Saturday, February 27, 2016

MY OFFICIAL 2015 OSCAR PREDICTIONS! Lawyer's Note: David Baruffi reserves all rights to change/alter any all predictions, prior to, during, and after the Awards are handed out. These predictions are in no way official, nor are they predictions.)



This has been a particularly strange Oscar season. Not just for Oscar prognosticators like myself, who are basically more confused than ever before on who's going to win, and yes, this is just a goddamn confusing year, but this has basically been more of a year, that's about the Oscars as an organization as a whole, I would say. Are they racist, are they sexist, why wasn't FILM X or FILM Y or PERSON A or whatever nominated or whatever; The Oscars are now, mostly a hashtag now than they are an actual award show. To their "credit", and I use that word loosely, they're making efforts to, correct any of these supposed issues in the future, which is a good thing, and on the surface, none of these things they recommend are problematic, although who knows, I do in theory, like the idea of making sure people who have worked in the industry, even within the last ten years, which by the way, this has often been a point of discussion amongst even within some of the Guilds on minor issues, I won't name names, but this is something that's been, developing over a while. Anyway, since this is such a strange year in general, and we're really re-calibrating out perspective on the legitimacy or relevance of the A.M.P.A.S. or for that matter, the Academy Awards in general. I-eh, well,... hmm. You know, we'll analyze the entire problems with the Academy Awards, some other time, in fact, I may do that in lieu of an Oscar post-mortem, or possibly in addition to one, (especially since I don't have a computer at the moment and will likely be unable to post on the Oscars until Tuesday, and I have other work to be doing anyway.) 'cause there are things that need to happen within the organization, and these aren't even things that necessarily alter or change the nominees or winners of the Oscars in the future, but just, things in general that need to be done to improve the Academy to the point where we won't see them get hijacked by the audience and the viewers.

We'll talk about that, later, but right now, let's talk about the show, and go over every single category, and who's going to win. Well, this is a weird year to predict, I'm not confident in these picks at all, even I'm also completely positive that these are indeed the correct, and that any results to the contrary is the result of a widespread Academy conspiracy in which results are altered in order to debunk the truth about my prognosticating abilities, (Which is also something the Oscars should stop doing.) but yeah, this is an erratic year and more categories than usual are up in the air, often between more than two likely and/or probable winners, so, this is not a year I suspect that I'm gonna win your office poll, especially with so many conflicting tea leaves, everywhere, this is really hard to dissect, but we're gonna take our best shot at it. Remember these are, "Predictions", not preferences, I haven't seen most of the nominated films yet, I will soon, but these are not preferences, they're predictions on who will win, got it? So, good luck Chris Rock, here we go, let's predict the Oscar winners!

(Lawyer's note: David Baruffi reserves all rights to change/alter any all predictions, prior to, during, and after the Awards are handed out. These predictions are in no way official, nor are they predictions.)


BEST PICTURE
The Big Short-Pro.: Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, and Jeremy Kleiner
Bridge of Spies-Pro.: Steven Spielberg, Marc Platt and Kristi Macosco-Kreiger
Brooklyn-Pro.: Fiona Dwyer & Amanda Posey
Mad Max: Fury Road-Pro.: Doug Mitchell and George Miller
The Martian-Pro.: Simon Kinberg, Ridley Scott, Michael Schaefer and Mark Huffam
The Revenant-Pro.: Arnon Milchan, Steve Golin, Alejandro G. Inarritu, Mary Parent and Keith Redman
Room-Pro.: Ed Guiney
Spotlight-Pro.: Michael Sugar, Steve Golin, Nicole Rocklin and Blye Pagon Faust

Oh dear God, this is a pick'em. Okay, the PGA went for "The Big Short", the SAG awards went for, for Outstanding Ensemble Cast to "Spotlight" and they'll probably sweep the Spirit Awards later, The Golden Globes and BAFTA went for "The Revenant", so did surprisingly the DGA, which I'm still amazed went that, I'm not eliminating the strong possibility that "Mad Max: Fury Road" could steal this, the Globes also went with "The Martian", in Comedy, and that's a whole other kettle of worms that's not relevant, but basically, it's between "The Big Short", "Mad Max..." "The Revenant" and "Spotlight", and yes, it is a four-horse race, a legitimate one. "Mad Max..." shows up on the most Guild Award, "The Revenant"'s got the most momentum, neither has a Screenplay, both of which I felt were weird, there's some talk about the lack of dialogue being the reasons for that, for both film, but that's absolute bullshit 'cause A. "The Artist" got into Screenplay the year it won, but also if they cared that much about great dialogue then why the hell weren't Tarantino and Aaron Sorkin's scripts nominated, and the last two times that has happened and won Best Picture were "Titanic" and "The Sound of Music", so that seems wrong, but no movie that's about journalism has ever won the Oscar, (Unless you really stretch and call "It Happened One Night" a journalism movie, which, no that's a stretch and a half) so "Spotlight" doesn't seem right, but "The Big Short" couldn't even win at Golden Globes against a non-comedy. but can "Mad Max..." actually be an Oscar film, AGH! I legitimately don't think you can eliminate the possibility of a tie. If you want a really weird, huge gamble prop bet, I would bet on a tie for Best Picture, that's how close this is and could be.
PREDICTION: "Spotlight"-I literally went Eenie Meanie Miney Mo, landed on "Spotlight".


