Published on February 25th, 2016 | by Craig Silliphant


2016 Oscar Predictions

The Feedback Society has done a lot of research and used our gut instincts to prognosticate the winners in each Academy Awards category for 2016.

If you are a film geek, chances are you think the Oscars are a farce (they pretty much are). If you’re an average multiplexer, you haven’t heard of half the movies nominated and you’re not even sure why they have those sound categories. Each year, I have to go on the radio and television to make my picks for Oscar Prognostication. A lot of research and thought goes into it, and it always feels good to beat my wife, even if it’s just because I eked ahead of her in the short film categories. Some years I do poorly, most years I do pretty well. To make these predictions, I look at the other awards being won during award season and how they statistically and historically affect the wins, as well as what the Vegas odds are on things, and some good old going by my guts.

This year has some locks, but it also has some tight categories, including Best Picture. Though the one that I kept flip-flopping on were those pesky sound categories, so we’ll see how I do. Sometimes I even have a last second change of heart when I’m filling out the printable Oscar ballot and I make a different choice than what I originally predicted on the air. Nothing feels worse than changing your answer only to get it wrong.

So take a look — I’ve given you some indications here and there of why I chose what I did, as well as my own opinions as to what should have won, or what the dark horses could be. You can use it to pwn your own office pool. Or, if I’m on the wrong side of things this year, you can use it to lose the pool.


Best Picture

“The Big Short”
“The Revenant”
“Mad Max: Fury Road”
“The Martian”
“Bridge of Spies”

Will Win – The Revenant
Should Win – The Revenant or Mad Mad: Fury Road
Dark Horse – Spotlight


Best Actor

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

Will Win – Leonardo DiCaprio
Should Win – Leonardo DiCaprio
Dark Horse – Michael Fassbender

Note: I’d love Fassbender to win an Oscar, but while he was good in Steve Jobs, it wasn’t as groundbreaking as his past work. DiCaprio really got his hands dirty, and while he paled in comparison to Tom Hardy in The Revenant, he deserves his Oscar here. Leo also won the SAG, which is one of the best Oscar predictors there is.


Best Actress

Cate Blanchett (“Carol”)
Brie Larson (“Room”)
Jennifer Lawrence (“Joy”)
Charlotte Rampling (“45 Years”)
Saoirse Ronan (“Brooklyn”)

Will Win – Brie Larson
Should Win – Cate Blanchett, Brie Larson, or Saoirse Ronan
Dark Horse – Saoirse Ronan

NOTE: This is a tough category, but Larson won at the SAGs, Globes, Critics’ Choice, Chicago Film Critics and the National Board of Review awards. While she was good in the movie, I’d argue that she seems pretty calm in certain scenes where she should be more animated (like, seeing freedom after seven years of being held captive). That could be an editing issue. Or a nitpicky critic.


Best Supporting Actor

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

Will Win – Sylvester Stallone
Should Win – Tom Hardy
Dark Horse – Mark Rylance

Notes: Stallone did not get a SAG nom, though apparently he’s favoured in the bookmaker’s odds as of mid-February. Rylance won the BAFTA. Idris Elba won the SAG, so that doesn’t really help. It’s a race between Stallone and Rylance, with most people figuring that Stallone will come out on top because he’s an industry vet. The way to tell that these awards are a farce though, is that Hardy isn’t really a consideration, yet he was in The Revenant, Mad Max, and Legend this year, two of which are the top nominated films. And he’s an insane chameleon.


Best Supporting Actress

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

Will Win – Alicia Vikander
Should Win – Jennifer Jason Leigh
Dark Horse – Kate Winslet

Notes: Dark Horse isn’t the right term for Winslet — she and Vikander are battling this one out. The Critics’ Choice Award and the Golden Globe for best supporting actress have the same historical predictive rate in this category. Vikander won the Critic’s Choice while Winslet won the Globe. However, Vikander brought home the SAG, which puts her out in front. Though Winslet won the Bafta. It’s all so confusing. The true unsung hero though, was Jennifer Jason Leigh, who was amazing in both The Hateful Eight and Anomalia.


