Tag Archives: Oscar predictions

Fearless Oscar Picks 2024

by Hope Madden and George Wolf

This year’s group of nominees is stacked. Category after category, you find multiple films, filmmakers and performers all worthy of some hardware. But who will win?

Best picture

  • “American Fiction”
  • “Anatomy of a Fall”
  • “Barbie”
  • “The Holdovers”
  • “Killers of the Flower Moon”
  • “Maestro”
  • “Oppenheimer”
  • “Past Lives”
  • “Poor Things”
  • “The Zone of Interest”

Should win: “Poor Things” Will win: “Oppenheimer”

Best actor

  • Bradley Cooper, “Maestro”
  • Colman Domingo, “Rustin”
  • Paul Giamatti, “The Holdovers”
  • Cillian Murphy, “Oppenheimer”
  • Jeffrey Wright, “American Fiction”

Should win: Cillian Murphy Will win: Murphy (Hope) Paul Giamatti (George)

Best actress

  • Annette Bening, “Nyad”
  • Lily Gladstone, “Killers of the Flower Moon”
  • Sandra Hüller, “Anatomy of a Fall”
  • Carey Mulligan, “Maestro”
  • Emma Stone, “Poor Things”

Should win: Stone or Gladstone Will win: Gladstone

Best supporting actor

  • Sterling K. Brown, “American Fiction”
  • Robert De Niro, “Killers of the Flower Moon”
  • Robert Downey Jr., “Oppenheimer”
  • Ryan Gosling, “Barbie”
  • Mark Ruffalo, “Poor Things”

Should win: Ruffalo Will win: Downey Jr.

Best supporting actress

  • Emily Blunt, “Oppenheimer”
  • Danielle Brooks, “The Color Purple”
  • America Ferrera, “Barbie”
  • Jodie Foster, “Nyad”
  • Da’Vine Joy Randolph, “The Holdovers”

Should win/Will win: Randolph

Best director

  • Jonathan Glazer, “The Zone of Interest”
  • Yorgos Lanthimos, “Poor Things”
  • Christopher Nolan, “Oppenheimer”
  • Martin Scorsese, “Killers of the Flower Moon”
  • Justine Triet, “Anatomy of a Fall”

Should win: Nolan or Lanthimos Will win: Nolan

International feature film

  • “Io Capitano,” Italy
  • “Perfect Days,” Japan
  • “Society of the Snow,” Spain
  • “The Teachers’ Lounge,” Germany
  • “The Zone of Interest,” United Kingdom

Should win/Will win: “The Zone of Interest”

Animated feature film

  • “The Boy and the Heron”
  • “Elemental”
  • “Nimona”
  • “Robot Dreams”
  • “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse”

Should win: “The Boy and the Heron” (Hope) “Spider-Man” (George) Will win: The Boy and the Heron” (Hope) “Spider-Man” (George)

Adapted screenplay

  • “American Fiction”
  • “Barbie”
  • “Oppenheimer”
  • “Poor Things”
  • “The Zone of Interest”

Should win: “Poor Things” Will win: “American Fiction” (Hope) “Oppenheimer” (George)

Original screenplay

  • “Anatomy of a Fall”
  • “The Holdovers”
  • “Maestro”
  • “May December”
  • “Past Lives”

Should win: “Anatomy of a Fall” Will win: “The Holdovers” (Hope) “Anatomy of a Fall’ (George)


  • “El Conde”
  • “Killers of the Flower Moon”
  • “Maestro”
  • “Oppenheimer”
  • “Poor Things”

Should win/Will win: “Poor Things”

Animated short film

  • “Letter to a Pig”
  • “Ninety-Five Senses”
  • “Our Uniform”
  • “Pachyderme”
  • “War Is Over! Inspired by the Music of John & Yoko”

Should win: “Ninety-Five Senses” Will win: “War Is Over”

Live action short film

  • “The After”
  • “Invincible”
  • “Knight of Fortune”
  • “Red, White and Blue”
  • “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar”

Should win/Will win: “Henry Sugar

Documentary short film

  • “The ABCs of Book Banning”
  • “The Barber of Little Rock”
  • “Island in Between”
  • “The Last Repair Shop”
  • “Nǎi Nai & Wài Pó”

Should win/Will win: “The Last Repair Shop”

The 96th Academy Awards, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, will air on ABC on Sunday, March 10, live from the Dolby Theatre at Ovation Hollywood.

