These are “good enough” predictions because I haven’t actually seen all the nominated movies but I’ve seen many of them and plus, I live in Hollywood so that gives me credentials. Here goes:
Best Documentary (feature): My personal favorite was What Happened, Miss Simone? Truth – that was the only one I saw but it was great. Highly recommended. Wanted to see Amy very badly, but where did that movie go? Based on only the preview, my prediction is that Cartel Land will win, because who doesn’t love a movie about drug cartels? (Other than those who neglected to nominate the fabulous Benicio del Toro for Best Supporting Actor for Sicario, #oscarssowhite)
Best Cinematography: I know, what do I know about cinematography? Nothing, but The Revenant was such a gorgeous movie (at least the parts where I didn’t have my eyes covered) that I can’t imagine it won’t win for this category.
Best Writing (original): I think Spotlight will win this one. I heard a Q&A with the writers at the Writer’s Guild theater (yeah, just casually drop that in) and they were getting a lot of love. Plus it was legit a really good movie. Shout out to Ex Machina — normally not my genre but a very interesting movie that stays with you.
Best Writing (adapted): This is a tough one because all the candidates are good. I’m going to guess The Big Short, because really, how do you adapt a non-fiction book about the financial crisis into an entertaining, accessible movie? Although all of Michael Lewis’ non-fiction books seem to end up as entertaining movies. Plus, I’m not calling The Big Short for any of the other categories and I can’t see it walking away with nothing. Yeah, yeah, I know the academy doesn’t work that way, different voters for different categories but that’s my call. Although I will not be surprised if the award goes to Brooklyn. Or The Martin. Or Room.
Best Supporting Actor: My personal vote goes to Mark Ruffalo in Spotlight. He was so wonderfully intense. I predict that Sylvester Stallone will win though because he’s Sylvester Stallone and he was so brave to play someone past his prime. He’s an actor, people! He was good in Creed but award-worthy good? Especially since everything else about Creed was ignored, #oscarssowhite. Other candidates: Mark Rylance – always great, I wouldn’t cry if he won. Tom Hardy – he was in practically every movie this year – if he wasn’t nominated for playing twins (Legend), why would he win for this role? Christian Bale – was good in The Big Short but so was everyone else in the movie.
Best Supporting Actress: Please, no Kate Winslet! No offense to Kate Winslet but in Steve Jobs, her accent was uneven and what type of accent was it even supposed to be? Plus it’s a made-up composite character so why did she even need an accent? Just no. My prediction is Rachel McAdams for no other reason than I think it’s a Spotlight year and she’s appealing.
Best Actor: Leonardo diCaprio. No doubt about it. (Unless I’m wrong, which is a distinct possibility.) Even though his role consisted of crawling along the ground and grunting, but you get a lot of Oscar points for that.
Best Actress: Brie Larson. Everyone said she was so great and the movie was dramatic. Jennifer Lawrence usually cleans up but is anyone going to vote for a character who sells mops? Saoirse Ronan – if she wins, don’t let John Travolta announce the award. (#adeledazeem)
Best Picture: That truly is a tough one. I’m going to narrow it down to The Big Short (financial crisis made entertaining, great ensemble cast, important issue), The Martian (life-affirming, I actually never saw it but it won a Golden Globe), The Revenant (gorgeous scenery, large in scale, Leonardo diCaprio not playing a rich playboy), and Spotlight (important issue, great ensemble cast, made the drudgery of culling through lists of clergy look exciting). And then I’ll further narrow it to The Revenant and Spotlight. And then I’ll pick…..Spotlight, because I liked it the best and because the Academy often goes for the important issue movie. Honestly, all these movies were good, so I’m making a random guess. And that’s why these are Good Enough predictions.
Note: after I finished this post, I looked at my Bible, FiveThiryEight’s predictions, which are based on lots of data. It predicts Alicia Vikander for Best Supporting Actress – never saw that movie so can’t comment. They have her almost tied with Kate Winslet – why????? They have Rachel McAdams in last place – so much for my predictions. They also have Mark Ruffalo in second-to-last place. Do I suck at Oscar predictions or did I just really like Spotlight? Also, making predictions when you haven’t seen all the movies is an iffy game.
Enjoy the Oscars and please don’t use this guide in any of your Oscar pools!