Let’s break these bad motherfuckers down.
A quick note: I rank all my contenders in all my award categories only for the top 20. So if someone ranks lower than 20 on a given list, I note them thus: (#>20). I assume that’s right.
Picture – Drama:
- Mad Max: Fury Road
- The Revenant
Carol (#7) – It’s a beautiful film. I don’t know if it’s quite there as a Best Picture winner, but it deserves to be here. I dont know if it can win here, but if it does, consider it more of an Oscar threat than we’ve been assuming. I’d say it’s the second most likely, based on other nominations.
Mad Max: Fury Road (#1) – It’s my vote all the way, obviously. They only gave it two nominations, which has me thinking it won’t win here…but don’t count it out completely. I’d probably say it’s the third most likely film to win.
The Revenant (#8) – Won’t and shouldn’t win here. It has one category it will almost certainly win and one which it could sneak in and take at the last second. But not this one. It’s just not quite there as a drama.
Room (#17) – This, too, has its own category to win. It’s the least-likely winner on this list. Which doesn’t bother me too much, since I’m not an unequivocal fan of it (as a film).
Spotlight (#31) – This has had the most traction all season. Ironic, given that I think it’s not that great of a film (**** history, *** drama), but it’s been the apple of the awards groups’ eyes. The comparatively few nominations it received suggest it isn’t invulnerable, but consider this your frontrunner until proven otherwise.
In order of likelihood of winning: Spotlight, Carol, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Revenant, Room.
I maintain that Spotlight is the frontrunner based on its performance this season, but here’s something to consider: the last time a film won Best Picture – Drama with only 3 nominations…was in 1961. So consider Carol a real threat to take this.
Will Win: Spotlight
Should Win: Mad Max: Fury Road
Picture – Musical/Comedy:
- The Big Short
- The Martian
The Big Short (#3) – This film has gone on a hell of a journey. I didn’t even know it existed until…September? And while others were mooting it as a contender, I thought it was some kind of a troll. Then two things happened: the awards groups started noticing it and I actually saw it. And saw it again. And it’s now one of my favorite films of the year. It’s fucking amazing, and the awards groups seem to agree–just look at how much BAFTA embraced it. And I think this will actually win. I’ll explain shortly, but I’m putting my faith in this one.
Joy (#40) – Remember when people thought this would be a big deal? Me too. It’s not exactly a bad film–I’d even say it’s mildly underrated, just as American Hustle was overrated–but it’s got way too many problems to ever contend for a win here. It only got on because this is such a bad year for comedy (and because the Globes never saw Tangerine). Some would argue it barely even qualifies as a comedy, but since this category has two obvious frontrunners and this isn’t one, I’ll let it slide.
The Martian (#10) – At the time of the nominations, we all would’ve said this was taking this award without breaking a sweat. Now, I’m not so sure. Because The Big Short is so much more a true comedy, whereas this…having seen it three times, I think it’s closer to a drama. It has a lot of comedy in it, but it doesn’t fit comfortably into this category. And, arguably, it has already peaked, whereas The Big Short is hitting its stride. For that, I think it’s the second most likely winner, and possibly not as close a second place as you would think. (I do like it a lot, though. In case you thought I had cooled on it.)
Spy (#22) – A delightful film, one of the year’s pleasantest surprises. In fact, at my Six-Month Awards, it was still in my top 5. Now, of course, it’s a ways short of that, but I enjoyed it immensely and am glad it’s here. It won’t win–in fact, it’s probably the least likely winner–but it deserves to be here.
Trainwreck (#N/A) – Still haven’t seen it. Probably will before I do my own awards. I think this is the third or fourth most likely winner, since Amy Schumer is a big deal right now, it got the WGA nod, and it was pretty widely acclaimed. It won’t win, though.
In order of likelihood of winning: The Big Short, The Martian, Trainwreck, Joy, Spy.
It’s all about the top two. I think Big Short takes this, but if The Martian pulled it off I wouldn’t be too shocked. I would be if anything else won.
