FINAL 2016 Oscar Predictions


Last month, I predicted the nominees for the Oscars 2016. I got most of them wrong, but anyway. Now, with the 88th Academy Awards just around the corner, here are my final 2016 Oscar predictions. (UPDATE – I got 14/21 right… and Best Picture wrong for the second year in a row. Oh well, there’s always next year!)

Best Picture

Best PicturePrediction: The Revenant

Could spoil the party: Spotlight, The Big Short, Room, Mad Max: Fury Road

We’ve had quite a few unpredictable races for Best Picture in the past few years, but none as wide-open as this year. Of the eight nominees, there are FIVE genuinely possible winners.

My pick is The Revenant. Why? Of all the Best Picture nominees, it’s my personal favourite, but I also think that The Academy will go for it because it’s the biggest achievement. The Best Picture nominees this year aren’t the best we’ve ever seen, but of all of them, The Revenant’s astonishing cinematography and stunning central performance stand out the most – and that’s what I think the Academy are eventually going to base it on.

It wouldn’t be far-fetched, however, to see Spotlight taking the top prize. A more traditional film that excels with an exceptional screenplay and a hard-hitting, relevant central theme, something that a lot of the older Academy members (and there are a lot of them) will be drawn to.

The thing is, however, that there’s been no consistency across the various awards shows, and as such there’s no direct frontrunner. The Big Short won Best Picture at the PGAs, a traditional predictor for the Oscars, whilst the buzz around Room is pretty strong. It may be a little less likely to see Mad Max: Fury Road win, but given its 9 other nominations, it’s got enough backing to make it a big surprise winner.

Best Director

InarrituPrediction: Alejandro G. Iñárritu (The Revenant)

Could spoil the party: Adam McKay (The Big Short)

This should be a much simpler victory. Alejandro G. Iñárritu, off the back of his double win in 2014 for Birdman, is set to take a historic back-to-back double this year.

And it’s well-deserved. Whilst the nominees for Best Director are all fantastic, Iñárritu’s unique vision in The Revenant is what will win him the award. Combining with master cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, he’s managed to make yet another visually stunning film in a unique way. The Revenant was filmed entirely in natural light, causing a problem-riddled production, but that decision by Iñárritu worked perfectly, and gave The Revenant a gritty intensity that made it an even more astonishing watch.

If he doesn’t win, however, there are four other very deserving victors to take the award. Of all of them, I think Adam McKay would be most likely to take a surprise win, given his uniquely manic take on the fourth-wall breaking The Big Short, but seeing as Iñárritu has taken Best Director at virtually every awards show this season, I don’t see a shock in the works.

Best Actor

The RevenantPrediction: Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant)

Could spoil the party: Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl) – HE BETTER NOT

Yes, another win for The Revenant, but it’s the conclusion to one of the most famous Oscars stories of the last decade. Leonardo DiCaprio will finally win an Oscar.

Is it his greatest performance of all? No, but it’s his most intense, and that’s what the Academy likes to award. DiCaprio was still stunning in The Revenant, and fully deserves the award, especially given that he stands head and shoulders above the other nominees for an exceptionally hard-working, physical and eye-catching performance.

There have been rumblings that Eddie Redmayne could take a second win in a row for his role as transgender pioneer Lili Elbe in The Danish Girl. Now, not only do I think it would be a travesty to rob Leo of his long-overdue Oscar, but I genuinely think that Redmayne’s performance in that film was poor, and shouldn’t have been nominated. If it wins, it’s the biggest display of the effectiveness of Oscar bait we’ve ever seen – but I fully believe it won’t.

Best Actress

RoomPrediction: Brie Larson (Room)

Could spoil the party: Cate Blanchett (Carol), Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn)

Although it’s not my personal favourite of the category, Brie Larson’s chances of winning Best Actress for Room have seemed locked in from day one.

Her performance is very impressive, nonetheless. In a very stressful and intense role, Larson’s turn as a mother living imprisoned in a garden shed with her five year-old son is fantastic, and deserves all the plaudits it’s getting. Neither showy nor too understated, Larson manages to keep her acting as realistic as possible.

My personal choice would be Saoirse Ronan in Brooklyn. It may be a very light film, but Ronan was excellent in the lead role, managing to outshine all of her co-stars and bring the only real emotional heft to the story whilst remaining hugely likeable and lovely. Cate Blanchett is another possibility for Carol, where she proves that she’s an actress who has no limits as to how good she can be, but, following the previous awards shows this season, and general buzz, it looks like Larson’s got it in the bag.

Best Supporting Actor

CreedPrediction: Sylvester Stallone (Creed)

Could spoil the party: Mark Rylance (Bridge Of Spies)

This is probably the toughest category to predict. The awards given out this season would have you believe that Mark Rylance is in prime position to win Best Supporting Actor, but I’m not so sure.

