Okay, there's just a few days to go until Chris Rock hosts this year's Oscars. This year's race was full of excitement and controversy. Nevertheless the show will go on Sunday and the winners will be revealed. And here are my predictions for the 88th Academy Awards for who Should Win (SW), Will Win (WW) and my predicted winner's Closest Threat (CT) or threats:
WW: The Revenant
SW & CT1: The Big Short
This year has to be the closest and most unpredictable race in years. Three heavy favorites. Spotlight won the Critics Choice award. The Revenant won the Golden Globe and BAFTA. However the big surprise was The Big Short winning the Producers Guild award. I'm siding with The Revenant. Besides the Best Picture Oscar is long overdue to have a blockbuster win it.
SW & WW: ALEJANDRO GONZALES INARRITU/The Revenant
CT: GEORGE MILLER/Mad Max: Fury Road
Here's a bit of Oscar trivia. The last time a director won back-to-back Best Director Oscars was Joseph Mankiewicz back in 1950. Inarritu looks heavily poised to be the first since. As well as the 20th to win the Best Director Oscar twice.
SW & WW: LEONARDO DiCAPRIO/The Theory of Everything
CT: MICHAEL FASSBENDER/Steve Jobs
What can I say? This has been Leo's year. And not simply because he was mauled by a bear. His role involved a lot of non-verbal physical acting.
SW & WW: BRIE LARSON/Room
CT: CATE BLANCHETT/Carol
One of out every three Best Actress wins is to an actress under 30, and that includes Jodie Foster winning it twice before her 30th birthday. This year is the first year since 2003 that three or more of the Best Actress nominees are under 30. The win is expected to go to 26 year-old Brie Larson.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:
WW: SYLVESTER STALLONE/Creed
SW & CT: MARK RYLANCE/Bridge Of Spies
Let's face it. Sylvester Stallone may be King Of The Razzies but the role he was best at was Rocky Balboa. In fact he was born to play it. Makes sense that he wins it on what could be his last performance as Rocky.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:
SW: ROONEY MARA/Carol
WW: ALICIA VIKANDER/The Danish Girl
CT: KATE WINSLET/Steve Jobs
This category is full of scene-stealers. There's Kate Winslet whose role in Steve Jobs was able to upstage that of Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander who was able to upstage Eddie Redmayne. This may be the toughest acting category to call so I say Alicia.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:
SW: ALEX GARLAND/Ex Machina
WW: THOMAS McCARTHY & JOSH SINGER/Spotlight
CT: MATT CHARMAN, JOEL & ETHAN COEN/Bridge Of Spies
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:
SW & WW: ADAM McKAY & CHARLES RANDOLPH/The Big Short
CT: PHYLLIS NAGY/Carol
What can I say? I was that impressed with The Big Short. No wonder its screenplay has been winning all the big accolades.
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE:
SW & WW: Inside Out
Let's face it. Pixar is always at its best when it goes for an original story where they go more freestyle instead of something too family friendly like Cars or The Good Dinosaur. Besides I liked the world of the mind they created in Inside Out. A deserving winner.
WW: EMMANUEL LUBEDZKI/The Revenant
CT: ROBERT RICHARDSON/ The Hateful Eight
Hmmm, when was the last time someone won an Oscar in the same category three straight years in a row? Anyone? I'm sure there was at least one. Whatever the situation, Lubezki will be the one to pull of that rare feat this year.
BEST COSTUME DESIGN:
SW & WW: JENNY BEAVAN/MAD MAX: Fury Road
CT: PACO DELGADO/The Danish Girl
Usually the Oscar rewards costumes for period pieces. Isn't it refreshing to see a win for costuming for a sci-fi or fantasy movie for once?
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE:
CT: Cartel Land
Let's face it. For documentaries this year, there was Amy and there was every other documentary.
BEST FILM EDITING:
WW: HANK CORWIN/The Big Short
CT: MARGARET SIXEL/Mad Max: Fury Road
I took a chance on this. Margaret Sixel has won the most accolates but The Big Short is a better Best Picture favorite. So I picked Corwin.
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM:
WW: Son Of Saul (Hungary)
CT: Mustang (France)
WW: Mad Max: Fury Road
CT: The Revenant
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE:
SW & WW: ENNIO MORRICONE/The Hateful Eight
CT: THOMAS NEWMAN/Bridge Of Spies
For all the decades Ennio Morricone has composed film music, his time appears to be now. From The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly to Days Of Heaven to The Mission to The Untouchables to Bugsy to Inglourious Basterds, he has waited a long time for this.
BEST ORIGINAL SONG:
WW: "Til It Happens To You" – The Hunting Ground
CT: "Earned It" - 50 Shades of Grey
Let's face it. It's the year of The Gaga for the song of the year.
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN:
WW: COLIN GIBSON/Mad Max: Fury Road
CT: JACK FISK/The Revenant
BEST SOUND MIXING:
WW: The Revenant
CT: The Martian
BEST SOUND EDITING:
WW: The Revenant
CT: Mad Max: Fury Road
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS:
WW: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
SW & CT:: Mad Max: Fury Road
Of course Star Wars' effects would be the best of the year but they didn't reign supreme. They did get some competition from Mad Max: Fury Road and The Revenant. Nevertheless I believe they'll win here.
BEST ANIMATED SHORT:
WW: Sanjay's Super Team
CT: World Of Tomorrow
BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT:
WW: Ave Maria
SW & CT: Shok
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT:
WW: Body Team 12
CT: Claude Lantzman: Spectre of the Shoah
And there you go. Those are my predictions for these Oscars. Tune in Sunday to see who wins. Also tune in to see what Chris Rock has up his sleeve. Bet he has lots.