Gut reaction picks: 88th Annual Academy Awards

This year’s Oscar nominations were announced, and they featured a few surprises. Here are my gut reactions to the major awards. I doubt any of my personal favorites will win this year. That’s vastly different than last year when my favorites basically all won their category.


Best Picture
The Big Short
Bridge of Spies
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
My favorite: I had two clear favorites this year. Spotlight was such a tightly produced film, even if it wasn’t a shocking and an awe-inspiring production. It was subtle, and that’s why it was beautiful. Room had me on the edge of the seat for the entire time. Watching it was harrowing, and I felt like I was having a panic attack during most scenes. Beautifully done.
Probable winner: If not Spotlight, it might go to The Revenant. It already took home three major Globes (Best Drama, Director, and Actor)

Best Director
Lenny Abrahamson, Room
Alejandro G. Inarritu, The Revenant
Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
Adam McKay, The Big Short
George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road
My favorite: I think Abrahamson did a masterful job pacing Room. However, I love Inarritu, and his ability to capture such horrific beauty left me in awe during The Revenant. How about the Academy snubbing Ridley Scott though?
Probable winner: Has to go to Inarritu for the second year in a row.

Best Actor
Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
Matt Damon, The Martian
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl
My favorite: My favorite is always DiCaprio. I really enjoyed Damon’s humorous role though. It was honestly the biggest surprise of the year.
Probable winner: For a while, I would have 100% claimed Redmayne was winning back-to-back. Now, it looks like DiCaprio will finally get his elusive Oscar.

Best Actress
Cate Blanchett, Carol
Brie Larson, Room
Jennifer Lawrence, Joy
Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years
Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn
My favorite: Brie Larson was breathtaking. Hands down was the best of the year.
Probable winner: It’ll most likely be Larson (who took home the Globe for Best Actress – Drama). However, I think the other Best Actress at the Globes is overhyped with Academy voters, ad Lawrence might squeak this one out.

 Best Supporting Actor
Christian Bale, The Big Short
Tom Hardy, The Revenant
Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight
Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
Sylvester Stallone, Creed
My favorite: It was a pleasure watching Mark Rylance in Bridge of Spies. He really captured the role. I love that Hardy is in this category because I think he did his best work alongside DiCaprio this year.
Probable winner: This is a tough one. Rylance. Academy tends to go older with Supporting Actor.

Best Supporting Actress
Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
Rooney Mara, Carol
Rachel McAdams, Spotlight
Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl
Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs
My favorite: Rooney Mara would have taken the Best Supporting Actress award at the Globes if she wasn’t nominated for Lead Actress instead. She was phenomenal. I also really enjoyed Winslet.
Probable winner: I’ll be pretty upset if it’s not Mara.

Best Original Screenplay
Bridge of Spies, Matt Charman, Ethan and Joel Coen
Ex Machina, Alex Garland
Inside Out, Peter Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley and Ronnie del Carmen
Spotlight, Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy
Straight Outta Compton, John Herman, Andrea Berloff, S. Leigh Savidge and Alan Wenkus
My favorite: I personally don’t believe biopics should be Original Screenplays. Sure, the scripts for three of these Original Screenplay nominees aren’t based on novels, plays, etc. However, they are based on reality. I’d have to give it to Ex Machina or Inside Out based on a technicality. If I wasn’t insane, it would be Spotlight for how concisely those characters were written.
Probable winner: Most likely Spotlight. It honestly was one of the best all-around produced films of the year.

Best Adapted Screenplay
The Big Short, Charles Randolph and Adam McKay
Brooklyn, Nick Hornby
Carol, Phyllis Nagy
The Martian, Drew Goddard
Room, Emma Donoghue
My favorite: Steve Jobs by Aaron Sorkin. Wait, that was snubbed? Then it either goes to the intense Room or the hilariously heart-warming The Martian.
Probable winner: The Big Short. Not sure why. Just call it a gut instinct.


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