The Nominees: The Big Short, Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, The Revenant, Room, and Spotlight.
What Should Have Been Nominated: Anomalisa was one of the best films of the year and should be up for more than just Best Animated Feature (if you didn’t see it yet, check it out). Also, Steve Jobs and Carol somehow got the shaft even though they were two of the most compelling films of the year.
What Should Win: The Revenant
What Will Win: All signs seem to be pointing to The Revenant.
What Could Still Win: If it doesn’t go to The Revenant, Spotlight will take it home.
The Nominees: Bryan Cranston (Trumbo), Matt Damon (The Martian), Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant), Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs), and Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl).
Who Should Have Been Nominated: Joaquin Phoenix did an incredible job in Irrational Man.
Who Should Win: We’ve been on a Fassbender bender for the last few years, and he was exceptional in Steve Jobs, but nobody was better than Leo’s remarkable performance in The Revenant.
Who Will Win: Conventional wisdom says it’s Leo’s turn to win.
Who Could Still Win: If something totally crazy happens and Leo doesn’t win anyone could take it. Also, if Leo doesn’t pull it off, we expect him to wake up cuddling a bear in the wilderness crying, but, like, not CGI.
The Nominees: Cate Blanchett (Carol), Brie Larson (Room), Jennifer Lawrence (Joy), Charlotte Rampling (45 Years), and Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn).
Who Should Have Been Nominated: Juliette Binoche was phenomenal in Clouds of Sils Maria.
Who Should Win: The always amazing Cate Blanchett, whose performance in Carol was pitch perfect.
Who Will Win: Brie Larson seems to be the front-runner after winning both the Golden Globe and the SAG Award.
Who Could Still Win: Everyone says J. Law still has a shot, but I don’t know how Jude Law could ever win Best Actress? It just seems unlikely to me. (See what I did there?)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
The Nominees: Christian Bale (The Big Short), Tom Hardy (The Revenant), Mark Ruffalo (Spotlight), Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies), and Sylvester Stallone (Creed).
Who Should Have Been Nominated: Idris Elba should be here for his performance in Beasts of No Nation.
Who Should Win: Tom Hardy gave as great of a performance in The Revenant as Leonardo DiCaprio, so I’m not sure why he’s not getting more praise here.
Who Will Win: Our money’s on the Marks--either Rylance or Ruffalo.
Who Could Still Win: Sylvester Stallone did win the Golden Globe though, and as all of the Rocky films teach us: never count this guy out. (Cue: “Eye of the Tiger”)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
The Nominees: Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight), Rooney Mara (Carol), Rachel McAdams (Spotlight), Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl), and Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs).
Who Should Have Been Nominated: Alicia Vikander should have been nominated for her role in Ex Machina. It’s not that her role in The Danish Girl isn’t phenomenal, but her role in Ex Machina is as praise-worthy.
Who Should Win: Our vote goes to Kate Winslet.
Who Will Win: Alicia Vikander is the current odds-on favorite.
Who Could Still Win: But really anyone has a shot here. Of the big awards, this is one of the most uncertain.
The Nominees: Adam McKay (The Big Short), George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road), Alejandro González Iñárritu (The Revenant), Lenny Abrahamson (Room), and Tom McCarthy (Spotlight). Who Should Have Been Nominated: Danny Boyle should be here for Steve Jobs and Todd Haynes should be here for Carol.
Who Should Win: Of what is up, The Revenant is the best directed film.
Who Will Win: Likely it will go to The Revenant, which will make it the first time a director has won back-to-back best director awards since Joseph L. Mankiewicz won for A Letter to Three Wives and All About Eve in 1949 and 1950, respectively.
Who Could Still Win: Especially after Iñárritu just won the DGA award, which is often a great predictor, he’s pretty much got this in the bag, but if not him there could be an upset with McKay, Miller, or McCarthy.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
The Nominees: Matt Charman, Ethan Coen, & Joel Coen (Bridge of Spies), Alex Garland (Ex Machina), Peter Docter, Meg Lefauve, Josh Cooley, & Ronnie Del Carmen (Inside Out), Josh Singer & Tom McCarthy (Spotlight), and Jonathan Herman, Andrea Berloff, S. Leigh Savidge, & Alan Wenkus (Straight Outta Compton).
Who Should Have Been Nominated: Anomalisa was a brilliant screenplay by the greatest living screenwriter, Charlie Kaufman (most famous for Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind). The often snubbed Quientin Tarantino absolutely deserved a nod for The Hateful 8.
Who Should Win: Spotlight was great.
Who Will Win: Spotlight will likely win here.
Who Could Still Win: Inside Out and Ex Machina have a shot though.