Fearless Oscar Picks

by Hope Madden and George Wolf

It fills us with glee to look back on a year brimming with so many great movies. Original movies, even! Jojo Rabbit—that was unique. The Farewell, Marriage Story, Knives Out, The Lighthouse, Parasite, The Souvenir, Uncut Gems, Us, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, The Last Black Man in San Francisco—it’s a long list, and not all of the entries made it as far as an Oscar nomination (unfortunate!). But they did make for a fascinating year.

We have only a handful of complaints about this year’s batch of nominees, but we really want to point out how impressed we are with the animation nominees: two excellent blockbusters (Toy Story 4 and How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World) plus three outstanding and entirely underseen animated gems (Missing Link, I Lost My Body, Klaus). Whenever the Academy leads people to find great films they might have missed, they’re doing their job.

On the whole we expect the 2020 awards to be somewhat predictable. Luckily, on the whole, we also think the awards will go where they should.

Our picks for Oscar, 2020:

Best Adapted Screenplay

  • Steven Zaillian, The Irishman
  • Taika Waititi, Jojo Rabbit 
  • Todd Phillips, Joker
  • Greta Gerwig, Little Women 
  • Anthony McCarten, The Two Popes

We begin with the one category that feels undecided. While we are semi-confident in our picks, we also think Jojo Rabbit could hop away with gold.

Should Win: Greta Gerwig, Little Women

Will Win: Greta Gerwig, Little Women

Best Original Screenplay

  • Rian Johnson, Knives Out
  • Noah Baumbach, Marriage Story
  • Sam Mendes, 1917
  • Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
  • Bong Joon Ho, Parasite

Should Win: Bong Joon Ho, Parasite

Will Win: Bong Joon Ho, Parasite

Best Supporting Actress

  • Kathy Bates, Richard Jewell
  • Laura Dern, Marriage Story
  • Scarlett Johansson, Jojo Rabbit
  • Florence Pugh, Little Women
  • Margot Robbie, Bombshell

Although it would not break our hearts to see Scarlett Johansson win this one for her tender, lovely turn as mom to the cutest little Nazi ever…

Should Win: Laura Dern, Marriage Story

Will Win: Laura Dern, Marriage Story

Best Supporting Actor
  • Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
  • Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes
  • Al Pacino, The Irishman
  • Joe Pesci, The Irishman
  • Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood

Should Win: Joe Pesci, playing against type and delivering a quietly powerful turn that’s the heartbeat of Scorsese’s film.

Will Win: Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood. Good news – another top-notch acceptance speech!

Because we want to make you wait for it, and because you might need some help with other buckets in your poll…

Best Documentary

  • American Factory, Julia Riechert & Steve Bognar
  • The Cave, Feras Fayyad
  • The Edge of Democracy, Petra Casta
  • For Sama, Waad al-Kateab
  • Honeyland, Ljubo Stevanov

Here’s a fantastic category. Make it your mission to see each one of these films.

Should Win: Honeyland

Will Win: In a rare split decision, Hope predicts Honeyland; George predicts American Factory.

Best International Feature

  • Corpus Cristi (Poland)
  • Honeyland (North Macedonia)
  • Les Miserables (France)
  • Pain and Glory (Spain)
  • Parasite (South Korea)

Should Win: Parasite

Will Win: Parasite

Best Animated Feature

  • How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
  • I Lost My Body
  • Klaus
  • Missing Link
  • Toy Story 4

Should Win: Toy Story 4

Will Win: Toy Story 4, but really, we all win with this group of movies. But Toy Story 4 better win.

Best Cinematography

  • Rodrigo Prieto, The Irishman
  • Lawrence Sher, Joker
  • Jarin Blaschke, The Lighthouse 
  • Robert Richardson, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
  • Roger Deakins, 1917 

Should Win: Jarin Blaschke, The Lighthouse

Will Win: Roger Deakins, 1917

Best Original Song

  • “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” (Toy Story 4) — Randy Newman
  • “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” (Rocketman) — Elton John & Bernie Taupin
  • “I’m Standing With You” (Breakthrough) — Diane Warren
  • “Into the Unknown” (Frozen 2) — Robert Lopez & Kristen Anderson-Lopez
  • “Stand Up” (Harriet) — Joshuah Brian Campbell & Cynthia Erivo

Should Win: Elton & Bernie

Will Win: John & Taupin

OK, on to what you’re here for.

