The 2016 Academy Awards: Predictions and Thoughts

Best Cinematography: Lubezski will win once again to make it three years in a row. I’m fine with all of these nominees too. Still, if you want some visually stunning movies, check out those I listed deserving of nominations.

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

Will Win: Emmanuel Lubezski (The Revenant)

Could Win: Roger Deakins (Sicario)

Deserved Nominations: Slow West, Beasts of No Nation, Tangerine, Victoria, The Assassin

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Best Costume Design: This category has gone to the period pieces time and time again. What we haven’t seen is something like Beaven’s work in Mad Max. She deserves it, but don’t count out the lurking The Revenant.

The Nominees: Sandy Powell (Carol), Sandy Powell (Cinderella), Paco Delgado (The Danish Girl), Jenny Beaven (Mad Max: Fury Road), Jacqueline West (The Revenant)

Will Win: Jenny Beaven (Mad Max: Fury Road)

Could Win: Jacqueline West (The Revenant)

Deserved Nominations: Brooklyn, Suffragette, Love & Mercy

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Best Film Editing: This one’s a toss-up. Mad Max is the best editing you’ll ever see in an action film. Yet if voters like The Big Short enough for the night’s end cap, they might reward its expert use of cutting and splicing to accent the confusion of its own story. One of the two will win. I just can’t be positive which.

The Nominees: The Big Short, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Revenant, Spotlight, Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Will Win: Mad Max: Fury Road

Could Win: The Big Short

Deserved Nominations: Slow West, The Mend, Sicario

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Best Foreign Language Film: The Academy loves Holocaust films, so I’m sure Son of Saul will win. I’ve yet to see it or Embrace of the Serpent, another movie building some steam. 2015 was a phenomenal year for foreign language films, and the category could have just as easily been stretched to 10 nominees. Seek out the others I mention below.

The Nominees: Embrace of the Serpent (Colombia), Mustang (France), Son of Saul (Hungary), Theeb (Jordan), A War (Denmark)

Will Win: Son of Saul

Could Win: Mustang

Deserved Nominations: Victoria, Mommy, The Second Mother, Stations of the Cross, Hard to Be a God

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Best Documentary Feature: Neither of Netflix’s entries (Miss Simone, Winter on Fire) deserve to be here, taking up slots that should have gone elsewhere. Voters tend to lean towards movies that reflect Hollywood and celebrity culture, so the very well made Amy seems to be the pick. That being said, The Look of Silence is a rare masterpiece, and I’d love to see Joshua Oppenheimer win after losing in 2014. That year his The Act of Killing lost to sub par music doc 20 Feet From Stardom.

The Nominees: Amy, Cartel Land, The Look of Silence, What Happened Miss Simone?, Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom

Will Win: Amy

Could Win: The Look of Silence

Deserved Nominations: Twinsters, Call Me Lucky, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, Meru, Listen to Me Marlon

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Best Animated Feature: Anomalisa vs. Inside Out. Charlie Kaufman’s movie is among my top 15 on the year, but it’s no match for the power of Pixar. Inside Out is one of the studio’s very best, and an uncommonly intelligent treat for children and adults alike.

The Nominees: Anomalisa, Boy & the World, Inside Out, Shaun the Sheep Movie, When Marnie Was There

Will Win: Inside Out

Could Win: Anomalisa

Deserved Nominations: For once, the Academy got it right.

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Best Adapted Screenplay: To me, Room is the best film of the year, and still I think the award should go to The Big Short. Making sense of the housing crisis in such a clear and intriguing way deserves recognition.

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

Will Win: The Big Short

Could Win: The Martian

Deserved Nominations: Beasts of No Nation, The End of the Tour, Phoenix

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Best Original Screenplay: Spotlight is a solid movie. Well made, well written, good performances. Nothing about it hits home though, and I really hope it doesn’t take this one away from the rightful winner, Inside Out. I mean, how many films can make you cry because of a character named Bing Bong? It’s too bad that animated features just don’t win this category.

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

Will Win: Spotlight

Could Win: Inside Out

Deserved Nominations: Slow West, Anomalisa, 99 Homes, The Gift

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