The Oscars 2016: Who Will/Should Win: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love How the Academy Screws it up Every Year

BookOscar season is upon us, and you know what that means! It means that the Academy will inevitably fuck everything up by awarding the most pandering, transparent, saccharine and syrupy Oscarbait instead of the real movies that show some originality and cause us to question our beliefs. The examples are everywhere, and for every time that Oscar gets it right, they fuck it up two other times. How will Oscar screw it up this year? Let’s explore who will win versus who SHOULD win this year.

Best Original Screenplay:


Will Win: Straight Outta Compton (%50 certainty)
Should Win: Ex Machina
Other nominees: Inside Out, Spotlight, Bridge of Spies
The fact that this category is the very last category listed on the Oscar page shows you how much these people care about good writing. This is a double whammy for the Academy in that they can reward a film about black artists without actually giving a statue to a black person. See! We can be diverse! In all seriousness though, there’s not a bad choice here. All great flicks with great screenplays.

Best Adapted Screenplay:

CCoWUQ3Photo: Reddit

Will Win: The Martian (%50 certainty)
Should Win: The Big Short
Other nominees: Brooklyn, Carol, Room
I’d be happy with any of The Martian, The Big Short, and Room to take this award, but I’m betting that Oscar rewards the big budget hit that juggles comedy with suspense. Even though the Big Short didn’t crack my top ten, it deserves credit for taking incredibly complex financial ideas (read: convoluted bullshit) and making it possible to follow the narrative while being hilarious and infuriating. Also, how the hell did Aaron Sorkin’s fantastic Steve Jobs screenplay not get a nod here?

Visual Effects:

Will Win: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (%80 certainty)
Should Win: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Other Nominees: The Martian, Ex Machina, The Revenant, Mad Max: Fury Road
Not a bad choice here, and any of these flicks has impressive eye candy to behold. Here’s betting that Oscar tosses Star Wars a bone. I just thank the cinematic gods that they used practical effects this time around. Have you seen Star Wars Episode II lately? Those CGI effects have aged worse than cigarette butts left floating in a half full beer bottle. The effects in Star Wars VII will stand the test of time.

Sound Mixing:

Will Win: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (%60 certainty)
Should Win: Mad Max: Fury Road
Other Nominees: Bridge of Spies, The Martian, The Revenant
You choices here are the whooshes of Tie Fighters and lightsaber battles versus the roar of engines and desert storms. Both flicks even have mask wearing villains with deep voices. I’ll bet the academy picks Kylo Ren over Immortan Joe.

Sound Editing:


Photo: Wappictures

Will Win: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (%75 certainty)
Should Win: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Other nominees: Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, The Revenant, Sicario
Getting bored yet? Give it to Star Wars for squeezing in an Alec Guiness voice sample halfway through the movie.

Short Film Live Action:
Goddammit, I don’t know. I haven’t seen any of these, and neither have you. Next.

Short Film Animated:
Hey, while you’re at the fridge, can you get me a beer? I’m busy checking the score of the hockey game.

Production design:

Photo: 9Gag

Will win: The Revenant (%90)
Should win: Mad Max: Fury Road
Other nominees: Bridge of Spies, The Danish Girl, The Martian,
Leonardo DiCaprio goes on a spiritual journey that transports us to frontier era America. This is a slam dunk, even if I’d prefer to see Mad Max rewarded for their awesome car mashup designs and fantastical settings.

Original Song:
Will Win: Writing’s on the Wall from Spectre by Jimmy Napes and Sam Smith
Should Win: Earned It by the Weeknd
Hey Oscar, you’re not the Grammies, so stop pretending to be. All of the nominated songs are terrible. FACT. They’ll probably give it to the Bond movie. Oscar hasn’t gotten this category right since Eminem took it for Lose Yourself for 8 Mile. This category needs to be ditched ASAP. I like the Weeknd, but I’m loathe to see Fifty Shades of Grey nominated for anything outside the Razzies.

Music Original Score:

Will Win: The Hateful Eight (%90 certainty)
Should Win: The Hateful Eight
Other Nominees: Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Carol, Sicario, Bridge of Spies.
Enrico Morricone’s haunting score was one of the best things about Quentin Tarantino’s overcooked Hateful Eight, and should take it in a gimmie, unless the Academy decides to toss John Williams a lifetime achievement award for a score he wrote back in 1977.

Makeup and Hairstyling:

Will win: The Revenant (%60 certainty)
Should win: Mad Max: Fury Road
Other Nominees: The 100 Year Old Man Whose Movie Has a Longwinded Title
Did Oscar really put this category this much higher than screenplay and sound? Their priorities are pretty out of whack.

Best Foreign Language film:
Otherwise known as “dem movies that weren’t made in ‘Murica”. Haven’t seen any, because I mean seriously, who can deal with subtitles?

Best Film Editing:

Will win: The Revenant (%85 certainty)
Should win: Mad Max: Fury Road
Other nominees: Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Spotlight, The Big Short
Hey, I love the Revenant, but at this point, let’s resign ourselves to the fact that it’s going to pretty much sweep every category that Mad Max should actually win because it’s more of the prestige picture that Oscar usually loves.

Best Documentary Short Subject:
Sorry, I fell asleep! What day is it??

Best Documentary Feature:

I’m sure these are all great, but let’s face it, this category hasn’t been interesting since Michael Moore was booed off stage for his comments after winning for “Bowling for Columbine.”

