It's Oscar weekend, my favorite holiday of the year! And for once, my favorite movie of the year (Mad Max: Fury Road) is nominated in a bunch of categories, including Best Picture. Mad Max may, in fact, be my favorite movie of the past five years or so. Perhaps the past decade. It is amazing on all levels and if I had my way, it would win all the Oscars including Best Picture and a write-in Best Actress for Charlize Theron.
But there's a big gap between what I want to win and what I think will win. Here are my best guesses as to how the hardware will be distributed:
Best Picture: The Revenant
Best Director: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
Best Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio
Best Actress: Brie Larson
Best Supporting Actor: Sylvester Stallone
Best Supporting Actress: Alicia Vikander
Best Original Screenplay: Spotlight
Best Adapted Screenplay: The Big Short
Best Film Editing: Mad Max: Fury Road
Best Cinematography: The Revenant
Best Score: The Hateful Eight
Best Song: "Til It Happens to You" from The Hunting Ground
Best Art Direction: Mad Max: Fury Road
Best Costumes: Mad Max: Fury Road
Best Makeup: Mad Max: Fury Road
Best Visual Effects: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Best Sound: Mad Max: Fury Road
Best Sound Effects Editing: Mad Max: Fury Road
Best Animated Feature: Inside Out
Best Documentary Feature: Amy
You'll notice that while I'm picking The Revenant for Best Picture, I'm picking Mad Max to take home the most Oscars. Mad Max was, objectively, the best looking, best sounding movie of the year. I'll be thrilled if it wins more, but I predict it will take at least six Oscars.
There was a lot of buzz for Spotlight and The Big Short in the Best Picture race, but I think The Revenant will take it in the end and the others will take the screenplay awards. Also, it looks like Inarritu is poised to become the third person in Oscar history to win back to back directing Oscars. The lead acting categories are locks and Vikander is a strong favorite for Supporting Actress, but Stallone is in a tough race. His win (for a role he's played in seven movies) could be seen as a defacto lifetime achievement award, but many may feel that that's a lifetime of bad action movies and cast their votes elsewhere.
The category I'm most anticipating is Best Score, where the legendary Ennio Morricone is poised to win his first competitive Oscar in a lifetime of creating memorable music. This will be the best-deserved Oscar of the night and I'll be very bitter if he doesn't receive a standing ovation. In other music news, I predict that Lady Gaga will be halfway to an EGOT by the end of the ceremony.
As usual, I don't pick the short films and this year I'm not comfortable taking a guess in the Foreign Language category. I will take a shot at Animated Feature (Pixar is usually a safe bet) and Documentary Feature.
The Oscars are on Sunday night on ABC with Chris Rock hosting - it should be a good time. I'll post the winners and my correct picks.