Predicting this Year’s Oscars is like Predicting Tomorrow’s East Coast Weather

When the final out of the World Series is made, it marks the unofficial beginning of the “hot stove” season. The term, of course, applies to media speculation over where baseball players will sign with or end up with via trades. Most of the chatter – especially on Twitter – is smoke but it makes for a nice continuation of the Major League Baseball season following the Fall Classic. This year’s Oscar race feels like that. Because every major award seems to be splitting its votes among three films – Spotlight, The Revenant, and The Big Short, it’s anyone’s guess who is winning what. The 88th Annual Academy Awards is quite easily the hardest to call in some 25 years.
The #oscarsowhite movement has overshadowed this.

Only Leonardo DiCaprio seems like a shoo-in. Brie Larson may be. Sly Stallone, too. But, Saoirse Ronan keeps entering my mind for Brooklyn. She could walk away with the Shakespeare in Love vote. In other words, it’s been awhile since a feel good movie won anything at the Oscars. Oh, and as for Rocky, I’m feeling like Spotlight’s Mark Ruffalo could pull an upset especially if that film walks home with Best Picture. On a related note, Mad Max is so overrated.

I’m getting a headache over this. “Experts” have been going nuts weighing in on who’s taking home the top prize – especially in recent weeks after the SAGs, the PGAs, and the DGAs. It’s all nuts. It’s like the MLB off-season but without insane Yoenis Cespedes rumors. Anyway – let’s do this. Here are my predictions, which I have so so feelings about, below.

Best Picture
BEST BET TO WIN: Spotlight or The Revenant or The Big Short – in that order.
MAJOR UPSET POTENTIAL: Honestly if it’s not one of the big three above it’ll be the biggest shock in Oscar history.
WHO SHOULD WIN: My favorite films of the year weren’t nominated so I’ll say The Revenant but would be totally fine if Spotlight won. I’m still trying to figure out Short.

Best Actor
BEST BET TO WIN AND SHOULD WIN: The Revenant’s Leonardo DiCaprio – finally.
MAJOR UPSET POTENTIAL: Bryan Cranston or Matt Damon but don’t even think of it. This is Leo’s unofficial Lifetime Achievement year.

MAJOR UPSET POTENTIAL: Ronan as mentioned above.

Best Supporting Actor
BEST BET TO WIN AND SHOULD WIN: This is the biggest shot at an upset. Think Mickey Rourke for The Wrestler. Think Harden over Hudson. Yet, here I am saying Stallone because A) he deserves it and B) it’s a great Hollywood story if he wins 40 years later.
MAJOR UPSET POTENTIAL: Ruffalo or Mark Rylance. Speaking of the latter, Bridge of Spies is totally underrated.

Best Supporting Actress
BEST BET TO WIN: Alicia Vikander. The Danish Girl
MAJOR UPSET POTENTIAL: Rooney Mara was the best thing in Carol, and could win it. Other weird theory: would the Oscars give two actresses under 30 an Oscar in the same year or will they give Jennifer Jason Leigh a Leo-esque Lifetime Achievement Award for Hateful Eight? That won’t happen but if it does, I’ll look like a genius.
WHO SHOULD WIN: Vikander for Ex Machina so I’m cool with her winning here for Danish.

Best Director
BEST BET TO WIN AND SHOULD WIN: Alejandro G. Inarritu, The Revenant
MAJOR UPSET POTENTIAL: This is a tough one. My gut tells me this is the spot where the Academy will give props to Mad Max: Fury Road but I’m holding off on writing that. George Miller this Bud might be for you.

In Brief:

Best Adapted Screenplay
The Big Short, screenplay by Charles Randolph and Adam McKay

Best Original Screenplay
Spotlight, written by Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy

Best Animated Feature Film
Inside Out

Best Foreign-Language Film
Son of Saul

Best Cinematography
The Revenant

Best Costume Design

Best Documentary Feature
Everyone says Amy, I’m saying What Happened, Miss Simone?

Best Film Editing
The Revenant

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Music – Original Song
Man, that Spectre song is so bad but it may win. Still, I’m going to say it’s Lady Gaga time with the very important “‘Til It Happens to You” from The Hunting Ground. Co-writer Diane Warren is due.

Best Original Score
The Hateful Eight’sEnnio Morricone

Best Production Design
Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Short Film – Live Action
Ave Maria

Best Short Film – Animated
Sanjay’s Super Team

Best Sound Editing
Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Sound Mixing
Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Visual Effects
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

About A-Sides with Jon Chattman:
Jon Chattman’s music/entertainment series typically features celebrities and artists (established or not) from all genres performing a track, and discussing what it means to them. This informal series focuses on the artist making art in a low-threatening, extremely informal (sometime humorous) way. No bells, no whistles — just the music performed in a random, low-key setting followed by an unrehearsed chat. In an industry where everything often gets overblown and over manufactured, Jon strives for a refreshing change. Artists featured on the series include Imagine Dragons, Bastille, Melissa Etheridge, Elle King, Air Supply, Yoko Ono, Joe Perry, Alice Cooper, fun, Bleachers, Charli XCX, and Cold War Kids.