Best Actress

  • Cynthia Erivo, Harriet
  • Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story
  • Saoirse Ronan, Little Women
  • Charlize Theron, Bombshell
  • Renee Zellweger, Judy

Should Win: Renee Zellweger, Judy

Will Win: Renee Zellweger, Judy

 Best Actor

  • Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory
  • Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
  • Adam Driver, Marriage Story
  • Joaquin Phoenix, Joker
  • Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes

Should Win: We would not weep to see Adam Driver take this one home, but he won’t and we’re not that upset because Joaquin Phoenix was astonishing.

Will Win: Joaquin Phoenix

Best Director

  • Martin Scorsese, The Irishman
  • Todd Phillips, Joker
  • Sam Mendes, 1917
  • Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
  • Bong Joon Ho, Parasite

Should Win: Bong Joon Ho makes a great case with his nearly perfect film.

Will Win: Sam Mendes, 1917

Best Picture

  • Ford v Ferrari
  • The Irishman
  • Jojo Rabbit
  • Joker
  • Little Women
  • Marriage Story
  • 1917
  • Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
  • Parasite

Should: Parasite

Will: 1917

The 92 annual Academy Awards will be held this Sunday, February 9th, and aired live on ABC.

Fearless Oscar Predictions Here!

Rarely is the Oscar ticket quite so easy to fill out. This year’s set of nominees offers more clear-cut front runners across the board than most previous broadcasts, but the other aspect of note is that the actual quality of the work is tighter than in years past. In nearly every category, the likely winner is fairly simple to predict, but category after category we find ourselves saying that we’d be pretty pleased no matter the outcome.

The talent and work being recognized this year is that impressive.

Best Female in a Leading Role

Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water
Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Margot Robbie, I, Tonya
Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird
Meryl Streep, The Post

Will win: Frances McDormand

Should win: McDormand. Sally Hawkins, always wonderful, was amazing in The Shape of Water. We’re so happy Margot Robbie got the notice she deserves for I, Tonya. Saoirse Ronan will certainly win an Oscar or two at some point in her phenomenal career. Meryl Street—is Meryl Streep. But there is no denying McDormand’s fiery, fearless Mildred Hayes. The performance is a career high for one of the most talented and formidable performers working today.

Best Male in a Leading Role

Timothée Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name
Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread
Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out
Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq.

Will win: Gary Oldman Darkest Hour

Should win: Timothee Chalamet. Or Oldman. Either way, we’re good. We’d take Daniel Kaluuya, to be honest. And you can never go wrong with Denzel Washington or Daniel Day-Lewis. No, this is an impressive set of performances right here, and while Oldman is a near shoe-in (for good reason, after a long and impressive career, for an impeccable performance), Chalamet’s turn announces a breathtaking talent and he may have outperformed them all.

Best Supporting Female

Mary J. Blige, Mudbound
Allison Janney, I, Tonya
Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread
Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird
Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water

Will win: Allison Janney I, Tonya

Should win: Laurie Metcalf, although we will not weep when Janney takes the Oscar. Janney is a veteran character actor, one who leaves a mark on every single film, whether drama or comedy. She should have won at least one Oscar by now. But if, by chance (and it’s a long shot at best), Metcalf takes this one home for her fearless and faultless work as a piece-of-work mother in Greta Gerwig’s astonishing Lady Bird, well, we’ll be cool with that.

Best Supporting Male

Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project
Woody Harrelson, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water
Christopher Plummer, All the Money in the World
Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Will win: Sam Rockwell Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Should win (GW): Rockwell

Should win (HM): Willem Dafoe. Too close to call for us, really, between Rockwell and Dafoe, two astonishing and under-appreciated American actors who should have several Oscars between them at this point. Rockwell’s racist volcano of a redeemable small-town cop gave the actor hundreds of opportunities to shine, but Dafoe’s understated, caring motel manager offers an emotional center of gravity for Sean Baker’s The Florida Project and we’d love to see him recognized.

