By Ryann Deutsch
Every year Hollywood recognizes what it sees as the movie industry’s best work of the past year. All the old stars and the new ones will gather at The Dolby Theater in Hollywood on Feb. 28 to find out who will take home the gold statues. The Academy is so unpredictable, upsets are inevitable. Below are my predictions for the 2016 Oscars.
Actor in a leading role
Winner: Leonardo Dicaprio, The Revenant
Darkhorse: Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
This is Leo’s fifth acting nomination and with zero wins so far it could finally be his year. In The Revenant, he endures extreme conditions and was fully committed to the role. All the publicity is focused on the extremes he went to throughout the filming, but could all the talk outshine his performance?
Bryan Cranston starred as Dalton Trumbo, a blacklisted screenwriter in Hollywood during the Cold War. His performance was great and captured the viewer’s attention. While he may not be the favorite, he is very deserving of this award and who knows, the Academy may just surprise us.
Actress in a leading role
Winner: Brie Larson, Room
Darkhorse: Jennifer Lawrence, Joy
This is Brie Larson’s first nomination and she could be on a hot streak coming off of a Golden Globe win. She plays a woman who was kidnapped and raped. She then has to raise her child in all he has ever known: a single room. This was a smaller, less publicized film but her performance and the movie is worthy of recognition.
Jennifer Lawrence is one of the most sought after actresses in Hollywood. Like Brie, she is coming off of a Golden Globe win. It has been proven in the past that the Academy loves her with one win and four nominations. Her role as Joy, a strong no-nonsense woman, is very timely in the midst of gender inequality battles throughout Hollywood.
Animated feature film
Winner: Inside Out
Darkhorse: Shaun The Sheep Movie
Inside Out was Disney’s hit animated movie of the year. It reached young audiences while managing to deliver an emotional impact on adults as they reminisced their own childhoods or raising their own kids. This innovative movie was something that had never been done and it is hard to see it not winning this year.
Shaun The Sheep Movie was a somewhat surprising nomination, but after last year’s Lego Movie upset, anything can happen. This funny movie expanded upon the Wallace and Gromit style animation and was humorous to kids and adults.
The Favorite: The Revenant
Darkhorse: Mad Max: Fury Road or The Big Short
To many it would be more of a surprise if Spotlight beat out The Revenant for best picture. But, I think that Spotlight will impress the Academy and take the biggest prize of the night. All the talk about The Revenant may be overshadowing what I think was the best film of the year. Spotlight was intriguing and is worthy of the Academy’s recognition.
The Revenant is easily this year’s favorite in the Best Picture race. All the talk about using only natural lighting and the extremes that the cast and crew went to makes a great case for this film to win. However, I think the Academy will look past all the hype and possibly deny The Revenant’s bid for Best Picture.
Much of the Best Picture category this year is a toss up. If the Academy has proven anything in the past, it is how unpredictable it can be. Mad Max: Fury Road was one of the best movies of the year and while it is not your typical “Oscar” movie it could surprise everyone and snag the win. Finally, The Big Short could pull an upset. This film was an intriguing look into the 2007 housing crisis. The film has an all star cast and writing. It’s always fun to root for the underdog and this year The Big Short could surprise us all.