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
The Nominees: Charles Randolph (The Big Short), Nick Hornby (Brooklyn), Phyllis Nagy (Carol), Drew Goddard (The Martian), and Emma Donoghue (Room).
Who Should Have Been Nominated: The fact that Aaron Sorkin’s script for Steve Jobs isn’t nominated is a travesty. It’s one of the most brilliant and inventive screenplays to come around in a while.
Who Should Win: Carol is a phenomenal adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s The Price of Salt.
Who Will Win: We’re betting on The Big Short, but this one’s a pretty tough one to call.
Who Could Still Win: All five have a pretty equal shot.
The Nominees: Ed Lachman (Carol), Robert Richardson (The Hateful Eight), John Seale (Mad Max: Fury Road), Emmanuel Lubezki (The Revenant), and Roger Deakins (Sicario).
What Should Have Been Nominated: Janusz Kaminski did a great job with Bridge of Spies.
What Should Win: Emmanuel Lubezki should win for his gorgeous work in The Revenant.
What Will Win: Lubezki for The Revenant is looking like the winner.
What Could Still Win: Roger Deakins (Sicario) has been nominated fourteen times and never won (including the last four years), and the Academy has been known to give career statuettes when someone has spent years being overlooked.
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
The Nominees: Andrew Whitehurst, Paul Norris, Mark Addington, & Sara Bennett (Ex Machina), Andrew Jackson, Tom Wood, Dan Oliver, & Andy Williams (Mad Max: Fury Road), Richard Stammers, Anders Langlands, Chris Lawrence, & Steven Warner (The Martian), Rich McBride, Matthew Shumway, Jason Smith, & Cameron Waldbauer (The Revenant), and Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Neal Scanlan, & Chris Corbould (Star Wars: The Force Awakens).
Who Should Have Been Nominated: Jurassic World should have been in the running.
Who Should Win: Ex Machina
Who Will Win: It likely go to Mad Max: Fury Road.
Who Could Still Win: But there’s always the bear in The Revenant. Never count out the bear.
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
The Nominees: Thomas Newman (Bridge of Spies), Carter Burwell (Carol), Ennio Morricone (The Hateful Eight), Johann Johannsson (Sicario), and John Williams (Star Wars: The Force Awakens).
Who Should Have Been Nominated: Alexandre Desplat for The Danish Girl and Junkie XL for Mad Max: Fury Road.
Who Should Win: Ennio Morricone is a living legend.
Who Will Win: It better go to Ennio Morricone.
Who Could Still Win: Ennio Morricone or bust.
BEST ORIGINAL SONG
The Nominees: Abel Tesfaye, Ahmad Balshe, Jason Daheala Quenneville, & Stephan Moccio (“Earned It” from Fifty Shades of Grey), J. Ralph & Antony Hegarty (“Manta Ray” from Racing Extinction), David Lang (“Simple Song #3” from Youth), Diane Warren & Lady Gaga (“Til It Happens to You” from The Hunting Ground), and Jimmy Napes & Sam Smith (“Writing’s on the Wall” from Spectre).
Who Should Have Been Nominated: Many were quite surprised that the massive hit “See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth from Furious 7 didn’t at least get a nod. But then again, it’s a terrible song, sooo...
Who Should Win: We’ve got a soft spot for Bond themes.
Who Will Win: Sam Smith’s Bond theme for Spectre seems likely to take home the prize.
Who Could Still Win: Never underestimate the power of Lady Gaga or pop powerhouse The Weeknd.
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
The Nominees: Embrace of the Serpent (Colombia), Mustang (France), Son of Saul (Hungary), Theeb (Jordan), and A War (Denmark).
What Should Have Been Nominated: Labyrinth of Lies from Germany had some serious buzz behind it.
What Should Win: Our friend and collaborator is a producer on Theeb so we’re pulling for it to win.
What Will Win: Best Foreign Film is notoriously difficult to predict, we’re going with Son of Saul or Theeb.
What Could Still Win: If not Son of Saul, then potentially Mustang.
The Nominees: Amy, Cartel Land, The Look of Silence, What Happened Miss Simone?, and Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom.
What Should Have Been Nominated: Best of Enemies? Iris?
What Should Win: The Look of Silence should win.
What Will Win: And The Look of Silence is the favorite. But its predecessor The Act of Killing didn’t win previously, so who knows if the Academy will get it right this time?
What Could Still Win: Amy has a good shot too.
BEST ANIMATED FILM
The Nominees: Anomalisa, Boy and the World, Inside Out, Shaun the Sheep Movie, and When Marnie Was There.
What Should Have Been Nominated: Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet was thought to be a definite contender.
What Should Win: Anomalisa, by a mile.
What Will Win: Inside Out
What Could Still Win: Anomalisa has a small chance, but the safest place to put your money is definitely Inside Out.