Matt's Blog

Matt's First Predictions In The 2016 Oscars Race

Each November, I throw my hat in the ring with a few early awards season predictions.  The first critics groups announce in early December and then the Golden Globe nominations are revealed on December 10.  By then, the race will be well and truly in progress as we lead up to the Oscars on 28 February 2016.

Not many contenders have already been released in Australian cinemas.  That small list includes Bridge Of Spies, Black Mass, Inside Out, Straight Outta Compton, Mad Max: Fury Road and The Martian.

Here’s a look at the films being released in Australia over the next few months that are generating some buzz (with the plot overview taken from the IMDB)…

Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens
Release Date:  17 December 2015
Director:  J.J. Abrams (Star Trek, Into Darkness)
Starring:  Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong'o
Plot:  A continuation of the saga created by George Lucas and set thirty years after Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983).

Release Date:  26 December 2015
Director:  David O. Russell (The Fight, Silver Linings Playbook)
Starring:  Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Robert DeNiro, Virginia Madsen
Plot:  Joy is the story of a family across four generations and the woman who rises to become founder and matriarch of a powerful family business dynasty.

Release Date:  26 December 2015
Director:  Sarah Gavron (Brick Lane)
Starring:  Carey Mulligan, Anne-Marie Duff, Helena Bonham Carter, Brendan Gleeson, Ben Wishaw, Meryl Streep
Plot:  The foot soldiers of the early feminist movement, women who were forced underground to pursue a dangerous game of cat and mouse with an increasingly brutal State.

The Revenant
Release Date:  7 January 2016
Director:  Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman, Babel)
Starring:  Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson, Will Poulter
Plot:  In the 1820s, a frontiersman, Hugh Glass, sets out on a path of vengeance against those who left him for dead after a bear mauling.

Release Date:  14 January 2016
Director:  Todd Haynes (Far From Heaven, Velvet Goldmine)
Starring:  Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Sarah Paulson, Jake Lacy, Kyle Chandler
Plot:  Set in 1950s New York, a department-store clerk who dreams of a better life falls for an older, married woman.

The Big Short
Release Date:  14 January 2016
Director:  Adam McKay (Step Brothers, The Other Guys)
Starring:  Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling, Steve Carell, Christian Bale, Finn Wittrock
Plot:  Four outsiders in the world of high-finance who predicted the credit and housing bubble collapse of the mid-2000s decide to take on the big banks for their lack of foresight and greed.

The Hateful Eight
Release Date:  21 January 2016
Director:  Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction, Django Unchained)
Starring:  Jennifer Jason Leigh, Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Zoe Bell, Tim Roth, Bruce Dern, Michael Madsen
Plot:  In post-Civil War Wyoming, bounty hunters try to find shelter during a blizzard but get involved in a plot of betrayal and deception. Will they survive?

The Danish Girl
Release Date:  21 January 2016
Director:  Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech, Les Miserables)
Starring:  Eddie Redmayne, Alicia Vikander, Matthias Schoenaerts, Ben Wishaw, Amber Heard
Plot:  The remarkable love story inspired by the lives of artists Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener. Lili and Gerda's marriage and work evolve as they navigate Lili's ground breaking journey as a transgender pioneer.

Release Date:  28 January 2016
Director:  Tom McCarthy (The Visitor, The Station Agent)
Starring:  Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, Stanley Tucci
Plot:  The true story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese, shaking the entire Catholic Church to its core.

Release Date:  28 January 2016
Director:  Lenny Abrahamson (Frank, What Richard Did)
Starring:  Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Sean Bridgers
Plot:  After five-year-old Jack and his mother escape from the enclosed surroundings that Jack has known his entire life, the boy makes a thrilling discovery: the outside world.

Steve Jobs
Release Date:  4 February 2016
Director:  Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours)
Starring:  Michael Fassbender, Kate Winset, Seth Rogen, Jeff Daniels, Sarah Snook
Plot:  Steve Jobs takes us behind the scenes of the digital revolution, to paint a portrait of the man at its epicenter. The story unfolds backstage at three iconic product launches, ending in 1998 with the unveiling of the iMac.

Release Date:  11 February 2016
Director:  John Crowley (A Boy, Intermission)
Starring:  Saoirse Ronan, Emory Cohen, Domhnall Gleeson, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent
Plot:  An Irish immigrant lands in 1950s Brooklyn, where she quickly falls into a new romance. When her past catches up with her, however, she must choose between two countries and the lives that exist within.

My early predictions for best picture in order of likelihood are: 1. Spotlight, 2. Joy, 3. The Martian, 4. Bridge Of Spies, 5. The Revenant, 6. Brooklyn, 7. Inside Out, 8. Room, 9. The Hateful Eight, 10. Straight Outta Compton.

For best actor, I have to lean towards Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant) because he’s well overdue with 4 previous defeats.

Brie Larson (Room) has the front runner status in the best actress category but I’ve seen Brooklyn (it’s brilliant) and so am going with Saoirse Ronan in a huge upset.

Best supporting actor is wide open but as a feature member of Spotlight’s ensemble cast and an unlucky loser last year, my tip is Michael Keaton.

The best supporting actress category appears to be going the way of Rooney Mara (Carol) and it’s hard to bet against here.

I’ve only wagered one bet in this year’s Oscars race so far and that’s $300 on Spotlight to win best picture at odds of $5.00.  It’s the early favourite but as we know, a lot can happen over the coming months.