RT's 2016 Oscar Picks

by and | February 26, 2016 | Comments

While this year’s race has been mired in #OscarsSoWhite controversy and the Academy’s changes in the face of scrutiny, it’s still that time of year when we put our heads together, sift through the films that are nominated, and try to figure out who will win at this year’s Academy Awards. Last year we were 15/24, so here’s hoping we do a bit better this year — although it’s always nice when the Academy throws out a curveball! Watch the video below for a quick rundown of our choices in the bigger categories, or scroll down to read through the full list.

Best Picture: The Revenant


We can see timely films like The Big Short and Spotlight taking this prize, but ultimately it seems the tide is in favor of Alejandro González Iñárritu’s harrowing outdoor epic of survival, endurance, and revenge.

Best Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu, The Revenant


If Iñárritu wins — and we think that’s very likely, given that Best Director generally goes to whoever helmed the Best Picture winner (Argo and 12 Years a Slave are notable recent exceptions) — he’d be the first back-to-back winner of this award since the great Joseph L. Mankiewicz in 1949 and 1950 (for Letter to Three Wives and All About Eve, respectively).

Best Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant

All the talk about Leo being due an Oscar is a bit overwrought, given that none of the following people have ever won an Academy Award: Johnny Depp, Tom Cruise, Sigourney Weaver, Brad Pitt, Samuel L Jackson, Will Smith, Harrison Ford, Scarlett Johansson, John Travolta, Glenn Close, Gary Oldman, Robert Downey, Jr., Idris Elba, Marlene Dietrich, Marilyn Monroe, Cary Grant, Joseph Cotten, Edward G. Robinson, Rita Hayworth, Richard Burton, Peter O’Toole, and dozens more. That said, he’s totally winning this year; the Academy loves onscreen feats of physical prowess featuring glamorous stars de-glammed.

Best Actress: Brie Larson, Room


After wowing the critics in smaller films like The Spectacular Now and Short Term 12, Brie Larson solidified her status as one of the best young actors in Hollywood with Room. She’s close to a lock for Best Actress.

Best Supporting Actor: Sylvester Stallone, Creed

The two Marks could potentially steal this one, but we think the Academy is gonna go with Sly, the sentimental favorite.

Best Supporting Actress: Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl

This looks to us like a “Nobel” Oscar, one that’s given to an actor or actress for his or her body of work rather than the film for which he or she is nominated. Long story short: Alicia Vikander is winning because she had a monster 2015.

Best Original Screenplay: Spotlight

What happened to Spotlight? Coming out of the Toronto International Film Festival, it looked like the movie to beat in the Best Picture race. It shouldn’t be counted out as a dark horse contender for the top prize, but at very least it seems like a safe bet here.

Best Adapted Screenplay: The Big Short

Michael Lewis is the king of allegedly unfilmable non-fiction books that are subsequently adapted into wildly popular, critically praised, Oscar-nominated motion pictures: The Blind Side, Moneyball, and now The Big Short are all based on his work. Turning the dense, complex machinations of a group of financial wizzes into a mainstream, crowd-pleasing comedy pretty much ensures The Big Short’s victory in this category.

Best Animated Feature: Inside Out

Although this is a strong year for this category, with two outstanding examples of stop motion and two critically acclaimed foreign entries, Pixar’s Inside Out is one of the surest wins this season. It’s also the only film in this category with a screenwriting nomination, which shows it is a favorite in multiple branches.

Best Foreign Language Film: Son of Saul

While France’s Mustang and Hungary’s Son of Saul have both received strong critical receptions, Saul seems to have the most momentum, as well as eight wins in this category already, including at the Golden Globes.

Best Documentary Feature: Amy

With eleven wins – including at the Producer’s Guild Awards – Asif Kapadia’s chronicle of the rise and fall of the late Amy Winehouse seems all but unstoppable.

Best Cinematography: The Revenant

If the award goes to our projected winner Emmanuel Lubezki for his outdoor, natural light work on The Revenant, he will be the first person to win this award three years in a row and we definitely think this year will be one for the history books.