My prediction is that Sylvester Stallone will win an Oscar for the first time, for what is probably his best performance ever. Calm, collected and understated, Stallone played an older Rocky Balboa fantastically in Creed, and managed to bring a huge emotional drama to the film that nobody saw coming.

Mark Rylance has picked up a lot of awards for his role in Bridge Of Spies, but I don’t think he’ll manage the big prize. Whilst he gave a great performance, I think that Stallone will top him because of the Academy voters’ likelihood to respond to the #OscarsSoWhite campaign when the nominations were announced. Creed is the film where black actors and directors should definitely have been nominated, and the Academy will be looking for a way to undo their mistakes, by giving Stallone the win. It’s a close call, but I think he’ll just take the win by a whisker.

Best Supporting Actress

Steve JobsPrediction: Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs)

Could spoil the party: Rooney Mara (Carol), Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight)

Before awards season kicked off, Jennifer Jason Leigh was the firm favourite to sweep the supporting actress category, but as the shows have gone by, it seems that Kate Winslet is now most likely to take the Oscar.

For a strong performance in Steve Jobs as the Apple tycoon’s right-hand woman, Winslet has taken the BAFTA, Golden Globe and more this season. It’s a result that I definitely didn’t see coming, even after I saw Steve Jobs, but it seems that Winslet’s impressive accent and general performance has struck a chord with voters, making it pretty likely that she’ll win the big prize in the end.

Unlike the incredibly strong Best Actress category, Supporting Actress is a pretty weak five. Rooney Mara, who could have been nominated in the leading category, is a possibility for an upset thanks to her role in Carol, whilst I’m still not totally writing off Jennifer Jason Leigh, because she was probably the best part of the whole of The Hateful Eight. We’ll see what happens on Sunday, but I don’t see Winslet losing out this year.

Best Original Screenplay

Inside OutPrediction: Inside Out

Could spoil the party: Spotlight, Straight Outta Compton, Ex Machina

With four really strong contenders, Best Original Screenplay is an insanely close category this year, but I think it’s going to end up going to Pixar’s stunning animation Inside Out.

Already a shoo-in for Best Animated Feature, and a snubbed nominee for Best Picture, Inside Out has captured the hearts and minds of everyone who saw it last summer, with wonderfully powerful emotion, brilliantly-written comedy, and a hugely unique and intelligent premise that was pulled off to perfection.

However, no animated film has ever won outside of the Best Animated category before, and that record could hurt Inside Out. Spotlight, a film with another stunning screenplay, wouldn’t be a shock victor, whilst Straight Outta Compton and Ex Machina are both possibilities too for a small upset. In the end, though, I think that the emotional weight and originality of Inside Out’s screenplay will outdo the impressive Spotlight, and it should take the prize.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Big ShortPrediction: The Big Short

Could spoil the party: Room

This one looks a little more clear-cut. Although also filled with five very strong nominees, it seems as if The Big Short will easily take the award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Based on the book by Michael Lewis about the financial crisis, The Big Short succeeds in making a hugely complicated topic both slightly less incomprehensible and entertaining at the same time. In a similar vain to The Wolf Of Wall Street, it’s witty, fast-paced and captures the manic lives of those working on the trading floors, and so should be an easy winner.

If The Big Short doesn’t win, however, Room could slide in to take its place. Adapted from Emma Donoghue’s novel, it captures the dramatic intensity of the hard-hitting story, and makes a compelling watch out of it. It’s an unlikely outcome, but not impossible.

The Rest Of The Feature Film Awards

Best Animated Feature: Inside Out

Best Foreign Language Film: Son Of Saul

Best Documentary Feature: Amy

Best Original Score: The Hateful Eight

Best Original Song: ‘Writing’s On The Wall’ (Spectre)

Best Sound Editing: Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Sound Mixing: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Best Production Design: Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Cinematography: The Revenant

Best Makeup and Hairstyling: The Revenant

Best Costume Design: Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Editing: Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Visual Effects: Star Wars: The Force Awakens


  1. The Revenant – 5 awards
  2. Mad Max: Fury Road – 4 awards
  3. Inside Out – 2 awards
  4. Star Wars: The Force Awakens – 2 awards

Thanks for reading my 2016 Oscar predictions, make sure you tune into the 88th Academy Awards on 28th February from 5:30pm PST. (You can watch the ceremony in the UK from 1:30am GMT on Sky Movies Oscars).

Check back to see how many I got wrong, and then have a good laugh. Enjoy!


About Author

The Mad Movie Man, AKA Anthony Cullen, writes articles and reviews about movies and the world of cinema. Since January 1st, 2013, he has watched and reviewed a movie every day. This is the blog dedicated to the project: