Oscars 2016: Best Picture Predictions

Written by Chris Winterbottom

It may be early, but with awards season kicking off, I thought I would share my tips for who will be nominated at the 2016 Academy Awards, which will be held on the 28th February. Last year’s winner of the award for Best Picture, ‘Birdman’, was part of an eight-strong group vying for that prestigious gold statuette, but the category can have up to ten films nominated. With that in mind, I’m predicting a nine horse race, considering the amount of interesting films still to be released before the big night.

And the nominees are…

Steve Jobs

After making the hugely enjoyable ‘Trance’, Danny Boyle is back to courting the big awards with this biopic of the Apple genius Steve Jobs. Michael Fassbender plays the titular character and with supporting actors in Kate Winslet and Jeff Daniels, early reviews have suggested this is the one to watch. Personally, I am looking forward to this immensely; Danny Boyle is one of my favourite filmmakers and with a script penned by Aaron Sorkin, whose other works include the wonderful ‘The Social Network’, this film looks set to be a huge success both financially and critically.

Suffragette

This recent release has seen much of its acclaim directed towards the acting performances; I am sure Carey Mulligan in particular will at least be nominated for Best Actress at the awards ceremony next February. I haven’t seen the film, but with Jennifer Lawrence’s recent essay on sexism in Hollywood, and the regular calls of discontent at the amount of roles for women and the pay they receive when they come along, I feel the Academy will include the film in the Best Picture category to acknowledge female filmmakers’ cries for equality, regardless of its quality.

Sicario

This Denis Villeneuve film is one of my favourites of the year so far. Currently, I would like ‘Sicario’ to win the award for Best Picture, but I haven’t seen the majority of the other potential nominees so it is too early to put fully commit. That said, the film is a brilliant piece of visceral, shocking and tense filmmaking. There may be nominations for its cast too, particularly for Emily Blunt and Benicio del Toro, and Roger Deakins is sure to win the Best Cinematography award for the first time. For now, ‘Sicario’ is an outsider, but we shall see what will happen in the coming months.

Inside Out

This may prove a controversial choice to some, considering no animated film has ever won Best Picture, but the amount of positive reviews for this Disney-Pixar effort may sway Academy voters. This is another film which I am yet to see, and I have to say that it is one of my big film regrets this year. I suspect that ‘Inside Out’ is the animated film most likely to pick up the Best Picture gong in February, but it still remains a big outsider. However, it was not so long ago that the majestic ‘Toy Story 3’ picked up the nomination for Best Picture, with ‘Up’ achieving this feat the year before.

Bridge Of Spies

Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks and The Cold War? I’m predicting this film will receive the most nominations of all at the 2016 Academy Awards. But I feel this movie will pull an ‘American Hustle’ – receive the most nominations, including Best Picture, but then fail to win anything. Whilst it has a chance in the Best Costume and Best Make Up categories, and maybe some of the technical categories, I just don’t feel like the ‘Bridge Of Spies’ campaign will gain enough momentum.

The Hateful Eight

Tarantino’s last two films, ‘Inglourious Basterds’ (I know it’s spelled wrong) and ‘Django Unchained’ both received Best Picture nominations, and I am certain his latest effort will deliver him another. The film’s official release date is the 8th January 2016 in the USA, which would have made this ineligible, but with a limited release on Christmas Day, I’m confident that ‘The Hateful Eight’ will be nominated. The release date is telling; films with a release date around January and February here in the UK are often the big contenders when it comes to awards. I wouldn’t be surprised if this turned out to be Tarantino’s most financially successful film, even surpassing ‘Django Unchained’, but like his previous couple of movies, I don’t think it’ll win the Best Picture award.

The Revenant

Will Leonardo Di Caprio finally win the elusive Oscar for Best Actor? Many seem to think it’ll be his year, but I think the great man will have to wait at least another year. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu enjoyed big success at last year’s ceremony with ‘Birdman’, but I think he will receive something of a muted backlash for ‘The Revenant’, at least in terms of its critical reaction. However, The Academy love Inarritu and because of this, I believe the film will be competing for the Best Picture award. More likely though, I think we could see Emmanuel Lubezki pick up another statue for his cinematography work. For those that have seen the trailer, it already looks to be a visually stunning film.

Hail, Caesar!

The Coen Brothers are back with ‘Hail, Caesar!’, a musical-comedy satirising Hollywood. The film has a 1950’s setting, during Hollywood’s golden era, and features a fantastic cast including Scarlett Johansson. This film will be the main competition for Danny Boyle’s ‘Steve Jobs’. It will certainly challenge in terms of the technical awards, like Best Editing, but in my opinion the film will most likely pick the Best Director(s) award. The Coen Brothers are no strangers to award nominations, after the receiving a whole spate of them for ‘No Country For Old Men’, ‘True Grit’ and ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’.