Best Original Screenplay

The Big Sick, Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani
Get Out, Jordan Peele
Lady Bird, Greta Gerwig
The Shape of Water, Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Martin McDonagh

Will win: Martin McDonagh Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Should win: Pick ’em. Honestly, whether this award goes go McDonagh and his sharp observation on anger and compassion, or whether it goes to Greta Gerwig’s pitch-perfect coming of age tale Lady Bird, or Jordan Peele’s epic piece of social commentary Get Out, or Emily B. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani’s revelatory romantic comedy The Big Sick, or Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor’s monster love story The Shape of Water, there can be no complaint.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Call Me by Your Name, James Ivory
The Disaster Artist, Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber
Logan, Scott Frank & James Mangold and Michael Green
Molly’s Game, Aaron Sorkin
Mudbound, Virgil Williams and Dee Rees

Will win: James Ivory, Call Me by Your Name

Should win: James Ivory, Call Me by Your Name. Although we would cheer if the under-appreciated Mudbound picked this one up, there’s no denying the powerful storytelling in Ivory’s script and the way it drove Luca Guadagnino’s sumptuous direction.

Best Documentary Feature

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail, Steve James, Mark Mitten, Julie Goldman
Faces Places, JR, Agnès Varda, Rosalie Varda
Icarus,  Bryan Fogel, Dan Cogan
Last Men in Aleppo, Feras Fayyad, Kareem Abeed, Soren Steen Jepersen
Strong Island, Yance Ford, Joslyn Barnes

Will win: Faces Places

Should win: Of the nominees, Faces Places, but this year’s biggest snubs are in the documentary category. No love for either Whose Streets? or Jane? Wow.

Best Foreign Language Feature

A Fantastic Woman (Chile)
The Insult (Lebanon)
Lovelss (Russia)                                                                                    
On Body and Soul (Hungary)
The Square (Sweden)

Will win: The Square

Should win: The Square, by an eyelash over A Fantastic Woman.

Best Animated Film

The Boss Baby, Tom McGrath, Ramsey Ann Naito
The Breadwinner, Nora Twomey, Anthony Leo
Coco, Lee Unkrich, Darla K. Anderson
Ferdinand, Carlos Saldanha
Loving Vincent,  Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman, Sean Bobbitt, Ivan Mactaggart, Hugh Welchman

Will win: Coco

Should win: Coco. It’s a pretty weak year in animated features, to be honest, so—like so many categories this year—the likely winner is pretty clear. Both Loving Vincent and Breadwinner are strong contenders, though no one saw either. Both Ferdinand and The Boss Baby are unworthy of the nomination. Coco is not Pixar’s strongest, and that can sometimes weigh too heavily on a film. You can’t put out a Toy Story or Up! every time, and Coco offers a touching, vibrant, skeleton-filled cultural extravaganza that is joyous to behold.

Best Director

Dunkirk, Christopher Nolan
Get Out, Jordan Peele
Lady Bird, Greta Gerwig
Phantom Thread, Paul Thomas Anderson
The Shape of Water, Guillermo del Toro

Will win: Guillermo del Toro

Should win (GW): Jordan Peele

Should win (HM): Any of them. This is the most gorgeous set of nominees we have possibly ever seen. We will celebrate no matter who wins because we adore every single one of these names: del Toro, Greta Gerwig, Jordan Peele, Paul Thomas Anderson and Christopher Nolan. In a wild variety of efforts—from taut, ensemble-driven war to period character studies to horror—the style, tone and detail in every one of these films showcases a master at the helm. Yes, it is a weird turn that Martin McDonagh didn’t get a nomination, but we wouldn’t drop anyone from this group.

Best Picture

Call Me by Your Name
Darkest Hour
Get Out
Lady Bird
Phantom Thread
The Post
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Will win: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. In a dogfight with The Shape of Water, we think the compromise will be a director/film split decision.

Should win: So many great ones here, but we’ll say Dunkirk. (Or Get Out, or Lady Bird, or…)

The Academy Awards — again hosted by Jimmy Kimmel — will air live on ABC on this Sunday, March 4.