Will Win: The Big Short
Should Win: The Big Short
Director – Motion Picture:
- Todd Haynes, Carol
- Alejandro G. Iñárritu, The Revenant
- Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
- George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road
- Ridley Scott, The Martian
Todd Haynes (#4) – He crafts a beautiful, low-key love story (with amazing cinematography), sets it convincingly in the 50s, and (for the most part) gets his cast to follow suit. He deserves to be here. I don’t think he’ll win, however, unless they decide this should sweep.
Alejandro G. Iñárritu (#2) – The direction is incredible. It’s so good it outshines the film itself. They passed him over last year for Birdman (in favor of Richard Linklater), and that might just put him over the top to win. I’m not absolutely convinced of that, but consider it a possibility.
Tom McCarthy (#>20) – I’m sorry, I saw nothing here that merited a nomination. Did he do a solid job? Sure. Was it anything worth giving special notice to? I say it was not. But the film is the Picture – Drama frontrunner, and so I have to say that makes him either a weak #1 or a very strong #2.
George Miller (#1) – What he accomplished here is simply mind-blowing. I really can’t imagine anyone watching all five efforts and not putting him at least in the top two. He’s also been winning left and right this season, which leads me to believe he’ll take this as well. The strength of the competition means it isn’t a done deal, but for my money, he’s the #1.
Ridley Scott (#8) – The more I think about it, the more I wish there was some more authentic Ridleyan (is that right?) flavor to his direction here. He made an enormously entertaining film…but compared to his best work the direction lacks a certain distinction. Prometheus, for all its faults, was better directed. And since the nominations, I do think the buzz around this film has diminished a bit. But he’s a legend, directed a critical and commercial smash, and has a comeback narrative working in his favor. So I’ll say he’s #3, and a strong one at that.
In order of likelihood of winning: Miller, McCarthy, Scott, Iñárritu, Haynes.
Any of the top three could win and I wouldn’t be surprised. Even Iñárritu wouldn’t be that much of an upset. Haynes would be an upset, but they liked his film, so…
Will Win: George Miller
Should Win: George Miller
Actor – Drama:
- Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
- Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
- Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
- Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl
- Will Smith, Concussion
Bryan Cranston (#9) – It’s a fun performance. It’s honestly closer t0 Musical/Comedy than Drama, given how much of it revolves around him being witty and snarky. He does do the dramatic side very well, though, and given that this has been a weak year for Best Actor, I don’t mind that he’s been racking up the nominations. Should he win? No. Will he win? Almost certainly not. I’d say he’s the fourth likeliest winner here.
Leonardo DiCaprio (#8) – Honestly, he doesn’t really do that much acting here. He reacts to all the shit they put him through quite well. But he doesn’t give much of a true performance. He was much, much better in Wolf of Wall Street, which he got a Globe for (and should have won the Oscar), and since the Globes have given him his due (he also won for The Aviator), I can’t root for him to win here. The Oscars are another matter, but we’ll deal with that soon enough. That said, he’s probably the frontrunner here, given the lack of a really strong opponent. I don’t mind too much, since it’s not like he’s at all bad here, but I might actually root for Cranston over him.
Michael Fassbender (#3) – He’s really fucking good here. I have my issues with the film (though I’d like to see it again), but he definitely shows how Jobs slowly goes from being young, obnoxious, and audacious to being…middle-aged, a bit less obnoxious, and not much less audacious. He keeps the changes gradual and believable. And he’s charismatic as shit, which makes it easier to bear what a son-of-a-bitch he is. He’s also 0-2 at the Globes to date, even though he should’ve won both of his previous nominations (Shame and 12 Years a Slave). I’m totally rooting for him here. I think he’s the second likeliest to win, but the relatively muted reception to the film combined with the buzz surrounding Leo’s performance will probably outweigh the fact that, objectively, he deserves it more. So it goes.
Eddie Redmayne (#10) – He does do fairly well here. He’s not great–he has a tendency to be overwrought, especially with his facial expressions–but the nomination is not as grossly undeserved as I feared. But he won last year, and this film hasn’t really lived up to expectations (and, frankly, he’s overshadowed by his co-star). So he’s a solid third, but I’d be quite surprised if he actually won.