BEST DIRECTOR
Lenny Abrahamson-"Room"
Alejandro G. Inarritu-"The Revenant"
Adam McKay-"The Big Short"
Tom McCarthy-"Spotlight"
George Miller-"Mad Max: Fury Road"

I still can't believe the DGA gave the award to Inarritu again. I just-, I have no idea, and I just. Back-to-back Directing Oscars and just, unthinkable. It's happened twice, once they did that for John Ford, for "The Grapes of Wrath" and "How Green Was My Valley" in '41 and '42 respectively, "How Green Was My Valley," you might remember, was the film that beat "Citizen Kane", so that was partly a vote against that film at the time, but, John Ford, also made hundreds of films, so maybe they just gave it to him because they admired him, deservedly so much, (And he did deserve it for "The Grapes of Wrath") and the only other time this happened was in '50 and '51, when, bizarrely Joseph L. Mankeiwicz won back-to-back for "A Letter to Three Wives" and "All About Eve", and he also won for writing those films, and deservedly so, at least for "All About Eve", that's an incredible script, "A Letter to Three Wives", won in one of the weakest Oscar years ever; it lost Best Picture to "All the King's Men", but John Ford is recognized as a legendary director, even before he won those back-to-back Oscars, Mankiewicz, is a good director, but not a great one by any means, he's more known as a screenwriter; I was actually shocked when I learned that he won back-to-back, and Inarritu, I-, I can't believe they're gonna give it to him twice in a row, especially against "Mad Max: Fury Road", which-, if ever there was a Directing movie, that's it. Maybe, once I see "The Revenant" I'll get it, but I-, I don't get it right now, and BAFTA gave it to him, Globes, etc., but both of those awards owed him; they gave Inarritu three Oscars last year, I can't believe they'll give him a fourth so quickly, much less five, I-, I may be wrong on this but, I'm calling the upset.
PREDICTION: George Miller-"Mad Max: Fury Road"


BEST ACTOR
Bryan Cranston-"Trumbo"
Matt Damon-"The Martian"
Leonardo DiCaprio-"The Revenant"
Michael Fassbender-"Steve Jobs"
Eddie Redmayne-"The Danish Girl"

Oh, thank god, the easy categories. Look, I've never understood, at all, this huge upswell of how come Leonardo DiCaprio has never won an Oscar; I think I could've thought about twenty or thirty people working today who I'm way more upset has never won than DiCaprio (Jennifer Jason Leigh would be one of them btw). Yes, I did think he should've won for "The Wolf of Wall Street", but that was it, every other year I would've voted for someone else, but it's big enough now, there's no real competition, they're not giving it to Eddie Redmayne twice in a row, yada, yada, yada, DiCaprio's won every precursor, he was winning them before "The Revenant" even became a legitimate Best Picture contender, etc. etc.
PREDICTION: Leonardo DiCaprio-"The Revenant"


BEST ACTRESS
Cate Blanchett-"Carol"
Brie Larson-"Room"
Jennifer Lawrence-"Joy"
Charlotte Rampling-"45 Years"
Saoirse Ronan-"Brooklyn"

I might've predicted Charlotte Rampling in an upset, since she's such a legend, her first nomination, etc. etc., and then she said that stupid thing about the Academy rules being "racist to whites". Goddamn it, Europe, can you please go through your Civil rights movement already; I've seen what you do to the African soccer players at games, stop it! Ah, anyway, Brie Larson's winning this easily, nobody came up to beat her, she's got Leo's record of winning every precursor, etc. etc. the film way over-performed at the Oscar nominations themselves,... yeah, easy pick.
PREDICTION: Brie Larson-"Room"


BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Christian Bale-"The Big Short"
Tom Hardy-"The Revenant"
Mark Ruffalo-"Spotlight"
Mark Rylance-"Bridge of Spies"
Sylvester Stallone-"Creed"

