Sunday, January 10, 2016

Oscar Predictions 2015, part 3: Directing/Screenplays

Funny, I don't know why this happens every year, but it turns out I'm writing my director/screenplay categories on a day when I'm kind of tired and/or busy and/or my fingers have literally fallen off. So, once again, I'm going to try to slay the brevity dragon, if only so I can go do something mindless and silly like play with kittens or lose a land war in Asia. So let's just jump into directing and screenplays--and tradition makes me honor-bound to tell you that I pair these two categories because they're the two categories for which I am gonna totally get not nominated in 10-100 years.

Best Director
I think this is generally pretty easy, but I'm not sure. First off: Tom McCarthy for Spotlight, Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu for The Revenant, and Ridley Scott for The Martian are in--all of their movies are popular and best picture-y enough, and their reputations can get them in. McCarthy *did* miss the British Academy nomination in this category, which could be a big deal, but it could also be nothing, and I'm going to assume it's nothing. Also worth noting is that The Big Short is coming on in a (heh) big way, so pencil Adam McKay in there. So that gives us one slot left, and I have to assume it'll go to one of the directors of the two most critically acclaimed/critics's awards winningest movies out there--Todd Haynes for Carol or George Miller for Mad Max: Fury Road (what an organic pairing!). And since I'm picking Carol to be nominated for best picture over Mad Max, and there's only been one director nominated without his film getting in for best picture since the expansion to a 10-wide best picture list in 2010, I'm kind of forced to go with Carol. Maybe Steven Spielberg/Bridge of Spies or Lenny Abrahamson/Room are stronger than I think, or maybe Lazlo Nemes/Son of Saul can grab the prickly auteur slot, but I really think our nominees will come from that first batch of six names.

My Predictions, in order of likelihood:
Tom McCarthy-Spotlight
Ridley Scott-The Martian
Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu-The Revenant
Adam McKay-The Big Short
Todd Haynes-Carol
Alternates: George Miller-Mad Max: Fury Road, Steven Spielberg-Bridge of Spies

Best Original Screenplay
Another deceptively easy category. Four nominations you can take to the bank: Bridge of Spies, The Hateful Eight, Inside Out, Spotlight. Any of these missing would be utter wackiness. One slot left, and I'll admit that none of the options felt like real possibilities....uuuuuunnntttiiilll Ex Machina got a bunch of surprise precursor nominations, and now it feels like a done deal. If the Academy wants to honor Straight Outta Compton (which I can't imagine they do, but hey, maybe Kirk Douglas is an NWA fan?), or if they want to get all indie and kooky with Love and Mercy or Son of Saul or Youth, that's their business, but I have to feel like this category's sewn up pretty tightly.

My Predictions, in order of likelihood:
Inside Out
Bridge of Spies
The Hateful Eight
Ex Machina
Alternates: Straight Outta Compton, Love and Mercy

Best Adapted Screenplay
This one's a heck of a lot tougher, in that there are seven movies with a pretty much equal shot of getting nominated. Some, however, are more equal than others, which means that best picture favorites The Martian, The Big Short, and Room can probably rest easy. What about the other four films? If they're feeling super literate and Aaron Sorkin-y, they'll go Steve Jobs. If they aren't feeling afraid of movies about women in the 50s (or good movies, for that matter), they'll vote for Carol and/or Brooklyn. And if they just want to toe the line that best screenplay=best movie=best picture every time, then they might toss The Revenant's darn near dialogue-less screenplay a bone.

My Predictions, in order of likelihood:
The Big Short
The Martian
Steve Jobs
Alternates: Carol, The Revenant


Seriously though, for me, that post was nauseatingly succinct. I should try that more often. Anywho, come back tomorrow when I tackle the craft categories, aka the categories I love that everyone else uses to take bathroom breaks!

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