Will Smith (#>20) – Yeah, no. The performance is okay (he’s probably around #21-22 on my list), but it’s a bit one-note and reliant on an accent which, while I didn’t have an issue with it, has been criticized for being inauthentic. And the film itself is hideously baity. Really, really over-the-top at times. I’ll get into its issues elsewhere, but suffice to say, the performance isn’t award-worthy and the quality of the film only compounds that fact. I was tempted to say he’d be the fourth likeliest to win just based on his popularity, but Cranston has some genuine traction. He has very little.
In order of likelihood to win: DiCaprio, Fassbender, Redmayne, Cranston, Smith.
This was just not a great year for actors. They should’ve gone with Ian McKellen and/or Johnny Depp instead, but even so, this was an off year for the category.
Will Win: Leonardo DiCaprio
Should Win: Michael Fassbender
Actress – Drama:
- Cate Blanchett, Carol
- Brie Larson, Room
- Rooney Mara, Carol
- Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn
- Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl
Cate Blanchett (#1) – Based solely on the performance, she should win this. She’s amazing in the film, and like so much about the film itself, it’s hard to put into words just why she’s so good…she just is. Watching the film, I realized pretty quickly she was my #1 in this category. Unfortunately, she’s already won three Globes, one of which was just two years ago, so I imagine she’s third place at best, and probably fourth. Too bad.
Brie Larson (#3) – She’s in a virtual tie for first, but given that the Globes liked her film more, I think she has the edge. Which is fine. She’s excellent in the film, and while I think she was better in Short Term 12 (which she was too little nominated for), if she wins here I won’t have any problem with it at all.
Rooney Mara (#12) – I’m glad they nominated her here. She’s definitely a lead, and while the line between Lead and Supporting can be fuzzy, to me there’s no doubt where she belongs. That said…I was not unequivocally a fan of her performance. At times she’s incredible, but at other times I thought her delivery seemed very off (possibly because of poorly done ADR). Plus, Blanchett is so good that it makes the flaws in her performance more apparent. But I don’t mind her being here whatsoever (though, Charlize Theron would’ve been really nice to see), and she has no shot at winning; she is most definitely fifth place.
Saoirse Ronan (#5) – She’s the one who’s essentially tied with Larson. They’ve been neck-and-neck this season, but since the Globes gave Room more nominations than they gave Brooklyn (in fact, I think Ronan was its sole nomination), I think Larson has a very slight edge over Ronan. She’s also slightly better, but Ronan is extremely good in her own right; it’s a very subtle, low-key performance of a young woman trying to find herself under extraordinary circumstances. If she does win, I’ll be perfectly happy.
Alicia Vikander (#4) – I might actually root for her. Because this isn’t even her best performance of the year. She’s great here, though; she solidly outshines Redmayne and gives an honest emotional core to a film which certainly doesn’t get one from its script. “Vivacious” is the word which came to mind. She’s had a hell of a year, also getting good reviews for Testament of Youth, which I might try to see before I do my own awards. I think she’s still a bit too new to have this category in the bag, but she has another nomination on the table which might just do the trick. In any case, the nomination was deserved.
In order of likelihood of winning: Larson, Ronan, Vikander, Blanchett, Mara.
This is one of the best years for Best Actress in quite a while. And the awards groups have been getting it more right than not. Thank God.
Will Win: Brie Larson (but Saoirse Ronan is right there)
Should Win: Cate Blanchett
Actor – Musical/Comedy:
- Christian Bale, The Big Short
- Steve Carell, The Big Short
- Matt Damon, The Martian
- Al Pacino, Danny Collins
- Mark Ruffalo, Infinitely Polar Bear
Christian Bale (#11 in Supporting Actor) – A very good performance–a performance that could’ve gone off the rails in depicting Burry’s eccentricity, but remains grounded throughout–but a supporting performance. Granted, the film is such an ensemble piece that you could argue there are no real leads, but Carell is more a lead than Bale. I like his work here a lot, though, and if the Academy recognizes him (in Supporting) I’ll be happy with it. But here, I’d say he’s third place at best, and mostly because this category just barely avoided being disastrous.
