Quick Oscar Reactions/Picks

Every year, when the Oscar nominations come out, I make my picks as soon as possible, so as not to be spoiled by mass punditry. That’s become harder and harder over the years, as articles now proclaim front-runner status when discussing the nominations, and also because so many awards shows are now part of the mainstream (think back not that long ago when the Golden Globes weren’t even televised). That said, these are as “pure” selections as I can make. Also, I don’t see this year as being one of those “Return of the King” type years where one movie truly dominates. I think the awards will be parceled out more like with the 2000 nominees, when “Gladiator,” “Traffic” and “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” all were awarded a few major prizes but no one film was at the podium more than a handful of times. Without further ado:

(Note: an asterisk denotes who I think will win. I may do a blog post closer to the show about who will win, who should win/who I would vote for, etc.)

Best Picture

The Big Short

Bridge of Spies


Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian

The Revenant




Best Actor

Bryan Cranston, Trumbo

Matt Damon, The Martian

*Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant

Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs

Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl


Best Actress

Cate Blanchett, Carol

*Brie Larson, Room

Jennifer Lawrence, Joy

Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years

Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn


Best Supporting Actor

Christian Bale, The Big Short

Tom Hardy, The Revenant

Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight

Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies

*Sylvester Stallone, Creed


Best Supporting Actress

Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight

Rooney Mara, Carol

Rachel McAdams, Spotlight

*Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl

Kate WInslest, Steve Jobs


Best Directing

Adam McKay, The Big Short

George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road

Alejandro González Iñárritu, The Revenant

Lenny Abrhamson, Room

*Tom McCarthy, Spotlight


Best Film Editing            

*The Big Short

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Revenant


Star Wars: The Force Awakens


Best Foreign Language Film

Colombia, Embrace of the Serpent

France, Mustang

*Hungary, Son of Saul

Jordan, Theeb

Denmark, A War


Best Original Score

Thomas Newman, Bridge of Spies

Carter Burwell, Carol

*Ennio Morricone, The Hateful Eight

Jóhann Jóhannsson, Sicario

John Williams, Star Wars: The Force Awakens


Best Production Design

Bridge of Spies

The Danish Girl

Mad Max: Fury Road

*The Martian

The Revenant


Best Visual Effects

Ex Machina

*Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian

The Revenant

Star Wars: The Force Awakens


Best Adapted Screenplay

*The Big Short



The Martian



Best Original Screenplay

Bridge of Spies

Ex Machina

Inside Out


Straight Outta Compton


Best Animated Feature Film


Boy and the World

*Inside Out

Shaun the Sheep Movie

When Marnie Was There


Best Cinematography                      


The Hateful Eight

Mad Max: Fury Road

*The Revenant



Best Costume Design



The Danish Girl

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Revenant


Best Documentary – Feature


Cartel Land

The Look of Silence

What Happened, Miss Simone?

Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom


Best Documentary – Short Subject

Body Team 12

Chau, Beyond the Lines

*Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah

A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness

Last Day of Freedom


Best Makeup and Hairstyling

*Mad Max: Fury Road

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

The Revenant


Best Original Song

“Earned It,” Fifty Shades of Grey

“Manta Ray,” Racing Extinction

*”Simple Song No. 3,” Youth

“‘Til It Happens to You,” The Haunting Ground

“Writings on the Wall,” Spectre

[Digression: HOW IS THE PAUL WALKER/”See You Again” SONG FROM “FURIOUS 7” NOT NOMINATED? A true injustice]

Best Animated Short Film

Bear Story  [aka The Revenant for kids????]


*Sanjay’s Super Team

We Can’t Live Without Cosmos

World of Tomorrow


Best Live Action Short Film

Ave Maria

Day One

Everything Will Be Okay (Alles Wird Gut)




Best Sound Editing

Mad Max: Fury Road

*The Martian

The Revenant


Star Wars: The Force Awakens


Best Sound Mixing

Bridge of Spies

Mad Max: Fury Road

*The Martian

The Revenant

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

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