Best Director

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

Will Win – Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
Should Win – Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu or George Miller
Dark Horse – George Miller

Notes: Inarritu won the DGA. It is also his 2nd consecutive DGA win (this and last year’s best picture and best director Oscars also went to him for Birdman).



Best Screenplay

Matt Charman, Joel & Ethan Coen (“Bridge of Spies”)
Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley (“Inside Out”)
Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer (“Spotlight”)
Alex Garland (“Ex Machina”)
Jonathan Herman, Andrea Berloff, S. Leigh Savidge and Alan Wenkus (“Straight Outta Compton”)

Will Win – Spotlight
Should Win – Spotlight or Inside Out
Dark Horse – Inside Out

Best Adapted Screenplay

Emma Donoghue (“Room”)
Drew Goddard (“The Martian”)
Nick Hornby (“Brooklyn”)
Adam McKay and Charles Randolph (“The Big Short”)
Phyllis Nagy (“Carol”)

Will Win – The Big Short
Should Win – The Big Short
Dark Horse – The Martian

Best Animated Feature

“Boy and the World”
“Inside Out”
“When Marnie Was There”
“Shaun the Sheep”

Will Win – Inside Out
Should Win – Inside Out or Anomalisa
Dark Horse – None

Best Foreign Film

“Mustang” (France)
“Theeb” (Jordan)
“Son of Saul” (Hungary)
“Embrace the Serpent” (Colombia)
“A War” (Denmark)

Will Win – Son of Saul
Should Win – Son of Saul
Dark Horse – Mustang

Note: Son of Saul won the Grand Prix at Cannes.

Best Documentary

“Amy” (Asif Kapadia)
“Cartel Land” (Matthew Heineman)
“The Look of Silence” (Joshua Oppenheimer)
“What Happened, Miss Simone?” (Liz Garbus)
“Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom” (Evgeny Afineevsky)

Will Win – Amy
Should Win – The Look of Silence
Dark Horse – The Look of Silence

Best Cinematography

“Carol” (Ed Lachman)
“The Hateful Eight” (Robert Richardson)
“Mad Max: Fury Road” (John Seale)
“The Revenant” (Emmanuel Lubezki)
“Sicario” (Roger Deakins)

Will Win – Emmanuel Lubezki
Should Win – Emmanuel Lubezki
Dark Horse – John Seale

Note: Emmanuel Lubezki lost a bunch of times, then finally won an Oscar for “Gravity.” Then again a last year for “Birdman.” Third time’s a charm and would be one for the history books.

Best Film Editing

“The Big Short”
“Mad Max: Fury Road”
“The Revenant”
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”

Will Win – Mad Max: Fury Road
Should Win – Mad Max: Fury Road
Dark Horse – The Big Short

Best Production Design

“Bridge of Spies”
“The Revenant”
“The Danish Girl”
“Mad Max: Fury Road”
“The Martian”

Will Win – Mad Max: Fury Road
Should Win – Mad Max: Fury Road or The Revenant
Dark Horse – The Revenant

Best Costume Design

“Carol” (Sandy Powell)
“Cinderella” (Sandy Powell)
“The Revenant” (Jacqueline West)
“The Danish Girl” (Paco Delgado)
“Mad Max: Fury Road” (Jenny Beavan)

Will Win – Mad Max: Fury Road
Should Win – Mad Max: Fury Road
Dark Horse – Carol

NOTE: British costume designer Sandy Powell has been nominated for 10 Oscars and won three times (“Shakespeare in Love,” “The Aviator,” and “The Young Victoria”). She’s nominated twice this year (dressing Cate Blanchett in both films).