Steve Carell (#17) – I do like his performance. I actually just bumped him up a couple of spots on my list because I really do like what he does here; how he gets Baum’s bottomless rage at the world across without once turning it into schtick or sugarcoating it. I don’t think he smiles once in the film. I don’t think it’s quite an awards-caliber performance, but in this year, in this category, it’s at least worth the nomination. I doubt strongly that he’ll win, but good for him if he does. I think he’s second place just because the competition is so weak.
Matt Damon (#6) – If you’ve seen the film, you know how much fun his performance is. In a better year he’d just be a solid nominee, but in this category he is by far the best, and by far the frontrunner. Even if The Martian loses its other two races, I can’t see it losing this. He had this sewn up before they even announced the nominations. Enjoy the award, Matt.
Al Pacino (#N/A) – Didn’t see the film. Apparently it wasn’t amazing. But given his track record of late, and given how awful this year was for comedies, the fact that he gave an apparently decent performance in a film that qualified put him over the top. He won’t win, and I’m not sure if he’s fourth because of who he is or fifth because of the film. It matters not. I’ll probably never see this.
Mark Ruffalo (#N/A) – On the other hand, I’d like to see this film. I’ve heard it’s not really a comedy (it’s about him having bipolar disorder and trying to help raise his children), but apparently it is solid and he’s good in it. Probably better than he is in Spotlight. But like Pacino, he won’t win. I like him, though, and given that he got so widely nominated last year and has the Spotlight nomination giving him a boost, he might actually be the fourth likeliest winner. But it’s a distant, distant fourth, and he’s on here because…who else would they have nominated?
In order of likelihood of winning: Damon, Carell, Bale, Ruffalo, Pacino.
Props to the HFPA for making this category less of a shit-show than it should have been. I’m surprised they didn’t go for Cusack and/or Dano from Love & Mercy here, but that film really straddles the line between Drama and Musical/Comedy. Then again, so apparently does Infinitely Polar Bear. But it could’ve been worse. They could’ve gone with Bradley Cooper from Burnt (who was indeed widely predicted to get on).
Will Win: Matt Damon
Should Win: Matt Damon
Actress – Musical/Comedy:
- Jennifer Lawrence, Joy
- Melissa McCarthy, Spy
- Amy Schumer, Trainwreck
- Maggie Smith, The Lady in the Van
- Lily Tomlin, Grandma
Jennifer Lawrence (#6) – To my surprise, I really, really liked her performance here. Yes, she’s still too young for the roles Russell gives her, and the film itself is nothing to write home about. But she handles all the shit Joy goes through (and she goes through quite a bit) believably and naturally. It’s honestly the best and most mature work I’ve yet seen from her. It’s a good thing she’s probably winning this, since based on what I’ve seen, she deserves it.
Melissa McCarthy (#9) – Really dug the film, really dug the performance. I’m not sure how different the performance really is from her normal M.O., but she pulls off the balancing act of being extremely funny without compromising the character’s humanity. You care about her even when you’re laughing with (and at) her. Wholly deserving of the nomination. Wouldn’t even be a bad choice to win.
Amy Schumer (#N/A) – Didn’t see the film. From what I’ve read, she mostly plays her standard persona. Given her popularity, I’d say she has a faint shot at winning, but not much more than that.
Maggie Smith (#N/A) – Also didn’t see this, though I’m not sure I’ve even had the chance to. I just watched the trailer, though, and she looks pretty fun and crotchety in it. I’m not sure if she’s fourth or fifth likeliest to win; I’m tempted to say fourth because she won recently for Downton Abbey. She also has the BAFTA nom, for what it’s worth. So I’ll say fourth.
Lily Tomlin (#N/A) – Didn’t see this, but I should have. Apparently it’s quite good, and she’s good in it. She has her veteran status working in her favor, but so does Maggie Smith, and I think she has the (narrow) edge. So I’ll say she’s fifth. All I know is I really need to see the film one of these days.
In order of likelihood of winning: Lawrence, McCarthy, Schumer, Smith, Tomlin.
I’m taking more of a stab in the dark with this category than I normally like, but I didn’t watch everything I should have. Shame on me. In any case, Lawrence should take this easily.
