2016 Oscars: What Will Win vs. What Should Win

Following on from yesterday's Best Picture ranking, I am making my final predictions on which films I expected to win the six major awards at tonight's 88th Academy Awards. 16 films are represented over the Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress categories and I will take a look at which I expect to win, what I want to win and how strong the category is as a whole.

As ever, make sure you let me know your own predictions, thoughts and feelings before the ceremony tonight. I will update this post tomorrow on how successful my predictions were and overall opinions of the winners. Without further ado, my predictions are as follows;

Best Picture:

The Big Short, Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, The Revenant, Room and Spotlight are the eight films gunning for the main award; I've already made my feelings known on the nominees so this is entirely based on what I think will win in terms of reaction, acclaim and goodwill. 

It looks like a three-horse race between The Big Short (Why?), The Revenant and Spotlight with no real frontrunner among them. It's encouraging to see that these three frontrunners are very different - tonally and thematically - enriching this category with a sense of disparity and intrigue. It may just be a way to prepare myself for the worst case scenario, but I have visions of The Big Short being called out as the winner, as it has slowly picked up traction over the past few weeks in particular. Realistically, The Revenant just edges itself ahead of Spotlight in all likelihood, but any of the three could pull it out the bag on the night. It looks like one of the closest races in years.

What Will Win: The Revenant has been an absolute favourite and by sweeping the highest number of nominations, I expect the odds to swing in its favour overall.

What Should Win: Room is the type of film that the Oscars were conceptualised to celebrate and commemorate. Out of the three frontrunners however, I will throw my support behind the captivating Spotlight.

What Did Win: Spotlight managed to pull it out the bag on the night - somewhat surprisingly -which I am invariably thrilled about, having ranked it second on my Best Picture ranking. Make sure you check out my full review of Spotlight - the first winner I had actually seen prior to the win and congratulations to the thought-provoking and captivating journalism drama on the success.

Best Director

Adam McKay (The Big Short), George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road), Alejandro G. Inarritu (The Revenant), Lenny Abrahamson (Room) and Tom McCarthy (Spotlight) all managed to pick up a nomination for Best Director but I can only see one winner. Inarritu directorial flare engaged and compelled in The Revenant, more so than any other factor; in sweeping the award tonight, he would become the first person in sixty years to win back-to-back awards, following last year's success with Birdman. Potentially spoiling that run, nevertheless at quite a distance, is Miller for his rip-roaring work on Mad Max: Fury Road, which arguably reignited the genre.

What Will Win: Alejandro G. Inarritu seems almost set in stone for the win.

What Should Win: Abrahmson's work in Room is stunning, but I cannot recall a cinematic experience quite like the one Inarritu brings to The Revenant's.

What Did Win: No surprises here, with Alejandro Inarritu picking up the Best Director award for The Revenant, making him the first winner in sixty years to win consecutive awards.

Best Actor:

Bryan Cranston (Trumbo), Matt Damon (The Martian), Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant), Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs) and Eddie Redmayne form the Best Actor category but all expect just one outcome. All his counterparts seem to have been left behind in the race to Leonardo DiCaprio picking up his first ever Oscar win after trying to intently. His work in The Revenant has been widely acclaimed and appreciated and his dedication to the role has not gone unnoticed this far. It would certainly be the biggest upset of the night if he does not finally get his moment. Fassbender might ruin it, or possibly even Redmayne, but I cannot see that ever realistically happen. 

What Will Win: DiCaprio. I'd put the £1.21 sitting next to me on it.

What Should Win: Leonardo for his commitment to art. Redmayne for his subtly and transformation.

What Did Win: In what is arguably the biggest (and most predictable) moment of the night, Leo left his competitors in the dust to pick up his first ever golden statue, offering a moving and emotionally-charged speech.

Best Actress:

Cate Blanchett (Carol), Brie Larson (Room), Jennifer Lawrence (Joy), Cate Blanchett (45 Years) and Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn) create what many - myself included - view as one of the most talented years for the category. Perhaps not as resolute as Best Actor, Best Actress has seemingly pushed Brie Larson to the top of the gifted pack for her hallowing and life-affirming performance in Room. Her emotional vulnerability and unwavering resilience in the face of dangers seems to have struck a chord on the award trail that will see her pick up the golden statue tonight. Saoirse Ronan is her toughest competition, having emerged as a favourite for her work in Brooklyn but Larson seems like the winner to me.

What Will Win: Larson should be locked in here.

What Should Win: No secrets here - my heart will unconditionally lie with Jennifer Lawrence for her sensational performance in Joy, but if the truth is told, with this level of talent, I would also cheer along Brie Larson for a win.

What Did Win: Brie Larson nabbed the award on the night for her first ever Oscar nomination, looking incredible whilst doing it. She's bound to have a dazzling career ahead of her.

Best Supporting Actor:

Christian Bale (The Big Short), Tom Hardy (The Revenant), Mark Ruffalo (Spotlight), Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies) and Sylvester Stallone (Creed) square off for this battle but muddied waters prevent me from seeing an outright winner. All on a pretty even playing field, each of the nominees are in with a shot at the prize but fresh from his BAFTA win is Mark Rylance, so I'll push him to the front. Sylvester Stallone would not at all be a surprise, given the buzz around his performance that has sustained since the film's release last year. Voters may also see it as a way to apologise for not giving him an award for his work in the original Rocky. Ruffalo could edge it, as could Bale but Hardy seems like a stretch. Long story short, this is the most difficult to narrow down.

What Will Win: If needs must, I will name Rylance but Stallone is equally as likely to finish the night with the statue in hand.

What Should Win: Ruffalo's controlled and complex performance in Spotlight was outstanding, so I would like to see him victorious.

What Did Win: Mark Rylance eventually picked up the award for his work in Bridge of Spies, in what I saw as one of the most difficult categories to call.

Best Supporting Actress

Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight), Rooney Mara (Carol), Rachel McAdams (Spotlight), Alica Vikander (The Danish Girl) and Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs) make up the most interest and hotly-fought category of the year. A compelling case for Mara and Vikander to be promoted to Best Actress could very easily be made but the respective studios have them exactly where they want them. Maybe because of the significance and importance of their roles they stand a higher chance of winning the award for their impact in the respective films, but Kate Winslet is a favourite on the circuit in general, particularly this year for her work in Steve Job. It's a tough one indeed, but I will lead towards Vikander and see it as the Academy blanketing the win for her incredible work across the year including her high acclaimed performance in Ex Machina.

What Will Win: I'll stick with Vikander but accept the fact this is an incredibly strong category where any of them could win.

What Should Win: Vikander, I think, but once again, I would accept and celebrated any of them picking up the award. On a side note though, how wonderful would it be to see both Winslet and DiCaprio pick up awards? Wouldn't your heart just melt?

What Did Win: Alicia Vikander graciously collected her award for her lead supporting role in The Danish Girl, beating out stiff competition to get her hands on the prestigious statue.

Right then, my predictions for the 2016 Oscars are now over and I will wait with baited breath to see how successful I was. My nomination predictions were 72%, so lets see how much better or worse I do. Enjoy your Oscar night!

Correctly guessing six out of the seven - 86%, which is an improvement on my selection of the nominees - the night was relatively predictable, if throwing us all slightly off for the Best Picture win. Congratulations to all the winners and I'll (hopefully) be back next year.