The Danish Girl

I am a big admirer of Tom Hooper, particularly for his work on the underrated ‘The Damned United’. But his rise to the top, in terms of British filmmakers, has come off the back of ‘The Kings Speech’ and ‘Les Miserables’. You only have to look at the poster for this movie to know that this is an unashamed, Oscar-bait project. I don’t feel like this will be much of a success at the Oscars in February, but having said that I didn’t think ‘Gravity’ would either. Sometimes there are surprises, and I am sure Redmayne will receive another Best Actor nomination for his defiant, cross-dressing role, but my gut instinct is that the film will slip under the radar somewhat.

So there you have it – my predictions for the Best Picture category. Of course, this list may well be wrong and even if it is, it does not necessarily represent the year’s best films. I often find that The Academy is completely wrong in its choices; like Christopher Nolan being ignored twice, for ‘Inception’ and ‘Interstellar’. We are talking about an awards ceremony which snubbed ‘Citizen Kane’, after all. But there is no getting around the fact that the Oscars are the most prestigious of awards ceremonies, and I think in 2016 we will see Danny Boyle and his film ‘Steve Jobs’ be the triumphant victor.

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Watch This Space: September 14 – 20

Welcome to your weekly go-to film guide – WatchThisSpace – where we recommend what to watch in the cinema and on the television, and remind you of those brilliant films hiding in your DVD collection.

IN THE CINEMA

Although it’s been released outside of the UK, and not received the best of reviews, we still think that ‘Aloha’ could be worth a trip to the cinema if you like your rom-coms. Starring Bradley Cooper as a military contractor who is stuck in the classic problem of having two women in his life. Alongside Cooper, we have Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams and John Krasinski and it’s hard to not be impressed by that cast.

Even more impressive though, is the cast for ‘Everest’, which boasts the likes of Jake Gyllenhaal, Jason Clarke, Keira Knightley and Josh Brolin. The trailers for this epic look pretty intense and harrowing, as we follow an expedition to the peak of Mount Everest, with disastrous results. Quite the contrast to the sunny skies Bradley Cooper and company will be enjoying, this endurance thriller may not be one for the faint-hearted but promises to be a spectacular visual experience.

ON THE TV

Monday 22:40 GMT: If you’ve enjoyed a double helping of Tom Hardy in his latest film ‘Legend’, you’ll be pleased to know that Film4 are showing ‘Bronson’ to get your week off to a smashing start. There may only be one Tom Hardy in this one, but his portrayal of Charles Bronson is more than enough, we promise.

Tuesday 23:05 GMT: Quentin Tarantino’s directing career is coming to an end after the much-anticipated ‘Hateful Eight’, so why not celebrate his career by watching one of his finest contributions to the world of cinema on Film4. ‘Inglorious Basterds’ follows Lieutenant Aldo Raine and his bunch of not-so-merry men as they plan a Nazi assassination in war torn France, 1944. Expect your typical, Tarantino spectacle of violence and dark comedy.

Wednesday 21:00 GMT: You may know Chris Hemsworth better for his role as Thor in the Avengers series, but the blonde brute’s most critically-acclaimed performance is most definitely his portrayal of legendary F1 driver James Hunt in ‘Rush’. Catch the fast-paced biopic on Film4.

Friday 21:00 GMT: E4 is bringing you the definition of Friday night television this week, in the form of alien flick ‘Independence Day’ – one of those films that is such easy watching, no matter how many times you’ve seen it before. Explosions, drama and the odd laugh thrown in too, sit back and see in the weekend in style.

Sunday 17:45 GMT: Brad Pitt is all over WatchThisSpace this week. This time, we urge you to settle down on Sunday evening and enjoy his performance in ‘The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button’ on Film4. Pitt stars opposite Cate Blanchett, as a man who ages backwards, whilst trying desperately to reconnect with the love of his life.

DIG IT OUT

This is our favourite part of the WatchThisSpace section. We delve into our own DVD collection and pick out some amazing films, that may not instantly spring to mind when you’re stuck for inspiration to make your movie night a success. Maybe you’ve never seen a film that we pick – or even heard of them for that matter – but you’re gonna have to trust us on this one, and Dig It Out.

Inception: Want more Tom Hardy? Okay, fine! It’s the man of the moment’s birthday on Tuesday, and we’ve pretty much exhausted all of his greatest roles in the past few weeks. One we haven’t covered though, is his more reserved and charming performance in Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi thriller ‘Inception’. In a stellar cast, Hardy still stands out as Eames – the cheeky forger who can take the form of anyone you want him to. Celebrate Mr. Hardy’s birthday with one of the best films of recent years, but don’t ponder the mysteries of Nolan’s multi-storey dream world too hard or you may end up with a bigger hangover than the birthday boy himself.

