Home » Year in Review » 2016 Oscar Predictions/Results

2016 Oscar Predictions/Results

I know I’m a little bit late this year, which is all the more reason to get right to it. Here’s my list of predictions for who will win at this year’s Academy Awards, presented with minimal commentary until my annual Oscars liveblog.

Thank you all for joining me here! As of this typing, there’s only 10 more minutes of red carpet drivel to go. The incomparable Chris Rock is hosting, and we’ve got a lot of great potential winners. Let’s see what fun is in store for us tonight.


I didn’t catch all of that opening animation. Was “Awards Campaigning” anywhere in that stuff that made up the Oscar?

And now we get a neat little montage to pay tribute to so many 2015 movies that won’t win. As if anyone cares that Despicable Me and Tomorrowland didn’t get nominated. Incidentally, I wonder what the hell that montage would look like to someone who’s barely seen one or two of those movies.


And Chris Rock comes out swinging with the race jokes right out of the gate. And he’s killing it. Keep it up, man. “How come it’s only unemployed people who tell you to quit something?”

Of course Chris Rock was hysterical and whip-smart in his opening monologue. All those months of preparation clearly paid off. Then again, we’ve all seen Oscar hosts nail the opening only to crash and burn through the rest of the ceremony. We’ll see how things go.

Incidentally, who’s directing this ceremony? The cuts and camera movements are all over the place.


Of course a writer wrote the stuff on your teleprompter, Charlize. Like anyone in showbiz would openly recognize the importance of writers in such a way. Especially if it means campaigning for them to actually get paid.

Best Original Screenplay
Should Win: Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer — Spotlight
Will Win: Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer — Spotlight
Did Win: Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer — Spotlight

The screenwriting award went to the film that glorifies writers. Whodathunk? But in all seriousness, this screenplay was fantastic and I’m thrilled that it won. Also, good of the writers to acknowledge the sex abuse survivors in their acceptance speech.


Wow, the band is under the stage this time and not just piped in from someplace else! Very nice. Huge improvement over previous years.

Hi, Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling! Thanks for that preview of your onscreen repartee. Can’t wait to see more of it when you’re being written and directed by Shane Black.

Best Adapted Screenplay
Should Win: Drew Goddard — The Martian
Will Win: Adam McKay and Charles Randolph — The Big Short
Did Win: Adam McKay and Charles Randolph — The Big Short

I guess giving it to The Martian would’ve been too easy, since the novel practically was its own screenplay. Also, I’d be surprised and amazed if that was the last time we got a message about liberal politics in an acceptance speech.

Incidentally, the candidates this year are being arranged according to the filmmaking process. It’s a neat idea. Let’s see if they stick to it.

Wow, a sketch inserting black characters into the Best Picture nominees. And they even got some of the actors to reshoot the scenes accordingly. They’re really not holding back with this controversy, are they?

Holy crap, Sarah Silverman’s never looked better. Her presentation here to lampoon Bond is almost enough to make me forget that I’m about to listen to that incredibly godawful James Bond theme that somehow got nominated.

What in the seven high holy hells is going on with Sam Smith’s voice?! As if the song wasn’t bad enough to start with, he’s singing in this godawful high pitch in some weird language with no consonants. Spectre was one of the most expensive films ever made, and I’d love to know what the fuck this song cost out of the reported $250 million budget.

Hi, Henry Cavill! Sorry The Man from U.N.C.L.E. sucked so hard, but at least you’ve got that awesome movie coming up soon! Oh, and Kerry Washington gets to introduce a candidate as well? Good, I was starting to worry that she wouldn’t talk at all.

Oh, we’re already on to Best Supporting Actress? Before all that stuff about production design and whatnot? Well, I guess that whole “arranged by creative process” gimmick didn’t last long.

Best Supporting Actress
Should Win: Jennifer Jason Leigh — The Hateful Eight
Will Win: Alicia Vikander — The Danish Girl
Did Win: Alicia Vikander — The Danish Girl

Vikander was in like seven movies in 2015. This wasn’t even her best performance (Ex Machina, anyone?), but I’m thrilled that she’s getting some recognition. Just wait until she hits her stride, the woman is going places.

Quoth director Lexi Alexander via Twitter: “If there wasn’t a Best Actress category, there would be about as many female Oscar winners in acting as there are in directing.”

I doubt it’s a coincidence that they brought out Cate Blanchett to present Best Costume Design, since she was in two of the nominated films and both of those were done by the same person!

Best Costume Design
Should Win: Sandy Powell — Cinderella
Will Win: Sandy Powell — Carol
Did Win: Jenny Bevan — Mad Max: Fury Road

And a Fury Road reference right out of the gate! This is a very pleasant surprise. I don’t know what else there is to say, except that Sandy Powell was the odds-on favorite for both of her films, but Bevan absolutely deserved this. Which makes it all the sadder that her big socially relevant statement is exactly when she started getting played off.