Will Win: Jennifer Lawrence
Should Win: Jennifer Lawrence
- Paul Dano, Love & Mercy
- Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation
- Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
- Michael Shannon, 99 Homes
- Sylvester Stallone, Creed
Paul Dano (#1 in Actor – shared with John Cusack) – What a fucking performance. And when you put his and Cusack’s performances together, it’s even better. By far my favorite Best Actor performance(s). And as such, he’s absolutely my vote here. He pulls off Wilson’s slow disintegration perfectly, and if at the start you don’t believe that he and Cusack are playing the same person, by the end, you absolutely buy it. I’m not sure where I’d rank him, as this is an unusually tricky category, but I know he should win.
Idris Elba (#N/A) – Haven’t got around to watching it yet. I think I wanted to see it in a theater, but since it barely got released in theaters, Netflix will have to do. I hope he’s as good as I’m expecting. I’ll be very happy if he does win, but I’d actually say he’s fourth likeliest, based on various factors. Maybe third, since Luther has earned him some Globe love, but there are two performances which are definitely ahead of him.
Mark Rylance (#9) – Love the film. The performance I only liked. I personally think he underplays it just a little too much, and am not totally sure why he’s won so much this season. But here he is, the probable frontrunner (in a fairly open category). For the film’s sake, I’m okay with that.
Michael Shannon (#N/A) – I really fucked up by not seeing this when I had the chance. I think I knew how upset it would make me and decided to pass on it, but assuming the Oscars nominate him (which is likely if not quite a sure thing), I’ll do my damnedest to see the film before it’s too late. As it is, I like him a lot as an actor and am really, really glad he got on for that reason alone. But he’s probably the fifth likeliest to win.
Sylvester Stallone (#6) – It’s a really nice, sentimental return to the role which made his name. In a slightly stronger year for this category, I’m not sure he’d actually be in the running, but I don’t mind at all that he is. He might actually win, between the strength of the performance and the sentimental factor, but Rylance has been giving him a run for his money this season. I think he’s a very, very close second, and if he wins I won’t be at all surprised.
In order of likelihood of winning: Rylance, Stallone, Dano, Elba, Shannon
Dano has won quite a few awards…most of them in Lead. So even though I put him third, he could just pull this off. Which would delight me. But I won’t get my hopes up, just because Rylance has been winning heavily and Stallone has so much working in his favor.
Will Win: Mark Rylance
Should Win: Paul Dano
- Jane Fonda, Youth
- Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
- Helen Mirren, Trumbo
- Alicia Vikander, Ex Machina
- Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs
Jane Fonda (#>20) – I have no idea how she got nominated. She does nothing here that would justify a nomination. She essentially has one scene where she tells Harvey Keitel he’s washed up, and one very brief moment a little while later. That one scene does not justify the nomination. It’s not that she gives a lacking performance, but it’s essentially a cameo. Not an awards-caliber performance by any stretch of the imagination. I can’t imagine her winning for this. I don’t know how likely she is to win, but she won’t.
Jennifer Jason Leigh (#3) – It’s a good performance. She relishes the nastiness of it. It’s also a weakish year for this category, and so I’m totally fine with her being here. I’m not sure if she’s first or second likeliest to win, but she definitely has a chance. And thank God, too–the film needs the love.
Helen Mirren (#>20) – She’s fun in that despicable way. You enjoy despising her. I don’t really know why she’s being nominated for it, since there are quite a few better choices out there, but I can at least sort of see why they went with her, which is more than I can say for Fonda. That said, she has no chance at winning, so the point is moot.
Alicia Vikander (#2 in Actress) – One hell of a performance. So, so glad she got nominated. She plays an AI, about as believably as you could ever wish for, and despite the spring release, the low budget, and the genre (science fiction rarely gets its due where acting is concerned), the awards groups took notice. Personally, I think she’s a lead, but either way, she deserves to win this. And since she’s also got the Danish Girl nomination this year, I think it might be enough to put her over the top. I’m not absolutely convinced of it, but I think it’s going to be her or Leigh. I can’t see anyone else pulling it off.
Kate Winslet (#7) – I swear she had a different accent in the first third than in the other two thirds, but she still does a good job here. I wouldn’t give her the award, and I don’t think they will either, but it’s a very, very solid performance. A reasonable nominee.
