With the Oscars just around the corner, we’ve put together a handful of our official predictions for the big night’s leading ladies and gents. Will Leo finally take home the prize for his work in The Revenant? Can someone trump Inside Out for best Animated Feature Film? We'll take our best guesses, no holds barred.
This is usually the toughest category to predict as the list of extraordinary films is oft never-ending. But this time, The Revenant is the clear frontrunner, boasting a whopping 12 nominations. With its stunning cinematography, brilliant acting, and compelling plotline, we think team Iñárritu's got it in the bag. Runner-up: Spotlight
ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
How many times can Leonardo DiCaprio possibly be snubbed by the Academy? This is his fifth acting nomination, with zero wins. Previous nominations include What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, The Aviator, Blood Diamond, and The Wolf of Wall Street, not counting the times he probably should have been nominated (Titanic, Catch Me if You Can, Inception, Gangs of New York...we could go on). This time, we think he'll finally triumph. Runner-up: Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
With such a talented group of women, almost all of whom have been nominated before, this one's a tough call. Brie Larson’s performance as Ma in Room was absolutely incredible, although Saoirse Ronan, previously nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Atonement, might sway voters with her beautiful portrayal of Eilis in Brooklyn. It'll be a tight race, but we think that the buzz after Brie Larson’s Golden Globe win will tilt the scales in her favor. Runner-up: Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn
ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Though Sylvester Stallone did an incredible job in Creed and Tom Hardy’s turn in The Revenant was amazing, the prize has to go to Mark Rylance in Bridge of Spies. His portrayal of of Rudolf Abel, the accused Russian spy, is absolutely mesmerizing. He is most known for his work in the theatre, winning four Tony Awards (most recently for his portrayal of Countess Olivia in the 2013 revival of Twelfth Night), and one Olivier Award. Runners-up: Sylvester Stallone, Creed and Tom Hardy, The Revenant
ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
We're confident that the Golden Globes got this one right. Kate Winslet’s performance as Apple’s marketing exec Joanna Hoffman in the Steve Jobs biopic is perfectly accurate and compelling. Her subtle accent as the eastern European executive was flawless. Winslet said of the accent, “This was the hardest one I have ever done. With foreign accents, particularly the Eastern European ones, you’re only one step away from a SNL skit.” We predict that Kate will win her second Oscar as a follow-up to her Golden Globe victory. Runner-up: Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
Inside Out, the Disney and Pixar film set in the mind of a young girl adjusting to a big move across the country, is as inventive as it is moving. We've got a feeling this one will bring the Oscar back to Pixar after being off the podium for the past two years. Runner-up: none
We could make arguments for every nominee, so this makes our decision a bit difficult. Do we go with Iñárritu for The Revenant? Or Producer’s Guild Award winner Adam McKay for The Big Short? The ne'er nominated, but always brilliant George Miller, for Mad Max: Fury Road, perhaps? Spotlight’s director Tom McCarthy could steal the trophy, but we have to say we're putting our eggs in the George Miller basket. Mad Max: Fury Road was a breakthrough for Miller, and he certainly deserves the glory. Runners-up: Alejandro G. Iñárritu, The Revenant and Adam McKay, The Big Short
Can Emmanuel Lubezki win three in a row? The Revenant is one of the most visually stunning films of the year, no doubt about it. We have to admit that it helps that this movie was shot in twelve naturally beautiful locations throughout Canada, Argentina and the United States, but Iñárritu’s choice to only use natural lighting made this film that much more impressive. Lubezki is the frontrunner in our eyes, which means he could make history with his third win in a row, so let's keep our fingers crossed. Runner-up: Ed Lachman, Carol
Ten-time nominee and three-time winner Sandy Powell might just be too talented for her own good -- she's nominated for two films this year, Cinderella and Carol, which could split the Academy voting. But because she is nominated twice, we believe Jenny Beavan’s work on Mad Max: Fury Road will win this category. Runner-up: Sandy Powell, Carol
Catch the ceremony live on ABC this Sunday, February 28th at 7pm EST.