I’m glad Carell specified that Tina Fey had been drinking. I’m not used to seeing her play stupid.

Best Production Design
Should Win: Colin Gibson and Lisa Thompson — Mad Max: Fury Road
Will Win: Colin Gibson and Lisa Thompson — Mad Max: Fury Road
Did Win: Colin Gibson and Lisa Thompson — Mad Max: Fury Road

What a lovely day indeed! There was never any doubt that this supremely detailed work was the most deserving entry. The acceptance speeches were short, sweet, and funny. Great stuff.

They just made a movie together. And based on what I’ve heard in interviews, this is still the first time Margot Robbie and Jared Leto have met. And once again, Leto proves that he really is legitimately crazy.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Should Win: Sian Grigg, Duncan Jarman, and Robert Pandini — The Revenant
Will Win: Lesley Vanderwalt, Elka Wardega, and Damian Martin — Mad Max: Fury Road
Did Win: Lesley Vanderwalt, Elka Wardega, and Damian Martin — Mad Max: Fury Road

This was a toss-up, but I’m genuinely glad that Fury Road got an award over The Revenant. Again. Please don’t let this be the last time.

I fully expect that guy in a bear costume to be a running gag throughout the night. If he doesn’t storm the stage during DiCaprio’s acceptance speech, I’ll be very disappointed.


I was wondering where Chris Rock was going with the “Based on a real story” gag. Very funny, and it’s nice that some of the real-life subjects are in the Dolby Theater tonight.

Best Cinematography
Should Win: Robert Richardson — The Hateful Eight
Will Win: Emmanuel Lubezki — The Revenant
Did Win: Emmanuel Lubezki — The Revenant

Sucks that Roger Deakins will have to wait at least another year. Lubezki is indisputably a grandmaster, and there really were no losers in this batch of nominees. But it sucks that the gorgeous 70mm film will only have to settle for a nomination. Incidentally, good on Lubezki for acknowledging his fellow extraordinary nominees. Always a classy move.

Why are we still pretending that the categories are being presented in the proper filmmaking order? Best Actress already blew that to shit.

Best Film Editing
Should Win: Hank Corwin — The Big Short
Will Win: Margaret Sixel — Mad Max: Fury Road
Did Win: Margaret Sixel — Mad Max: Fury Road

I absolutely love this movie, but The Big Short did a masterful job of mixing together so many disparate elements. Ah, well. Whatever it takes to let the casual filmgoers at home know which film is really the best picture of 2015.

Wow, it’s like the Academy only just remembered that it’s Black History Month. I’m frankly amazed we’ve gone this far without a reference to Dreamgirls.’

I love it when costars of upcoming movies get to present together. Seeing Chadwick Boseman and Chris Evans together onstage gets me so much more pumped to see them beat the crap out of each other in Civil War.

Best Sound Editing
Should Win: Matthew Wood and David Acord —  Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Will Win: Mark Mangini and David White — Mad Max: Fury Road
Did Win: Mark Mangini and David White — Mad Max: Fury Road

Was that a technical error or did something get bleeped out? Personally, I think that BB-8 would have been enough to earn the award, but oh well. Any award that goes to Fury Road is an award well spent.

It’s always an uphill battle trying to describe the difference between sound editing and sound mixing. Though I appreciate the effort that keeps getting made year after year.

Best Sound Mixing
Should Win: Chris Jenkins, Gregg Rudloff, and Ben Osmo — Mad Max: Fury Road
Will Win: Chris Jenkins, Gregg Rudloff, and Ben Osmo — Mad Max: Fury Road
Did Win: Chris Jenkins, Gregg Rudloff, and Ben Osmo — Mad Max: Fury Road 

Yeah, no contest here. Incidentally, I love how blunt and excited and upfront the Fury Road guys are in their acceptance speeches.

Wait, the Academy is giving Andy Serkis his own montage? After all the times they’ve snubbed him? What’s going on here?!

Oh, right. They’re bringing him on for visual effects. Because stop-motion isn’t acting. Even though he was introduced with a quotation about acting. Get your shit together, Academy, he’s an incredible talent!

Best Visual Effects
Should Win: Chris Corbould, Roger Guyett, Paul Kavanagh, and Neal Scanlan — Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Will Win: Chris Corbould, Roger Guyett, Paul Kavanagh, and Neal Scanlan — Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Did Win: Mark Williams Ardington, Sara Bennett, Paul Norris, and Andrew Whiteburst — Ex Machina

Holy fucking shit! The acceptance speech wasn’t kidding, this is hugely unexpected. I don’t know if the other candidates split the vote, and I really don’t care. This film was a hugely impressive VFX showcase on such a minimal budget, and anything that gets the movie more publicity is fine by me. Everyone involved really earned this.

