Uproxx’s Awards Forecast offers a weekly look at the front-runners in several key Academy Award races, based on pundit chatter and pre-Oscar awards. (The pundit analysis is based on opinions put forward by major Oscar-tracking outlets, including Vulture, Entertainment Weekly, the expert panel at Gold Derby, Indiewire, Awards Daily, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, and Awards Circuit. Pre-Oscar awards consider recent winners announced by industry and critic organizations that annually recognize achievement in film.)
Because we at Uproxx believe strongly in Oscar-related service journalism, this week’s Awards Forecast will project the winners in all 24 of the categories that will be recognized during Sunday’s Academy Awards broadcast. Without further ado, here are two dozen educated statuette guesses.
The Big Short
Bridge of Spies
Mad Max: Fury Road
Predicted Winner: This is the hardest-to-predict Best Picture race in at least the last decade. But here goes: Because the three major guilds gave their top prizes to different movies, it appears that the Oscar will go one of three ways. Many awards season scholars are taking the Producers Guild’s best picture choice, The Big Short, most seriously since the PGA has been the most reliable Best Picture indicator since preferential voting began in 2010. However, if you consider the award that has most accurately predicted the Best Picture winner for the greatest number of years, that would be the one given by the Directors Guild, in which case you’d have to go with The Revenant. And if you stick with the Screen Actors Guild Award winner for best ensemble, the early front-runner of the season and a movie that is likely to earn a large percentage of number two votes in addition to number ones — important, again, in that preferential voting system — you might conclude that Best Picture belongs to Spotlight.
I have concluded each of these things, then changed my mind, at least 10 times. But I’ve got to pick something, so I am going to go with The Revenant, because the DGA has a longer track record to go by; because The Revenant feels like it has more momentum behind it; because The Revenant has been a big critical and box office success whose bear fights and Leo liver feasts became part of the zeitgeist in a way that Spotlight and The Big Short did not; and because, when I imagine hearing The Revenant announced as the winner on Sunday night, it sounds so obvious that I’ll feel dumb if I don’t choose it.*
*But the truth is I really have no idea because Best Picture is crazy this year.
Lenny Abrahamson, Room
Alejandro G. Inárritu, The Revenant
Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
Adam McKay, The Big Short
George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road