Se7en: David Fincher was recently announced as the director for the up and coming second installment of the Millennium Trilogy books – ‘The Girl Who Played With Fire.” Why not revisit one of Fincher’s previous works in ‘Se7en’; a film that has become a classic since it’s release back in 1995. Featuring one of cinemas finest and strangest villains in John Doe (Kevin Spacey), follow Somerset and Mills (Freeman & that man Pitt, again) as they hunt down the infamous serial killer, who seems to have a certain signature, when it comes to his murders.

The Beach: Danny Boyle confirmed last week that all systems are go on a ‘Trainspotting’ sequel, with the majority of the original cast signed on for the follow up. We would like to draw your attention to another of Boyle’s masterpieces, this time starring a young Leonardo DiCaprio filled with wanderlust, who finds himself in a near-perfect paradise. Or so he thinks! For some strange reason, this film has divided opinions since its release in 2000, but we absolutely love it and think you will too!

This Sporting Life: With the Rugby World Cup kicking off this week, we’re trying to get into the spirit of things here at JumpCut UK. As a result, we’re going to suggest a rugby themed film for you to dig out this week, but one that you may not have heard of before. ‘This Sporting Life’ is a British realist film from 1963, starring the late, great Richard Harris, and follows the story of a young miner-turned-rugby player as he struggles to ascertain a balance in his life between the aggressive sport and his domestic bliss, as the two begin to intertwine.

This week’s WatchThisSpace was compiled by Jakob Lewis Barnes and Nick Deal

You may have noticed that this week’s edition of WatchThisSpace is kinda male dominated. But before anyone berates us for discrimination, let us explain. If you head to our Twitter account @jumpcutUK this week, you will find our latest Twitter poll, which is aimed at deciding on the best female performance of the last 5 years (2010-2015). We thought it would strike a nice balance then, to focus on the guys on this side of our work. Never fear ladies, next month we have a special women’s edition of WatchThisSpace to celebrate the release of ‘Suffragette’.

Watch This Space: May 11 – May 17

Welcome to our newest feature – WatchThisSpace – where we give you recommendations of films to watch in the cinema, on the television and those brilliant films hiding at the back of your DVD collection.

IN THE CINEMA

As most of you are well aware, ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ opens this weekend. Charlize Theron has a buzz cut, Tom Hardy dons a mask AGAIN and George Miller is back to his weird and wonderful best after the happiest of ‘Happy Feet’ to bring us dystopian chaos of the most explosive and action-packed variety.

For most, a trip to the cinema this weekend will provide a very clear fork in the road; you either go for an abundance of gore and violence, or warm up your vocal chords and sing at the top of your voice with ‘Pitch Perfect 2’. Luckily for us, we love both, so we get double the fun this weekend.

ON TELEVISION

Monday 23:05 GMT: There are very few directors with such a legendary status as that of Alfred Hitchcock, whose diverse and unusual body of work boasts numerous classics. One of the most disturbing of these films is arguably ‘The Birds’ which you can catch over at Film4.

Tuesday 23:40 GMT: Denzel Washington is now 60 years old, and still an absolute badass. See him at his most formidable and dangerous best, with a hint of emotion in the 2004 great ‘Man On Fire’, again on Film4.

Thursday 22:00 GMT: Every week, there are plenty of war films we could recommend to you. As fantastic as it is, ‘The Great Escape’ is on TV every Sunday, without fail. So let More4 show you a different perspective to the war with Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Inglorious Basterds’.

Saturday 21:20 GMT: Comedy creations don’t come much better than Steve Coogan’s Alan Partridge. A timeless character who has improved with age. BBC2 brings us ‘Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa’, the feature length follow up that we so desperately needed. 

Sunday 15:00 GMT: The weekend is nearly over, so spend a couple of hours with the family and watch everyone’s favourite wild child, Lindsay Lohan, before she turned bad. ‘Parent Trap’ is delightful afternoon viewing on Channel 4.

DIG IT OUT

This is our favourite part of the WatchThisSpace section. We delve into our own DVD collection and pick out some amazing films, that may not instantly spring to mind when you’re stuck for inspiration to make your movie night a success. Maybe you’ve never seen a film that we pick – or even heard of them for that matter – but you’re gonna have to trust us on this one, and Dig It Out.

If election week has left you feeling militant, and ready to revolt, instead of setting a couple of bins on fire and engaging in a bit of casual looting, why not fight the man with some anti-establishment viewing:

A Clockwork Orange: Stanley Kubrick delivers a masterpiece in cinema history, with lead character Alex running around trying to defile pretty much everything in sight – so you don’t have to. The ultimate social menace.

Taxi Driver: Robert De Niro’s chilling monologues will say everything you wish you could. And just when you’re feeling disillusioned and frustrated, remember “we’re all fucked”.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off: If you were old enough to vote, you probably don’t have to ask the parents for a sick day. Ferris did and look how much fun he had. So either way, run from the doldrums of normal life and have a crazy day.

This week’s WatchThisSpace was compiled by Jakob Lewis Barnes and Samuel James