In order of likelihood of winning: Vikander, Leigh, Winslet, Mirren, Fonda
Mirren gets fourth place because of the SAG nod.
I’m really torn between whether Vikander or Leigh has the best chance of winning. I just know it’ll be one of them. Anyone else would shock me. I think Vikander will pull it off because of the double nomination, but Leigh has been doing pretty well this season and should not be counted out.
But why they didn’t go with Kristen Stewart over Fonda or Mirren is beyond me.
Will Win: Alicia Vikander
Should Win: Alicia Vikander
- The Big Short
- The Hateful Eight
- Steve Jobs
The Big Short (#1 Factually-Based Screenplay) – I love this script. I love this film. It might actually be my favorite script of the year. I love how it doesn’t dumb down the story, how it has fun illustrating the more arcane concepts, how it doesn’t sugarcoat the tragedy of the situation, how it doesn’t go for a happy ending, how it juggles a large cast of characters and does so so well…it’s an amazing, amazing script, and it gets my vote here. I think it’s second likeliest to win, but I’m behind it all the way.
The Hateful Eight (#2 Original Screenplay) – It’s Tarantino. It’s a great script. Not one of his absolute best, but a nice adaptation of his style to a more subdued setting, with dashes of mystery and commentary on the state of race relations in America for flavor. I’d be totally fine with him winning, but since the film didn’t make as big of a splash as expected (which is too bad, since it’s really fucking good), he probably won’t.
Room (#6 Adapted Screenplay) – Parts of this script I really like. The way Ma teaches Jack about the world while stuck in Room, the dynamic between them before and after they leave…there’s some great stuff here. But I don’t think it totally holds together, and while some of that might be attributed to the story supposedly being told from Jack’s POV, that explanation doesn’t really hold together or excuse some of the more frustrating gaps in the story. Still good enough for my #6 in Adapted, but I think this is the weakest script on the list and the least likely to win.
Spotlight (#4 Factually-Based Screenplay) – I’ve said numerous times how overrated I consider this film to be. And the script, although the awards groups have been lavishing prizes on it left and right, is likewise overpraised. But it is a solid script, and regardless of my opinion it is definitely the likeliest to win. Picture – Drama and Director could go to other films, but this is Spotlight‘s to lose.
Steve Jobs (#3 Factually-Based Screenplay) – Not a perfect script, and I’m not sure the three-act structure is a complete success, but for sheer ambition it gets on my list (in my new writing category). And the dialogue isn’t too bad either. Sorkin’s cachet makes this the third likeliest winner by my estimation, but it’s a distant third.
In order of likelihood of winning: Spotlight, The Big Short, Steve Jobs, The Hateful Eight, Room
Spotlight will take this. It will also take the Original Screenplay Oscar. Of this I am all too sure.
Will Win: Spotlight
Should Win: The Big Short
- The Danish Girl
- The Hateful Eight
- The Revenant
- Steve Jobs
My rankings for Score are only tentative. So I won’t include them here or in Song.
Carol – It’s a nice score. I don’t remember it that well, and I wouldn’t vote for it, but I recall thinking it was a good piece of music. That’s really all I have to say about it.
The Danish Girl – A good biopic score. Desplat did better last year with The Grand Budapest Hotel and The Imitation Game, but he does fine here as well. Not a score that would ever win, but I don’t really mind the nom. (Though, why this is here and Mad Max isn’t is beyond me.)
The Hateful Eight – By far the best score here. It’s a good, ominous score, and the main motif sticks with you. I wish there were a little more music here, to be honest, but between the quality of the score and Morricone’s status, I think this is his to lose.
The Revenant – Mostly a lot of tonalities. It suits the film well enough, but I can’t say it should win. I don’t think it will, either. It also won’t be up for the Oscar, which doesn’t break my heart.
Steve Jobs – I don’t even remember this film having a notable score. I intend to listen to it again to see what I missed, but that isn’t a great sign. It won’t win.
In order of likelihood of winning: The Hateful Eight, The Revenant, Carol, The Danish Girl, Steve Jobs
Kind of guessing on the order there. The Hateful Eight is by far the best score here. Any way you cut it, it wasn’t a great year for scores, but if anything else wins this, it’ll only compound that fact.
