Fearless Oscar nominations predictions

The craziest awards season we’ve seen in years is potentially about to get even crazier, with the Oscar nominations due to be announced just after midnight tonight (Australian time). With only a month to go, we still genuinely have no idea who will win most categories which is fun in a way. Usually at least we have a fair lock on what will be nominated, but not this year.

As I always say, take these predictions with a grain of salt. I’m just going with my gut here, but this year, no one’s gut is a strong indicator of what will happen. We’re all flying blind here.

Alas, onwards and upwards with this year’s predictions.

Best Picture
The Big Short
Bridge of Spies
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Alternates: Straight Outta ComptonCreed, Ex Machina, Sicario, Beasts of No Nation

Mathematically, it’s very unlikely we’re going to see 10 nominees, but that’s the maximum possible, so I’m taking it. To be honest, I’m only confident with 5 of them (The Big ShortCarol, The Martian, The Revenant, and Spotlight), since they’ve been appearing the most in the precursor awards who limit themselves to 5 nominees. The others are all possibles that feel likely but could honestly all miss out. I’m probably dead wrong on Star Wars, but I feel it’s box-office is too big to ignore and it’ll squeak in…maybe.

Best Director
Tom McCarthy – Spotlight
Adam McKay – The Big Short
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu – The Revenant
George Miller – Mad Max: Fury Road
Ridley Scott – The Martian

Alternates: Todd Haynes – Carol, Steven Spielberg – Bridge of Spies

These were my five picks for DGA and they were spot on there, so I’m sticking with them. Personally, I am beyond disappointed Todd Haynes will likely be snubbed, but he could steal Adam McKay’s spot, if the Academy goes for prestige over a newcomer. Spielberg could easily sneak in too, if they go as crazy for Bridge of Spies as BAFTA did.

Best Actor
Bryan Cranston – Trumbo
Matt Damon – The Martian
Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant
Michael Fassbender – Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne – The Danish Girl

Alternates: Steve Carell – The Big Short, Johnny Depp – Black Mass, Will Smith – Concussion

As with most years, this is a tough one to predict. The category is so incredibly overcrowded. Just look at those alternates. These five seem the most likely, but there is likely going to be at least one surprise. If the Academy goes really nuts for The Big Short (and they very well could), expect Carell to steal a spot from Damon or Cranston.

Best Actress
Cate Blanchett – Carol
Brie Larson – Room
Jennifer Lawrence – Joy
Saoirse Ronan – Brooklyn
Alicia Vikander – The Danish Girl

Alternates: Charlotte Rampling – 45 Years, Rooney Mara – Carol, Lily Tomlin – Grandma

This one is hard to pick simply due to the fact of not knowing whether Vikander and Mara will be in Supporting or Lead. I’m going with my gut that Vikander will be considered Lead (meaning she can also nab a Supporting nomination for Ex Machina) and Mara will be considered Supporting. It’s ridiculous. Mara is a co-lead, but that’s the Academy. If Vikander drops to Supporting, expect Rampling to take her place.

Best Supporting Actor
Christian Bale – The Big Short
Idris Elba – Beasts of No Nation
Mark Ruffalo – Spotlight
Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies
Sylvester Stallone – Creed

Alternate: Michael Keaton – Spotlight, Jacob Tremblay – Room, Michael Shannon – 99 Rooms, Paul Dano – Love & Mercy

Despite the outpouring of love for Stallone at the Globes, I’m still a little wary of him actually being nominated. It seems highly likely, but there’s always one crazy snub and this could be it. Likewise with Ruffalo who could suffer from voter splitting with his co-star Keaton. Either one will get in, both will or they’ll both miss out. If they go crazy for Room, expect to see Tremblay steal a spot.

Best Supporting Actress
Jennifer Jason Leigh – The Hateful Eight
Rooney Mara – Carol
Helen Mirren – Trumbo
Alicia Vikander – Ex Machina
Kate Winslet – Steve Jobs

Alternates: Jane Fonda – Youth, Kristen Stewart – Clouds of Sils Maria, Rachel McAdams – Spotlight, Joan Allen – Room

Again, hard to predict with the Mara/Vikander confusion, but I feel this is how things will end up. Yes, in my opinion, Vikander will be a double-nominee. That prospect seems to tempting to pass up. There seems to be a The Hateful Eight backlash, so if anyone is going to drop out, expect to see Jason Leigh snubbed for Fonda.

As always, I won’t bother delving into all the other technical categories. If you would like to see my full predictions list, head to http://www.goldderby.com/dougmj/mypredictions/. In the end, I believe we’ll see Mad Max: Fury Road lead with 10 nominations, followed by The Revenant and Carol with 8, and The Martian with 7.

Let the games begin…