Top Oscar nominated movies

Which Oscar-Nominated Movie Will Win Best Picture? Let's Predict Based on the Trailers Alone

So it's Oscar week, and you didn't see every Best Picture nominee. That's OK. I didn't either. There are just too many historically significant news stories to keep up with these days. For example, did you know that JoJo from The Bachelor loves the movie Patch Adams, but does not have a favorite book? What an enchanting creature. Anyway, I don't have 18 hours to watch all of these movies (but if you do, here's a guide for where you can watch 'em all). Instead, I'm just going to make predictions based solely on the trailers, so I can go back to studying Bachelor contestant bios (Izzy's fave book is "the first 150 pages of 50 Shades of Grey. Then I just saw the movie." Me too!).

But it would be irresponsible to judge trailers without a plan, so let's identify the criteria that make a trailer—and therefore the entire movie—Oscar worthy.

Star Power: If it doesn't have celebrities, it must not be good.

Underdogs: They're succeeding because they are pure of heart and better than you.


Are you confused?: If so, I'll likely give it a good review so as not to appear stupid.

Accents: Like yelling, but with pronunciation.

Overall Foreignness: I'm open-minded, as long as everyone is still very sexy.

Historical Importance: You can't not like it because it happened.

Sure, all of these categories won't relate to every film, but you're not seeing all of the movies either, so let's not throw stones.

The Martian__

It's Castaway meets Apollo 13 meets Saving Private Ryan. Finally, a movie that answers the question: What if we made ALL of the Tom Hanks movies at the same time? There's strong star power in The Martian, but is it enough to make up for a serious lack of foreign accents? I'm skeptical.


No major star power, but it does have fun Irish accents and some overall foreignness. Ireland is like the Boston of Europe, and that fact is not lost on the Academy. This could be a real sleeper pick. If we can learn anything from the nomination process, a movie about Brooklyn that found a way to feature a pretty white girl as a minority could really make some waves.

The Big Short

The star power is off the charts in The Big Short. It has nerdy Batman! That's a strong start. And The Big Short also has handsome Ryan Gosling in expensive suits, a voice-over to make me feel smart, and yelling about Wall Street fat cats? That's almost cheating. This isn't really an underdog story considering the bad guys are billionaires and the good guys are soon-to-be billionaires, but you can't have everything. This is a serious contender.

Mad Max: Fury Road

This trailer looks like a nightmare you have after you order a Papa John's pizza, toss the pizza in the garbage, and then just do alternating shots of Jameson and garlic butter until you pass out. I'M IN. I like that it doesn't pander to our other categories. It's a simple equation executed perfectly—make the underdog story, turn it up to 11, and rip the knob off.

Bridge of Spies

"Tom Hanks plays an honorable man from history" automatically puts this in the top four. You have a big star playing an underdog and accents and yelling and some overall foreignness, all perched atop a mountain of historical importance. Tom Hanks didn't win two Oscars in a row on accident, gang. He knows the formula.


Did I include "Are you confused?" as one of the criteria solely because of this trailer? That's none of your damn business. I don't like that this trailer is hiding how brutally depressing this movie is clearly going to be. You can't make a movie about a woman's imprisonment and then package it like Marley and Me.

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