And the Oscar Goes To…

Brett Starkopf

Normally, the Academy Awards is a three-hour program that feels like it drones on even longer.


However, amidst the controversy — with this being the second consecutive year where the black and white gala is dominated by white nominees — I would not be so surprised to see this show get nominated for best drama at the Golden Globes next year.


Changes are coming, though. Shortly after the nominations were released and the #OscarsSoWhite movement took over Twitter, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that by 2020 they hope to double the amount of minority and women members according to Jan. 22 article posted on


But we still have this year’s show, and here are my predictions for the 88th Academy Winners:




Best Picture:

  • The Big Short
  • Bridge of Spies
  • Brooklyn
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • The Revenant
  • Room
  • Spotlight


Who should win: Spotlight

I’m not just saying “Spotlight” should win because I’m a college journalist. Tom McCarthy’s biographical film about Boston Globe reporters uncovering a massive church scandal in Boston has everything an Oscar movie should have: It is motivated by strong performances from the entire cast, it tackles a hot button topic of pedophilia in the Church and it brings journalism back to the forefront.


Who will win: The Revenant

Alejandro G. Iñárritu will repeat for best picture. His gripping tale, based on the novelization of the experiences of frontiersman Hugh Glass, is two-and-a-half hours of sheer intrigue. Iñárritu will for sure lock up best director for his creative visions. Also, “The Revenant” has the most nominations and, as history will tell, best picture normally goes to the film with the most nominations


Best Director:

Adam McKay – The Big Short

George Miller – Mad Max: Fury Road

Alejandro G. Iñárritu – The Revenant

Lenny Abrahamson – Room

Tom McCarthy – Spotlight


Who should win: Miller

Mad Max: Fury Road isn’t the smartest movie released but it is one of the most exciting movies I have seen in a long time. Incredible practical effects drive (pun intended) the fourth installment to the Mad Max franchise. It is one of the most visually appealing movies released recently and it has a dude attached to bungees on top of a truck playing a guitar that shoots fire.


Who will win: Iñárritu

He is one of my favorite filmmakers in the past 15 years. “The Revenant” is visually compelling. The way Iñárritu plays with long-takes and quick cuts makes the movie into a sort of symphony.


Best Actor:

  • Bryan Cranston – Trumbo
  • Matt Damon – The Martian
  • Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant
  • Michael Fassbender – Steve Jobs
  • Eddie Redmayne – The Danish Girl


Who should win: Redmayne

Just like his portrayal of Stephen Hawking, Redmayne is convincing as Einar Wegener/Lili Elbe, one of the first women to receive sex reassignment surgery. What more can you say? Dude walks around in heels for most of the movie.


Who will win: DiCaprio

At last, Leo will finally win his Oscar. Not that he is the most deserving this year, but a bear did maul him on camera and he slept outside the entire movie. This Oscar is more of a lifetime achievement award, like how Scorsese finally won after his fifth nomination.


Side note: Cranston is only nominated because the Academy likes movies about movies. Not that he wasn’t good as Trumbo, but Michael B. Jordan, Will Smith or Idris Elba could have very well taken his spot. Jordan crushed it in Creed.


Best Actress:

  • Cate Blanchett – Carol
  • Brie Larson – Room
  • Jennifer Lawrence – Joy
  • Charlotte Rampling – 45 Years
  • Saoirse Ronan – Brooklyn


Who should win: Larson

This is the category I’m looking forward to the most for two reasons: 1) I will finally know how to correctly pronounce Saoirse Ronan’s name and 2) This is Brie Larson’s coming out party. Room was my favorite movie of 2015 and her performance was nothing short of spectacular. You see a mother doing everything possible for her child with vastly limited resources under extreme conditions.


Who will win: Larson

I’ve been on her bandwagon since she played Kate Gregson in “The United States of Tara.” I also highly recommend watching “Short Term 12.”


Best Supporting Actor:

  • Christian Bale – The Big Short
  • Tom Hardy – The Revenant
  • Mark Ruffalo – Spotlight
  • Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies
  • Sylvester Stallone – Creed


Who should win: Rylance

His performance as a Russian spy was very understated and reserved. Just like how a spy should act.


Who will win: Stallone

Better late than never. Forty years after he was nominated for Rocky, Sly is back for what’s rightfully his. We’re all excited to listen to this man mumble for 45 seconds.


Best Supporting Actress:

  • Jennifer Jason Leigh – The Hateful Eight
  • Rooney Mara – Carol
  • Rachel McAdams – Spotlight
  • Alicia Vikander – The Danish Girl
  • Kate Winslet – Steve Jobs


Who should win: Vikander

To call her role “supporting” is incorrect. She is in the movie for just as long as Redmayne and is just as pivotal a character. She goes through the same range of emotions and delivers them just as convincingly as he. The acting by both Vikander and Redmayne make The Danish Girl into the Oscar contender that it is.


Who will win: Mara

Carol discusses the issue of being a homosexual woman in a time where it was frowned upon to be either homosexual or a woman. Mara, who should also be considered a lead actress for this film, plays Therese who is torn between her boyfriend and Carol, a new friend she she has romantic feelings fort.


The Academy Awards are Feb. 28 on ABC. Host Chris Rock will maybe shed some light to the Academy regarding the #OscarsSoWhite movement.