Alright, so I wanted to break this down a little bit as far as my predictions so that I could spend a little time explaining why I'm predicting certain things. First things first, let's talk about Best Picture. There are many, many possibilities, and like you saw in the last post, there are ten contenders (and they could wind up being serious contenders) that I'm not predicting right now, so the possibilities are quite vast at the moment. Still, there are ten films that, for me, seem like safer bets for one reason or another, and so I'm going to discuss them here, in order how how I perceive their likeliness to be.
|#1 ~ Silence|
I understand that this is a risky #1, mostly because it's not certain yet that this film is actually being released this year, but the film has finished shooting and so they have six months to wrap up post-production and get this thing in the Oscar race, and I have a feeling (since the studio seems pretty antsy to get it done this year) that that is what is going to happen. This Oscar race feels void of a frontrunner at this point, and so if Silence gets dropped this year, it could be that undeniable contender that rakes in the wins. So, while the rest of the world is lying in wait for final word (Scorsese apparently is saying he wants to wait until 2016), I'm hedging my bets that this is going to come out blazing in December.
|#2 ~ Suffragette|
The trailer looked really well done, and early word from the test screenings were VERY positive on this one, but more than that, this looks just like the kind of handsomely done conventional biopic about a very topical (and extremely relevant) subject that Oscar tends to lap up. The campaign for this is going to be huge, and with the right push and the right field, I could actually see this aiming at the win here.
|#3 ~ Inside Out|
I questioned a little while ago whether or not this could win Best Picture, and while I still don't think it's out of the question, the nomination is far more secure. The reviews for this are unanimously great, and deservedly so, and with an expanded field (which I honestly don't think it needs), there is no way that this is missing out here.
|#4 ~ Beasts of No Nation|
True story, this was all over my April Fools predictions...until Netflix bought the film and I hastily took it out. I got nervous. I didn't know how they were going to release this, and when prominent theaters started releasing statements that they were refusing to show the film I assumed it's Oscar chances were all but dead. Well, low and behold, Netflix has a plan, and a good one, and the early word back from test screenings is BEYOND positive. Like, "this could actually win Best Picture" positive.
|#5 ~ Bridge of Spies|
My initial April predictions had this winning the big prize and a slew of other statuettes as well, but that trailer was so uninspired, and the rest of the this pack is starting to look stronger all around (and those early screenings produced a sea of underwhelmed responses), but this is Spielberg and this is Hanks and this is history and because of that, this is probably secure in a spot in the expanded Best Picture field.
|#6 ~ Joy|
David O. Russell is on fire with Oscar right now. Everyone wants to work with him and, despite constant talk about him being a total dick, he keeps producing films people want to see. This cast is insane, and while the story itself (the creator of the Miracle Mop) sounds so light, it's bound to be an entertaining character piece, and early word on the backstory is very promising. I'm getting more and more excited about this one.
|#7 ~ Carol|
Cannes showed us that this was a contender. I'm not sure if it'll actually win anything, since Haynes is often so...cold (from an Oscar perspective), but I'm sure that this lesbian period drama will amp up the topical significance, and it is said to be Haynes most accessible work. Blanchett is always a draw, especially for Oscar, and fresh of a Cannes wins, this should be set to make a dent, at least with the nominations.
|#8 ~ The Danish Girl|
With so much transgender news this year, this film almost feels like the film to beat in some ways. It could very well become that statement piece about the current state of the nation, and if Hooper does this incredible story justice, the Oscar may feel obliged to shower it with awards. Still, this is a very controversial subject and one that Oscar has never really embraced, even when the critics and audiences begged it to. Oscar may look at a film like Suffragette as the Crash to this Brokeback, if that makes sense. That, and I just don't trust Hooper like I want to.
|#9 ~ The Revenant|
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu is coming off of a HUGE year, with his three Oscar wins for Birdman, but as much as I want to say that this is going to be a locked and loaded hit with Oscar voters, Birdman was such a departure for Inarritu, and this film is said to be very much in his wheelhouse of misery porn. This grim western of survival and death is said to be extremely depressing and brutal, and that is a big difference from the black-comedy commentary on Hollywood he delivered last year. Still, his track record with actors is a big deal, and the buzz around this project could make it a safe bet for a nom in an expanded field, especially if the techs go for it.
|#10 ~ Youth|
This feels like something Oscar will adore. It's a look at aging through the eyes of a recent Oscar winner with raved performances that could be seen as reflective of the majority of Oscar voters and picked up very nice reviews out of Cannes. That being said, since Cannes it feels to have fallen a bit in the buzz department, and with Son of Saul getting so much attention since Cannes wrapped, I have a feeling that this could be slipping despite it's obvious appeal.