February is here and that means the Academy Awards are just around the corner! About this time, I like to fill out my own personal ballot and predict which films I believe will take home the night’s honors. We’ve already seen the winners from many of the other big film awards–the Golden Globes, the Critics Choice, and the Screen Actors Guild–and I have carefully crafted my Oscar predictions based on these results and my overall experience with the films nominated. Keep in mind that these are just my opinions. You may have a completely different set of predictions, or maybe you haven’t seen many of the films and you are hoping to watch some that have high expectations to win. Whatever the case, I hope you enjoy this list of some of my top predictions for Oscar night!
Best Picture: Spotlight
Why: The story is engaging. The cast is strong. It will leave you with questions and open up doors for real conversations about the brokenness of humanity and even religious institutions.
Actor in a Leading Role: Leonardo DiCaprio
Why: We all know he deserves it, if not for this role for a vast career of strong performances. Though, his performance in “The Revenant” is transformative, physically demanding, and raw. Here’s to hoping this year is his year.
Actress in a Leading Role: Brie Larson
Why: Larson is a force to be reckoned with. She brings to the screen something authentic and organic. Her performance in “Room” is heartbreaking, touching, and powerful, as it demonstrates the lengths to which a mother will go to save her child.
Why: I haven’t seen “Creed,” but Stallone took home the Golden Globe and the Critics Choice Award for reprising one of the most iconic roles in film history. The Academy loves a good comeback story.
Actress in a Supporting Role: Alicia Vikander
Why: I was heartbroken over Vikander’s character in “The Danish Girl.” She was dynamic in her portrayal of a woman watching her husband struggle with gender dysphoria, but I also felt the pain and unique emotions people in similar situations must go through.
Animated Feature Film: Inside Out
Why: No other animated film made as big of an impact as “Inside Out.” Plus, Disney and Pixar usually have this category in the bag. More than that, “Inside Out” is a moving story that addresses real issues in a way that anyone can understand. It is visually exciting and full of lovable characters.
Directing: Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Why: It is rare to see a director win back-to-back Oscars, but Iñárritu seems to have a great eye for direction and seeing his vision come to reality. Working in harsh conditions, he was able to portray the story of a man’s fight for his life and revenge in a visually captivating and visceral way.
I hope you enjoyed some of my top Academy Award predictions! Be sure to fill out your own Oscar ballot and play the Oscars Challenge!