every other award. Besides, actresses portraying mothers seem to be well-rewarded at the Oscars, like Patricia Arquette for “Boyhood” last year.
Who should win: Again, I think “Brooklyn” should walk away with something, and Ronan gave a stunning performance. However, I won’t be upset if Larson wins.
Best Supporting Actor
Nominees: Christian Bale, “The Big Short”; Tom Hardy, “The Revenant”; Mark Ruffalo, “Spotlight”; Mark Rylance, “Bridge of Spies”; Sylvester Stallone, “Creed”
Who will win: Sylvester Stallone. In 1977, the underdog film “Rocky” took home Best Picture — among others — and gave Stallone his first nomination. Since then, Rocky has become an icon in American cinema and a symbol for the underdog. I could see how the Academy would want to pay tribute to Sly with a golden statue.
Who should win: Out of the list of nominees I would have to go with Tom Hardy. The actor has had a good year and starred in not one but two Oscar-nominated films, “The Revenant” and “Mad Max: Fury Road.”
Best Supporting Actress
Nominees: Jennifer Jason Leigh, “The Hateful Eight”; Rooney Mara, “Carol”; Rachel McAdams, “Spotlight”; Alicia Vikander, “The Danish Girl”; Kate Winslet, “Steve Jobs”
Who will win: Vikander has been doing well with awards leading up to the Oscars. Plus, the Academy will want to give some love to “The Danish Girl” considering the LGBT-friendly nature of the film.
Who should win: Vikander has had an excellent year, also starring in “Ex-Machina,” which earned her double nominations at the Golden Globes.
Nominees: Adam McKay, “The Big Short”; George Miller, “Mad Max: Fury Road”; Iñárritu, “The Revenant”; Lenny Abrahamson, “Room”; Tom McCarthy, “Spotlight”
Who will win: Although the Academy doesn’t usually give back-to-back wins, Iñárritu won the Directors Guild Award, which means he has a strong chance of taking home the gold.
Who should win: Honestly, with a list as good as this I think they all deserve an award. I’ll be happy no matter who wins.
Best Animated Feature
Nominees: “Anomalisa,” “O Menino e o Mundo,” “Inside Out,” “Shaun the Sheep Movie,” “Omoide no Mânî”
Who will win: Pixar always does well at the Oscars, so “Inside Out” is a solid choice.
Who should win: I believe that claymation is the hardest form of animation, so “Shaun the Sheep Movie” should win. Think of all those animators who work for 10 hours to get 10 seconds of film.