Should Win/Will Win 2017

by Hope Madden and George Wolf

Oscar cometh, and with him the possibility of drawing attention to some of the best films from 2016 that many people didn’t see. By all means, check out Hell or High Water and Moonlight. Watch Natalie Portman’s brilliant turn in Jackie, or Viola Davis’s blistering performance in Fences. And for the love of God, watch Manchester by the Sea already. It won’t kill you.

And while you’re at it, pull out your Oscar score card and compare it with ours.

Best Picture
There are a lot of solid contenders and one possible winner. Such is the case every year, but the best thing about the real race this year is that it’s the movie you enjoyed most versus clearly the best film you saw this year. For us, it’s La La Land versus Moonlight, and however it turns out, we all win. This is how it will turn out:

Should: Moonlight
Will: La La Land


Best Director
We would love to say David Mackenzie, beautiful visionary behind Hell or High Water, should win but will lose to someone else. But, Mel Gibson got that nomination for Hacksaw Ridge. So Mackenzie can’t lose, at least he has that. The winner, then?

Should: Damien Chazelle, La La Land
Will: Chazelle


Best Actress
This is a stacked category (including Streep, Portman, and Loving‘s Ruth Negga)– one of the strongest pack of contenders for Best Female Lead we’ve seen in years. Congratulations to us that it will be so tough to choose. But here’s the way it’ll likely go:

Should: Isabelle Huppert, Elle
Will: Emma Stone, La La Land


Best Actor
Tightest race this year, and only getting tighter. Even Denzel Washington was surprised to see the Screen Actors Guild award come his way for Fences, and with all the overlap in the voting pool between that organization and the Academy, Denzel’s chances have only gotten better. But we still give Casey Affleck the slightest of leads.

Should: Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Will: Affleck


Best Supporting Actress
Regardless of her limited screen time in Manchester by the Sea, Michelle Williams has every right to this award, only because the great Viola Davis should be nominated in the best actress category. But since she’s not…

Should: Viola Davis, Fences
Will: Davis


Best Supporting Actor
This is another group of impressive performances. Nice to see Lucas Hedges included for his great work in Manchester by the Sea. Still, this ranks as the second strongest lock on the ballot (after Viola’s certain win).

Should: Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Will: Ali


Best Original Screenplay
Wow, the brilliance off all this work could blind you. The Lobster, 20th Century Woman, La La Land and more, some of the most original, most provocative and most moving screenplays we’ve seen in years. There are no losers here.

Should: Taylor Sheridan, Hell or High Water
Will: Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea


Best Adapted Screenplay
Matching the originals in style and substance is this group of adapted screenplays (including Lion, Arrival, and Fences). Breathtaking.

Should: Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
Will: Moonlight


Best Animated Film
Oscar liked some obscure cartoons this year – and good for all of us that they drew attention to such gems as The Red Turtle and My Life as a Zucchini. Still, it’s the big boys who delivered. No, not Pixar. For once, the ultimate behemoth in ‘toon-tainment, Disney, put out the most relevant and gorgeous piece of animation, and will be rewarded for it.

Should: Zootopia
Will: Zootopia


Best Documentary
Three films here, including Ava DuVernay’s gripping 13th, are almost equally deserving of this award, each of them speaking to the nation’s racial tensions in a way that illustrates both the history and currency of the topic. We’ll be happy however it turns out, but if it were up to us…

Should: I Am Not Your Negro
Will: OJ: Made In America

Catch the show Sunday night on ABC. Coverage begins at 7pm.

Fearless Oscar Predictions!

Get your ballots ready – it’s time to determine best bets and the losers who deserve better. Who will take home the gold hardware? Who should? Who will shine the brightest on the red carpet? We only care about two of those questions, so let’s see how we shake it out.



The Big Short

Bridge of Spies


Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian

The Revenant



Will Win: The Revenant
The Revenant has so much momentum going into Sunday, any other winner would be an incredible upset. We don’t see that happening.

Should Win (Hope): The Revenant
This was such a masterfully crafted epic that I cannot balk with its win, although I could just as easily celebrate the nod for Mad Max: Fury Road, Room, or Spotlight.

Should Win (George): Carol
That’s unlikely to happen since it wasn’t even nominated (shakes fist), so out of this group, I’m saying The Revenant by an eyelash over Mad Max: Fury Road.