Oh, C-3PO and R2-D2 get a sketch. How delightful, especially after they got shafted in screen time in Force Awakens. And I see Threepio has his old arm back. How nice. Also, what a neat little tribute to John Williams.


Aw, no. The host is in the audience. This never goes well. Though the sight of Hollywood A-listers buying Girl Scout cookies (especially when they’re all hungry anyway) is admittedly funny. Especially when Chris Rock is using the chance to call everyone out on how rich they are.

The Minions?! Never mind that those annoying little bastards are overexposed already, who the hell decided to give this gig to characters who speak in gibberish?!

Best Animated Short Film
Should Win: World of Tomorrow
Will Win: Sanjay’s Super Team
Did Win: Bear Story

Weird. This one didn’t have the best animation of all the nominees, and there was nothing new in terms of story. I’m frankly not sure how it even got nominated, but oh well. In any case, I appreciate the acceptance speech that gave the story more context. This is the first Oscar brought home to Chile, huh? Fascinating.

They brought out Buzz and Woody to present in honor of Toy Story‘s 20th anniversary. That’s some good nostalgia right there. I remember when they presented Best Animated Feature in the wake of Toy Story 2.

Best Animated Feature Film
Should Win: Inside Out
Will Win: Inside Out
Did Win: Inside Out

Damn straight. The other nominees are all incredible, but Inside Out is an instant classic. Also, that acceptance speech was just lovely.

I’m a little bit afraid that Chris Rock wasn’t joking and Kevin Hart really will be the host next year. Guy always struck me as someone who’d rather be famous than funny.

Oh, for Christ’s sake, they brought out a full violin lineup and an aerial dancer for this fucking song? This fucking song from a movie that swept the Razzies? I hope you’re proud of yourself, Academy.


Hm. Interviews with the vox populi outside a movie theater. In this case, a theater in Compton to talk about the lack of racial diversity in the Oscars. Not a bad idea. This could be a neat little gimmick for future ceremonies. God knows the Academy could always use ways to keep this show relevant. And seriously, that was a funny bit.

Best Supporting Actor
Should Win: Mark Rylance — Bridge of Spies
Will Win: Sylvester Stallone — Creed
Did Win: Mark Rylance — Bridge of Spies

I know a lot of people wanted Stallone to win this award. And I know Rylance already has a library of Tonys. Too bad. Rylance stole the fucking show. Even in his acceptance speech, Rylance acknowledged that he’s the face of the goddamn movie. And again, props for acknowledging his fellow nominees, all of whom were amazing. That said, it’s a shame that Creed won’t even get an award tonight. At least it won’t stop being a really good movie.

Clever little dig from Chris Rock to Louis C.K. Also, good on Louis C.K. for pointing out the relevance of the Documentary Short category. There’s been no shortage of razor-sharp comedy tonight.

Best Documentary Short Film
Should Win: No preference.
Will Win: Body Team 12
Did Win: A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness

Many congratulations to Dee Hibert-Jones and Nomi Talisman. Be sure to find a secure spot for that Oscar in your crappy apartment. /Louis C.K. reference

I have no idea how Body Team 12 lost when it has so much more star power behind it, but oh well.

Best Documentary Feature Film
Should Win: No preference.
Will Win: Amy
Did Win: Amy

You know, this ceremony has been so heavily focused on matters of race and politics, I’m actually kinda glad that this win went to the movie about the dead musician/tabloid star.


And then, as Chris Rock joked about Pricewaterhouse Coopers, he made a two-fer about racial stereotypes and child labor. GODDAMN!

I can’t believe Chris Rock is milking this many honest laughs out of Girl Scout cookies, of all things. Incidentally, I wonder if those sales were tabulated by Pricewaterhouse Coopers backstage.

Whoa, Spike Lee showed up to accept his honorary award at the Governor’s Ball? Some boycott!

Ah, the In Memoriam segment. The painful reminder that every year is an awful year for celebrity deaths. Incidentally, Dave Grohl for the musical accompaniment? There’s an inspired choice! Brilliant. I also see that they threw in Alan Rickman and David Bowie, even though they died in 2016. So did Leonard Nimoy, and he got the final spot! That was sweet.


As a side note, is anyone else out there hoping that the orchestra plays the Galaxy Quest theme? Such an awesome bit of music, and so underrated.


Best Live-Action Short Film
Should Win: Everything Will Be Okay
Will Win: Shok
Did Win: Stutterer

Lost the coin toss. Oh, well. Out of all the genuinely tragic and depressing nominations in this batch, I’m actually kind of happy that the award went to the happy little romantic comedy. It wasn’t the most deserving nominee, but oh well.

