Maffman Jones Oscar Predictions 2016

The 88th annual Academy Awards are right around the corner and everyone is talking about it. There is a lot of controversy surrounding the general idea that there is a severe lack of diverse nominations, most notably those of African American descent. Hopefully Chris Rock, who has acquired hosting duties, will do more than just throw a couple friendly jabs at the results that have transpired. Today however, let us look upon the main categories and see which nominees will take the gold trophy, in my opinion!

WRITING (Original Screenplay) 

  • Every nominee is deserving this year but the one that stands out truly is EX MACHINA. The film has generated incredible word of mouth since its release and the story pulls no punches with its scifi components. (Bridge of Spies, Inside Out, Spotlight, Straight Outta Compton)

WRITING (Adapted Screenplay)

  • ROOM is a certified lock for this category because of how genuine and shocking the storytelling is portrayed. The brutal honesty is ambitious yet admirable and it’ll be surprising if this does not win. (The Big Short, Brooklyn, Carol, The Martian)

VISUAL EFFECTS

  • My heart would say STAR WARS but my brain says MAD MAX FURY ROAD. The latter showcases an abundance of special effects most people aren’t even aware that existed. It also helps significantly that the film has a majority of critics on its side. (Ex Machina, The Martian, The Revenant, Star Wars: The Force Awakens)

PRODUCTION DESIGN

  • This is one of the tougher races because every nominee presents a level of production that is unlike anything seen before in recent years. But I’ll give the benefit of the doubt to MAD MAX FURY ROAD once again due to the meticulous detail within the costumes, sets, and vehicles utilized. (Bridge of Spies, The Danish Girl, The Martian, The Revenant)

MUSIC (Original Song)

  • I’ve only heard two of the five songs nominated in this category but I’m going to go with the theme for SPECTRE written and performed by Sam Smith. The song is classy enough to warrant attention from the Academy it seems. (Fifty Shades of Grey, Racing Extinction, Youth, The Hunting Ground)

MUSIC (Original Score)

  • There’s no contest here folks. THE HATEFUL EIGHT will certainly win this category due to its bombastic and snarky nature. It’s also memorable and that’s something that can’t be said much about musical film compositions these days. (Bridge of Spies, Carol, Sicario, Star Wars: The Force Awakens)

FILM EDITING

  • Not everyone was the biggest fan of THE BIG SHORT but one has to give credit where credit is due. The editing in that film is wickedly fast paced and non linear to a spectacular degree. For all of its unique tendencies, it deserves the crown. (Mad Max Fury Road, The Revenant, Spotlight, Star Wars: The Force Awakens)

DIRECTING

  • It breaks my heart to not have the ability to choose every director in this category because they all, in their own eccentric ways, did a tremendous job with their respective films. However, logically it would have to go to SPOTLIGHT because of how respectful the direction of that film was in concern to presenting the exhausting atmosphere of a newsroom. It was brilliantly yet subtly directed. (The Big Short, Mad Max Fury Road, The Revenant, Room)

CINEMATOGRAPHY

  • SICARIO has such a dark yet lush sense of visual style in Roger Deakins; a man who can do no wrong from an artistic standpoint in the film industry. Although the respective competing nominees are also deserving, no film captured the essence of its story visually quite like SICARIO did last year. (Carol, The Hateful Eight, Mad Max Fury Road, The Revenant)

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

  • It’s INSIDE OUT. Every other choice is simply wrong. (Anomalisa, Boy and the World, Shaun the Sheep Movie, When Marnie Was There)

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

  • The steady race here is honestly between Kate Winslet and Jennifer Jason Leigh. Both would be equally deserving of the win but bias would choose the latter for the sincere insanity brought to the role. To have Kate Winslet win would be too obvious but we’ve seen obvious choices win before so who knows? (Rooney Mara, Rachel McAdams, Alicia Vikander)

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

  • In a perfect world where cool things happen Sylvester Stallone would take away the win for CREED but in a reality such as the one we live in, Mark Ruffalo will most likely take the win for SPOTLIGHT. (Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance)

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

  • Brie Larson is a lock for ROOM in the same way J.K. Simmons was a lock for WHIPLASH one year ago. The answer could not be clearer in any other category this year. (Cate Blanchett, Jennifer Lawrence, Charlotte Rampling, Saoirse Ronan)

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

  • Everyone wants to see their favorite heartthrob finally win after so many years of snubs and disappointments but I’ll tell you here, let the disappointment roll on. Bryan Cranston will sneak up from under the radar for TRUMBO or Eddie Redmayne will triumph for another year in a role for an obviously bait ridden yet stunningly brave performance in THE DANISH GIRL. (Matt Damon, Michael Fassbender)

BEST PICTURE

  • All eight nominees in the grandest category of the night are worthy films and arguments could be made for most of them in concern to who should win. It’s such a weird and surreal sight seeing MAD MAX on there but its also unsurprising because of how much praise critics showed the film last year. THE REVENANT is a bold motion picture but it would be strange to see the same director win for this category two years in a row. Logically, I’d have to go with SPOTLIGHT because it does everything right logistically and politically to win the award. An upset can occur however in a little engine that could, known as ROOM. It’s always rewarding to have a difficult time predicting who will win “Best Picture” because some years are painfully obvious. It will be interesting though, to see who wins this category. May the best film win! And by best, I mean the one that the Academy will show most unwarranted bias to. Just kidding, but not really. (The Big Short, Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn, Mad Max Fury Road, The Martian, The Revenant, Room, Spotlight)

Written by John Maffeo aka Maffman Jones

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