Filming location for spaghetti westerns in Almería, Spain

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© 1987-2016
Scott Larson

Building façade in Cannes, France

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

Here’s a random thought that occurred to me around four in the morning (in my time zone) when I was fighting to stay awake and still had an hour or so to go of watching the Academy Awards in real time. What if academy voters cast their ballots on the basis of who would give the best acceptance speech instead of what they thought of the nominees’ professional work? Heck, maybe that is how they all vote. But I don’t think so. At least not in all cases. Anyway the results would be a whole lot different. For one thing Alejandro González Iñárritu probably wouldn’t have gotten the gong for best director since he was always going to pretty much give the same speech he gave last year. I bet George Miller, in contrast, would have given a really good speech. Too bad we didn’t get to hear it. I guess he will just have to be satisfied with having directed the movie that got the most Oscars.

One actor who deserved to win purely for his acceptance speech—and regardless of the fact that he actually did turn in the best performance of all the nominees in his category—was Mark Rylance. What a lovely man and what a witty and gracious speech he gave. And the orchestra had the gall to start playing him off even though he was clearly finishing up—even though they would let Leonard DiCaprio prattle on with his endless thank yous followed up by an informercial that basically rehashed his 2007 movie The 11th Hour. Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t question Leo’s sincerity or his complete right to use his well-earned platform to highlight a cause that that has a lot of people worried. But the problem with Hollywood liberals endlessly droning on about problems instead of solutions is that it always reminds me of the crazy religious guy down the street who wants to preach incessantly about sin and never about redemption. In case you can’t tell, I’m not really a big Leo fan. He actually was brilliant in his early roles like What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (for which he really should have won an Oscar) and The Basketball Diaries, but for the past decade or so whenever I see him in a movie I just see Leo. He doesn’t exactly disappear into a role. But that must just be me. After all, he’s an Oscar winner.

But enough about the petty accomplishments of these professional film people. Instead look at what I did with my Oscar predictions! I think this might just be the best tally I have ever achieved with these silly forecasts. I would go check and compare with past results, but that would mean putting more work into arithmetic than I actually put into thinking about the predictions in the first place. But I know this is the first time ever that every movie in the major categories that I forecast showed up in either my Most Likely to Win or Most Deserving column. I don’t know exactly what that means, but I do know that I will now be spending the next ten months trying to remember what is was that I was drinking when I made those predictions and then scraping the money together to buy a case of it. And with any money I have left over, I am going to go watch The Big Short and figure out how to short some serious investments in the entertainment industry.


Most Likely to Win

Most Deserving to Win

Totally Missed the Mark

Best Picture



Best Actor

Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant)

Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl)

Best Actress

Brie Larson (Room)

Charlotte Rampling (45 Years)

Best Supporting Actor

Sylvester Stallone (Creed)

Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies)

Best Supporting Actress

Rooney Mara (Carol)

Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl)

Best Director

Alejandro González Iñárritu (The Revenant)

Lenny Abrahamson (Room)

Best Original Screenplay

Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer (Spotlight)

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

Best Adapted Screenplay

Adam McKay and Charles Randolph (The Big Short)

Emma Donoghue (Room)

Best Animated Feature

Inside Out

Inside Out

Best Foreign Language Film

Son of Saul (Hungary)

Son of Saul (Hungary)

Total Scores

8 instances of conventional wisdom reigning (raining?) supreme

4 cases of me taking a drink out of satisfaction rather than disinterest

0 occurrences of neither unexpected nor undeserving winners!