Best Director:

Mexican Director Alejandro G. Inarritu holds his three Oscars for for his film "Birdman" which won best director, best original screenplay and best picture at the 87th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California February 22, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (UNITED STATES TAGS:ENTERTAINMENT) (OSCARS-BACKSTAGE) - RTR4QPTL

                        Photo: Latin Times

Will Win: Alejandro Innaritu – The Revenant (%75 certainty)
Should Win: George Miller – Mad Max: Fury Road
Other nominees: Adam MacKay – The Big Short, Tom McCarthy – Spotlight, Lenny Abrahamson – Room
Sometimes Oscar gets this right by giving it to an unexpected nominee that they don’t want to give Best Picture to, and it doesn’t help Innaritu’s case that he won last year too. He’d be a deserving winner, but my vote goes to Miller and his great visual storytelling in Fury Road. By the way, how the hell does The Martian get all these nominations, and nothing for Ridley Scott? He’s long overdue for some recognition.

Best Costume Design:

Will Win: Mad Max: Fury Road (%65 certainty)
Should Win: Mad Max: Fury Road
Other nominees: Carol, The Revenant, Cinderella, The Danish Girl.
If The Danish Girl wins this because they put Eddie Redmayne in a dress and woman’s makeup, but forgot to put him a good movie, I’m going to do nothing at all because it doesn’t actually affect my life. Were you expecting an aneurysm? I’ll bet this is the bone that the academy tosses to Mad Max.

Best Cinematography:

Will win: The Revenant (%50 certainty)
Should win: The Revenant
Other nominees: Mad Max: Fury Road, Sicario, Carol, The Hateful Eight.
Probably the tightest category. Any of these could win and have a good case. I’m betting on The Revenant, but maybe Tarantino’s crisp 70mm visuals in the Hateful Eight takes it.

Best Animated Feautre:

inside out
Will win: Inside Out (%85 certainty)
Should win: Inside Out
Other nominees: Anomalisa, Boy and the World, Shaun the Sheep Movie, When Marnie was There
The Academy loves Pixar, and they would get it right by picking this great film that presents in depth psychological concepts in a way that children can identify with. Dark horse nod to the brilliant and off-kilter Anomalisa, which would be a worthy winner too.

Actress in a Supporting Role:

Will win: Jennifer Jason Leigh – The Hateful Eight (%70 certainty)
Should win: Jennifer Jason Leigh – The Hateful Eight
Other Nominees: Rooney Mara – Carol, Kate Winslet – Steve Jobs, Alicia Vikander – The Danish Girl, Rachel McAdams – Spotlight.
For all the punishment she takes in the film, Jennifer Jason Leigh carried Tarantino’s epic for long stretches. It’s possible that the academy uses one and only chance to reward Steve Jobs with something and gives it to Kate Winslet. I should also add that Alicia Vikander is a worthy nominee, but for the wrong movie. She was awesome in Ex Machina.

Actor in a Supporting Role:

Will win: Sylvester Stallone – Creed (%60 certainty)
Should win: Tom Hardy – The Revenant
Other Nominees: Christian Bale – The Big Short, Mark Ruffalo – Spotlight, Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies
Enjoy your lifetime achievement award Sly, we all know you were robbed for your performances in Judge Dredd, Demolition Man, The Expendables 2, and Cop Land. Tom Hardy had an unbelievable year and was great across the board in all the films he appeared in. Mark Ruffalo makes for an interesting dark horse here.

Actress in a Leading Role:
Will win: Brie Larson – Room (%90 certainty)
Should win: Brie Larson – Room
Other Nominees: Cate Blanchett – Carol, Jennifer Lawrence – Joy, Charlotte Rampling – 45 Years, Saoirse Ronan – Brooklyn
This is a slam dunk, Brie killed it. As an aside, how freaking long is this going to go on for? I’ve got work in the morning!

Actor in a Leading Role:

Will win: Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant (%99 certainty)
Should win: Leornardo DiCaprio – The Revenant
Other Nominees: Eddie Redmayne – The Danish Girl, Michael Fassbender – Steve Jobs, Matt Damon – The Martian, Bryan Cranston – Trumbo
If the academy doesn’t give it Leo at this point, they’re just trolling the guy. This is their chance to give a great actor his due, and for the right role. He was awesome in the Revenant. The other guys will get their due soon enough, or already have in previous years. Fassbender, I freaking love you; you’re next in line.

Best Picture:

mE5xwTXMRNmjtYlaUXIp_mad max thumb funny or diePhoto: Funny or Die

Will win: The Revenant (%85 certainty)
Should win: Mad Max: Fury Road
Other Nominees: The Big Short, Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn, The Martian, Room, Spotlight.
Lots of good choices here, and let’s be honest 2015 was a stupidly good year for movies. The Revenant is a great flick and has the inside track since it’s the kind of movie Oscar loves to reward. Birdman’s Best Picture win last year might stand in the way of things though since they gave Innaritu all the awards last year. Even though it was the most fun and my personal favorite flick of the year, Mad Max is lucky just to get nominated. Hell, even The Dark Knight didn’t get nominated in 2008. Spotlight has a decent shot as a backup candidate.

So there you have it. I can’t wait to see how the Academy will fuck it up now. Wait, they didn’t nominate any black people for Oscars this year? Oh Oscar, it’s a good thing your foot keeps growing back with the way you manage to shoot it off every year…

…and lest we forget the biggest Oscar screwup of all time:

Got any picks you’d like to share? Post yours in the comments or on the SzteinCreative Facebook page!