Everybody and their mother is predicting Sylvester Stallone, and there is something to that. He won the Globe, and the Critics Choice, but I've not as convinced. Mark Rylance is the only nominee who's shown up at every Awards and won the BAFTA, granted some of that might be because "Creed" didn't screen in time for some awards, plus, it's "Creed"'s only nomination and Stallone gave a lousy speech at the Globes, (I know that's debatable, but forgetting to thank the Director and Stars, in this year? Yikes!) and even though Idris Elba won at SAG and he's not nominated here, I-eh, I'm not as sure that means it's a lock for Stallone. I mean, "Creed" didn't screen early enough, according to some for SAG, 'cause SAG is insane and holds they're awards way too damn early, but even still. Rylance and Ruffalo are tied for second choices and if Tom Hardy wins here, this could be a foreshadower of "The Reverent" winning. (Same with Bale for "The Big Short", although he just won recently so I don't think that's gonna happen.) I'm just not sold on Stallone winning here and I'm looking elsewhere. "Bridge of Spies" overperformed and except maybe for Production Design, and that's a stretch, it doesn't really look like it's in the running anywhere else. Ruffalo's overdue, and people love "Spotlight", that could be an upset, and they need to take something if it's gonna win Picture. (Right now, if you're predicting it for Best Picture, it's only other expected win according to most prognosticators is Screenplay, and the last time a Best Picture winner won with only two wins was "The Greatest Show on Earth" in '52, and there's a weird anomaly in that movie, where for some reason it wasn't nominated for Cinematography when it probably would've won there if it was in.) I don't know, Stallone is overdue, sorta, he didn't win for either Screenplay or Acting for "Rocky", and he wasn't listed as a Producer for some reason at the time, and yeah, it's a good story, but do the Oscars actually like that story? Eddie Murphy had a similar story arc for his nomination for "Dreamgirls", and he lost. Hmm.
PREDICTION: Mark Rylance-"Bridge of Spies"-I'll be happy if I'm wrong on this, but I think this is an upset.


BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Jennifer Jason Leigh-"The Hateful Eight"
Rooney Mara-"Carol"
Rachel McAdams-"Spotlight"
Alicia Vikander-"The Danish Girl"
Kate Winslet-"Steve Jobs"

This is another category where literally everybody nominated I can make a case for winning. Rooney Mara's really a lead in the wrong category, so is Alicia Vikander for "The Danish Girl", and she's won every time she's been nominated in this category, but nobody seems to like "The Danish Girl", it didn't even do well at BAFTA overall. Rachel McAdams can sneak in for "Spotlight" instead of Ruffalo, and she's long overdue, and-, I have this weird feeling that we're all underestimating Jennifer Jason Leigh. Longtime overdue actress, respected by the industry, played roles for years that no other actress would touch, her first nomination ever, Tarantino film supporting performance, this is how Cristoph Waltz won, and she also has not been up against most of the nominees at other award shows until now. Still, I can't quite for her, "The Hateful Eight" way underperformed, although so did every other film in this category. Vikander also has the fact that she's in another film, "Ex Machina" that eeked out a couple nominations at the Oscars and other awards, so she's got that too. Maybe she can get in here the way Renee Zellweger won for "Cold Mountain", but is she that inevitable a victor? I don't know, seems odd, and it seems like anybody who saw "Steve Jobs" is more willing to give Winslet her second Oscar.
PREDICTION: Kate Winslet-"Steve Jobs" (Shrugs, I don't know, just playing a hunch here.)


BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
The Big Short-Charles Randolph and Adam McKay
Brooklyn-Nick Hornby
Carol-Phyllis Nagy
The Martian-Drew Goddard
Room-Emma Donaghue

I guess, "Room" and maybe on the outside "The Martian" have shots at this, especially "Room", but "The Martian" underperformed everywhere and "Room", they're already giving Larson so there's no need. I could see Nick Hornby, the only previous nominee and a legendary writer across multiple mediums, (Many of his novels have been adapted into popular films) and he wasn't nominated for "Wild" last year, but I-, I have a feeling that "Brooklyn"'s gonna do a lot better next year when the miniseries is up for Emmys. This is where "The Big Short" is most likely to win, it won the WGA Award, etc. I don't really see anything taking it.
PREDICTION: "The Big Short"-Charles Randolph and Adam McKay


BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Bridge of Spies-Matt Charman and Ethan Coen & Joel Coen
Ex Machina-Alex Garland
Inside Out-Pete Doctor, Meg LaFauve, Josh Cooley; Original Story by Pete Doctor and Ronnie del Carmen
Spotlight-Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy
Straight Outta Compton-Jonathan Herman and Andrea Berloff; Story by S. Leigh Savidge & Alan Wenkus and Andrea Berloff

