2016 Oscar Nominee Predictions

With tomorrow morning’s Oscar nominations announcement looming it’s a good time to give my prediction for this year’s nominees. These aren’t necessarily my picks in each category but rather who I think the Academy will nominate. So, without any further (or previous) ado.


This is a tough category because there was so much great work this year. A couple of very impressive performances will be left out in the cold.

  • Jennifer Jason Leigh – The Hateful 8
  • Rooney Mara – Carol
  • Rachel McAdams – Spotlight
  • Alicia Vikander – The Danish Girl
  • Kate Winslet – Steve Jobs

WILD CARDS: Helen Miren – Trumbo and Jane Fonda – Youth


This category is much more straightforward. The only wild card is how they’ll handle Keaton and Ruffalo.

  • Christian Bale – The Big Short
  • Idris Elba – Beasts of No Nation
  • Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies
  • Michael Shannon – 99 Homes
  • Jacob Tremblay – Room

WILD CARDS: Michael Keaton – Spotlight, Mark Ruffalo – Spotlight


This one’s not as clear cut as I originally thought. Several outstanding screenplays.

  • Bridge of Spies
  • The Hateful 8
  • Sicario
  • Spotlight
  • Straight Outta Compton        

WILD CARDS: Inside Out, Ex Machina


This one is pretty wild and wooly and maybe the toughest to predict. At one point I had 14 movies listed here. Very hard to whittle down.

  • The Big Short
  • Carol
  • The Martian
  • Steve Jobs
  • Trumbo

WILD CARDS: Brooklyn, Mad Max: Fury Road

BEST ACTRESS                                                                           

This is probably the easiest to predict. While these performances were excellent there wasn’t much depth this year. The cream easily rose to the top.

  • Cate Blanchett – Carol
  • Brie Larson – Room
  • Helen Miren – The Woman in Gold
  • Saoirse Ronan – Brooklyn
  • Sarah Silverman – I Smile Back

WILD CARDS: Charlotte Rampling – 45 Years, Jennifer Lawrence – Joy


This, just like the best actress category, doesn’t have a ton of options. They’re all great but there’s significant drop off to the 2nd tier.

  • Bryan Cranston – Trumbo
  • Johnny Depp – Black Mass
  • Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant
  • Michael Fassbender – Steve Jobs
  • Eddie Redmayne – The Danish Girl

WILD CARDS: Michael Caine – Youth, Matt Damon – The Martian


These guys have led the pack the whole way and nobody has been able to catch them.

  • Alejandro Iñárritu – The Revenant
  • Tom McCarthy – Spotlight
  • Adam McKay – The Big Short
  • George Miller – Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Ridley Scott – The Martian

WILD CARDS: Quentin Tarantino – The Hateful 8, Todd Haynes – Carol


So many great movies this year. It’s hard to predict how many films the Academy will nominate. It can be anywhere from 5 to 10 movies. But there are easily 15 or 20 films worthy.

The Top Five

  • The Big Short
  • The Revenant
  • Spotlight
  • Straight Outta Compton
  • Trumbo               

The Next Five

  • Beasts of No Nation
  • Brooklyn
  • Carol
  • The Hateful 8
  • Steve Jobs

WILD CARDS: Inside Out, Mad Max: Fury Road

Early tomorrow morning (extra early for me since I moved out west) we’ll have our list. I’ll compose my thoughts on the nominees and the inevitable surprises.

Also, there are several movies that aren’t listed here and won’t be mentioned tomorrow but are worth your attention. Please check out my post “The Ones We’ll Leave Behind” to see which outstanding movies will be on the outside looking in but probably shouldn’t.


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