Adam McKay, The Big Short

George Miller,  Mad Max: Fury Road

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, The Revenant

Lenny Abrahamson, Room

Tom McCarthy, Spotlight

Will Win: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, The Revenant
Winning the best directing Oscar in consecutive years is rare, but the momentum says Inarritu will pull it off. With back to back wins from the Director’s Guild, an Oscar two-fer this Sunday seems likely.

Should Win (Hope):  Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, The Revenant
Inarritu’s vision and execution are breathtaking achievements and I could not find fault with this win, although the same can be said for George Miller and Mad Max: Fury Road.

Should Win (George): George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road
No doubt, The Revenant was a marvel of direction, but the way George Miller revitalized his own franchise with astounding visuals and breakneck action was damn near a miracle.



Bryan Cranston, Trumbo

Matt Damon, The Martian

Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant

Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs

Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl

Will Win: Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
The surest bet this weekend.

Should Win Best Actor (Hope & George): DiCaprio
It can be hard to appreciate a performance that relies so little on dialog, but it is impossible not to see what DiCaprio was able to transmit with no more than 15 lines in English. He deserves the prize.



Cate Blanchett, Carol

Brie Larson, Room

Jennifer Lawrence, Joy

Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years

Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn

Will Win: Brie Larson, Room
Again, Larson couldn’t have more momentum, having picked up nearly every award along the road to the Oscars. We can’t imagine we’ll see an upset here.

Should Win (Hope): Brie Larson, Room
Larson conveys a mixture of torment and hope, love and grief that is so authentic it is almost too much to bear. She alone deserves this trophy.

Should Win (George): Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years
All the nominated performances are stellar, but Rampling was a master of understated humanity, with a final shot that’s fit for a time capsule.



Christian Bale, The Big Short

Tom Hardy, The Revenant

Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight

Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies

Sylvester Stallone, Creed

Will Win: Stallone Stallone, Creed
He was as good as he’s ever been, yes, but this win will be more about heart than mind.

Should Win (Hope & George): Tom Hardy, The Revenant
Gather ye canned goods and duct tape while ye may, because the day Stallone takes an Oscar from the great Tom Hardy, the end is nigh.



Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight

Rooney Mara, Carol

Rachel McAdams, Spotlight

Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl

Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

Will Win: Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs
This may be the biggest toss up in the list, but Winslet – an Oscar favorite for good reason – seems to have Big Mo on her side.

Should Win (Hope): Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
I’d give this one to Leigh, whose performance in The Hateful Eight proves her mettle as a comic actress and a performer who can take a beating – although a nod for Rooney Mara’s understated, aching performance in Carol would also deserve the attention.

Should Win (George):
Rooney Mara, Carol
I’ll go with Mara, in a squeaker rover JJL, for being the soul of a beautiful film anchored in love and longing.



Bridge of Spies

Ex Machina

Inside Out


Straight Outta Compton

Will Win: Tom McCarthy & Josh Singer, Spotlight
McCarthy’s magnificent integrity and humanity with a screenplay will finally be acknowledged.

Should Win (Hope & George): Alex Garland, Ex Machina
We will not complain if Spotlight takes home this award because the amazing Tom McCarthy deserves the nod, although we would personally go with Alex Garland’s psychosexual phenom Ex Machina.



The Big Short



The Martian


Will Win: Charles Randolph & Adam McKay, The Big Short
It’s a tight category, but McKay and Randolph’s irate comical sensibility has impressed voters all along, and may carry them to gold.

Should Win (Hope): Emma Donoghue, Room                                                                               Adapting her own novel, Donoghue somehow managed the impossible in creating a hopeful, even wondrous tale of the single most horrific incident one could imagine. She’s pure magic.

Should Win (George): Todd Haynes, Carol
Haynes’s adaptation of Phyllis Highsmith’s novel The Price of Salt conveys the costs of love so profoundly it settles in your bones.


Chris Rock hosts the 88th Annual Academy Awards airs this Sunday at 8:30 on ABC.

And the Oscar Goes To….

We are thrilled to be able to co-host the Oscar Red Carpet Bash at the Drexel Theater this week. Please join us Sunday a the Drexel (2254 E.Main St.) Sample delicious wares from local restaurants and wear your fanciest duds or dress like someone in one of the nominated films for a chance at prizes. We’ll also be handing out prizes for trivia as well as for the closest predictor of the Oscar winners.