This is the only place where "Straight Outta Compton" got nominated, and in case you're wondering, all the nominees are white. Oops. (Sigh) Anyway, um, I guess there's a chance at an upset for maybe "Inside Out" or "Bridge of Spies", the latter being the only other Best Picture nominee in the category, but, I'm not seeing it. Tom McCarthy has been building a helluva reputation for years, taking a lot of small acting jobs see he can fund his independent feature films, which are amazing character pieces like "The Station Agent", "The Visitor", which got nominated for Richard Jenkins, he was a writer on "Up", so they know him from that. Yeah, this is an easy call.
PREDICTION: "Spotlight"-Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy


BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Anomalisa-Charlie Kaufman, Duke Johnson and Rosa Tran
Boy and the World-Ale Abreu
Inside Out-Pete Doctor and Jonas Rivera
Shaun the Sheep Movie-Mark Burton and richard Starzak
When Marnie Was There-Hiromasa Yonebayashi and Yoshiaki Nishimura

Well, Charlie Kaufman's "Anomalisa" is probably the most likely-, oh forget it. If you need me to analyze this category for you then you probably shouldn't be making Oscar predictions anyway. "Inside Out"'s winning, end of discussion.
PREDICTION: "Inside Out"


BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Amy-Asif Kapadia and James Gay-Rees
Cartel Land-Matthew Heineman and Tom Yellin
The Look of Silence-Joshua Oppenheimer and Signe Byrge Serensen
What Happened, Miss Simone-Liz Garbus, Amy Hobby and Justin Wilkes
Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom-Evgeny Afineevsky and Den Tolmar

Okay, this category is a bit more complicated to predict. "Amy" seems like the obvious favorite, winning, pretty much at every awards so far, but it is a bio-documentary about a person, granted a famous one, but traditionally those films don't win. Usually it's whatever the most important subject the film tackles wins, but not lately. They opened up some of these categories in recent years to the entire Academy the last few years, Documentary and Foreign Language in particular, Documentary, this happened 'cause of the Weinstein "Undefeated" fiasco a few years ago, when clearly that film only won 'cause the branch was probably bought, but since then, more populist films have been winning. "The Look of Silence"'s filmmakers for instance, the sequel film they made to "The Act of Killing" which was considered the favorite to win a couple years ago until it lost to "20 Feet from Stardom" a film about background singers, might lost twice to a music film, this movie about the genocide of Indonesia, losing to pop music. But, "Amy" hasn't completely swept, "Cartel Land"'s stolen a couple awards, "What Happened, Miss Simone" is the Netflix film and they're pushing that to the moon to win, and "Winter on Fire" is about the troubles in Ukraine recently, although I think it's between "The Look of Silence", partially 'cause that film is owed, and "Amy", with "Cartel Land" as a possible spoiler. Still, "Amy" seems like it's just destined to win. What can I say, people like Amy Winehouse more than they like the drug trade or genocide; I suspect they do anyway.
PREDICTION: "Amy"


BEST FOREIGN FILM
A War-(Denmark)-Tobias Lindholm
Embrace of the Serpent (Columbia)-Crio Guerra
Mustang (France)-Deniz Gamze Erguven
Son of Saul (Hungary)-Laszlo Nemes
Theeb (Jordan)-Naji Abu Nawar

"Embrace of the Serpent" and "Theeb" are the first films from Columbia and Jordan respectively to get nominated in this category, so congratulations to them. "Son of Saul" has been the favorite for most of the race, I can't really imagine too many scenarios where it could lose, although I think "Mustang" is the one film I'm hearing about that's getting votes; I wouldn't be too surprised if "Theeb" could get in and steal it too, but that doesn't seem too likely. I think it's "Mustang" or "Son of Saul" and I'm seeing more people voting for "Son of Saul". Plus, it's been awhile since a Hungarian film won, you gotta go back to "Mephisto" in '81, which is the only Hungarian film to win in this category, and I don't think anybody wants to give another Oscar to France unless there's no other real option.
PREDICTION-"Son of Saul" (Hungary)


CINEMATOGRAPHY
Carol-Ed Lachman
Mad Max: Fury Road-John Seale
The Hateful Eight-Robert Richardson
The Revenant-Emmanuel Lubezki
Sicario-Roger Deakins

Man, Roger Deakins can't catch a break, thirteenth nomination, and still hasn't won and probably won't win here. I-eh, I thought this would be a two-man race between Seale and Lubezki, partly 'cause they're the obvious two, although "Carol"'s ed Lachman's, it's nice to see him nominated again, but the Academy didn't really like that film, or "The Hateful Eight", which didn't even get into the ASC Awards. Lubezki's won back-to-back years, that's happened a couple times, only once recently, that was John Toll's wins for "Legends of the Fall" and "Braveheart" back in the nineties, the only time it happened back when there was two Cinematography Oscar categories, one for Color and one for Black and White films, nobody's ever won this category three years in a row, but it just seems inevitable, and unlike with Inarritu at Director for "The Revenant" possibly winning twice in a row, Lubezki just is, the best cinematographer in the business right now, and there's no reason not to give it to the best.
PREDICTION: "The Revenant"-Emmanuel Lubezki