Best Foreign Language Film
Should Win: No preference.
Will Win: Son of Saul
Did Win: Son of Saul

Sometimes it pays to bet on the Holocaust drama.

And now Vice President Joe Biden comes out because… well, it’s not like has anything better to do. Even Biden himself says that he’s the least qualified person there. His message against sexual violence comes out of nowhere, but it’s an important message that needs to be broadcast, so whatever.

…And then Biden introduces Lady Gaga’s nominated song. Now that whole digression makes more sense. And she gives a brilliant performance of a simply dreadful song. Cue the teary-eyed standing ovation.

Best Original Score
Should Win: Ennio Morricone — The Hateful Eight
Will Win: Ennio Morricone — The Hateful Eight
Did Win: Ennio Morricone — The Hateful Eight

This was Morricone’s first Oscar? Goddamn! Don’t get me wrong, every last one of the nominees was amazing, but these accolades for grandmaster Morricone are long overdue. And it’s not like John Williams needs another statuette. Also, kudos to the orchestra for letting Morricone get out the entirety of his lovely acceptance speech.

“These songs are as powerful as the films in which they appear.” HA! Damning with faint praise there, John Legend.

Best Original Song
Should Win: Fuck ’em all.
Will Win: “‘Til It Happens To You” by Lady Gaga and Diane Warren — The Hunting Ground
Did Win: “Writing’s on the Wall” by Jimmy Napes and Sam Smith — Spectre

…Wut. What? This punchline of a song got the award? Over Lady Gaga? WHAT?! I mean, I’m sure Gaga appreciates Sam Smith’s dedication to the LGBT community, but fucking what?!

Every last nominee was simply dreadful, and this whole category is a failure this year. Seriously, I thought that these godawful nominees were all chosen for the sole purpose of giving Lady Gaga an Oscar, and the Academy couldn’t even get that right. Though on the flip side, I’m at least kinda sorta grateful that we’re living in a world in which Meghan Trainor is not an Academy Award nominee.


And just as Chris Rock decides that it’s time to back off, Sacha Baron Cohen comes onstage in full character as Da Ali G. Damn.

Best Director
Should Win: Any of them
Will Win: Alejandro Inarritu — The Revenant
Did Win: Alejandro Inarritu — The Revenant

And Inarritu walks away with two consecutive wins. I’d complain, especially since all of the voters were apparently too enamored of all the stories about the notoriously difficult production behind the scenes. That said, there really were no losers here. Every single one of the nominees was a masterwork of directing.

Also, I’m really getting mixed messages here. The ceremony seems to be all about racial diversity, then the orchestra tries to play off any acceptance speeches about racial inclusion. WTF?

Best Actress
Should Win: Brie Larson — Room
Will Win: Brie Larson — Room
Did Win: Brie Larson — Room

Charlotte Rampling put in a good performance, but her nomination really should’ve gone to Charlize Theron. Also, Larson really should’ve gotten this award for Short Term 12, but better late than never. Congrats, Ms. Larson! That was a fantastic acceptance speech. Best of luck going forward.

The orchestra played “Mrs. Robinson” for Julianne Moore? Huh. Bit of a faux pas there, don’t you think?

Best Actor
Should Win: Bryan Cranston — Trumbo
Will Win: Leonardo DiCaprio — The Revenant
Did Win: Leonardo DiCaprio — The Revenant

Congratulations, Leo. You’ve paid your dues at last. And I’m sure the Academy will be glad to move on now that they’ve finally given him an Oscar after six goddamn nominations and so many incredibly worthy works with some of the finest talents in the business. And you’d better believe that he’s cramming in every last acceptance speech that he would’ve given in years past. Then comes the message of global warming that — however vital — we all knew was coming.

True story: I was there at a Kerry rally in 2004 when DiCaprio was brought out as the opening speaker. The speech hasn’t changed in 12 years.

Best Picture
Should Win: The Martian
Will Win: The Revenant
Did Win: Spotlight

…WHOA. Thank you, Academy! I am so incredibly grateful that this one got it over The Revenant. It’s the better, more emotionally resonant, more socially relevant film. I’m positively thrilled that it will be listed among the rest of the Best Picture winners, it’s more than worthy.



I’ll be updating this page in real-time to write down the actual winners along with my additional commentary. You’ll find the additions in red text on the big night of February 28th, at 5:30 pm PST, after all the red carpet crap that no one gives a shit about.

Stay tuned, and good luck with your Oscar betting pool!

Overall, I thought that was an incredible ceremony. Chris Rock was a hilarious and whip-smart host, and the show was nicely kept from going too long. There were just enough surprises to keep things interesting, and most of the surprise wins went to extraordinary candidates who shouldn’t have been overlooked.

Thank you all for joining in. Here’s hoping you had as much fun as I did. Time to start 2016 in earnest. Here’s to another great year!

Leave a Reply