2016 Academy Awards Predictions

Ben Atwater

Best Picture: Spotlight
will likely take the big prize this year, having just enough controversy to be considered artistic and impactful despite the blandness of its style. The plot is about a newS_09159.CR2s team uncovering a scandal in the Catholic Church. The classic underdog tale has captured the hearts of critics everywhere, as it is the top rated film of the year.

Best Actor: Eddie Redmayne
Contrary to social media’s perception that Leonardo DiCaprio will win this year, I believe the front runner is Eddie Redmayne for his role in The Danish Girl, in which he plays a transgender female in the 1920s, when such things were taboo. The character’s transformation is incredibly realistic, thanks to Redmayne’s subtle changes in voice and facial positioning.

Best Director: Alejandro G. Inarritu
   The prize will go to last year’s winner Alejandro G. Inarritu. Nominated for The Revenant, Inarritu captured the story of Hugh Glass’ epic with such visual mastery that the film is an accomplishment in cinema that will not be felt until later years.  Inarritu’s ability to film with all natural light in lands untouched by civilization that only experienced six hours of light a day are too extraordinary to ignore.

Best Actress: Cate Blanchett
   Cate Blanchett was excellent in Carol, in which she plays an aristocrat who falls for a younger store clerk, during a time when homosexual love was not permitted. Blanchett brought her A-game as always, and as she took home the award just two years ago and is consistently nominated.

Best Supporting Actor: Tom Hardy
 Tom Hardy will take the prize for portraying a purely evil frontiersman opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant. Arguably outperforming DiCaprio, Hardy did an excellent job truthfully portraying the character, further showing his versatility.

Best Supporting Actress: Rooney Mara
Carol may well take home two Best Actress awards. Rooney Mara firmly established that she means business, and will likely take home the prize for her portrayal of an innocent store clerk seduced by Blanchett’s titular Carol.  Mara also has subtle changes in her role as she becomes more comfortable with loving a woman.

Best Original Screenplay: Inside Out

 Inside Out is one of those films with incredibly mature content hidden under the guise of a children’s film.  For Inside Out’s depiction of complex mental processes, the writing had to be spot on, and it was. The story development took over a decade to fully conceptualize, and the effort is shown.

Best Adapted Screenplay: The Big Short
 The Big Short was adapted from a finance book about the stock market crisis in 2008. The fact that a narrative could be developed from something so serious is incredible and will likely take home the prize.