COSTUME DESIGN
Carol-Sandy Powell
Cinderella-Sandy Powell
The Danish Girl-Paco Delgado
Mad Max: Fury Road-Jenny Beavan
The Revenant-Jacqueline West

"The Revenant" didn't even get into the Costume Designers Guild Awards, so I can't really imagine that winning. "The Danish Girl" and "Mad Max: Fury Road", won the Guild prizes, "Mad Max: Fury Road" also won at BAFTA; it's a little strange to think about that winning though, it's a fantasy piece, and certainly not the most obvious costumes, like "Cinderella" is, which is a lot of people are predicting, although I'm not sure about that. Sandy Powell's nominated twice, but I think those votes will split, making it a battle between "The Danish Girl" and "Mad Max..." and I don't think people liked "The Danish Girl" enough. "Mad Max..." also had the most original and different costumes as well.
PREDICTION: "Mad Max: Fury Road"


FILM EDITING
The Big Short-Hank Corwin
Mad Max: Fury Road-Margaret Sixel
The Revenant-Stephen Mirrione
Spotlight-Tom McArdle
Star Wars: The Force Awakens-Maryann Brandon and Mary Jo Markey

Okay, this is the category that some will note, has one of the most accurate correlations to the Best Picture winner out there, but that's becoming an older myth than it used to be. Usually it's what some call "The Most Editing" that wins, that's not necessarily the case. Last year, "Whiplash" won for the music for instance. "The Big Short" has quite a bit of editing in it, and it did win at the ACE Eddies, the Editors' Guild Awards, but in the Comedy category, "Mad Max: Fury Road" still won in Drama. If "Spotlight" pulls off an upset here, look out for the upset at Best Picture, but I still wouldn't dismiss "Star Wars..." quite yet, since, here's the real kicker, action movies do well in this category, but that said, if you ask editors, they'll tell you, by a mile, the most difficult things there are to edit, are chase scenes, by a mile, they're the most complicated and most difficult things to edit. Too bad for "Star Wars..." there's a better chase movie nominated in the category. Plus Margaret Sixel is Miller's wife, so this would hypothetically be where you could honor him, yada, yada.
PREDICTION: "Mad Max: Fury Road"


MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared-Love Larson and Eva von Bahr
Mad Max: Fury Road-Lesley Vanderwalt, Elka Wardega and Damian Martin
The Revenant-Sian Grigg, Duncan Jarman and Robert Pandini

Literally everybody nominated in the category is getting their first Oscar nomination, so there's nothing here to figure out who's due from that. The MUAH Awards, (Make Up and Hairstylist Guild, I didn't know that acronym either) are notoriously unpredictable but they did give "Mad Max: Fury Road" a win, as well as BAFTA, and it's the heavy favorite. "The 100-Year-Old Man..." does have very impressive makeup, but it's the other nominee (I have no idea why the MakeUp Branch insists on only three nominees, seriously that's the Branch's decision the Academy as a whole wants to expand the category to five and they should!) it's basically between "Mad Max..." and "The Revenant". I think it's possible for "The Revenant" to win, especially if it starts just sweeping everything, but I think once people think about it for half of a second, even those who weren't so thrilled with "Mad Max..." probably have to admire the makeup, there's a lot of it there.
PREDICTION: "Mad Max: Fury Road"


ORIGINAL SCORE
Bridge of Spies-Thomas Newman
Carol-Carter Burwell
The Hateful Eight-Ennio Morricone
Sicario-Johann Johannsson
Star Wars: The Force Awakens-John Williams

Okay, for those counting, this is John Williams's fiftieth, yes 50th Oscar nomination, he is nine short of Walt Disney's record. Unusually, he didn't do the music for Spielberg's "Bridge of Spies" 'cause he was sick during the time so that went to "Thomas Newman", it's his 13th nomination, but he's never won. (Williams only has five wins btw). Still, Newman's got time to win in the future, while Ennio Morricone, doesn't. If you don't know who Morricone is, he's one of the greatest of all Film Composers, most notably, probably "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly", which he wasn't nominated for. He's only been nominated five times, never won, they gave him an Honorary Oscar a few years ago, but.... as long as a drunk Tarantino doesn't speak for him, he should win. Some are predicting John Williams instead, which I find bizarre, I mean this is just a twist on his old original score for "Star Wars", so I-, (Shrugs). If there's some other place, Johann Johannsson, might be owed for losing last year for "The Theory of Everything" he was the favorite going in, but I don't see it. And the Weinstein's have let it known to push Morricone, so I think he's getting it.
PREDICTION: "The Hateful Eight"-Ennio Morricone


