Oscar Predictions 2016 – Images on Sunday, Dawn Newspaper

This post is the unedited copy of our Predictions of the 88th Oscars for Dawn/Images on Sunday, published 28th February 2016. Link to Dawn is here and below.

Predictions2016

Who May Win the 88th Oscars Tomorrow

By Mohammad Kamran Jawaid and Farheen Jawaid

Before the righteous, controversial and ill-timed #OscarsSoWhite hashtag rears its head at the 88th Academy Awards tomorrow and wrecks the mood of Oscar ceremony, Images takes its annual look at who may win – and more importantly, just why they may win – in which category.

As we keep reminding our readers for the last eleven, twelve years, predicting the Oscars is serious business. The process not only involves binge watching a lot of motion pictures – a total of 37 titles this year – it also involves knowing how the Academy voter’s mindset work.

Here’s a little primer on what that mindset is made of: The Academy Awards are governed by Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences – AMPAS for short – a distinguished body of 5783 members from various filmmaking disciplines. “The Academy”, as it is commonly referred to as, has a very stringent membership criteria, and their member’s median age is around 62. Members – cinematographers, editors, producers, actors – may be part of individual film guilds and unions, and each have their own set of rules and awards leading to the Oscars. Sometimes these awards may hint a win, or an upset, at a category.

What pundits fail to perceive, is the overall strength of that particular group. Often, a deserving cinematographer will be overlooked for the trophy because members who may be producers, actors, or writers, would vote for someone else.  Shakeups also happen out of personal preference, or industry tilt.

For instance, out of the twenty one categories we are picking this year, sixteen are near rock-solid predictions.

revenant-gallery-20-gallery-image

Leonardo DiCaprio, up for a Best Actor trophy, is a long-due favorite with a string of wins for his role of a critically wounded father in search of revenge in The Revenant. The Revenant is also slated to nab Best Director for Alejandro González Iñárritu (who won the same trophy last year for Birdman), and Best Cinematography for Emmanuel Lubezki.

The win for Lubezki makes Oscar history – so far no one has won three consecutive cinematography Oscars since the awards started in 1928. 13 time nominee Roger Deakins (Skyfall, No Country for Old Men, A Beautiful Mind and The Shawshank Redemption) would, sadly, have to wait for another year.

The same fate, of course, does not apply to composer 87 year old Ennio Morricone – music director of grand western themes in The Good, The Bad and the Ugly, A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More as well as classics Cinema Paradisio; he wins – finally and fittingly – for Quentin Tarantino’s western The Hateful Eight (the film’s only win in the race). Other straightforward wins go in the Original and Adapted Screenplays, Actress, Supporting Actress, Animated Feature, Feature Documentary, Make-up and Hair Styling, Production Design and Original Song.

Sylvester Stallone, nominated for the third time for his role as Rocky Balboa, is, again, pushed as an industry favorite; his win in Best Supporting Actor (for Creed), for a good but not great performance, would serve as a thank you note from Hollywood. Cross-reference the category with the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the BAFTA – two crucial bodies – and there is a hiccup. The BAFTA was picked up by Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies) – our pick, and one of the three top performances in the lot; SAG, meanwhile, applauded Idris Alba for Beasts of No Nation, who is not nominated by The Academy (and in turn, is a part of the diversity debate).

mad-max-fury-road-poster

The technical side has its own sets of competition – most of it, between The Revenant, Mad Max: Fury Road and Star Wars: The Force Awakens; although Star Wars is a contender, with 5 nominations (one for John Williams’ music), however, we believe it’s only big win would be in Visual Effects. Our personal preference here is The Revenant, whose bear-mauling sequence – emotionally dreadful to behold – is a central to the story; Mad Max: Fury Road – full of fantastic physical action, is pegged as an upset.

The three titles face off again in Editing, Sound Mix and Sound Edit. Wins here do not necessarily reflect the will of the edit and sound guilds. Last year, for example, Boyhood won the ACE Eddie Award for Editing and our pick, Whiplash, won the Oscar. In all three Fury Road looks like a good, but not absolute bet; Sound Mix, in particular, may go to The Revenant. Academy members who may have only seen the film on DVD Screeners, and not in cinemas that offer more details in sound, may bungle up many technical predictions this year.

 

The biggest upset of the night, of which both of us are sure, would be Best Picture. If someone would have asked us just one week back, we would have said the real fight is between The Big Short and Spotlight – two timely, relevant, real-life dramas addressing American issues. The Academy often commends motion pictures that deal with homebound stories, as long as they are well-made and relevant, while promoting a measure of meek benevolent sensitivity and class. (Argo and The Hurt Locker, for example versus nominated, non-winners like Zero Dark Thirty, American Sniper, The Wolf of Wall Street and Selma – the last two, great in their own right).