Best Original Score

“Carol” (Carter Burwell)
“Sicario” (Jóhann Jóhannsson)
“The Hateful Eight” (Ennio Morricone)
“Bridge of Spies” (Thomas Newman)
“Star Wars: Episode VII—The Force Awakens” (John Williams)

Will Win – The Hateful Eight (Ennio Morricone)
Should Win – The Hateful Eight (Ennio Morricone)
Dark Horse – Carol or Star Wars

NOTE: Can you believe that Morricone has never won an Oscar? Crazy.

Best Original Song

“Earned It” from “Fifty Shades of Grey”
“Manta Ray” from “Racing Extinction
“Simple Song #3” from “Youth”
“Til It Happens To You” from “The Hunting Ground”
“Writings on the Wall” from “Spectre”

Will Win – “Til It Happens to You,” The Hunting Ground: Music and Lyric by Diane Warren and Lady Gaga
Should Win – None of them.
Dark Horse – “Earned It” from “Fifty Shades of Grey”

NOTE: Just once I’d like to see a good song in this category. And I don’t know if I can live in a world where Fifty Shades of Grey has an Oscar.

Best Visual Effects

“Ex Machina”
“The Martian”‘
“The Revenant”
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”
“Mad Max: Fury Road”

Will Win – Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Should Win – They were all really good.
Dark Horse – The Revenant

Note: They probably have to give Star Wars an Oscar somewhere because it made a kabillion dollars. This would seem to be the best category for it. But a dark horse could be The Revenant — how about that crazy bear attack? And of course, Mad Max should win with it’s seamless mating of practical effects and CGI to create a crazy, action-packed world.

Best Makeup & Hairstyling

“The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared”
“Mad Max: Fury Road”
“The Revenant”

Will Win – Mad Max: Fury Road
Should Win – Mad Max: Fury Road
Dark Horse – The Revenant

Best Sound Mixing

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”
“Mad Max: Fury Road”
“The Martian”
“The Revenant”
“Bridge of Spies”

Will Win – The Revenant
Should Win – The Revenant, Mad Max, or Star Wars
Dark Horse – Star Wars and Mad Max

NOTE: These are the toughest categories this year. I flip-flopped hard on the. It should be noted that The Revenant won the CAS Award in this category. This could go both categories Mad Max, or Star Wars, or even The Revenant. I chose to split the difference, rather than choosing the same movie for both. And I’m boned if Star Wars wins.

Best Sound Editing

“Mad Max: Fury Road”
“The Martian”
“The Revenant”
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”

Will Win – Mad Max: Fury Road
Should Win – The Revenant, Mad Max, or Star Wars
Dark Horse – Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Best Live Action Short Film

“Ave Maria,” Basil Khalil and Eric Dupont
“Day One,” Henry Hughes
“Everything Will Be Okay (Alles Wird Gut),” Patrick Vollrath
“Shok,” Jamie Donoughue
“Stutterer,” Benjamin Cleary and Serena Armitage

Will Win – Shok

Best Animated Short Film

“Bear Story,” Gabriel Osorio and Pato Escala
“Prologue,” Richard Williams and Imogen Sutton
“Sanjay’s Super Team,” Sanjay Patel and Nicole Grindle
“We Can’t Live Without Cosmos,” Konstantin Bronzit
“World of Tomorrow,” Don Hertzfeldt

Will Win – World of Tomorrow

Best Documentary – Short Subject

“Body Team 12,” David Darg and Bryn Mooser
“Chau, Beyond the Lines,” Courtney Marsh and Jerry Franck
“Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah,” Adam Benzine
“A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness,” Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
“Last Day of Freedom,” Dee Hibbert-Jones and Nomi Talisman

Will Win – A Girl in the River

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

About the Author

Avatar photo

is a D-level celebrity with delusions of grandeur. A writer, critic, creative director, editor, broadcaster, and occasional filmmaker, his thoughts have appeared on radio, television, in print, and on the web. He is a juror on the Polaris Music Prize and the Juno Awards. He loves Saskatoon. He has horrible night terrors and apocalyptic dreams.

Comments are closed.

Back to Top ↑