ORIGINAL SONG
"Earned It"-Fifty Shades of Grey-Music/Lyric Abel tesfaye, Ahmad Balshe, Jason Daheala Quenneville and Stephan Moccio
"Manta Ray"-Racing Extinction-Music: J. Ralph; Lyric: Antony Hegarty
"Simple Song #3"-Youth-Music/Lyric: David Lang
"Til It Happens to You"-The Hunting Ground-Music/Lyric: Diane Warren and Lady Gaga
"Writing's On the Wall"-Spectre-Music/Lyric: Jimmy Napes and Sam Smith

Okay, let's get this out of the way, people, I don't give a shit whether it was a good movie or not, (And yes, I did recommend the movie, and I stand by that recommendation)"Fifty Shades of Grey" does deserve to be nominated in this category, it had the Best Original Song of the year. It's not the song that was nominated, unfortunately. Seriously, "Love You Like I Do" by Ellie Goulding should be here, and it should've won, this The Weeknd song, it's, slow, boring, bleh as hell, they picked the wrong song. Although he is the only African-American nominated this year, so if they want to-, oh, he's African-Canadian. Hmm. Well, I can't think of the last African-Canadian to win an Oscar, so here you go folks, OSCAR DIVERSITY! (Actually, I looked it up, him and fellow songwriter Quenneville are indeed the first ever Black Canadians to get Oscar nominations) Alright, all seriousness, this is a fine category and it should stay here, and if people think it's such a horrible thing that "Fifty Shades of Grey" were to win an Oscar because of this category, eh,

QUICK LIST OF FILM'S THAT WON BEST ORIGINAL SONG OSCAR FROM QUESTIONABLE FILMS (Only listing films I think people have heard of)
"Song of the South"
"Born Free"
"The Towering Inferno"
"You Light Up My Life"
"Flashdance"
"The Woman in Red"
"White Nights"
"Dirty Dancing"
"Top Gun"

Yeah, alright some of you will fight me on some of those, (Honestly, I kinda liked "White Nights", I really shouldn't put that on there) but seriously, go back through this category's history, you'll be shocked, even at the films that got nominations. "Beethoven's 2nd" is an Oscar-nominated film, 'cause of the Best Song category. That's right, the sequel to that dumb movie with Charles Grodin and a dog, is Oscar worthy, but "Furious7" isn't. (And no, that song shouldn't have been nominated, that song's terrible. I'm sorry, but it is) (Mocking voice) "Fifty Shades..." being nominated, it's so horrendous, (Blows raspberries), how about the fact that these are the only nominations for all five of these films, that's weird. You know the last time that happened, besides 2011 when only two films were nominated and they've since changed the rules thankfully, before that, and not counting 2007 where "Enchanted" got three Best Song nominations and nothing else? It's never happened, although there's a couple years that came close but they had Original Song Score (Which technically is still a category now called "Best Musical", which they haven't given out since "Purple Rain" last won it due to a lack of eligible nominees) and Original Sound Recording Oscar categories. (Plus, they made a lot more musicals back then, so more films had original songs.) That's weird. Anyway, I've listened to all five songs, "Til It Happens to You" is the best, it's the only one with this great scope with it, really powerful feeling, sorta like another song from a documentary that won this category, Melissa Etheridge's "I Need to Wake Up" from "An Inconvenient Truth". Plus, Lady Gaga, more importantly, Diane Warren, she's 0 for 7 in this category, the great legendary songwriter, for dozens of artists, she's way overdue. (By the way, one of her nominations is for "Mannequin", she wrote Starship's "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" for that movie, but nobody said anything about that piece of shit movie getting any Oscar nomination, did they. [And that's an awesome song btw]) Anyway, if there is an upset, it'll probably be either "Earned It" or maybe "Writing's On the Wall", the song from "Youth" "Simple Song #3" is a six-minute aria, ugh, and Manta Ray from "Racing Extinction" (Another weird fact, two Documentaries nominated in the category, I think that's a record, seven feature-length documentaries nominated at one Oscars, that's probably a record too) it's better than the song J. Ralph got nominated for "Chasing Ice", but yeah, I have a hard time imagining that it'll win.
PREDICTION: "Til It Happens to You"-"The Hunting Ground"-Diane Warren and Lady Gaga


PRODUCTION DESIGN
Bridge of Spies-Pro.: Adam Stockhausen; Set: Rena DeAngelo and Bernhard Henrich
The Danish Girl-Pro.: Eve Stewart; Set: Michael Standish
Mad Max: Fury Road-Pro.: Colin Gibson; Set: Lisa Thompson
The Martian-Pro.: Arthur Max; Set: Celia Bobak
The Revenent-Pro.: Jack Fisk; Set: Hamish Purdy