The Big Short tells of capitalism-inflicted America, tackling Wall Street – a monster of self-preserving and corrupt nature. Spotlight, meanwhile, pits the Boston Globe newspaper against the priests who have sexually assaulted children, the Church and the sacred Christian mindset of Boston’s higher ups.

Spotlight_poster_goldposter_com_6

Both are excellently written, pertinent, motion pictures, deserving of the Best Picture accolade. Yet, just last week (at the time of writing), The Revenant’s BAFTA win has left the pundits and industry voters in a state of confusion. A significant portion of members wait till the last week to vote, and that is when the trend, and the Oscar forecasting game, patently changes every year.

The Revenant’s sudden change of pace and energy is confounding all categories; it certainly has pushed Spotlight off the “spotlight” (pardon the pun). However, and this is comes from strong gut feeling, we may see The Big Short win here. The film is very well edited (it won the ACE Eddie, the Editors award, for Best Comedy feature), and deals with a far-reaching message; The Revenant is excellent and gruesome, yet fantasized on a historic event of a single man – but not a nation like The Big Short. Also, historically, films where Best Actor winners are also SAG winners (like DiCaprio is going to be this year), never go on to win Best Picture.

There’s always a first time for everything though. We’ll just have to wait and see tomorrow.


 

Oscar Predictions – 2016 (the 88th Academy Awards)

PICTURE

Will Win: Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner – The Big Short

MKJ: The Big Short

FJ: The Big Short / The Revenant

Upset (Likely): Arnon Milchan, Steve Golin, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Mary Parent and Keith Redmon – The Revenant

 

 

DIRECTOR

Unanimous: Alejandro González Iñárritu – The Revenant

 

 

ACTOR

Unanimous: Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant

 

 

ACTRESS

Unanimous: Brie Larson – Room

 

 

SUPPORTING ACTOR

Will Win: Sylvester Stallone – Creed

MKJ: Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies

FJ: Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies / Tom Hardy – The Revenant

Upset: Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies

 

 

SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Unanimous: Alicia Vikander – The Danish Girl

 

 

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Unanimous: Josh Singer & Tom McCarthy – Spotlight

 

 

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Unanimous: Charles Randolph and Adam McKay – The Big Short

 

 

ANIMATED – FEATURE

Unanimous: Inside Out

 

 

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Unanimous: Son of Saul, Hungary

 

 

DOCUMENTARY – FEATURE

Unanimous: Asif Kapadia and James Gay-Rees – Amy

Upset (Least Possible): Joshua Oppenheimer and Signe Byrge Sørensen– The Look of Silence

 

 

CINEMATOGRAPHY

Unanimous: Emmanuel Lubezki – The Revenant

Upset (Least Possible): Roger Deakins – Sicario

 

 

EDITING

Will Win: Margaret Sixel – Mad Max: Fury Road

MKJ and FJ: Hank Corwin – The Big Short

 

 

SOUND EDITING

Will Win: Mark Mangini and David White – Mad Max: Fury Road

MKJ: Mad Max: Fury Road

FJ: Alan Robert Murray – Sicario

Upset: Martin Hernandez and Lon Bender – The Revenant

 

 

SOUND MIXING

Unanimous: Chris Jenkins, Gregg Rudloff and Ben Osmo – Mad Max: Fury Road

Upset: Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño, Randy Thom and Chris Duesterdiek – The Revenant

 

 

PRODUCTION DESIGN

Unanimous: Colin Gibson; Lisa Thompson – Mad Max: Fury Road

 

 

MAKE-UP and HAIR STYLING

Unanimous: Lesley Vanderwalt, Elka Wardega and Damian Martin – Mad Max: Fury Road

 

 

COSTUME DESIGN

Will Win / MKJ: Sandy Powell – Cinderella

FJ: Paco Delgado – The Danish Girl

Upset: Jenny Beavan – Mad Max: Fury Road

 

 

VISUAL EFFECTS

Will Win: Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Neal Scanlan and Chris Corbould – Star Wars: The Force Awakens

MKJ / FJ: Rich McBride, Matthew Shumway, Jason Smith and Cameron Waldbauer – The Revenant

Upset: Andrew Jackson, Tom Wood, Dan Oliver and Andy Williams – Mad Max: Fury Road

 

 

ORIGINAL SCORE

Will Win / MKJ: Ennio Morricone – The Hateful Eight

FJ / MKJ: Jóhann Jóhannsson – Sicario

 

 

SONG

Unanimous: “Til It Happens To You” from “The Hunting Ground”– Music and Lyric by Diane Warren and Lady Gaga

 


The digital copy can be found at: http://www.dawn.com/news/1242050/academy-awards-who-may-win-the-oscars-tomorrow

Here is the low-res image of the published copy:

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