That’s right, it’s time for my end of the month Best Picture update. This is also the first one that I’ve done since the opening of the Gold Derby prediction centre, making this the most accurate list yet (release date movements accounted for, including Miles Ahead, which has been moved to 2016). With festival season kicking off in September, with Telluride, Toronto and Venice all getting underway, the Oscar race is heating up. Let’s get to it.
- Carol– With a first trailer released for this Cannes hit, the Oscar world has become a buzz of excitement for Todd Haynes’ latest film, which will surely pick up nominations for stars Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. This looks like a film that the Academy will adore, and is my new number 1 pick.
- The Revenant– The buzz for this film is mainly concerned with the fact that it is the return of 5-time Oscar nominee Leonardo DiCaprio. He’s the current Best Actor favourite, but I have him at number 4 in my predictions. Other than that, The Reveant is still one to watch, as it has the team behind last year’s Best Picture winner, Birdman, behind the camera.
- Bridge of Spies– Despite currently only being at number 7 in the odds to win Best Picture, you must never count out a Steven Spielberg film in the Oscar race. Especially as Bridge of Spies looks absolutely terrific, and there is still a fair chance of Tom Hanks getting revenge for his Captain Phillips snub and receiving his first nod in 15 years.
- Steve Jobs– There is still a bit of doubt about the success of this film, especially following the disastrous 2013 film Jobs, starring Ashton Kutcher in a Razzie-nominated performance. However, there is enough talent on board to make this film really special, and I’m current predicting wins for both Michael Fassbender in the Best Actor category and Aaron Sorkin in the Best Adapted Screenplay category.
- The Danish Girl– The only film on the list that we’re yet to see footage from, the still some uncertainty in The Danish Girl‘s Oscar pedigree. That being said, 2 beautiful posters for the film were released last week and the trailer is premiering this week. If that impresses, we could have an Oscar heavyweight on our hands.
- Joy– If there’s one thing that the Academy loves, it’s David O. Russell films. With his last 3 films all receiving Best Picture and Best Director nominations, plus 3 wins from 11 acting nods, Russell is quickly becoming one of the hottest directors in Hollywood. He’s continuing the winning formula with Joy, featuring previous collaborators Jennifer Lawrence, Robert de Niro and Bradley Cooper, and I’m sure that the Academy will eat it up.
- The Hateful Eight– With it’s trailer being released a couple of weeks ago, The Hateful Eight is by far the most talked about film in the race, especially as it could be Tarantino’s chance to receive his first Best Director win. I’m not convinced yet, it’s momentum can only increase from here on.
- Inside Out– The only film on this list that has had it’s cinematic release, Inside Out is an undeniably brilliant film that already has at least one award in the bag (Best Animated Feature). This is the film that the public will really get behind to win, but will that love rub off onto the Academy?
- Suffragette– Falling quite a few places since last month, Suffragette really needs a big momentum boost if it still wants to be in the hunt. Carey Mulligan has a real chance in a Best Actress race that’s packed with previous winners, but where are the other nominations going to come from if The Danish Girl is the film that the British are going to get behind?
- Beasts of No Nation– After seeing the trailer for Beasts of No Nation, I can tell that it’s going to be a divisive film. However, if Idris Elba delivers a strong performance, he has a great chance to win Best Supporting Actor, and you know that Netflix are going to give a massive push. The success of this film at the Oscars is mainly going to depend on how good Netflix’s campaign is.
Other films in contention: Spotlight (starring Mark Ruffalo and Michael Keaton), Mad Max: Fury Road (starring Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron), Freeheld (starring Julianne Moore and Ellen Page), Black Mass (starring Johnny Depp and Benedict Cumberbatch), Youth (starring Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel) and Brooklyn (starring Saoirse Ronan and Domhnall Gleeson).