Okay my initial thought was "The Danish Girl", being the most lavish production, "Most Production Design", see above for "Most Costume Design", but it lost at the ADG Awards to "The Revenant", which is a bit surprising to me, but still.... "The Martian" and "Mad Max: Fury Road" also won in their categories, and "Mad Max: Fury Road" won at BAFTA and Critics Choice Awards, eh, they seem to be the favorites, but this isn't the most reliable award, it's only 50% accurate in general. I can't imagine "The Martian" has any real momentum to win any category, and I can't rule out "Bridge of Spies", but Stockhausen did win last year for "The Grand Budapest Hotel". I think "The Reverent" has a chance, but I think, when you think back, all the things that had to be designed and created and built for "Mad Max....", I think that's gonna tip the scales. It might not be the most obvious production design, but it seems like the one that would most likely get recognized.
PREDICTION: "Mad Max: Fury Road"


SOUND EDITING
Mad Max: Fury Road-Mark Mangini and David White
The Martian-Oliver Tarney
The Revenant-Martin Hernandez and Lou Bender
Sicario-Alan Robert Murray
Star Wars: The Force Awakens-Matthew Wood and David Acord

Okay, the sound awards are a little trick to figure out, the CAS Awards, which is the Sound Mixers Guild, Cinema Audio Society gave their award to "The Revenant", and BAFTA also gave them that award, although they don't separate between editing and mixing, but it's a bit tricky. That makes sense to me though, 'cause there's a lot of outdoor scenes in "The Revenant" and creating that ambiance and especially if you know anything about microphones and recording sounds outside in weather condition, etc. Um, yeah, I kinda was leaning "Mad Max..." here, but yeah, how many people truly know the difference between Sound Editing and Sound Mixing and whatnot, but if they do....
PREDICTION: "The Reverent"


SOUND MIXING
Bridge of Spies-Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom and Drew Kunin
Mad Max: Fury Road-Gregg Rudloff and Ben Osmo
The Martian-Paul Massey, Mark Taylor and Mac ruth
The Reverent-Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montano, Randy Thom and Christ Duesterdiek
Star Wars: The Force Awakens-Andy Nelson, Christopher Scarabosio and Stuart Wilson

Now, while Sound Mixers went with "The Revenant", I'm kinda leaning more towards "Mad Max: Fury Road" for Sound Mixing, and give the Editing to "The Reverent". It's a bit weird to split them when there isn't, like a war movie or a music film involved, but I think this is right. "Mad Max: Fury Road" was like a wall of sound, and that's all post-editing, so I'm calling it Mixing. Bit of a gamble here, 'cause these are critical award in the office pool, but yeah, unless one of the outer space films steals these....
PREDICTION: "Mad Max: Fury Road


VISUAL EFFECTS
Ex Machina-Andrew Whitehurst, Paul Norris, Mark Ardington and Sara Bennett
Mad Max: Fury Road-Andrew Jackson, Tom Wood, Dan Oliver and Andy Williams
The Martian-Richard Stammers, Anders Langlands, Chris Lawrence and Steven Warner
The Revenant-Rich McBride, Matthew Shumway, Jason Smith and Cameron Waldbauer
Star Wars: The Force Awakens-Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Neal Scanlan and Chris Corbould


This is a bit of a tricky category to analyze. Usually, you can pretty safely bet that the winner will always be the most respected film, preferably a Best Picture nominee. Okay, in this case, there's three of them. Shit. Alright, I'm just gonna presume "The Martian" is probably out of it, since it completely underperformed everywhere, I can't imagine it's stealing it. Okay, "Mad Max: Fury Road", it does have special effects, but oddly, it's not as obvious as it seems. A lot of it is just explosions and car crashes and whatnot. It's a lot and it's done incredibly well. "The Revenant" doesn't have as much special effects, but it has a big one that everyone's been talking about, and even if it doesn't sweep through, it's plausible that it could take the award over "Mad Max...". The VES Awards, are a bit confusing, but they don't help completely, "Mad Max: Fury Road" and "The Revenant" both won separate awards but the big award actually went to "Star Wars: The Force Awakens", and yeah, that's the other movie. It's hard to figure out exactly where "Star Wars" fits in compared to the Best Picture films, but if there's a weird year where it won't go to a Best Picture nominee, other than last year when there were no Best Picture nominees in the category, it probably is this one. Gold Derby has this, practically a coin flip between "Mad Max" and "Star Wars", eh....
PREDICTION: "Star Wars: The Force Awakens"


ANIMATED SHORT
Bear Story-Gabriel Osorio and Pato Escala
Prologue-Richard Williams and Imogen Sutton
Sanjay's Super Team-Sanjay Patel and Nicole Grindle
We Can't Live Without Cosmos-Konstantin Bronzit
World of Tomorrow-Don Hertzfeldt