Best Film Editing: Mad Max: Fury Road

While several films used editing in unique and creative ways, it is the editing in Mad Max: Fury Road that is the glue that keeps its frenetic ride together.

Best Production Design: Mad Max: Fury Road

We heard a rumor that an early draft of the script for Brooklyn contained a scene featuring flaming guitars. Unfortunately, since the scene didn’t make it into the finished product, it looks like Mad Max is winning this category by default.

Best Costume Design: Cinderella

We think Sandy Powell will win this category, just for the wrong movie. A seasoned costume designer is likely to tell you that it’s harder to craft the wardrobe for a period film set in living memory; thus, Powell’s work on Carol probably deserves the Oscar. However, it’s hard to pass up pretty ball gowns, so we think Powell will win for Cinderella.

Best Original Score: The Hateful Eight

Sure, Ennio Morricone won an Honorary Oscar in 2007, but he’s never won for an individual film. This is an outrage that the Academy must rectify immediately — and fortunately, the master is in fine form with the score for The Hateful Eight.

Best Original Song: Fifty Shades of Grey

It’s not the most egregious of the Academy’s many questionable movies this Oscar season, but the announcement that two of the five Oscar-nominated songs would not be performed during the ceremony is still pretty strange. (But hey, look on the bright side: that means there’s a one-in-three chance we’ll get this one right!) We pick the Weeknd, which would make Fifty Shades of Grey the most critically maligned Oscar-winning film in decades.

Best Visual Effects: Mad Max: Fury Road

In a year with films featuring amazing CGI, Mad Max: Fury Road’s use of practical effects — with the occasional use of CGI — seems as refreshing as it is revolutionary.

Best Makeup & Hairstyling: Mad Max: Fury Road

It takes a lot of work to make these folks look this busted. From Furiosa’s killer eye-liner, to the faces of the war boys, to the distinct hair of Immortan Joe and his cronies, Mad Max: Fury Road’s use of hair and make-up in its world-building is unlike anything else we saw at the movies this year.

Best Sound Mixing: Mad Max: Fury Road

This whole movie was practically one epic car chase through the badlands, with the sound of an entire fleet of unique vehicles recorded on the go.

Best Sound Editing: Mad Max: Fury Road

Adding wicked (flaming) guitar licks, the pounding of the war boys’ drums, flowing water, and a multitude of other sounds to the epic car chase helped build the bombastic world that is Fury Road.

Best Animated Short: Sanjay’s Super Team

Look, it’s a big year for bears, so Bear Story would seem to be the zeitgeistian pick. However, Sanjay’s Super Team is from Pixar, and you don’t bet against Pixar on Oscar night.

Best Live Action Short: Shok

This tale of cross-cultural understanding in the midst of the Kosovo War is sure to tug the heartstrings.

Best Documentary Short: Body Team 12

The topical Body Team 12, about the Ebola crisis in Liberia, is both topical and moving, and we think it will resonate the most with Academy voters.

