What in the world is going on this year? I swear, I picked the absolute worst year to take a break from the Oscar coverage game, because this has been the greatest year of absolute randomness I’ve ever seen. The consensus on all categories is so all over the place, that aside from some hunches there really isn’t a frontrunner in any category, including Best Picture. Now that BAFTA has announced their nominees, I’m ready to start attempting to compile my final Oscar nomination predictions (like, we get them in a week or something like that) but today we’re just going to talk about Best Picture because I don’t have the time or patience to get something more up at the moment.
Let’s look at the five biggest representations of what the voting bodies are supporting; BAFTA, BFCA, Globes, PGA & SAG
I want to acknowledge right off that BFCA is clearly a joke now, and their Star Wars embrace backfired into creating a non-starter of a BP campaign, but they do pride themselves in being the best Oscar predictor (shameful) so we’ll consider them here for those reasons only.
The only films to land on all five ballots were The Big Short and Spotlight. The Big Short kind of came out of nowhere and dominated with these guilds, which wasn’t something I expected, but after seeing the film I’m sort of happy about it. I didn’t find it to be brilliant or anything, but it’s expertly paced, written and acted and so I’m all for it snagging love. While this clearly places it alongside Spotlight as the clear frontrunners for the nomination, I don’t see The Big Short competing much for the win here.
1) Spotlight (BAFTA, BFCA, Globe (Drama), PGA, SAG)
2) The Big Short (BAFTA, BFCA, Globe (Comedy), PGA, SAG)
The Revenant has been building A LOT of steam and managed to hit everywhere except SAG, placing it pretty firmly in the Top 5, and in my opinion probably closer to the win than The Big Short.
3) The Revenant (BAFTA, BFCA, Globe (Drama), PGA)
Here is where things start to get a little murky. Bridge of Spies, Carol, Mad Max: Fury Road and The Martian have all hit 3 of the 5 ballots, but I’m not confident in all of them for varying reasons. Carol hasn’t been as strong with guild support as expected, and the coldness/lesbian-ness of the film could make it something Oscar voters shy away from. Mad Max, as I mentioned before, is the most un-Oscary film to ever get awards attention I’ve ever seen in my life. Bridge of Spies is probably the safest here, namely because of its Spielberg/prestige/inoffensive-ness. And then we have The Martian, a film that is good and all but nowhere near the greatness that this awards season would have you believe and yet, it’s being strongly embraced and could be a major contender in a lot of the techs.
4) Bridge of Spies (BAFTA, BFCA, PGA)
5) The Martian (BFCA, Globe (Comedy), PGA)
6) Mad Max: Fury Road (BFCA, Globe (Drama), PGA)
7) Carol (BAFTA, BFCA, Globe (Drama))
And then you have Brooklyn, Room, Sicario and Straight Out of Compton who have managed to snag two mentions each. The difference here is that some are rising while others seem to be fading. Room, in particular, feels like its waning. It started this season strong, coming out of nowhere to be this force…and then it started to fall apart.
8) Brooklyn (BFCA, PGA)
9) Sicario (BFCA, PGA)
10) Straight Out of Compton (PGA, SAG)
11) Room (BFCA, Globe (Drama))
And let’s not forget those films that snagged a single mention, like Beasts of No Nation, Joy, Trumbo and…nevermind, we can probably write them all off.
But watch Trumbo show up everywhere and cause a lot of eyes to roll.
So what does all this mean? I have no idea. A few weeks ago it looked like we could be seeing ten strong nominees for Best Picture, but with this love spread so thin it is starting to look like another year where we will see some exclusions (and maybe an inclusion) that no one saw coming or no one predicted. Could Carol be snubbed? Will Weinstein actually find himself outside of the Best Picture race? Will Straight Out of Compton be that little film that could that no one believed in? Will Trumbo prove, once again, that Oscar is a boring bunch of safe-voters? Can Ex Machina actually break into the race? Is Mad Max really going to happen?
All of these will be answered soon.
As for now, I’m thinking we’re getting 8 nominees and this is what I’m feeling at the moment:
The Big Short
Bridge of Spies
Yes, you read that right…at the moment my gut is telling me we’re getting Mad Max and Carol snubs; but these aren’t my official ‘final predictions’, so things could very well change by next week.