Will Win: The Hateful Eight
Should Win: The Hateful Eight
- “Love Me Like You Do”, Fifty Shades of Grey
- “One Kind of Love”, Love & Mercy
- “See You Again”, Furious 7
- “Simple Song No. 3”, Youth
- “Writing’s On the Wall”, Spectre
I’m going to listen to these songs right now and offer my thoughts.
“Love Me Like You Do” – Fuck no. Forgettable song, terrible film. No way in hell should this be here.
“One Kind of Love” – Not the best song Brian Wilson’s ever written, but it’s pleasant, and given how bad this year was for original songs, I can at least get behind it. Plus, the film itself is really good. So I might actually root for this to win.
“See You Again” – Never saw the film. On its own, this does nothing for me. I don’t dislike it, exactly, but I got nothing from it. The fact that the verses and chorus seem to be from two separate songs doesn’t help. And yet…this could win.
“Simple Song No. 3” – Objectively, this might be the best song on the list. It’s not an easy song to feel enthusiastic about, at least as an awards contender, but it’s good. I don’t think it’ll win, but this is a very, very tricky category to predict.
“Writing’s On the Wall” – The tune itself is actually quite good. I just don’t like Smith’s rendition. I don’t know if this will win or not, but I’d probably vote for it. A good cover of this could be awesome.
In order of likelihood of winning: “See You Again”, “Writing’s On the Wall”, “One Kind of Love”, “Love Me Like You Do”, “Simple Song No. 3”
Again, guessing on the order.
What a fucking terrible year for songs.
Will Win: “See You Again”
Should Win: “Writing’s On the Wall” (though “Simple Song No. 3” would be just as good)
- The Good Dinosaur
- Inside Out
- The Peanuts Movie
- Shaun the Sheep Movie
Anomalisa – Cannot wait to see this. Looks magnificent. I’d say it’s the second-likeliest film to win, but it’s a distant second.
The Good Dinosaur – Gorgeous animation, mediocre story. Fourth or fifth likeliest to win. Probably fourth, but it’s not happening either way.
Inside Out (#4) – One of the best films of the year. Absolutely wonderful. If this doesn’t win, I don’t know what the fuck is wrong with the HFPA.
The Peanuts Movie – Never did see this. My dad saw it and said it was mediocre. I’d say it’s the least likely film to win, or the second least likely based on the middling reception accorded to The Good Dinosaur.
Shaun the Sheep Movie (#18) – A very charming little film. Maybe the no-dialogue gimmick wears a touch thin at times, and the story is fairly predictable, but I was mostly delighted by it. A rock-solid nominee that won’t and shouldn’t win.
In order of likelihood of winning: Inside Out, Anomalisa, Shaun the Sheep Movie, The Good Dinosaur, The Peanuts Movie
I’m just glad a truly adult animated film (Anomalisa) is in the running. That’s awesome.
Will Win: Inside Out
Should Win: Inside Out
- The Brand New Testament
- The Club
- The Fencer
- Son of Saul
The Brand New Testament – Dig the premise. Won’t win.
The Club – Sounds fascinating. Won’t win.
The Fencer – Sounds kind of sappy. Won’t win.
Mustang – I’d like to see it. Won’t win, but is the second likeliest to.
Son of Saul – Will see this when it opens. Very, very excited. This will win.
In order of likelihood of winning: Son of Saul, Mustang, The Brand New Testament, The Club, The Fencer
I’d like to see some of these. I really didn’t see many foreign films this year.
Will Win: Son of Saul
Should Win: N/A
To recap, here are my predictions across the board:
Picture – Drama: Spotlight
Picture – Musical/Comedy: The Big Short
Director – Motion Picture: George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road
Actor – Drama: Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
Actress – Drama: Brie Larson, Room
Actor – Musical/Comedy: Matt Damon, The Martian
Actress – Musical/Comedy: Jennifer Lawrence, Joy
Supporting Actor: Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
Supporting Actress: Alicia Vikander, Ex Machina
Score: The Hateful Eight
Song: “See You Again”, Furious 7
Animated Film: Inside Out
Foreign Film: Son of Saul