Okay, the short film categories, these are always the trickiest. These categories, I think are more open than previous to the entire Academy although I don't know exactly how many voters vote on these, but if it's mostly animation people, then there's definitely in an interesting conundrum. For one thing, there's couple animation legends in the category, "Prologue" is directed by the legendary Richard Williams, who's already a 2-time Oscar winner, including once in this category for "A Christmas Carol" back in '72, great short film, and also for Visual Effects for "Who Framed Roger Rabbit", which on top of that, he won a Special Achievement Oscar for. We also have Don Hertzfeldt's film, "World of Tomorrow", which is already getting rave reviews everywhere and is tied with Sanjay's Super Team" as the favorite, and he's also got the added factor of having never won before. If people watch the movies, I have a feeling "World of Tomorrow" could steal this, if not, than "Sanjay's..." I don't suspect "Prologue" is really that beloved. I have seen "We Can't Live Without Cosmos", it's the only one I have, it was okay, but yeah, I don't suspect that's in the running.
PREDICTION: "World of Tomorrow"


LIVE-ACTION SHORT
Ava Maria-Basil Khalil and Eric Dupont
Day One-Henry Hughes
Everything Will Be Okay (Alles Wird Gut)-Patrick Vollrath
Shok-Jamie Donoughue
Stutterer-Benjamin Cleary and Serena Armitage

Okay, everyone's a first-time nominee so there's nobody here who might win 'cause of their connections and status in Hollywood, it happens, surprisingly often actually. Gold Derby currently has "Avae Maria" ahead, but from what I've heard, a lot of voters are looking for something else to give it to. The second choice seems to be between "Shok", the first film from Kosovo to get an Oscar nomination, and "Stutterer" a British film about dating. Just looking through the trailers, I'm actually a little surprised that no one seems to think "Day One" has much of a chance to win. My gut's telling me "Shok", but my head's telling me, when there's a split for the second choice, always bet on the favorite.
PREDICTION: "Ava Maria"


DOCUMENTARY SHORT
Body Team 12-David Darg and Bryn Mooser
Chau, Beyond the Lines-Courtney Marsh and Jerry Franck
Claude Lanzmann: Spectre of the Shoah-Adam Benzine
A Girl in the River-Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
Last Day of Freedom-Dee Hibbert-Jones and Nomi Talisman

Wait, did I forget to do Documentary Short for my Oscar Nominations Analysis? Goddamn it! I need to get a computer soon; these rushing through blogs at the library is really starting to effect me. Okay, last category, let's get through it, Documentary Short, this category is a bit all over the map, and I can see arguments for each of the films winning. "Body Team 12", is currently the frontrunner, although I did correctly predict "Claude Lanzmann..." would get in, if you don't know who he is, he directed "Shoah", the legendary nine-hour documentary about the Holocaust that's not only often considered the best film about the Holocaust, it's often named among the Best Films ever made. It was not nominated for Best Documentary, one of numerous failures of the Documentary Branch back in the pre-"Hoop Dreams" scandal days, although it is nine hours long, it's a little unseemly, so it's reasonable to presume this would be the time to honor it. A movie about the Holocaust and about filmmaking, that's almost an Oscar wet dream you never see. And yet, I've heard people just dismiss it as a DVD extra that somehow found it's way into this category. That could be the case. "A Girl in the River" about honor killings in Pakistan, that's got some fans. "Chau, Beyond the Lines" is about the effects of Agent Orange, which, I actually happened to have seen a rare 60-minute documentary a few years back called "Agent Orange: 30 Years Later", I don't remember hearing about that film getting much of a release even on the festival circuit, but yeah, if this movie is half-as-powerful as that was, (And that's wasn't exactly the greatest or most in-depth documentary every), then it probably deserves the nomination, but is probably too hard to sit through to vote for it. And the Apple in the bag of oranges is "Last Day of Freedom", which is an animated documentary short, (Yes documentaries can be animated films, and it's not even unprecedented at the Oscars, One of the rare ties in Oscar history involved an animated short film, "So Much for So Little", which was directed by Chuck Jones btw, winning this category along with "A Chance to Live" which was an old March of Dimes short. I'm not quite where they're going with this here, but, I'm just gonna play it safe, and presume that filmmaking, Holocaust, and making up for an Academy mistake, even arbitrarily since Lanzmann himself isn't a nominee (Although he is attending the ceremony) is a little too much to ignore.
PREDICTION: "Claude Lanzmann: Spectre of the Shoah"

Alright, we're done. Let's get ready for the Oscar. Post-mortem will be posted Tuesday, check for updates, and it'll be a little different Oscar post-mortem than before too, I can tell you that already, so look out for it. Sorry it's not right after the show as normal, but, I promise, it'll be different than others.
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