Filming location for spaghetti westerns in Almería, Spain

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© 1987-2016
Scott Larson

Building façade in Cannes, France

My 2016 Academy Award Predictions (for movies released in 2015)

Here is the only prediction I have total confidence in making with absolutely no fear of being proved wrong. Spike Lee and Jada Pinkett Smith will not be jointly presenting the Best Picture Oscar® on February 28.

Actually, I’m not even sure of that. But I am sure that most of my predictions below will be wrong. The problem this time around was that I had too much time to think about the Oscars®. Usually, I have my predictions posted within seconds of their announcement, but I was delayed this year because I was out of communication in Luke Skywalker’s religious retreat, I mean, the wilds of southwest Ireland. By the time I got back, it had all had too much time to sink into my pickled brain. Before I knew it, I was making predictions about movies that I had not only not seen but that I had not even heard of before. What could possibly go wrong? Go wrong? Go wrong? Go wrong?

The one thing that seems to be a dead cert is that Leonard DiCaprio will get Best Actor for the same reason that Hillary Clinton will be elected president—it is his/her turn. So there you go, all you #oscarssowhite people, just wait your turn. Anyway, I think awards ceremony host Chris Rock’s monologue has pretty much written itself. Still, though I know Rock will be very entertaining, I cannot help but wish that Ricky Gervais could host the Oscars—just as he did the Golden Globes. He does for awards ceremonies what Donald Trump does for the country. And that’s just what the Academy Awards could use.

Random thoughts: everyone in Ireland is really jazzed that Irish people got so many nominations this year. I am happy for them—even if they are merely asserting their white privilege. Also, Charlotte Rampling! I know she won’t win, but how great that she got nominated. Also, Mark Rylance! The man is amazing. He should be nominated for everything and then win. (I did say these thoughts were random.) Brie Larson! That’s all. How often do I get to write about an Oscar®-nominated actor that has the same last name as me?

So in what spirit should I imbibe on Oscar® night or, as it’s called here, Oscar® morning? I’m thinking of going for the akvavit, in honor of my fellow California-born Scandinavian-American who has been nominated for Best Actress. If I start hitting the akvavit at two in the morning, I should be well and truly battered by the time we get to Best Production Design. And maybe instead of listening to heartfelt acceptance speeches that get cut short by the orchestra, I will be in a stupor dreaming of a debate between Ricky Gervais and Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and Leonard DiCaprio. And maybe in my dream they will be having their debate in Luke Skywalker’s religious retreat. Skoal!


Most Likely to Win

Most Deserving to Win

Should Have Been Nominated But Wasn’t

Best Picture



Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Best Actor

Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant)

Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl)

Jake Gyllenhaal (Southpaw)

Best Actress

Brie Larson (Room)

Charlotte Rampling (45 Years)

Charlize Theron (Mad Max: Fury Road)

Best Supporting Actor

Sylvester Stallone (Creed)

Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies)

Emory Cohen (Brooklyn)

Best Supporting Actress

Rooney Mara (Carol)

Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl)

Julie Walters (Brooklyn)

Best Director

Alejandro González Iñárritu (The Revenant)

Lenny Abrahamson (Room)

John Crowley (Brooklyn)

Best Original Screenplay

Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer (Spotlight)

Matt Charman, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen (Bridge of Spies)

Christopher Cleveland, Bettina Gilois and Grant Thompson (McFarland, USA)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Adam McKay and Charles Randolph (The Big Short)

Emma Donoghue (Room)

Jesse Andrews (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl)

Best Animated Feature

Inside Out

Inside Out


Best Foreign Language Film

Son of Saul (Hungary)

Son of Saul (Hungary)

The Assassin (Taiwan)