In case you’re on the fence, we thought we’d put together our own list of Oscar’s likeliest winners.

Best Picture

American Sniper
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything

One of this year’s few tight races, the best picture contest comes down to one brilliantly told, magical tale told from the inside of celebrity versus one unrelentingly and somehow magically realistic picture of childhood. The push over the cliff for us are all the telltale awards in recent weeks from the Screen Actors, Directors and Producers guilds – all with Oscar pool overlap.

Should Win: Boyhood 

Will Win: Birdman

Got Snubbed: Nightcrawler


Best Director

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Birdman
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game
Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher

Whenever Best Picture’s a toss up, you can expect the nod for directing to be just as close a race. Oscar could split – one to Birdman, one to Boyhood – but we get the sneaking suspicion that one film will mop up the two top prizes.

Should Win: Richard Linklater, Boyhood 

Will Win: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Birdman

Got Snubbed: Ava DuVernay, Selma


Best Actor

Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
Bradley Cooper, American Sniper
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
Michael Keaton, Birdman
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

Here’s the only performing category with much of a race going on. The bet is between beloved veteran Michael Keaton for his fearless performance in Birdman against talented semi-newcomer Eddie Redmayne with his turn as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. It’s a close one, but not too close to call.

Should Win: George says: Bradley Cooper, American Sniper

Hope says: Michael Keaton: Birdman

Will Win: Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

Got Snubbed: David Oyelowo, Selma; Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler


Best Actress

Marion Cotillard, Two Days One Night
Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon, Wild

Here begin the easier calls to make. In a relatively weak field, Julianne Moore shines all the brighter regardless of the fact that the film Still Alice is not especially strong.

Should Win: Julianne Moore, Still Alice 

Will Win: Julianne Moore, Still Alice

Got Snubbed: Essie Davis, The Babadook


Best Supporting Actor

Robert Duvall, The Judge
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
Edward Norton, Birdman
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

In a year full of locks, no race is more of a foregone conclusion than this. Though we do feel badly for Edward Norton, sporting the very best performance of his impressive career, there’s really only one option.

Should Win: J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

Will Win:  J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

Got Snubbed: Josh Brolin, Inherent Vice


Best Supporting Actress

Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Laura Dern, Wild
Emma Stone, Birdman
Keira Knightly, The Imitation Game
Meryl Streep, Into the Woods

This one may not be locked up quite as tight, but you can be pretty confident that Alabama Worley will finally get her justs.

Should Win: Patricia Arquette, Boyhood

Will Win:  Patricia Arquette, Boyhood

Got Snubbed: Viola Davis, Get On Up; Tilda Swinton, Snowpiercer


Best Original Screenplay

Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. & Armando Bo   Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) 
Richard Linklater   Boyhood
E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman    Foxcatcher
Wes Anderson; Story by Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness  The Grand Budapest Hotel
Dan Gilroy Nightcrawler

What an insanely great year for original screenplays! Truth is, you really can’t go wrong with any of these. There’s a good chance the award will go to Birdman in a huge awards-grab, but we think smart money is with another brilliantly crafted piece of writing.

Should Win: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobono, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr., Armando Bo, Birdman

Will Win:  Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Got Snubbed:  Ruben Ostlund Force Majeure; J.C. ChandorA Most Violent Year


Best Adapted Screenplay

Jason Hall  American Sniper
Graham Moore  The Imitation Game
Paul Thomas Anderson  Inherent Vice
Anthony McCarten  The Theory of Everything
Damien Chazelle   Whiplash

It’s another tight race and honestly, it wouldn’t surprise us if the Oscar went to any of these writers. Well, it might surprise us (pleasantly!) if Paul Thomas Anderson’s  Inherent Vice won, but otherwise, the field’s wide open.

Should Win: Damien Chazelle, Whiplash

Will Win:  Damien Chazelle, Whiplash

Got Snubbed: Paul Webb, Selma


Keep us honest – join us Sunday night at the Drexel and keep track of our hits and misses while you enjoy the Oscar broadcast, some delicious food and beverages, and win big prizes. For more information, visit www.drexel.net.

Hope to see you there!