This is the first close look at the Best Picture contenders for the Oscars 2016 that I have done. It’s still early but I feel that we have enough information about the films in contention to have a fair stab at who will be nominated in 6 months time.
1. The Revenant– The trailer for the film was released last week sparking major Oscar buzz, mainly for it’s star Leonardo DiCaprio. Coming from Alejandro G. Inarritu off the back of his previous film, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), which won him 3 Oscars (for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay), it has to be considered as a favourite. Expect nominations for Best Director, Best Actor (DiCaprio), Best Supporting Actor (Tom Hardy) and Best Adapted Screenplay, leaving with a fair chance of winning Best Picture.
2. Bridge of Spies– When Steven Spielberg or Tom Hanks ever make a film, it always receives some Oscar buzz. Bridge of Spies is no exception and after the release of 2 trailers, that both look excellent, the film world are excited to see it. After the success of Spielberg’s Lincoln, Bridge of Spies has a lot to live up to. Best Director and Best Original Screenplay nominations will probably happen, with Mark Rylance having a fair chance for Best Supporting Actor and will Tom Hanks get his first nod since 2000? After the Captain Phillips snub, will this be a chance to repay him?
3. Steve Jobs– After the teaser release and the main trailer release, there has been a lot of buzz for Steve Jobs, despite the massive failure of the Razzie-nominated Jobs. Michael Fassbender should be nominated, if there isn’t too much of a clash with his other film, Macbeth, Danny Boyle also and Aaron Sorkin has a fair chance of winning Best Adapted Screenplay. Seth Rogen, Jeff Daniels and Kate Winslet could also receive Supporting nods.
4. Suffragette– This could be the big British hit of the year, potentially following the successes of Best Picture nominees like The Imitation Game, The Theory of Everything and Philomena. With Oscar nominee Carey Mulligan starring, it has a fair chance of receiving a Best Actress nod, and possibly a first Director nomination for Sarah Gavron. Helena Bonham Carter and Meryl Streep both have a chance of Best Supporting Actress nominations.
5. The Danish Girl– With no trailers yet released, it’s hard to judge whether The Danish Girl will be a success. However, with Oscar winner Tom Hooper directing and last year’s Best Actor winner Eddie Redmayne starring alongside the breakout star of the year, Alicia Vikander, it’s sure to have Oscar success. Redmayne and Vikander should both get nods as well as the film receiving a Best Adapted Screenplay nod if it gets good reviews.
6. Joy– The Academy love David O. Russell and his films so much that all three of his last three films (The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle) have all been nominated for Best Picture, Best Director and have received a total of 11 acting nominations between them, including wins for Christian Bale, Melissa Leo and Jennifer Lawrence. Lawrence is going for another Best Actress trophy and, after the first trailer dropped a couple of weeks ago, she has been getting continued buzz. This could be Russell’s chance of a first Oscar win for Best Director, while Robert De Niro is on the look out for his 3rd Oscar win.
7. Carol– A breakout hit from the Cannes Film Festival, Carol is yet to sustain it’s early buzz, mainly due to the fact that no trailer has been released, with just a couple of clips appearing online. Despite this, Oscar nominee Todd Haynes may have his best shot at an Oscar yet, with Cate Blanchett trying to win her third Oscar and Rooney Mara looking for her second nomination, after her breakout role in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.
8. The Hateful Eight– Never count out Quentin Tarantino in the Oscar race, especially as his last 2 films, Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained, both scored Best Picture nominations and both won Oscars for Christoph Waltz. This time, however, Waltz isn’t in the film, but The Hateful Eight is packed with Oscar veterans like Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Dern and Demian Bichir. I think that, however, Kurt Russell and Jennifer Jason Leigh are the ones with the best shot at picking up a nomination.
9. Inside Out– Of all the films released so far in 2015, Inside Out has the best chance at winning Best Picture, mainly because it’s so damn good. Only 2 Pixar films have ever been nominated for Best Picture, Up and Toy Story 3, but if Inside Out’s buzz sustains to the years end, which it easily has the potential to, it has a real shot at at least a nomination, with Best Animated Feature almost pretty much in the bag (unless The Good Dinosaur is an absolute masterpiece), as well as Best Original Screenplay being a real possibility.
10. Freeheld– One of my most anticipated films of the year, Freeheld, increased it’s buzz an incredible amount last week after the first trailer dropped, featuring Julianne Moore and Ellen Page in Oscar-friendly roles. They have a real chance of being nominated, yet Steve Carell’s chances of a second consecutive acting nomination took an almighty hit with his name not appearing in the trailer or on the teaser posters. Could they be looking at campaigning Michael Shannon instead? Either way, it’s got enough buzz to have a real shot at a Best Picture nomination if the reviews are strong.
Also in Contention: The Good Dinosaur, Snowden, In the Heart of the Sea, Miles Ahead, Youth, Macbeth, Black Mass, The Martian, Brooklyn, Trumbo.
Come back later this week for my most up to date Oscars and Emmys predictions.