Tag Cloud

Elton John Best and Worst Countdown Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Netflix Rom-Com movies Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Reality Competition television psycho The CW movie YA strong female leads Sundance TV First Reviews Classic Film superhero game show NYCC vampires Crackle halloween 2018 romance sports politics kids Infographic cancelled TV series child's play docudrama Spike Extras political drama space Pride Month true crime robots Anna Paquin Marvel Television Shondaland spinoff video on demand Epix 4/20 reboot CMT PBS Brie Larson TBS mutant Star Wars VICE PaleyFest FXX finale spy thriller Comedy Baby Yoda Sundance anthology Binge Guide Disney Plus Crunchyroll Amazon Prime cinemax Universal Rock Animation cars Premiere Dates Sneak Peek crime drama fast and furious Super Bowl 007 Netflix Christmas movies psychological thriller Apple teaser Syfy BET Awards Toys Food Network book natural history doctor who directors SDCC Television Critics Association Rocky Winners Trivia theme song Pirates Walt Disney Pictures independent Fall TV Rocketman Polls and Games technology Marvel Studios Acorn TV worst movies crossover Discovery Channel indiana jones Musicals CW Seed dc based on movie CNN revenge Hallmark TCA Sony Pictures Creative Arts Emmys mission: impossible FOX Sci-Fi game of thrones Ghostbusters police drama Comic Book Winter TV cartoon stop motion The Purge TCM TruTV canceled TV shows 21st Century Fox Emmy Nominations See It Skip It TLC hist FX on Hulu dogs Showtime thriller rotten RT History zombies ghosts Disney+ Disney Plus Election Character Guide Apple TV+ Valentine's Day festival Certified Fresh obituary Film Spectrum Originals sag awards science fiction spider-man MSNBC Film Festival hispanic Mary Tyler Moore First Look 20th Century Fox Tubi Hulu Schedule richard e. Grant japanese biography spanish language sitcom casting Black Mirror Awards franchise 2019 Spring TV cats Freeform facebook Starz scorecard rotten movies we love singing competition ESPN comics Fox News scary movies DGA Biopics Nat Geo MTV Song of Ice and Fire The Academy WGN Cannes San Diego Comic-Con parents Disney Channel latino Warner Bros. Cosplay medical drama green book Captain marvel free movies OneApp Teen concert cancelled TV shows war Pop TV Mystery Lucasfilm 2016 ratings discovery CBS All Access WarnerMedia Apple TV Plus DC Universe The Walking Dead Horror TCA Awards Travel Channel renewed TV shows canceled anime E3 blockbuster disaster satire elevated horror The Witch name the review Music social media Lionsgate comedies miniseries Western Set visit American Society of Cinematographers Emmys werewolf AMC BET Mary Poppins Returns Hear Us Out stoner adventure National Geographic DC streaming service criterion asian-american Drama Tumblr venice universal monsters worst Video Games President YouTube Red MCU Paramount 71st Emmy Awards festivals Amazon Studios GIFs crime thriller PlayStation DirecTV SundanceTV dceu Television Academy blaxploitation Ovation comiccon batman zombie Disney streaming service Nickelodeon 45 Columbia Pictures nature Holidays supernatural chucky binge critics south america Action Lifetime nbcuniversal adaptation cancelled video A24 Funimation romantic comedy Red Carpet APB christmas movies indie hollywood Amazon Prime Video USA Network talk show breaking bad best El Rey dragons Pixar LGBT jamie lee curtis Opinion Esquire Britbox TCA Winter 2020 Thanksgiving golden globes nfl Mindy Kaling Musical TNT TV renewals 2015 animated HBO Go Year in Review Stephen King Holiday unscripted classics VOD TIFF die hard Photos Family Cartoon Network series BBC One Writers Guild of America boxoffice what to watch Peacock french Lifetime Christmas movies Christmas Summer ABC Family Black History Month Superheroe remakes Hallmark Christmas movies The Arrangement historical drama A&E serial killer Nominations GoT Sundance Now Turner Classic Movies Turner Shudder laika Ellie Kemper cults Mary poppins harry potter Dark Horse Comics screen actors guild spanish DC Comics emmy awards versus stand-up comedy SXSW LGBTQ Bravo Reality Podcast Heroines Oscars Fantasy TV Land BBC America Pop sequels 24 frames RT21 cooking Chernobyl Martial Arts toy story joker Pet Sematary YouTube Premium Watching Series tv talk Interview aliens zero dark thirty ABC Adult Swim travel FX Star Trek New York Comic Con Trailer Paramount Network Comedy Central OWN transformers dark documentaries reviews children's TV Masterpiece toronto HBO Max award winner slashers witnail documentary Box Office Calendar Logo E! Mudbound justice league Awards Tour Grammys TCA 2017 films Avengers Disney a nightmare on elm street halloween tv quibi all-time BAFTA X-Men news archives Trophy Talk BBC 2020 Endgame screenings football Marathons HBO 72 Emmy Awards Superheroes cops Country streaming diversity 2017 twilight VH1 Tarantino dramedy Women's History Month NBC CBS Quiz comic GLAAD IFC Arrowverse Comics on TV Academy Awards Amazon TV History foreign Kids & Family period drama italian mockumentary Tomatazos crime ITV spain Fox Searchlight IFC Films sequel cancelled television Marvel YouTube composers USA Vudu